Whether you work in a typical office environment or are out and about throughout your workday, you will inevitably face the midday munchies. Snacking is a staple in our world, as it helps to provide us with the little boosts of energy we need to get through the day and hold us over until our next meal. And sometimes (more often than not), we see snacking as a way to take a break or escape boredom, neither of which necessarily mean we’re hungry.
How much do we love snacking? A recent report from Mintel, called Snacking Motivations and Attitudes US 2015, found that 94 percent of Americans are snacking once a day if not more. But with all that snacking going on, you can bet people aren’t spending their time making something from scratch. And with vending machines and convenience stores serving as the quick fix, it’s easy to get distracted by cravings.
In fact, the Mintel report found that 62 percent of snackers were seeking to satisfy a craving when the time came to eat up. And research from Mintel’s Salty Snacks US 2015 report found that 63 percent of US consumers opted for salty versus healthy.
So if snacking is sticking around, can’t we find better ways to eat than inhaling a bag of Doritos or a sugar-filled granola bar? The best way to snack is healthy and smart. And believe me, it’s really not that hard. Here are 10 food hacks to change the way you snack.
Sweet Potato Chips
Put down that bag of Doritos right now. Thinly slice some sweet potatoes, skin on, and put them into a bowl with some oil and a seasoning of your liking. Toss it up, bake them in the oven until they begin to crisp, let cool for 5 minutes, and voila!
Tell those salt and vinegar chips to take a hike, because these nutritious bites will have your heart. It’s as simple as boiling the chickpeas in vinegar, then rolling in salt and baking until they’ve reached a beautiful golden brown. Find the breakdown here.
Made with a banana, whole grain tortilla, and almond butter, this is a super simple and healthy snack that will fuel you up to get through the rest of your day. All you have to do is spread a tortilla with the nut butter, place half of the banana in the center, sprinkle with cinnamon, roll the tortilla snugly around the banana, then slice like sushi and eat up.
Oatmeal Stuffed Apples
Credit: Oh She Glows
The idea just sounds fun. Grab some apples, rolled oats, and some sweet and savoury toppings, and watch the magic unfold. It’s an easy recipe that will make you look like a pro. Check it out here.
Frozen Yogurt Blueberries
The typical yogurt-covered snacks you buy in the store are more like sugary treats than anything else. Make yourself a healthy version by sticking toothpicks into blueberries, dipping them in Greek yogurt, placing on parchment paper, then freezing.
Frozen Fruit Pops
A way more fun and healthy version than the store bought kind, slice some watermelon into triangles, push a stick through the bottom, drizzle on some honey, nut butter, or even a little dark chocolate, and place in the freezer.
Lentil Trail Mix
The trail mix you’ll typically find at the store or in a vending machine has naughty little secrets in it that make it a less than healthy choice. For a better kind of trail mix, sprinkle lentils with salt and bake in the oven until they’re crunchy. Meanwhile, chop up half a cup of your favorite dried fruit, such as pineapple, into small chunks and toss in rice flour. Then combine with the lentils, add in some pumpkin seeds, sunflower seeds, and dried cranberries, and you have yourself some trail mix to munch on.
Chia Seed Pudding
This one will fill you up and satisfy your sweet tooth. Made with unsweetened almond milk, chia seeds, and pure maple syrup, it has all you need for a healthy treat. You simply whisk these three ingredients together in a bowl and chill in the fridge overnight. Top with coconut flakes, cinnamon, fruit, or nuts and seeds. Get the lowdown here.
The 5-Ingredient Granola Bar
Sweet, salty, crunchy, and bake-free, it doesn’t get any more delicious or simple than this. Grab some dates, honey, creamy almond butter, unsalted finely chopped almonds, and rolled oats, and you’ve got yourself the makings of a healthy bar. A detailed recipe with a plethora of options for your gluten free and vegan needs can be found here.
Spiced Flax Balls
Get your fiber fill with this fun snack. They’re vegan, gluten free, dairy free, refined sugar free, corn free, and yeast free. Whip up this yummy option by checking out the recipe here.
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