Snacks are not a subject we take lightly at POPSUGAR HQ. After a year of toying around with new recipes, here are the best healthy snacks from 2013 that we found delicious and totally worth the prep time. Whether you're looking to curb a salty or sweet craving or fuel up before a tough workout, there's at least one pick on this list for you.
Don't feel sorry for beans. They may be known mostly for their unpleasant side effect when eaten, but beans are actually nutritious little gems. If you follow these tips, you can eat beans without the bloat, which means you can reap these weight-loss benefits. Here are three reasons to plate-up with beans.
While the fiber content of beans helps keep things moving, it also gives you that "I'm full" feeling. Satiating your hunger is the key to preventing overeating and consuming too many calories for the day. But you don't just need to eat a plate of plain beans; in fact, you can add beans to smoothies — you won't be able to taste them at all — throw them in your scrambled eggs, add them to soups, pasta dishes, or homemade pizza.
Beans aren't just for vegetarians. Omnivores can soak up bean protein as well. High-protein beans help keep energy and blood-sugar levels stable, which helps prevent cravings for sugary pick-me-ups that tend to be high in calories and void of nutrition. Since a couple hours between meals tends to be common crash times, including beans for breakfast and lunch will keep you peppy until your next meal. Whip up a sweet potato, chickpea, and quinoa veggie burger, a plate of polenta with beans, or a satisfying bowl of cumin-spiced lentils with quinoa.
When trying to beat the scale, you need to make sure that you're eating quality foods low in calories and high in nutrition. Beans make perfect snacks too, so look beyond the typical carrot sticks and hummus pick-me-up (but do try this black bean hummus). You can snack on honey-roasted cinnamon chickpeas, veggies with creamy white-bean dip, or these delicious edamame pear crostinis. You can also enjoy a low-cal dessert with fortified with beans, like these peanut butter oatmeal raisin cookies or black bean brownies.
If you're one of those eat-peanut-butter-straight-out-of-the-jar people, get your spoon ready for this recipe. While peanut butter is quite possibly one of the most perfect foods, even die-hard fans can get a little bored of the same old spread. Surprise your whole wheat toast and apple slices by spreading this mixed nut butter instead.
This homemade version will really rock your PB-loving world because it actually contains no peanuts at all. It's made with almonds, cashews, and sunflower seeds, creating a taste so fresh and unique that you'll never buy another jar from the store again. But it doesn't stop here — since there are so many different nuts and seeds to choose from, the possibilities of mixed nut butter creations are as wild as your imagination.
Keep reading for this simple 94-calorie recipe.
Wake up early in the morning to exercise and need to fuel your workout? Go for a mix of protein and easily digestible carbs, which allow your body to stay energized during your workout without weighing it down. If you've got an early workout planned, then try one of these pre-workout snacks for the morning.
Morning Vanilla Almond Smoothie
This slightly sweet vanilla almond smoothie is mildly flavored while containing a good source of carbs and protein. Down this before you work out in the morning for sustainable energy the whole time.
Avocado Rice Toast
Spread half an avocado on a piece of toast for the right mix of fuel for your workout. Try it on a rice cake if whole grains upset your stomach before you work out.
Banana Almond Butter Toast
Another workout-ready mix: half a banana, sliced, atop toast and almond butter. If you're craving something a little more sweet, then sprinkle with toasted coconut as shown here.
Snacking not only wards off hanger (hungry anger), it can fill the holes in your daily nutrition and weight-loss goals too. But since healthy snacking is all about the right choices, let the 10 commandments of snacking be your guide. From choosing a right pre-workout bite to using snacks to satisfy cravings, these rules are here to help (not doom) your diet!
1. Thou Shalt Measure It Out
Once you choose a snack, measure out the appropriate serving, leave the kitchen, and sit down to enjoy it. Avoid eating straight from the box of cereal or while standing at the kitchen counter, because you're more likely to keep going back for more (and more!).
2. Thou Shalt Fill in the Gaps
Use snacks to fill in the holes in your diet. If you didn't get your greens in at lunch, munch on a few veggies in the afternoon. This will ensure you have a well-balanced diet — not to mention fruits and veggies are lower in calories and higher in nutritional value than a handful of candy.
3. Thou Shalt Acknowledge Cravings
Can't stop daydreaming about chocolate? Don't try to suppress it. Instead, see if you can come up with a diet-friendly alternative that'll satisfy the craving so you don't over indulge later on. Try these healthy chocolate snacks that won't undo your diet.
4. Thou Shalt Keep It Under 200 Calories
It's important to keep snacks between 150 and 200 calories, especially if you're trying to lose weight. Although this sounds small, there are plenty of options under 150 calories that are satisfying and filling.
5. Thou Shalt Consider the Workout
The right snack is key to a good workout and recovery. Pre-workout snacks should offer a combo of protein and carbs, and you should nosh on your snack about 30 minutes before setting out to exercise. For a good recovery, also choose post-workout snacks that are a combo of protein and carbs to build and repair muscle and quickly recoup lost energy.
6. Thou Shalt Pair With Water
Fill a reusable water bottle or a glass with nature's beverage, and sip a few ounces after each bite of snack. The water will help you feel full and satisfied without adding any calories.
7. Thou Shalt Savor It
Since snacks are small, make your snack last at least 15 minutes and really savor each bite. Slowing down when eating will help you feel satiated by the time you finish, which will prevent you from wanting to reach for more. Don't forget to apply the same rule for meals too!
8. Thou Shalt Make It a Triple Threat
Don't just reach for a handful of crackers. For a satisfying snack, the right combination of proteins, carbs, and fats will keep you feeling full and allow your blood sugar levels to stabilize so you don't crash and burn. Stick to a combination of fruits, veggies, and bread with nuts, yogurt, or cheese.
9. Thou Shalt Pack It
When you're on the go, you're likely to snatch up whichever snack is most convenient (cough cough, chips!). Rather than settling for unhealthy picks, make sure that you always have a healthy choice on hand. Keep protein-packed energy bars or a small bag of nuts in your purse so that you're never forced to go with an unhealthy on-the-go option.
10. Thou Shalt Make It a Do For Weight Loss
Although you're consuming calories, snacking can actually help you lose weight. It satiates your hunger, making you less likely to reach for high-calorie treats when you're beyond starving or to eat more at dinner than you normally would.
If you're following a vegan diet and craving a soft and chewy cookie, this no-bake recipe is sure to trick your taste buds into thinking you're enjoying a peanut butter cookie.
It's perfect for the Summer since you don't have to turn on the oven, and because they're made with all-natural ingredients like crunchy peanut butter, oats, and unsweetened coconut, they make an irresistible before or after a workout.
Keep reading to see this 80-calorie recipe.
Looking for a seasonal, high-fiber, and low-calorie salty snack? It's time to whip up a batch of crispy veggie chips made from roasted brussels sprouts. In less than 10 minutes, you'll be snacking on a vitamin-rich recipe you'll want to grab by the handful.
These chips are a great way to make use of leftover sprouts in your crisper, and since they're Paleo-friendly, gluten-free, and vegan, they can easily serve as a quick, clean appetizer when you have impromptu guests with dietary restrictions. Keep reading to learn how to make this easy 50-calorie snack.
Need a quick breakfast, protein-packed post-workout snack, or a sweet treat after dinner? Greek yogurt has your back, but with so many brands on the shelves, how do you know which one to choose? See how popular brands stack up, so you can pick the one that meets your nutritional needs best.
|6 oz. Yogurt||Calories||Total Fat (g)||Chol. (mg)||Carbs (g)||Sugars (g)||Protein (g)||Calcium (%)|
|Chobani Nonfat Plain||100||0||0||7||7||18||20|
|Chobani Nonfat Vanilla||130||0||10||18||16||14||20|
|Chobani Nonfat Strawberry||140||0||0||20||19||14||20|
|Fage Total 0% Plain||100||0||0||7||7||18||20|
|Fage Fruyo Vanilla||140||0||0||20||18||15||15|
|Fage Fruyo Strawberry||140||0||0||22||20||14||15|
|Dannon Oikos Plain (5.3 oz.)||80||0||10||6||6||15||15|
|Dannon Oikos Vanilla (5.3 oz.)||120||0||5||19||18||12||15|
|Dannon Oikos Strawberry (5.3 oz.)||120||0||5||19||18||12||15|
|Stonyfield Organic Plain (5.3 oz.)||80||0||0||6||6||15||20|
|Stonyfield Organic Vanilla (5.3 oz.)||110||0||<5||13||12||15||15|
|Stonyfield Organic Strawberry (5.3 oz.)||110||0||<5||19||17||13||15|
|Yoplait Coconut (5.3 oz.)||150||1||<5||23||19||11||10|
|Yoplait Vanilla (5.3 oz.)||140||0||<5||22||18||11||10|
|Yoplait Strawberry Raspberry (5.3 oz.)||140||0||<5||22||18||11||10|
|365 Everyday Value Plain||120||0||15||12||2||18||60|
|365 Everyday Value Vanilla||160||0||15||23||12||17||60|
|365 Everyday Value Strawberry & Banana||150||0||10||25||16||12||40|