It’s 3:00 p.m., and you’re stranded in the danger zone. You enjoyed a healthy lunch with plenty of protein and greens, and you have a nutritious dinner planned… but you’re hungry. Right now. Protect yourself from the treacherous temptation of processed foods, which are so easy to grab but full of chemicals, sugar, and fat. With a little prep and planning, you can have a satisfying variety of healthy snack options on hand for the unavoidable times when cravings strike.
If you’ve got a blender, smoothies can be a delicious way to incorporate more veggies and fruit into your diet. (Just beware of sugar content, especially if you buy the blend from a chain establishment.)
Say “aloha” to a cocktail made with pineapple juice, plain Greek yogurt, half a banana, and a handful of berries. The fruit can be frozen or fresh—ice cubes can be added if needed. (Hint: when your bananas start turning brown, chop them up and toss them into the freezer to make your life a little easier.)
If you’re looking for a way to get more greens, try a combination of spinach, almond milk, yogurt, banana, and berries. Protein powder can be added to any smoothie for an extra boost, but just remember that the calories will also be bumped up as well.
Peanut, almond, smooth, chunky: we all have our preferences. And for those who have trouble making this important decision, Trader Joe’s now offers a delightful blend of almonds, cashews, walnuts, Brazil nuts, hazelnuts, and pecans that’s simply called Mixed Nut Butter. It’s a perfect choice for those with access to the grocery store chain.
Paired with the right partner, nut butters can be a delicious and filling snack. Some wholesome options include sliced bananas, celery (talk about a classic combo!), apple slices, or pretzels. If you’re feeling like a renegade or just really pressed for time, one spoonful all by itself can work wonders.
Remember the snacks you lovingly prepared for your little one? Or maybe a grown-up once prepared them for you? Consider assembling simple-but-thoughtful snack combos for yourself. A small cluster of grapes with string cheese, clementine oranges with a few walnuts, or carrot slices with hummus: all of these groupings are a treat for the palate that are still healthy.
Generally speaking, snacks have been given a bad rap. But when they’re made with fresh ingredients, are low in calories (just about everything listed here is less than 200), and combine protein, healthy fats. and carbohydrates, they can be a valuable bridge from one meal to the next.
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