If it’s late afternoon hunger that makes you long for snacks, definitely don’t say no to it. Snacking can be a healthy part of our diet routine as it can curb cravings, regulate mood, boost brainpower, fight weight gain, and give you the energy you need to keep going all day. But make sure to choose snacks wisely because many foods show great nutritional values however they are not as healthy as we think. To name a few cereal bars, muffins, cookies are loaded with lots of sugar and unhealthy fats.
With the new age food products’ branding, snack counters at the grocery stores are loaded with fat-free foods but they still contain added sugar and salt to help the shelf life of the product. So, here I am recommending some of my favorite top 10 healthy snacks which I certainly add to my daily food regime. Please be cautious about your food allergies before trying any of them listed below:
Who says bread is only for breakfast? I am a big fan of avocado toast. A great slice of bread toasted snuffed (covered) in avocado. And sprinkle it with a pinch of black pepper. If you like indulging in spices more, then feel free to spice it up a little as per your choice of spice.
Hummus and Veggies
Take 1 cup of a variety of fresh raw vegetables such as broccoli, cherry tomatoes, baby carrots with ¼ cup of hummus. The main component of hummus is chickpeas which are a great source of fiber and protein, which has disease-preventing properties and helps you to feel full for a longer period. There are varieties of hummus available in the market such as roasted garlic hummus, roasted bell pepper, classic hummus etc.
Homemade Trail Mix
Mix all healthy dried fruits and seeds which are available at your homes such as dried apricot, resins, and cranberries. Some healthy fats such as almonds, pecan, peanuts, walnuts, chia seeds, sunflower seeds, pumpkin seeds and flax seeds etc.
Yogurt, berries and granola
When it comes to yogurt, there is a big YES and much love for me! I usually choose 8 ounces of plain low-fat yogurt with frozen berries and some sprinkled granola. I recommend limiting granola to not more than 2 tablespoons in your yogurt because the calorie count goes up quickly with granola.
Cheese and Fruits
Cheese has a special place in the heart of many, especially me! I do enjoy my cheese every once in a while. Usually, I enjoy low-fat string cheese which is a healthy source of protein and calcium source with a small bunch of grapes or apples.
YES! You can have salad as a healthy snack. Mix all freshly cut vegetables such as shredded carrots, lettuce, cherry tomatoes etc. with non-dairy salad dressing and a few croutons. Also, feel free to add fresh beans of your choice to make it even healthier.
This recipe is an inexpensive and rich source of protein and fibers. If you like chickpea (also called as garbanzo beans) and haven’t tried it as a snack, you have got to try them. All you need is chickpeas, spices such as oregano, curry powder, chili powder. Roast it for 15 to 30 min at 350 degrees. If you love crunchy and salty snacks, this snack will be more your style.
Roasted lotus seeds (commonly known as Makhanain India):
When people ask me about my favorite snacks, this is the first that comes to my mind. Lotus seeds are a healthy source of fats, carbohydrates and proteins, potassium, magnesium, zinc and iron and are low in sodium. Just like roasted chickpea you can spice it up with a variety of spices and flavors such as mint, cheese, paprika, or chat masala (available at any South Asian grocery store).
Banana with peanut butter
Kids are a little choosey with their food and if you have kids at home this snack will add more fun to their snack time. 1 sliced banana spread with 1 tablespoon of peanut butter is a power pack of all the important nutrients.
Almond butter spread toast
If you are starving and don’t have time, this is a healthy and easy-to-go snack that will save your time. Toasted whole grain bread or whole wheat bread and spread it with almond butter spread. This snack is a great source of fibers, protein, carbohydrates and monounsaturated fatty acids.
Hope you enjoy these top healthy snack options as much as I do. In the previous blog, we also suggested some of the best late-night snacks, if you haven’t read that article yet, read now and boost your health further. Stay tuned!