Who doesn’t feel hungry between meals? It is hard to suppress your hunger between meals especially when you lead a healthy lifestyle or when the gap between your meals is huge. So, what do you usually opt for healthy or unhealthy snacks?
Most of us have been guilty of picking up unhealthy snacks at times- snacks that are fried, sweet, or fatty. These snacks lead to weight gain, nutritional deficiencies, migraines, and even acne when consumed regularly.
But worry no more. We have rounded up some of the healthiest snacks to help you curb your mid-day cravings.
Which Are Some of The Healthiest Snacks?
Snacks are an essential part of your diet. These mid-day meals help you control your appetite and prevent you from overeating. They also offer extra nutrients and prevent illnesses from occurring due to deficiencies.
Here are some great snacks that are smart and help you clean up your diet.
Peanut butter and fruits
What’s better than fruits coupled with the all-time favourite peanut butter? Peanut butter is an excellent source of several nutrients and antioxidants. When consumed in appropriate quantities, it helps reduce cholesterol levels and keeps your heart healthy. Fruits help regulate your blood pressure and glucose levels.
To make this snack, all you need to do is to pair your favourite fruits with a bit of peanut butter. You can use fruits such as bananas, pears, and apples as they go well with peanut butter.
Smoothies are the perfect snack on-the-go, especially when you don’t want to munch on anything. They help you lose weight, prevent dehydration, and help you ease your digestion. Smoothies are also a great way to sneak in extra fruits and veggies into your diet.
Here are a couple of smoothie recipes that you can try:
Orange spinach banana smoothie
· I cup fresh spinach
· Half a banana
· I peeled orange
· Three-fourth cup of coconut water
· Half-peeled lemon
· Add all the ingredients to a blender and mix until smooth.
· Serve chilled. Top with ice if required.
Green protein smoothie
· Half a cup of fresh grapefruit juice
· One cup of baby spinach
· One cup of chopped cucumber
· One large sweet apple chopped
· One-third cup of chopped mango
· 2 tablespoons fresh mint leaves
· Half a tablespoon of virgin coconut oil
· Add all the ingredients to a blender and mix them to the required consistency.
· Pour into a glass and enjoy chilled. Add ice cubes if needed.
No-bake oatmeal bars
Oats are a great source of fiber that can help reduce bad cholesterol in your body. It also regulates your blood sugar levels preventing the risk of diabetes. When taken between meals, oats help in giving you energy and prevent anemia.
Here’s how you can make a batch of no-bake oatmeal bars to enjoy between your meals.
· Three cups of rolled oats
· One cup of creamy peanut butter
· Half a cup of honey
· Put peanut butter and honey in a bowl and heat for 30-40 seconds. Keep stirring the two ingredients so that they mix well.
· Add in the rolled oats and stir well till all the ingredients combine well.
· Spread the mix into a pan prepared with parchment paper. Keep the mix in the fridge for an hour and thirty minutes.
· Cut into small pieces with a sharp knife.
· Store in an airtight container at room temperature or in the fridge.
Mediterranean Chickpea salad
Chickpeas are a great source of several nutrients. These include fiber, vitamins, iron, magnesium, potassium, selenium, and more. They improve your heart health, help you keep full and aid weight loss, regulate your blood sugar levels, and benefit your digestion.
Here’s how you can make a delicious Mediterranean chickpea salad:
· Three cups of canned chickpeas
· Three cups of water
· One tablespoon of salt
· Half a cup each of chopped tomatoes, onions, cucumbers, and red bell pepper
· Four green olives
· Three tablespoons chopped parsley
· Add chickpeas, three cups of water, and salt to a bowl
· Cook in a pressure cooker for thirty-forty minutes
· Once they are cooked properly, add the chopped tomatoes, cucumbers, and red bell peppers
· Mix in the parsley and cilantro
· Toss the salad together
· Add lemon juice, salt, black pepper, and a little olive oil
· Mix well and serve immediately
This nutritious snack is not just delicious but super easy to make also. It is abundant in vitamins, amino acids, and proteins.
Here’s how you can make a healthy no-frills turkey sandwich at home:
· Two slices of whole wheat bread
· Four slices of roasted turkey
· Half cup peeled and chopped avocado
· Two pieces of green lettuce
· One thinly sliced red onion
· One sliced ripe tomato
· One tablespoon of mayonnaise
· Put the avocado in a bowl and lightly mash it with a fork
· Spread the mix over one slice of bread
· Add onions over the avocado
· Top it with lettuce, turkey, and tomatoes
· Spread mayonnaise on the other slice and cover the sandwich
· Serve with freshly-cut salad
One of the easiest snacks to make at home, protein balls are extremely healthy and decadent too. They are rich in energy and serve as the perfect pre and post-workout snack. These protein balls are abundant in healthy fats, fiber, proteins, and carbohydrates.
Follow these steps to make these protein balls:
· Fifteen pieces of pitted dates
· 200 grams of roasted almonds
· I tablespoon of cacao powder
· Four tablespoons of natural peanut butter
· Half a tablespoon of water
· One tablespoon of crushed peanuts
· Line a baking tray with baking paper
· Place all the ingredients in a blender and mix until you get a smooth mixture with dough-like consistency
· Roll the mixture into bite-size balls
· Top the balls with crushed peanut
· Put the balls on the prepared tray and refrigerate for thirty minutes
· Serve cool
Date Energy Balls
Dates, especially Medjool and Ajwa, are abundant in several essential nutrients such as potassium, vitamins, magnesium, and selenium. They are also a rich source of antioxidants and fibre. Adding them to your routine helps in improving your heart health, boosting the immune system, and preventing the risk of type-2 diabetes.
Here’s how you can make a nutritious snack using Medjool and Ajwa dates:
· 30 dried Medjool or Ajwa dates
· 20 roasted almonds
· 15 roasted walnuts
· 2 tablespoons each of pistachios, sunflower seeds, and pumpkin seeds
· 4 tablespoons cocoa powder
· 1 tablespoon vanilla extract
· Roast the nuts and seeds on a low flame.
· Mix dates, roasted nuts, cocoa powder, and vanilla extract in a blender.
· Small bite-size balls of the mixture.
· Roll it in cocoa powder and serve.
The Bottom Line
With these healthy snack recipes, you can never go hungry in between meals. And, the biggest plus is that these snacks will not just satiate your hunger but will also make you healthier in the long run. So, go ahead and try these recipes today. Don’t forget to get creative and experiment with ingredients.