When the craving for a crunchy, salty, or sweet snack strikes, many people grab a bag of chips or a candy bar. They happen to be cheap and easy options, readily available at any vending machine or gas station. However, choosing a snack laden with fat, sodium, or high fructose corn syrup adds inches to your waistline and saps your energy.
I’m a big-time snacker since I graze all day long between meals, but I find that the trick to maintaining a healthy weight and feeling good is to snack on nutrient dense foods that have a little dose of protein.
Here are three snack ideas that I eat almost every day. Hope you enjoy them as much as I do!
- An Adult PB&J – Who doesn’t love PB&J? It’s a childhood favorite of mine that I still eat a few times a week. However, I’ve made some upgrades since I’ve become a health-conscious adult. Instead of using peanut butter and jelly on white bread, I use Wasa crackers (they’re low calorie and have a couple grams of protein and fiber in each one) and I use Sun Butter (sunflower seed butter) instead of peanut butter since I developed an allergy to nuts a few years ago. While I couldn’t bring myself to give up my favorite Bonne Maman strawberry preserves, I only use a thin layer of the sweet treat to keep the calories and sugar low. And, as an added protein boost, I add a sprinkle of hemp seeds on top.
- Nut-Free Trail Mix – I’m allergic to nuts so when it comes to snacking on trail mix, it’s tough to find a pre-made option that won’t make me have an allergy attack. Dry roasted legumes and seeds to the rescue! I make my own crunchy, salty snack and add dried goji berries to sweeten it up. It curbs my cravings and keeps me feeling full. 🙂
- Muscle Building Hummus – While most health-conscious people already snack on hummus instead of high-fat dips, I like to give my hummus a little boost of protein and fiber. When I don’t feel like dipping carrots, celery or cucumbers, I use Wasa crackers (again, as stated above, they’re low cal, nonfat and have a small dose of protein and fiber in each crunchy sheet). I also like to add quinoa and hemp seeds to the dip, which adds a little protein and fiber to this super filling snack.