One of the questions that I get asked most often is, “What are your favorite healthy snacks?”. I left it out of my Q&A post because I wanted to dedicate a full post on this topic… I take my snacking very seriously. One might even call me a professional snacker. Or one might not. My last job was at a snack start-up, so for a few years there, snacking was literally part of my career!
In all of my jobs, I was always that person in the office who had the stacked snack drawer full of everything from healthy options (like nuts and fruit) to healthier junk food for those rough days (like chewy ginger candies and chocolate-covered almonds). Now that I work from home, I keep my kitchen stocked up for the inevitable breaks in my day that require a bite or two… or three.
I mentioned a few of these in my food diary but in this post, I’m going to go over my favorite sweet and salty snacks in detail. The best part? They’re all gluten and dairy free. I’d love to hear more about what you snack on. I’m always on the hunt to expand my options!
Hummus- This is my go-to number one all time favorite snack. I buy 2-3 flavors each week and eat it on top of salads at lunch, but mostly in between meals with either gluten free crackers, tortilla chips, or baby carrots. My favorite brand of hummus is Roots, one that I discovered recently and now see popping up everywhere. The Mango-Sriracha flavor is amazing and the Roasted Garlic is like comfort food to me. I also love the Whole Foods brand and Abrahams Traditional Style hummus.
Chips + Salsa/Guacamole- Despite my long list below of sweet snacks, I promise I’m more of a salty person than a sweet one. I’d much rather binge on a bag of tortilla chips than cookies any day. Chips and guac is probably my biggest downfall. This is one of those snacks where, once I start, it’s very hard to stop. Sometimes I sub in carrots for the chips, but let’s be real, it’s not even close to as good.
Pesto- Ok this is the last of the dips I promise! But I’m a dip kinda girl, what can I say. I make boatloads of my vegan basil pesto in the summer and then sub in arugula or spinach in the fall/winter. I’ll dip crackers, bread, or veggies for another favorite.
Nori Sesame Popcorn- I randomly picked up a bag of Pop Art’s Nori Sesame flavor once on a whym, and it became one of my favorite snacks! It’s salty with a dash of sweetness and packs a superfood punch with sesame seeds and seaweed. So addictive. Now I need to try all of the other flavors. Thai Coconut Curry and Rosemary Truffle are at the top of my list.
Salted Cashews- I use roasted, lightly salted cashews in a lot of my creamy sauces (vegan pesto, vegan Caesar dressing, etc) so I always have them on hand in a big glass jar. When I’m looking for a quick hit of protein, I’ll grab a handful, often on my way out to walk the dog or run errands.
Avocado Toast- It doesn’t have to be for breakfast folks! Avocado toast makes a great mid-day snack too. I’ll top gluten-free toasted bread with butter or olive oil, avocado, and chia seeds. Sometimes I’ll drizzle it with honey or add hot sauce/red pepper flakes depending on my mood. If I’m extra hungry and dinner is not in my near future, I’ll top it with an over-easy or soft-boiled egg.
Bone Broth- Ok maybe this doesn’t count as a snack for most but, because I try to drink it daily, I find that after a mug of bone broth, I feel satiated and don’t always need more food at my usual snack times. I’ve been buying the Pacific individual portions and splitting each one over two days. They’re pretty good! Sometimes I make my own which is infinitely better, and yes, I’m sharing my recipe soon.
Leftovers- While I love snack foods, sometimes I really just want “real food” but in a snack-sized portion. Like an appetizer I guess. I always make extra of whatever dinner I cook for lunches but also end up grazing on them throughout the day. Hot food keeps me fuller longer for whatever reason.
Apple + Nut Butter- I pretty much eat an apple a day all year-round but in the fall that can turn into two or even three. In the afternoon, when I’m craving something sweet, I’ll cut up an apple and put a spoonful of peanut butter, almond butter, or cashew butter in a tiny bowl, and dip the slices in. The protein from the nut butter fills me up and the sweetness of the apple satisfies my sweet cravings.
Dark Chocolate Chips– When I was working at Nourish Snacks, I sat next to my friend Jessica, the company’s nutritionist, who would, after lunch every day, pour herself a shot glass of dark chocolate chips. Finally I bit (pun intended!) and asked her what that was all about. She told me that she is a chocolaholic, but about 1 oz of dark chocolate each day can actually be good for you. To measure that out and not over-indulge, she used a shot glass. Genius! Now I do that at home and it works wonders. I’ll bring the shot glass full of chocolate to my office, and if I want more after I finished, I’m less likely to get up and go to the kitchen to refill than if the bag were right next to me. Guittard extra dark chocolate chips are the best (make sure you get the red bag). Trust me on this one! Sometimes I mix them with a spoonful of peanut butter for a make-shift Reese’s type of snack.
Licorice- I have an odd and deep-rooted obsession with licorice. I try not to eat overly sugary candy, but when it’s that time of the month I literally cannot stop myself. I keep Australia soft chewing black licorice, sweetened with molasses, on hand for days like this. It’s a love it or hate it flavor so this one might be polarizing for some of you. For example, every time my sister tries a piece, she literally gags. I’m convinced there is something seriously wrong with her!
Pomegranate Seeds- Just kall me Kylie… If you don’t follow the youngest Jenner sister on Snapchat, you probably don’t know that she eats an insane amount of pomegranate seeds. I’m not at that level, but I love a few spoonfuls for a sweet/tart pick-me up.
Paleo Cookies- These are my sweet weakness! I bake them with only a handful of ingredients: Almond butter, cashew butter, maple syrup, vanilla extract, eggs, baking soda, salt, and dark chocolate chips. I really need to do a post on them but I change up the recipe a little every time so it’s hard. I promise to write it down next time I do it though.
Dark Chocolate Covered Almonds- I buy them in bulk at Whole Foods and they are a dream. It’s hard to eat only a few so I have to take “the shot glass approach” again and just bring a handful to my office or I’d eat a gallon of them in one sitting. True story!
Banana “Ice Cream”- I make this quite often and it’s great for dessert or snack when you’re craving ice cream. I take a frozen banana, about 1/4 cup of almond milk, 1/4 tspn vanilla extract, and a spoonful of peanut or cashew butter, and blend it all up in my Vitamix. You’ll have to play around with amounts depending on the size of the banana and your blender, but it should be thicker than a smoothie, obviously. I then add chia seeds, chocolate chips, coconut flakes, or berries for a seemingly indulgent, but not unhealthy treat.
So there you have it. My 15 favorite healthy (and a few not-s0-healthy) snacks. I’d love to hear what you snack on at home and on the go!