Don’t reach for that chocolate bar!
Today guest blogger, Steph, from Expert Home Tips is here to share 10 healthy snack ideas. They’re easy, cheap, practical for on the go, and surprisingly delicious – perfecting for fulfilling all those mid-afternoon cravings.
1. Rice cakes & toppings
A dry rice cake might not be particularly appetizing. However, a rice cake topped with peanut butter, hummus, or ham, and you have a truly tempting snack option – toppings turn dry, bland rice cakes into the perfect healthy snack.
Rice cakes are low calorie, cheap and versatile. Depending on your goals, you can top them with a variety of things, from protein to fat. My favourite would have to the classic – a crispy rice cake with a generous portion of smashed avocado lathered on top.
2. Hummus & crudites
Have you ever tried making hummus at home? It’s surprisingly easy and much cheaper (and often healthier) than shop-bought versions. I’ve made many over the years, and now have my own Beetroot Hummus recipe which always seems to go down a treat with my friends.
Not only is the colour beautifully vibrant, but it’s much lighter than regular hummus, making it an ideal healthy snack option.
Want to try it for yourself? Throw the following ingredients into a blender and enjoy with carrot and cucumber sticks.
- 250g cooked beetroot & juice
- ¼ garlic clove
- 1 can chickpeas, drained
- 2 tsp lemon juice
- ½ tbsp. olive oil
- salt & pepper to taste
Once blended, you can add more lemon juice, garlic and salt and pepper until the desired taste is achieved.
3. Trail mix
Trail mix is another of my favorite healthy snack ideas. It was when I started experimenting with making my own at home that I really realized how tasty it can be.
The best thing about trail mix is how customisable it is – you can throw all your favorite nuts, seeds and berries together, and change up your recipe regularly. If you want to take this even further, why not try roasting some of your nuts? You could try honey, pepper, tomato or herbs to transform their nutty flavor.
Just be careful on portion control – nuts are full of healthy fats, which is great in small amounts, but does make them calorific. A small handful is what you’re aiming for as a healthy, mid-afternoon snack.
4. Banana/apple & peanut butter
No time to mess around? The easiest combination when you’re short of time is slathering a tbsp. of peanut butter onto either apple slices or a halved banana.
It’s quick, it’s healthy, it’s low-cost – it’s a win-win.
5. Yogurt pot
Natural yogurt is high in protein and versatile – the perfect healthy snack to keep you fuller-for-longer.
Top yours with a drizzle of honey, some berries, and a sprinkle of chopped almonds for a nourishing and wholesome treat.
6. Protein balls
Protein balls are one of the most popular healthy snack ideas, and for good reason – they’re low-calorie, convenient and available at most stores. The problem? Often they’re secretly hiding processed or unnecessary ingredients that could lead to a spike in blood sugar and result in cravings.
That’s why I’d recommend making them at home, if at all possible. There are hundreds of protein ball recipes out there, suitable for all diets. If you are going to buy them, always check the ingredients label – you’re looking for as few ingredients as possible.
7. Boiled eggs
When considering healthy snack ideas, you’re ideally looking for something with a reasonable protein content. Protein will keep you fuller for longer, and prevent your ‘snack’ from turning into a meal.
If you can handle something savoury, boiled eggs will fit the bill. If you’re an egg fan, you can enjoy them alone. If not, serve with some salad leave and a smidgen of light dressing, or smashed onto a rice cake with a splodge of low-fat mayonnaise.
8. Raw wraps
Fancy something fresher? Why not give cucumber wraps a go? Cucumber has very few calories, and makes a light, healthy treat in the place of bread.
Cut your cucumber into long, thin strips, and add your filling at one end, before rolling. Why not try rolling up a strip of ham, a dollop of hummus, or even smoked salmon inside – the choice is yours.
Popcorn? Healthy? Yes, really! Although cinema popcorn is loaded with calorific sugar and butter, homemade popcorn can be a fun and nutritious snack.
If you’re in the mood for savory, shake your hot popcorn in a covered bowl along with herbs, salt and pepper. If you fancy something sweet, try some cinnamon and sweetener.
For a truly easy healthy snack, slurp on a smoothie. Although smoothies can be extremely healthy, too much sugar will hamper this.
When making a smoothie, you want to include something sweet, but ideally low-calorie, such as berries (I like to use frozen ones to ensure my smoothie is cold). I usually add spinach for iron, fiber and much more besides, avocado for incredible smoothness, some seeds/nuts for protein and then half non-dairy milk, half water to mix.
You can also add protein powder for a post-workout refuel, banana, and pretty much any other fruit/leaves that you like. Just remember: balance. Stay away from loading your smoothies with fruit alone, as this will make them surprisingly calorific.
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Steph is content Editor at Expert Home Tips, the home & lifestyle blog. She’s a self-acclaimed clean freak, food-enthusiast and budget fasionista with a side passion for fitness. Blogging has filled her with loads of miscellaneous facts over the years, and she has a weird but wide collection of random knowledge which you can find in her articles.