So this week has been a week of experimentation in the kitchen……and hasn’t gone how I planned. I’ve had several recipes that I hoped to give to you but they just aren’t anything to blog about. Yet. SO in lieu of that, I thought I’d bring you ten of our favorite healthy snack ideas to keep you going throughout the day.
- Popcorn. Air-popped is definitely the best for you and results in really fluffy popcorn. If you don’t have an air-popper, you can always use a pan with a lid over the stove. You don’t even need oil to do it this way, but if you want to add a little bit, I’d suggest coconut oil. It adds a hint of sweetness without the coconut really showing through and if you’re a sweet + salty lover, sprinkle some on! Alternatively, you can always spritz the popcorn with some cooking spray (again, coconut spray tastes great!) and then sprinkle on some salt (and maybe some cinnamon too 😉 ). Not a coconut fan? Toss some Nutritional Yeast in the pan after the popcorn is cooked (leave the popcorn in there too) and toast the nutritional yeast a little while mixing it. This lends a slightly cheesy taste that’s sure to please those taste buds.
- Nuts. I recently read that the afternoon ‘slump’ that one occasionally experiences can be curbed by protein. You don’t need a ton and as you probably know, nuts are healthy but also contain a lot of calories and fat (good fat though!). So grab a palm-sized amount to hold you over. We enjoy almonds, walnuts and pecans a lot but there are benefits to many different kinds of nuts. Also, soak your nuts to get the best nutritional punch from them!
- Raw Vegetables. DuuUuh! Carrots, celery, sliced bell peppers……sub favorite veggie here:______. Great-tasting and fiber-filled, dip them in a little hummus for an extra treat. Trader Joe’s has a variety of flavors to choose from (we like tomato-basil) or you could easily make your own with some garbanzo beans and seasonings of choice.
- Apples. Yum! No I have not gotten sick of apples yet. Even after multiple trips to the apple orchard this fall. Add a little peanut or other nut butter for a hit of protein and healthy fat.
- Edamame. Another protein filled option, simply steam and season to your taste (Elysia likes to have a little edamame on an open-faced PB sandwich…).
- Water. Okay, not food, I know. However, you may not actually be hungry but thirsty instead! I know that I don’t always drink enough but when I add sliced lemon or cucumber to it (or I really liked watermelon chunks this summer..) I drink a lot more of it. I also drink tons of decaf tea when it’s cold out!
- Dark Chocolate. We love chocolate and there are tons of vegan options out there. In fact, most good-quality dark chocolate is vegan. Remember though, it’s only good for you in moderation so try not to eat that whole candy bar in one sitting!
- Protein Smoothies/Green Monsters. I think the term ‘green monster’ may have come from Angela over at ‘Oh She Glows’ (at least that’s where we heard it first) and I like that better than green smoothie. It just adds a little flair ;). If you don’t have a high-powered blender, mix your greens (I’d suggest trying spinach first) with just the liquid first to avoid having some extra green chunks in there…and then add in the fruit/protein powder/etc. Most of the time, you can’t even taste the green stuff!
- Rice Cakes. I know..you might be thinking, ew gross! It all depends on what you put on it! One option is hummus or another savory dip. Another option, and what we use most often, is pb and bananas. We like to put a little bit of pb in the middle of the rice cake, cover it with sliced banana (and maybe some cinnamon and a drizzle of agave) and broil for a couple of minutes; until the bananas are soft. Rice cake = transformed. (Not all rice cakes are vegan so make sure and check the ingredients).
- Soy/Almond Yogurt. We both have our favorite brands and neither of us really likes the kind that the other does (which is a first I think!). I like WholeSoy Unsweetened Plain and Elysia prefers WildWood Unsweetened Plain. Don’t get me wrong, the flavored varieties are excellent as well, we just like to buy the big tubs and mix in fruit or sweetener ourselves. If you’re looking for yogurt that isn’t made of soy, Amande is good too and has more of a custard-like texture.
As you can see, we’re good snackers. Remember, eat that protein after a tough workout and get some carbs in before! Not only are the above snacks tasty, they can also serve to rebuild your muscles and keep you focused on that tough project at work or school!
While this isn’t a complete list of all of our favorites, I didn’t want you to fall asleep on me! If you’re still with me by now you deserve a little number 7 😉 Happy Snacking!