Whether you’re trying to slim down, maintain weight or simply stay energized to power through a workout or workday, having healthy and portable snacks handy is important. Some may think that by skipping meals, you’re better able to lose weight but in fact, the opposite is true. Keeping hunger at bay throughout the day can prevent overeating at meal times and keep the body from thinking it’s in “starvation mode” thereby slowing down metabolism in order to preserve energy for the future. Having healthy and portable snacks available when cravings come calling is key to a healthy diet. But too often we find that the convenient options like a bag of chips, cookies or candy from the office break room are our only options and when time is tight and our motivation is low, it’s hard to make the right choice. That’s why we’ve put together this list of 17 healthy and portable snacks to meet whatever health goals you have in mind..
These 17 healthy and easy snacks will curb your hunger, satiate your tastebuds, nourish your body and provide you with the valuable fuel you need to get through the day no matter your tasks.
When it’s the crunch you crave, potato chips can seem like the go-to, but with 9 grams of protein in 3/4 of a cup, roasted chickpeas are the better option. Just toss them in a bowl with your favorite seasonings like olive oil, cayenne pepper and salt, put them on a baking sheet and roast in the oven for about 30 minutes. Place them in a to-go container or bag and snack on a handful when your hunger hits. (Or when in a rush, pick up a bag of Biena Chickpea Snacks for a packaged version that boasts major nutrition.)
Popcorn is typically the sidekick to your movie night, but because it’s usually loaded with butter, you might think of it as a guilty pleasure, not a healthy snack. But popcorn, when done right, can be good for you. Add nuts and dried fruits like mango to this whole grain food for a new take on an old treat.
- Hummus and Veggies
It doesn’t get much easier than this dynamic duo. For a fun way to make this snack a grab-and-go delight, simply put a few scoops of hummus into the bottom of a container like a coffee mug or Mason jar and then place vegetable sticks like carrots and celery straight up in the hummus before placing the top on.
Another great way to get your salty crunch fix without pulling open a bag of chips is by tossing pumpkin seeds with some curry powder and salt, then roasting for 20 minutes. Just 2/3 of a cup gives you 8 grams of protein, plus a healthy dose of fiber as well as zinc, which works to keep your immune system strong.
- Trail Mix
Many packaged trail mix options have extra salty nuts and sugary ingredients like chocolate. You can make this on-the-go staple healthy again by simply mixing together a variety of nuts like almonds, pistachios, sunflower seeds and walnuts with some dried fruits like cranberries and raisins. It’s a great healthy snack for work and one you can keep in your desk drawer for when that 3pm hunger hits.
- KIND Bars
These perfectly portable snacks go so much further than the average granola bar. Low in sugar, high in protein, and completely Non-GMO, KIND bars do a great job of keeping you satiated between meals without overdoing it.
- Fruit and Dip
Simple, easy and delicious, fruit is one of the easiest things to choose when it comes to noshing on a healthy snack. Opt for fruit that doesn’t have to be refrigerated if you’re not sure where your day is going to take you. Bananas and apples are great choices and go perfectly with a side of nut butter, too.
The words “no bake” are music to the conscious eaters ears with little time to spare. If you’re already a lover of quinoa, you’ll really enjoy the popcorn-like puffed varietal in this recipe, along with the peanut butter mixture, which offers a fudge-like consistency. The hands-on prep work takes a mere 5 minutes and then all you have to do is place them in the freezer for an hour before transferring to the refrigerator for bite-sized treats you can eat all week long.
Related: 55 Healthy and Easy Snacks
There’s no such thing as a healthy muffin, right? Wrong. While many muffins are high in calories and laden with sugar, this recipe provides a refreshing take on the classic breakfast item that will have you snacking on them anytime of the day. The quinoa and protein powder keep you full while the dates and dried plums satisfy your sweet tooth naturally.
- Dried Fruit
When easy to eat fruit like bananas and apples aren’t an option, and you have no room or time to make a mess with mangos, dried fruit is the go-to. Make sure you buy the unsweetened type, however, as many store-bought kinds add up to 25 grams of sugar per serving. And no one likes a sugar crash when energy is their goal.
With only five ingredients and five minutes of your time needed, you’ll love this gluten-free low-carb snack. Packed with protein and providing just the right amount of natural sweetness, you can use eat these paleo cinnamon raisin flatbreads as is or use as a base for nut butter.
- Yogurt Bowl
Greek yogurt is extremely high in protein and immune-boosting probiotics. If a simple serving of yogurt sounds boring, then you’ll like the idea of adding in nut butter, fresh fruit and seeds for a delicious mix.
Out with the boring old varieties of protein bars and in with the unique, eye-catching and incredibly healthy types. These bars combine sesame, flax and hemp seeds for a brilliant texture, while the raw cashews and coconut flakes give them a unique and delicious flavor profile.
- Hard-Boiled Eggs
Simple and to the point, making hard-boiled eggs is fairly effortless. Whether for an on-the-go breakfast when time is tight or for a protein-packed snack in the middle of the day, they’re a healthy option that’ll keep you full. If peeling the eggshells proves difficult for you, a simple trick is to add a little vinegar or baking soda to a narrow glass of water, place in the cooked egg, cover, turn upside down and shake vigorously for 20 seconds.
Rich in antioxidants, a sweet and tangy taste, and beautiful colors to bout, berries are a smoothie’s best friend. This particular recipe also provides healthy fats, protein and fiber, and is great for pouring in a travel mug and taking on the go.
This vegan and gluten-free snack provides a crunchy consistency to sweet and savory bites of goodness. The lentils are coated with coconut oil, coconut sugar and coconut flour. Crisped in the oven to give them some crunch, these little bites are a simple, healthy, yet out-of-the-box approach to eating for energy.
Edamame is high in protein and fiber, yet remains low in calories. Roasting them is easy, and gives you the chance to try out different flavors that will keep your taste buds excited. You can mix them with cayenne, pepper and paprika for a smoky and spicy profile, or keep it simple with some sea salt and pepper.