We all know the struggle of wanting to snack every other hour of the day, especially if you sit at a desk all day at work. Whether it’s from boredom or simply because we love to eat, the snack attack is real.
It’s no shame — we all have that bar of chocolate, a bag of gummy bears, or chips hiding in our drawer somewhere. Many of us want to make the switch to healthier snacks, but don’t know how or think healthy equates to bland and boring.
If you want to feel good about snacking, consider making the switch from refined sugars, unhealthy fats, and overly salty snacks with too much cholesterol.
Here is a list of guilt-free snacks to try out. Some will take a little effort, others won’t. Either way, making this switch will more than likely be satisfying and life-changing.
Caprese Avocado Toast
For all you avocado lovers, this is a fun way to spruce up your avocado toast. Use a multigrain, sprouted, or sourdough bread of your choice, and simply top your lemony avocado spread (mixed with a little salt and pepper) with mozzarella balls, tomatoes, basil, and balsamic.
Your avocado spread will be packed with dietary fiber and vitamins and minerals like B-vitamins, copper, potassium, vitamin C, and vitamin E. It has more potassium than bananas and can lower cholesterol and triglyceride levels.
Your tomatoes will give you folate, thiamin, and vitamin C, B6, and K, while basil contains disease-fighting antioxidants and antibacterial properties, and combats stress. Who would have thought toast could be made so simple, tasty, and beneficial to our health?
I would have never thought to turn tomatoes into chips, but you’ll be glad you knew about it once you see what it tastes it. And remember: tomatoes are a great source of Vitamin A, Vitamin C, Potassium, and dietary fiber — as well as a host of other vitamins and nutrients.
The vitamins and beta-carotene function as antioxidants, neutralizing harmful free radicals in the blood.
Preheat oven to 275º and grease a cooling rack with cooking spray, then place on top of a large baking sheet. On a large, paper towel-lined plate, arrange tomatoes and cover with another paper towel, then press out juices.
Place tomatoes on cooling rack and lightly drizzle with olive oil, then season generously with salt, pepper, and Italian seasoning. Bake for 3 hours, checking every 30 minutes, until tomatoes are completely dried out and beginning to crisp up. Let cool, then remove from cooling rack. Garnish with additional salt, pepper, and Italian seasoning — if desired — and serve.
Honey Greek Yogurt
Greek yogurt always seems to be the better yogurt choice. Go for a nonfat plain Greek yogurt to avoid the already existent fat and sugars that you don’t need. Drizzle some honey to sweeten it and add goodies like chia seeds, nuts, fruits, or even coconut flakes.
Greek yogurt is an excellent source of calcium, potassium, protein, zinc, and vitamins. It also contains probiotic cultures and is lower in lactose. It even has twice the protein than regular yogurt, making it a great post-workout snack or meal.
Adding some chia seeds can get you a good amount of omega-3 fatty acids, antioxidants, and fiber.
Homemade Chocolate Trail Bites
This is one of my favorite better-for-you snacks, and it’s so easy to make! Get a good quality dark chocolate to melt.
Spoon tablespoon-sized chocolate rounds onto parchment paper and top with dried cranberries (try not to use too many as some brands contain more sugar than we need), pistachios, almonds slices, and coconut flakes. Refrigerate for an hour and enjoy!
The health benefits of pistachios include a healthy heart, weight management, protection against diabetes and hypertension, and improved digestion.
Almonds contain an excellent source of vitamin E, magnesium, fiber and protein, and are filled with minerals such as magnesium, copper, potassium, calcium, phosphorus and iron, and also B vitamins.
Here are some other healthier alternatives that don’t require much effort:
Can’t go wrong with a fresh bowl of fruits! They’re packed with vitamins and nutrients, and help maintain healthy blood pressure. All you have to do is wash and snack away!
But as with everything, eat in moderation, for a lot of fruits contain a ton of sugar.
Need I say more? They’re low in fat and calories and full of nutrients and vitamins. They can even help reduce the risk for type-2 diabetes, cancer, stroke, and heart disease.
Beet Chips with Curried Yogurt
Mix together 2 tablespoons of plain low-fat Greek yogurt and ⅛ to ¼ teaspoon curry powder. Serve with 1 cup beet chips.
Beets contain no trans or saturated fats, are low in calories, and are abundant in calcium, phosphorus, iron, dietary fiber, and magnesium.
I personally love Larabars. They’re delicious, gluten-free, and full of unsweetened fruits, nuts, and spices.
They contain no more than 9 ingredients – minimally processed, and as close to their natural state as possible. There are more than enough flavors, with my favorites being coconut creme pie, peanut butter chocolate chip, and cherry pie.
Let us know what other guilt-free foods to try!