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This week, one of my daughter-in-loves texted me a meme with possible food substitutions for a healthy diet and healthy snacks.
The list started out sensibly enough, by suggesting zucchini as a replacement for noodles and carrots instead of chips. But when I got a little farther down and read that the stand-in for butter was sadness, I started to suspect that something was up. By the time I got to the end and saw that the replacement for coffee was, “This is stupid and I’m not doing it” I was laughing out loud and sharing it in my Facebook feed. Thus far, it’s received 8 loves, 22 likes, and 109 laughing faces.
Let’s face it, if you’re really, really, really craving potato chips, consuming a healthy snack of raw carrots is not going make you say, “Ah, yes. That was wonderful. I am now completely satisfied and no longer desire the crispy, salty, greasy taste of kettle chips.”
Sometimes, you just want what you want, right?
Getting Started with Healthy Snacks from Home
But after a year when sourdough bread baking became our favorite hobby, many of us are committing ourselves to healthier eating. And that means looking for some healthy snacks to enjoy from home.
As a person who has worked from home (only steps away from the frig) for twenty years, I’ve developed quite a few strategies for making yummy, satisfying healthy snacks from home – rather than reaching for processed alternatives.
My Ten Favorite Healthy Snacks from Home
1. Apple with Peanut Butter Dip
When I’m really hungry, I find the biggest apple in the refrigerator and cut it into twelve slices. Then I mix a tablespoon of peanut butter with a tablespoon of Greek yogurt and a dash of cinnamon to make deliciously tangy and sweet dipping sauce. This is one of my very favorite healthy snacks from home – sweet, crunchy, and super satisfying.
2. Licorice Tea
Okay, okay. I hear some of you laughing out there already. I really don’t blame you. Recently I saw a post suggesting people “treat themselves to a cup of hot water with lemon!”
Uh…No. Unless you are suffering from scurvy, hot water with lemon is not a treat. At least not in my world.
But licorice tea can be, on occasion. Licorice tea is naturally sweet, so it tastes like you added sugar even when you didn’t. If you’re trying to tame a sweet tooth, a hot cup of licorice tea may do the trick.
3. Miracle Muffins
There’s a reason that tens of thousands of people have downloaded my Miracle Muffin recipe. These easy to make muffins are a delicious healthy snack from home, a much better choice than standard cookies, muffins, or baked goods. If you haven’t tried them yet, you really should.
4. Dark Chocolate and Almonds
Raise your hand if you think that life without chocolate is just small, colorless, and devoid of joy. I know. Me too.
But here’s the good news; dark chocolate (the darker the better) actually does have some health benefits. But you shouldn’t overdo it. Because sugar. And fat.
If you’re looking for a healthy snack to satisfy your chocolate craving, one ounce of dark chocolate and one ounce of almonds should do the trick. Just be sure to measure them out and eat slowly, savoring every choco-licious morsel.
5. Dried Fruit and Almonds
This is another healthy snack I enjoy on a fairly regular basis. It’s especially satisfying because dried fruit is naturally sweet but chewy so it takes some time to eat, giving my brain a chance to realize that I’m full.
Apply the same rules here as for above – one ounce of dried fruit, one ounce of almonds. Be sure to measure them out. A good food scale is a must for healthy snacking. I bought this one years ago and I really like it.
6. Zucchini Chips
As I said before, sometimes there is no substitute for potato chips. But, sometimes, there is. I’ve found that tucking into a bowl of crispy zucchini crisps will often do the trick, but this is one of those cravings you need to plan ahead for.
If you’ve got an air fryer, give this recipe from Easy Healthy Recipes a try. They’re simple to make and really good, with just a little parmesan cheese. For oven only zucchini chips, try this recipe from Table For Two. They require a little more time and work but these healthy snacks from home are worth the effort, especially if it keeps you from diving headfirst into that bag of kettle chips.
7. Cherry Tomatoes and Cheese
Again, you want to watch your portions here, but a little cheese and some cherry tomatoes make a great snack. Individually wrapped pieces of mozzarella, string cheese, or pepper jack are perfect. I like to cut the cheese up into little pieces and pop them into my mouth along with a delicious little tomato. Yum!
8. Veggies and Hummus
I always have hummus on hand in the refrigerator, either store-bought or homemade and in lots of flavors. It’s a perfect dip for raw vegetables and a tasty and satisfying healthy snack with lots of good protein.
9. Flavored Rice Cakes
I know, I know. Rice cakes have a bad rap, and not without reason.
When they first came out a few decades ago, they tasted like Styrofoam and quickly became the butt of all dieting jokes.
However, times have changed! Rice cakes come in flavors now and a lot of them are pretty darned tasty. The chocolate or white cheddar flavors are my favorites. My husband loves the caramel. If you haven’t tried rice cakes since the 80’s, you might want to give them another chance.
When I’m looking for a crispy, crunchy snack, popcorn is at the top of the list. Some people swear by air-popped popcorn. And if that works for you, great. But I’ve never been wild about it.
Instead, I prefer to make it the old-fashioned way, on the stovetop and using as little oil as possible. Sometimes I eat it plain with a little salt. But sometimes I’ll use just a little bit of butter too, or a couple of spritzes of cooking spray and then a sprinkle of smoked paprika or a little parmesan cheese.
It’s probably not as healthy as air-popping, but when it comes to healthy snacks, a good old popcorn with just a little butter or cheese is a much better choice than those evil kettle chips!