Are you searching for some healthy snacks to curb your junk food cravings? Even for the most disciplined snackers, it’s hard to resist an unhealthy treat when you know it’s waiting for you in the cupboard.
Many of us enjoy snacking while we watch TV or while we work from home. However, if we know an unhealthy treat like junk food is in the fridge or cupboard a few feet away, the self-discipline to resist can often feel impossible. That’s why it’s wise not to keep these unhealthy options in your home, and to replace them with easy-to-grab healthy alternatives.
Luckily, there are plenty of suitable healthy swaps to satisfy your hankerings. Certain snacks can even somewhat taste like your favourite junk food. For example, vanilla yoghurt is a healthy alternative to vanilla ice cream. Below, we’ll share 13 healthy snacks you should have on hand that are lower-calorie options, nutritious and delicious.
1. Roasted Chickpeas
Chickpeas are rich in protein and fibre, making them one of the best healthy snacks. Instead of reaching for some crunchy chips or crackers, grab these tasty treats. Chickpeas give you a satisfying crunch while providing plenty of nutrients, including antioxidants, calcium, and magnesium. You can buy roasted chickpeas at the store or make them yourself. Flavour chickpeas to your liking using herbs in your cabinet, or eat them plain! These treats are shelf-stable for about two weeks, so you can make them in larger batches to save time.
2. Apple Slices with Almond Butter
Dipping your apple slices into almond butter is a fun and satisfying treat. You can measure out your almond butter (a couple of tablespoons is fine) and it will taste great with red apples. Apple slices are a very versatile snack. Some people even put hot sauce on their apple slices and absolutely love the taste of it.
3. Pretzels and Peanut Butter
If you’re seeking something salty and sweet, pretzels and peanut butter are a great choice. Whole-grain pretzels have fewer calories than your average chip. Peanut butter packs protein into this winning combo, giving you a tasty, fulfilling snack. Try to choose a healthier brand of peanut butter without added sugar or salt. You can also experiment with different nut butters to expand your palette. Pretzels can also be dipped in hummus, fresh salsa, or guacamole for a more savoury selection. It’s best to pick pretzels that are low-sodium or made with less salt.
4. Greek Yogurt
Craving a bowl of vanilla ice cream? Swap it for Greek yoghurt instead. Greek yoghurt is one of the best healthy snacks since it provides probiotics, calcium, and potassium. You’ll want to make sure you seek out a yoghurt that doesn’t have too much added sugar. To sweeten the deal, add whole fruit, honey, or raw cacao nibs to your yoghurt. You can even freeze yoghurt into popsicle moulds for a fun frozen treat.
When you’re at the grocery store, you’ll notice some yoghurts are healthier than others. Use your best judgment and it’s best to get a 4-pack or 6-pack of the individual yoghurts. They keep better than the large containers.
5. Whole Grain Chips And Salsa
It’s hard to find a snack that’s better than the power couple chips and salsa. Not all chips and salsa pairings are healthy. However, if you pick up fresh pico de gallo, you’re sure to enjoy plenty of health benefits. Homemade pico de gallo is packed with antioxidants and has anti-inflammatory properties. Match this salsa with some whole grain tortilla chips, and you’ve got one of the tastiest healthy snacks. If you don’t have chips on hand, you can use pita bread or dip baby carrots in salsa. You can even make your own super-healthy kale chips
6. Frozen Berries
Berries are delicious on their own and provide vital antioxidants helping you to look and feel your best. If you’re seeking healthy snacks to keep you cool throughout the summer, simply pop some berries in the freezer. Raspberries and blueberries both taste delicious when frozen, and will keep for up to 3 months. When you’re not eating these on their own, you can throw them into a simple smoothie. Combine frozen berries, Greek Yogurt, and some fresh juice for a delicious treat you can sip.
7. Sweet Potato Chips
It’s hard to match the flavour and consistency of the alluring traditional potato chips. However, sweet potato chips come pretty close with more fibre and antioxidants. These savoury treats are best when served without too much salt. You’ll also want to make sure you watch your portion with these satisfying snacks. Any food, even if it’s nutritious, can be unhealthy if over consumed. Be sure to reference the serving size of the chips. Put the chips into a different container before munching away instead of eating directly from the bag. Portion control is important to remember.
8. Babybel Cheese Circles
Babybel cheeses are those cute, individual-sized mini cheeses that really help tide you over if you’re hungry between meals and need a healthy snack. Babybel cheeses are lactose-free, high-protein, low-calorie and a great source of calcium.
Nuts are an excellent snack selection that will help you feel full for longer. These crunchy treats are rich in protein and fibre. Not to mention, they’re incredibly versatile. You can eat nuts raw, season them with your favourite spices, or pair them with dried fruit. The healthiest nut options include almonds, pistachios, and walnuts. Cashews are another favourite nut, but like all nuts, don’t overdo it with giant handfuls.
One of the best things about keeping nuts in your cupboard is that nuts have a long shelf life of up to a year, so you can buy these snacks in bulk. With so many different types of nuts, you’ll never become bored with these amazing healthy snacks.
10. Sunflower Seeds
When you’re craving something salty, sunflower seeds are delicious and fun to eat. You’d be surprised how many health benefits there are of eating sunflower seeds. You’ll want to eat more of them because sunflower seeds are a great source of many essential vitamins and minerals.
11. Homemade Popcorn
Store-bought popcorn can be packed with fats and other unhealthy add-ons. With that in mind, homemade whole grain popcorn can be a healthy, satisfying snack. Be sure to select whole-grain kernels and air pop them on the stove. Once cooked, you can lightly season the popcorn or enjoy it on its own. Instead of butter, season your popcorn with a little bit of olive oil and salt. You can also experiment with other spices and herbs to spruce up this low-calorie snack.
12. Pears and Dark Chocolate
The next time you’re seeking a sweet treat, reach for some pears and dark chocolate instead. Pears are great for your digestion, with plenty of fibre and a low-glycemic index. They’re also full of Vitamin C. Dark chocolate in moderation is also an excellent source of antioxidants and helps reduce cholesterol. In general, the higher the percentage of cacao, the better. When paired together, pears and dark chocolate make a powerful pairing that will satisfy your sweet tooth. You can try melting the chocolate and drizzling it on the pears for a more decadent texture. Regardless, the two foods are delicious together or on their own.
13. Wasabi Peas
Are you seeking a spicy snack? Instead of Takis or spicy Cheetos, opt for dried or roasted wasabi peas. Wasabi peas provide iron, protein, and anti-inflammatory properties, making them a nutrient-rich snack. These crunchy, light peas are easy to make from home and can be seasoned with additional spices for some extra flavour. Plus, the spicy nature of the peas may help prevent you from over-snacking. Wasabi peas can also be added to a nut or trail mix for an extra kick.
Want to Learn More About Appetite Control?
Resisting guilty pleasures when they’re just a reach away in your cupboard is undoubtedly difficult, and some people are genetically inclined to have lower appetite control. However, having these healthy snacks available as alternatives to junk food makes it easy to adjust your habits while still satisfying your cravings. Enjoy snacking guilt-free!