28 Healthy Snacks No Adult Has to Feel Guilty About Eating
Snackaholics, rejoice! Beat between-meal blahs with a month’s worth of tasty and creative healthy snacks for adults.
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Snacking should be as mandatory as breakfast
Think about it: If you allow yourself to get too hungry between meals, it can deplete your willpower and make you consume more calories overall. Choose nutrient-rich healthy snacks and filling combos of protein and fiber, like these popular picks from top dietitians and weight-loss bloggers. We ran the following snacks by dietitian and Real Mom Nutrition blogger Sally Kuzemchak, and they passed her no-guilt test (some are more nutritious than you may realize).
Baked sweet potato fries
This vitamin A-rich snack is a healthy-kid favorite, but there’s no reason you can’t also enjoy this Food Network recipe that swaps bad carbs for good ones: Preheat the oven to 450 degrees F. Cut five sweet potatoes, peel and slice into 1/4-inch-long slices. In large bowl, toss with just enough olive oil to coat. Sprinkle with a mixture of 1 Tablespoon of a salt, black pepper, and garlic powder mixture. Spread in a single layer on a baking sheet lined with parchment, and bake until sweet potatoes are tender and golden brown, turning occasionally, about 20 minutes.
Crispy kale chips
This unbelievable source of vitamins K, A, and C may become one of your new go-to late-afternoon healthy snacks. From Self: Place 1 large bunch raw kale leaves, stems removed, on a cookie sheet, then drizzle with 1 teaspoon olive oil and a pinch of salt. Cook at 350 degrees Fahrenheit until crispy, about 10 to 12 minutes.
Find out the 17 healthy foods that are dangerous to overeat.
Popcorn with a kick
A favorite, family-friendly snack for Kuzemchak is popcorn—a surprising source of fiber and antioxidants. Among her favorite toppings: garlic, parmesan cheese, and sugar/salt.
Homemade kettle corn
DIY kettle corn can eliminate some of the artificial chemicals from processed versions. Greatist recommends tossing 1 teaspoon of cinnamon and 1 teaspoon of Stevia with 2 cups of freshly popped popcorn. Shake in a paper bag for even distribution. (You can swap the Stevia for 1 teaspoon of honey plus 1 teaspoon of water, microwaved for 20 seconds to thin it out.) Check out these 17 nutritionist-approved healthy eating secrets.
Yes, you can make nachos healthy without taking all the deliciousness away. In fact, says Cooking Light, there are many ways to keep the flavor and drop the calories. Consider this mouth-waterer, which combines a cheesy queso dip with loaded beef nachos into one skillet nacho dip. Start with a base of onion and jalapeño, and top with crumbled cooked beef patties, pinto beans, and two kinds of reduced-fat cheeses. Top with red onion, tomato, and avocado or other fresh toppers like sliced jalapeños, scallions, and cilantro. Check out the recipe here along with 14 others.
Brown rice bonanza
Nutrition blogger Annabel Adams offers an easy, nutritious go-to for a quick pick-me-up: Top brown rice with salsa, beans, hot sauce, and/or Trader Joe’s ‘Cowboy Caviar,’ a mix of black beans, peppers, and roasted corn.
Low-carb turkey wrap
Make a snack out of a turkey wrap, which is one of Dr. Oz’s top snacks—and only 75 calories. Spread 2 teaspoons of honey mustard on 3 thin slices of turkey; top with 1/4 cup sliced apple and wrap in lettuce. Here are the 50 best healthy-eating tips of all time.
Cinnamon-spiced baked apples
These are quick, healthy snack foods and a favorite of Diane Carbonell, founder of the Fit to the Finish blog. Core a crisp apple (such as Granny Smith or Fuji) and put the wedges in a microwave-safe bowl. Sprinkle with a teaspoon of brown sugar and a pinch of cinnamon and nutmeg, then toss to cover. Cover the bowl with a microwave-safe plate and cook for 3 to 4 minutes on high. Carbonell will sometimes add raisins or a dollop of nut butter after the apples cook. The apple is less than 90 calories and provides 3 grams of filling fiber; raisins also add more iron, vitamin C, and fiber.
Try Prevention’s easy way to sweeten up strawberries: Drip 10 medium strawberries into 1 fat-free pudding cup for a light and healthy filler. Another chocolate-and-fruit healthy combo: Melt chocolate in a double broiler (or use chocolate syrup) and drizzle over kabobs consisting of your favorite fruit. These are the healthy snack foods that nutritionists love, too.
Goat cheese bruschetta
Try one of Real Simple‘s healthy snacks: Top 5 halved cherry tomatoes with 2 tablespoons fresh goat cheese, then sprinkle with chopped herbs (chives, basil, or parsley) that you can grow right in your home garden.
Give boring nuts a healthy boost with Sweetish Nuts from NYC nutritionist Brooke Alpert, R.D., which are sugar-free but still manage a natural sweetness from the spices. Preheat the oven to 325 degrees Fahrenheit. Mix 1 1/2 teaspoons ground cinnamon, 1 teaspoon ground ginger, 1 1/2 teaspoons vanilla extract, and 1 1/2 teaspoons extra-virgin olive in a large bowl. Add 4 ounces shelled raw walnut halves, 4 ounces shelled raw pecan halves, and 4 ounces raw cashews. Massage in the spices well, then place on baking sheet and bake for 10-12 minutes. Store in an airtight container once cooled. Read up on 20 summer foods that are healthier than you thought.
Bagel with ricotta and strawberries
Sink your teeth into Real Simple’s tasty take on bagels for healthy snacks: Spread half of a small toasted whole grain “flat” bagel with 2 tablespoons fresh ricotta, then top with 1/3 cup sliced strawberries and drizzle with 1 teaspoon honey or agave nectar.
Oatmeal, with its whole grains, fiber, and protein, is a perfect all-day healthy snack food. Glamour recommends mixing one packet of the plain, instant kind with 6 crushed almonds, then sprinkling with cinnamon. You’ll want to try some of these healthy snack foods for kids (and adults!) too.
From theKitchn: A half-cup of boiled or steamed shelled young soybeans are rich in protein, Omega-3 fatty acids, and antioxidants—and are only 100 calories, making it a great choice for healthy snacking. Splitting the pods open to nibble on the beans helps you eat more mindfully, which can reduce overall calorie consumption.
Ginger-tossed cole slaw
For her favorite snack, Keri Glassman MS, RD, author of The New You and Improved Diet, tosses pre-sliced cabbage and carrots with a ginger dressing and wraps the salad in a sheet of seaweed (nori). Try these healthy snack foods if you’re trying to lose weight.
Banana oatmeal walnut cookies
Gina Homolka, of skinnytaste.com, makes three-ingredient “guiltless healthy cookies” that are a great source of heart-healthy whole grains, good fats, and potassium. Combine 2 medium ripe bananas, mashed, 1 cup uncooked quick oats in a bowl, then fold in ¼ cup crushed walnuts. Place tablespoon-sized scoops on a baking sheet and bake for 15 minutes in a 350-degree oven.
Chia seeds, a great source of omega-3s and fiber, are in this tasty tapioca-like pudding from NYC nutritionist Brooke Alpert’s new book The Sugar Detox. Place 2 and 1/2 cups unsweetened almond or coconut milk, 1/2 cup chia seeds, 1 teaspoon vanilla extract, and 1 teaspoon ground cinnamon in a bowl. Cover and refrigerate for at least 4 hours or overnight, stirring occasionally, until it has a pudding-like consistency. Check out these guilt-free healthy snacks that have just 100 calories.
Always have avocado around to add a healthful fat for a filling snack, recommends Annabel Adams from feedmeimcranky.com. They’re a good source of heart-healthy and belly fat-blasting monounsaturated fat. Adams loves mixing blackened tempeh—a good source of protein and probiotics—with the green flesh.
Avocado rice cakes
Avocados also make for a great rice cake topper, says Greatist. Top an unsalted brown rice cake with 1/4 of an avocado, mashed, then sprinkle with black pepper and paprika.
Blogger Caffeinated Chronicles of a Supermom uses a toothpick to dunk individual blueberries one at a time into a container of Greek yogurt; a second toothpick helps push the berry off onto a baking sheet. Freeze for one hour, and store any leftovers in the freezer. These 49 healthy snacks satisfy any craving.
Pumpkin spice yogurt
Perk up your go-to yogurt with this version from Greatist: Combine 1/2 cup of nonfat plain Greek yogurt with 1/4 cup of pumpkin puree (a low-fat way to boost fiber and flavor). Sweeten with Stevia, 1/4 teaspoon vanilla extract, and a pumpkin pie spice blend or cinnamon.
Nutty watermelon fruit cup
This Real Simple salad refreshes: Toss 2 cups of watermelon cubes with 1 tablespoon fresh lime juice and ½ teaspoon grated lime zest, then sprinkle with cayenne pepper and 2 teaspoons chopped unsalted roasted pistachios. This is what nutritionists eat when no one is watching.
From registered dietitian Cynthia Sass’s new book S.A.S.S. Yourself Slim: Fold whole corn tortillas with organic strawberries, edamame, ripe avocado, cilantro, and a drizzle of balsamic vinegar.
Hummus among us
When Rebecca Regnier of doesthisblogmakeuslookfat is hankering for something savory, she goes for a mini pepper sliced with a little hummus. Find out 20 new tips to help you eat healthy at a restaurant.
Stuff mini whole wheat pitas (about 2 inches in diameter) with different tastes, such as salsa; cashew butter; low-fat cheese; or hummus with cucumber and tomato, recommends Samantha Heller, RD, clinical nutrition coordinator at the Cancer Care Center at Griffin Hospital in Derby, Connecticut. Next, don’t miss these so-called “healthy” snack foods that are ruining your body.
Self: 21 Good-for-You Snacks
Greatist: Low-Calorie Snacks That Will Fill You Up
Sally Kuzemchak, MS, RD, nutrition blogger in Columbus, OH
Cooking Light: 15 Healthy Nacho Recipes
Nutrition blogger Annabel Adams, Los Angeles, CA
Good Housekeeping: Dr. Oz’s Quick Snack Picks
Diane Carbonell, founder of Fit to the Finish blog
Real Simple: Quick and Easy Healthy Snack Ideas
Christine Avanti, chef, nutritionist, and author of Skinny Chicks Eat Real Food
Brooke Alpert, RD, author of The Sugar Detox
Real Simple: Quick and Easy Healthy Snack Ideas
Self: 21 Good-for-You Snacks
Glamour: 15 Healthy Snacks Under 150 Calories
The Kitchn: Frozen Edamame for a Quick Snack
Kerri Glassman, author of The New You and Improved Diet: 8 Rules to Lose Weight and Change Your Life Forever
Gina Homolka, founder of skinnytaste.com
Cynthia Sass, author of S.A.S.S. Yourself Slim
Health: Raspberry Banana Bites
Rebecca Regnier, blogger at doesthisblogmakeuslookfat
Samantha Heller, RD, clinical nutrition coordinator at the Cancer Care Center at Griffin Hospital in Derby, CT