It happens to us all. 3:00 p.m hits and we’re rummaging through the cabinets for something to munch on. Whether it be out of boredom, a much needed break or genuine hunger, that afternoon snack urge seems to hit us almost every day. And, often, we reach for the quickest, and sometimes most unhealthy option in the pantry.
We’re big fans of snacking here at Nutritious Life — our founder Keri wrote a whole book on it, The Snack Factor Diet reveals the health benefits of snacking. “When you snack properly, you are also more likely to make better food choices throughout the day,” she explains. Studies suggest eating every few hours can help with your blood sugar and keep your metabolism moving. Plus, it can make you happier. A study at the University of Wales showed that women who were given snacks reported being in a better mood, were sharper mentally, and performed better on a word-recall task.
“The formula for a healthy snack involves a few elements,” Keri continues. “Every snack should ideally contain a balance of carbohydrates (with a focus on fruits and vegetables), high quality protein, and healthy fats.” Also, munching between meals can satiate your hunger and keep you from overeating at your next meal.
Try these 8 yummy bites to keep you energized and avoid that afternoon slump!
Yerba Mate Energy Bites
When you feel a craving coming on, don’t reach for the cookie jar. Filling your body with processed goods will only leave you feeling hungrier. Instead, whip up your own tasty treat using ingredients you can actually pronounce. These Yerba Mate Energy Bites are gluten-free, vegan and are a perfectly portioned pick-me-up. Cashews and almond butter provide plenty of healthy fats and also bring in some protein. Then, we add the secret ingredient: Argentine yerba mate, which is loaded with with vitamins and minerals.
Grilled Avocado Bruschetta
A unique twist to the classic, you won’t even miss the bread when nibbling on this Grilled Avocado Bruschetta. Healthy fats and vitamin packed tomatoes make up this filling, and refreshing savory snack. This shareable snack is also perfect for your next picnic or pool day.
Who said sushi had to come from the sea? Banana Sushi will bring a whole new level of creativity to snacktime, and a handful of nutrients like protein and calcium. Top it off with fiber-rich chia seeds or healthy fatcoconut shreds. You, and your kids, will love this!
Cranberry Pistachio Cheese Spread
Antioxidant-rich Cranberry Pistachio Cheese Spread is a great alternative to those heavy cheese dips. This vegan spread is creamy and can conquer your sweet or salty craving.
Miso & Sesame Hard-Boiled Eggs
Eggs are an amazing, simple, high protein snack. And there are so many ways you can dress them up. Miso & Sesame Hard-Boiled Eggs offer an unexpected twist. Miso fills the gut with healthy bacteria, which may lead to better digestion and a stronger immune system. Throw the leftovers over any greens for a quick lunchtime salad!
It doesn’t get much healthier and satisfying than this apple, peanut butter and yogurt combo. Apple “Donuts” have only 3 ingredients and you just may be craving this textured treat over classic donuts before you know it.
Simple Baked Tofu is a good source of protein (and contains all nine of the essential amino acids), meaning you’ll be free of hunger after this satiating snack. Gluten-free and vegan, tofu is a great way to up your plant based protein, just make sure to go for organic.
Coconut-Crusted Avocado Fries
Much lighter than their potato-derived cousin, these Coconut-Crusted Avocado Fries are the smart answer to your fry craving. The garlic, onion and paprika powders don’t just spice up the healthy-fat filled avocado; they have their own healthy benefits as well. All 3 seasonings are known to contribute to your heart health.