I typically get the munchies an hour or two after lunchtime and again right before bed. I’m not going to lie, sometimes all I really want to eat is cookie dough ice cream at night, chips and salsa with cream cheese during the day or perhaps an In-N-Out midday milkshake. However, I know that a “not-give-a-crap” attitude toward food would end up catching up with my waistline and messing with my digestion.
Of course, it’s totally normal and OK to give yourself a break and enjoy junk food once in a while or on a special occasion, but when it comes to day-to-day snacking, we must be mindful when it comes to living a healthy lifestyle.
When you think of wellness, what comes to mind? I describe wellness or your well-being as a state of mind and body that offers comfort, confidence and energy. In our society, it’s so easy to grab a less-than-nutritious convenient snack option. Practically everywhere we go, food is readily available. You can buy snacks or meals at roadside rest stops, 24-hour convenience stores, and even gyms and health clubs. And if we aren’t choosing wisely, poor snacking can contribute to obesity and being overweight.
When it comes to snacking for wellness, you must make healthier choices, have hassle-free options available at home and take healthy snacks with you on the go. It can save your waistline and your life.
Here are my top 10 easy and healthy snack recipes to help you start mastering smart, guilt-free snacking that won’t keep you from reaching your health and wellness goals. Once you start healthy snacking, you will never go back!
- Kale Chips
Makes 4 to 6 cups.
This is a perfect low-carb afternoon crunchy salty snack that is surprisingly tasty!
- 1 bag baby kale
- 2 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil
- salt and pepper, to taste
- 1 teaspoon garlic powder
Combine kale with oil, pink Himalayan salt, pepper and garlic powder in a large bowl. Bake at 400 F for 20 minutes.
- Celery Juice
Drinking celery juice can help reduce bloating and help with digestion. I simply use a high-speed blender to make my daily celery juice as a midmorning or afternoon snack.
- 2 bunches celery (Cut off the base and the top of the stalks.)
- ¼ cup water
Wash celery gently in a colander. Chop celery stalks into thirds and place them in the base of a high-speed blender. Add water and put the lid on blender. Blend until smooth, using the tamper to push celery into the blades, if necessary.
Place a clean nut-milk bag over the mouth of a pitcher and pour blended celery through nut-milk bag. (Use a strainer if you don’t have a nut-milk bag.) Use your hands to squeeze celery juice through bag.
Serve juice immediately, and keep any leftovers in a tightly sealed jar in the fridge.
- Homemade Hummus
Makes 3 cups.
Save your money, skip the store-bought option, and try this simple and delicious homemade hummus recipe that you and your family will love as a healthy snack.
- 2 cans (15.5 ounces each) chickpeas
- ⅓ cup fresh lemon juice
- ¼ cup tahini
- 2 cloves garlic, chopped
- ⅛ teaspoon cayenne pepper
- 1¼ teaspoons coarse salt
Reserving ¼ cup liquid, rinse and drain 2 cans chickpeas. Place chickpeas and reserved liquid in a food processor. Add ⅓ cup fresh lemon juice, ¼ cup tahini well-stirred, 2 garlic cloves chopped, ⅛ teaspoon cayenne pepper and 1¼ teaspoons coarse salt. Process until smooth. Serve with organic celery sticks as a healthy snack.
- Healthy Homemade Nut Mix
Makes 15 cups.
Try my awesome nut-mix recipe to satisfy hunger cravings.
- 1 pound raw shelled walnuts
- 1 pound raw shelled pistachios
- 1 pound dry-roasted almonds
- 1 pound dry-roasted peanuts
- 1 pound raw pepitas
- pink Himalayan sea salt (optional)
Mix all ingredients in a large mixing bowl, portion out ¼ servings into individual plastic bags. Then place individual portions in the refrigerator or freezer. Add pink sea salt (optional).
- Oatmeal Fiber Bars
Makes 6 to 8 bars.
These delicious, gluten-free oatmeal bars are a great sweet-tooth substitution or healthy snack that helps with digestion.
- 4 cups Pink Lady apples, cored and grated
- ½ cup blueberries
- ½ cup pecans
- 2 cups unsweetened almond milk
- 2 cups gluten-free rolled oats
- ½ cup dark chocolate (at least 70 percent cacao), chopped
- ½ cup ground flaxseeds (not whole flaxseeds)
- 2 teaspoons pure vanilla extract
- 1½ teaspoons ground cinnamon
Preheat oven to 350 F.
Combine apples, blueberries, pecans and milk in a blender and mix well. Then mix all ingredients together in a large bowl. If mixture isn’t thick enough, add more oats.
Transfer to a parchment-paper-lined 9-inch-square baking pan, press down and smooth out the top and bake until firm and golden brown, about 1 hour. Let cool in pan; cut into squares and serve warm or at room temperature.
- Green Goddess Juice
Makes 1 cup.
My favorite green juice on the planet fires up your metabolism, satisfies your belly and gives you a glow.
- 6 ounces filtered water
- 1 teaspoon ginger root, peeled
- ½ cup ice
- 1 cup baby kale
- 1 Honeycrisp or Fuji apple, cored and quartered
- juice of 1 lemon
- cayenne pepper
Place all ingredients into a blender except cayenne, blend well and then dust cayenne pepper on top.
- Healthy Cookie Dough Protein Balls
Makes 12 balls.
If you love cookie dough, then you will love this sweet-treat snack that’s packed with protein!
- ¾ cup raw almond butter
- ¼ cup gluten-free rolled oats
- ½ cup vanilla whey protein powder
- 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
- 2 tablespoons almond milk, plus more, if necessary
- 2 tablespoons at least 70 percent cacao dark chocolate, chopped
In a large bowl, add all ingredients except chocolate. Mix together using a wooden spoon until ingredients are well-combined and resemble a soft cookie dough. If it seems dry, add a teaspoon or two of more almond milk. (The important note is that you’ll want to be able to roll the dough into balls that stick together well.) Stir in dark-chocolate-chopped chunks, then roll into 12 tablespoon-size balls.
Serve or transfer to an airtight container and store in the fridge.
- Vegan Cacao Hot Chocolate
This sweet and soothing recipe is delicious, unrefined and a chocolate craving crusher.
- 1 cup almond milk
- 1 tablespoon raw cacao
- 1 teaspoon cinnamon
- dash of stevia
Warm milk, cacao and cinnamon on low-medium heat. Add stevia and serve.
- Candied Brussels Sprouts and Bacon
Serves 2 to 4.
These Brussels sprouts taste like candy that you can’t get enough of, without the guilt.
- 1 tablespoon MCT or coconut oil
- ½ pound chopped bacon
- ½ onion, chopped
- sprinkle of stevia
- 16 ounces chopped Brussels sprouts
- 1 tablespoon grass-fed unsalted butter
- sea salt and pepper, to taste
In a saute pan, heat coconut or MCT oil at medium heat. Add bacon and onions and then sprinkle stevia on top. Cook until brown, then add Brussels sprouts and butter. Season with salt and pepper (to taste). Cook until bacon and Brussels sprouts are crispy. Serve and enjoy!
- Five-Minute Homemade Vanilla Almond Butter
Makes 2 cups almond butter.
This recipe is a different way to do homemade almond butter, which is so easy and delicious that you will never settle for store-bought varieties again! It includes only five ingredients in five minutes. Eat it straight or with celery as a healthy snack option.
- 2 cups raw almonds
- 2 cups cashews (roasted, unsalted)
- 2 tablespoons coconut oil, melted
- ½ teaspoon sea salt
- 1 teaspoon vanilla extract or the seeds from 1 vanilla bean
- 1-2 tablespoons honey
Preheat oven to 350 F.
Place 2 cups almonds on a baking sheet. Roast in preheated oven 10 to 15 minutes. You will know the almonds are done when they become aromatic. Another indicator they are fully roasted is that they begin to sizzle and pop when they are removed from oven.
Set pan aside to let almonds cool slightly. Put roasted cashews and melted coconut oil in the container of a blender and blend, starting on low speed and increasing to high. Pause, scrape down the sides and blend. Start at low speed and increase to medium (not high). Let it blend on medium speed until smooth (about 1 to 2 minutes), scraping down the sides, if needed.
Once cashews are smooth, add roasted almonds to container of blender with blended cashews. Blend, starting on low speed and increasing to high, using the tamper to push the mixture into the blades. Turn machine down to medium-high speed and blend until mixture is smooth (about 4 to 6 minutes). Increase to high speed for the last minute of blending.
Add sea salt, vanilla and honey and pulse to combine. This will cause the mixture to thicken; that is normal. Transfer to a glass jar and store until ready to eat!
Photo credit: Todd Cribari, inspirostudios.com