Snacks can be a very important part of a lot of people’s daily diets. They tide you over to the next meal, fuel you for your workout, or give you extra energy when you hit that late afternoon slump. While I don’t snack much myself, I am a big supporter of snacks as part of a healthy lifestyle. I’m not a supporter though of most of the snacks that we normally reach for. I’m talking about the ones you find in a vending machine or on store shelves. The pre-packaged, processed snacks that we often eat are not doing your health any good. Believe me, I get the appeal of these snacks. They’re easy, most of the time portable, and they taste good. They are just so convenient, but they are also taking a toll on our health. The good news is that it is really easy to make your own versions of most of the snacks out there, except these will be good for you, provide nutrition, cost less, and taste just as good if not better!
- Trail Mix- This is a tricky snack item in stores. They seem like they are good for you with all their claims of organic and natural, but most of the time they are filled with sugar and other not so healthy ingredients. It is much better to make your own, plus the DIY version will cost you a lot less. Buy things like nuts (peanuts, almonds, pistachios, walnuts), seeds (sunflower or pumpkin), dried fruits with no extra sugar (cranberries, raisins, cherries), and dark chocolate chips. Then just dup everything into a big bowl, mix it together, and portion it out into snack sizes. Now you have a quick and healthy snack that you can grab and go! If you can, buy all your components in bulk and that help keep the cost down.
- Granola Bars- These are another one of those sneaky snacks that can seem healthy but in the end are not much better than candy bars. Luckily, it is really easy to make your own and there are a ton of recipes out there on the internet. You can make your own Nutragrain bars, Larabars, or chewy granola bars. Make them in big batches and freeze them so that you have a bunch ready to go
- Chips & Dip- Chips are a popular snack because no one can resist the crunchy and salty taste! But those chips can quickly add up and soon you’re downing a whole bag along with dip. You can make your own simple potato chips using my recipe here. You can also make your own tortilla chips. Just buy some corn tortillas (I like the El Milagro brand because of the price and short ingredient list), cut them into triangles, lay them in a single layer on a baking sheet, spray with a little olive oil and salt, then bake at 375 for 12 to 15 minutes. Dips are also really easy and much healthier to make on your own. Try my avocado cream, some salsa, or another one of my favorites, hummus!
- Roasted Chickpeas- I have seen a few versions of these in stores, and while some of them aren’t too bad, I’ve always found it easier to just make my own. It is a lot cheaper and you can choose whatever flavors you want! You can find my recipe here.
Don’t forget about things like fruit or vegetables as a snack too! It is really easy to buy things like celery, carrots, cucumbers, and cherry tomatoes, then cut them up and portion them out at home for a quick snack. Fruits like bananas, oranges, or clementines are really easy to transport because of their skins. And who can resist one of my favorite snacks, sliced apples and peanut or almond butter. Hard boiled eggs are also a great snack that travels well.
There are a ton of simple and healthy snack ideas that you can make yourself. You don’t have to rely on store bought snacks to get you through the day. Take a little bit of time to plan and make your snacks for the week and when it come time to rush out the door in the morning, you can feel good that your snack will help you stick to your healthy eating plan!