Better for You Snacks
The formula for a delicious and long-lasting snack is
Carb or Veggie + Fat or Protein (or a bit of both)
Focus on whole foods or minimally processed options to keep the nutrition high.
Many of the following ideas may have a full recipe online (example: crunchy chickpeas, egg cups) – use the main terms to search if you want more clarity on cooking times.
If you are trying to increase your calories (athletes, weight gain, building muscle), aim for a carb + protein/fat.
If you are trying to decrease your calories (weight loss or maintenance), opt for a veggie + protein, low fat option
Any fruit (bananas, apples, pears, mango, etc.) with ¼ cup almonds, peanuts, etc. or a 1-2 TBSP of nut butter (think bananas or apple slices and peanut butter)
Spicy Black Beans with salsa
Hummus or Guacamole Cup with cucumbers, carrots or bell peppers (veggies) OR crackers, toast, potato (carb)
½ Avocado or a mini avocado cut in half, remove pit, sprinkle with lime and smoked paprika with crackers, potato or sliced veggies
Plain Non-Dairy Greek Yogurt ( I like Kite Hill Protein or Forager) topped with nuts (walnuts for omega 3s!) and berries or mango (frozen keep longer)
Unsweetened Applesauce sprinkled with fresh cinnamon
Banana, kale, and almond milk smoothie
Granola or Date Bars DIY (or store bought but check the ingredients and keep it simple)
½ Cup Trail mix DIY or store-bought – dried cherries, raisins, blueberries are great with a blend of cashews and almonds
Carrot-Mango Smoothie: Two Carrots, 1 cup frozen mango, 2 tbsp. lime juice, and about a cup of water blended together
Chia Seed Pudding: 2 TBSP of chia seeds mixed with 1/2 cup almond, soy or oat milk. Mix well, let sit for 2 hours and then and top with berries, nuts, drizzle of maple syrup.
Tortillas with any leftover veggies inside, spread of black bean or hummus spread, and microwave or stove top heated until warm – top with salsa
Mango Black Bean Salad: 1 cup diced mango, 1 cup diced or halved cherry tomatoes, 1 diced red bell pepper, 1 cup of cooked and cooled edamame, 1/4 chopped red onion, 1 can black beans (rinsed), mixed with chopped bunch of cilantro, 1 TBSP olive oil, juice of one lime, 2 tsp cumin, salt & pepper to taste
Dolmas/ Stuffed Grape Leaves
Whole Grain Waffle with peanut butter and a half a banana
Handful of olives
Veggie wrap small tortillas + sliced veggies + guacamole, hummus or salsa
Rosemary Mash: Hand-mash canned white beans mixed with drizzle of olive oil and chopped fresh rosemary or herbes de provence. Serve over veggies or crackers
Bento Box: choose a fruit, a fat/protein, and a veggie and back together. I like grapes, sliced red peppers and roasted pistachios
Berry and Beet Smoothie: try this recipe from Forks Over Knives
Whole Grain Toast with One-Ingredient Nut Butter
Small Side Salad: greens, sunflower seeds, dried cherries, tomatoes and lemon vinaigrette
Baked Apples: One smallish apple, cored, filled with chopped dates, cinnamon and granola and baked at 400 degrees until tender
Triscuits with hummus or all-natural peanut butter
Strawberry Salad: 1 cup raw spinach with ½ cup sliced strawberries, 1 tablespoon balsamic vinegar, and a dollop of Dijon mustard, top with crushed nuts
Baked (or microwaved) potato topped with tofu scramble
Frozen Grapes Red and green, seedless
Banana Smoothie: ½ cup sliced frozen banana (or add a little ice), ¼ cup plain non-dairy yogurt, blended until smooth
Quick Gazpacho: Combine low sodium tomato juice, cucumber, bell peppers and onion in a food processer, pulse until chunky. Add a splash of red wine vinegar.
Oatmeal: add fruit, nuts, or any mix-ins to make it tasty
Sliced tomato with a sprinkle of fresh herbs (oregano) and splash with vinegar and olive oil, serve with marinated tofu (or a ready made product like tofu Toss'ables).
Sun dried tomatoes, black beans in a whole wheat pita
Crispy Chickpeas: Completely dry canned chickpeas. Mix with a bit of extra-virgin olive oil, season with dried oregano and garlic salt and roast at 400° until crisp.
Orange or Grapefruit slices
Stuffed Figs: Split dried figs and stuff with toasted hazelnuts or vinegar pistachios
Edamame: Easy to keep on hand in the freezer (they make microwave packs!)
Roast Cauliflower: Batch prep roasted veggies and drizzle with tahini.
Watermelon + pistachios + lime juice
Canned soup: Lentil and black bean are particularly filling
Black Bean Hummus: Puree/blend drained black beans with garlic clove, and a dash of lemon juice, tahini, and cumin – eat with crackers or on toast
Cucumber salad: Sliced cucumber, lemon juice, herbs, and pepper
Eggplant Dip (baba ghanouj) with crackers or veggies – also great on a half sandwich or in a pita.