With so many of us heading back to work and generally spending more time outside the home, it’s important to remember how to find healthy snacks on the go.
However, this can get pricey fast. The markup on snack items is huge, and when we’re buying something packaged, it’s hard to know exactly what’s inside. Just look at the ingredient list for a simple granola bar, and you may be surprised at the sheer number of unpronounceable ingredients you’ll find.
Today, we’re bringing you our favorite suggestions of healthy and even low-calorie snacks that are easy to whip up at home and take on the go.
What Makes a Healthy Snack?
Before we get cooking, let’s explore what makes a healthy snack.
A healthy snack is something that offers vitamins, minerals, and other essential nutrients, but doesn’t have as many calories as a traditional meal. Ideally, a healthy snack should contain a balance of fiber, protein, and healthy (unsaturated) fat.
Some many diets and lifestyles discourage snacking, insisting that it’s merely empty calories and can’t be a part of any healthy diet. However, that’s just not true. As long as your snacks are made of whole, unprocessed ingredients and offer a balance of protein, fiber, and healthy fat, a snack can be a great source of energy that can keep us from overeating out of hunger at our next meal.
Our Favorite Homemade Snacks to Meal Prep at Home
Some of the best snacks are the simplest. An apple, a handful of almond or cashews, or cut-up cheese are all great choices. However, sometimes you want something a little bit more elaborate that also contains a better mix of protein, fat, and fiber.
Here are some of our favorite recipes for homemade snacks that you can easily take on the go.
1. Granola bars
If you love granola bars, skip the extra sugar found in most store-bought versions by making your own. There are plenty of great recipes out there that use a combination of nuts, seeds, and whole rolled oats to create a whole pan of granola bars.
When you make them yourself, you can also customize them to your unique taste, skipping ingredients you don’t like and adding more of the ones you do.
2. Hummus and crackers
To make your mornings easier, package up small containers of hummus along with a baggie of whole-grain crackers. You can make your own hummus, or portion out a healthy store-bought version.
3. Baked oatmeal muffins
Love the taste of fresh muffins, but want something a bit healthier? By skipping the flour and using oatmeal instead, you can make muffins that are super high in fiber and protein, but with a lower amount of sugar and carbohydrates than their traditional counterparts.
4. Quinoa energy bites
There’s an entire sub-section of the blogosphere dedicated to creating delicious ‘bites’ that are both high in protein and fiber and low in sugar for snack time. With dozens and dozens of recipes out there, you can experiment until you find a mix that works for you. Our favorites have quinoa and are held together with a mixture of peanut butter and dates.
5. Roasted chickpeas
If you’re trying to boost your legume intake, try making a large pan of roasted chickpeas dressed in any type of flavoring you like. Keep it simple with just olive oil, or add in spices like honey-garlic, za’atar, or lemon zest.
6. Boiled edamame
Edamame can easily be prepared in advance and stored in baggies or containers in the fridge until you’re ready to eat them. Just sprinkle them with salt, and enjoy!
7. Homemade dip with crudites
Like hummus, any homemade dip is easy to whip up at home and pack into small containers to eat on the go. To make it even healthier, scoop it up with cut-up veggies instead of chips or crackers.
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