7 things I reach for time and time again to satisfy my need for snacks without sacrificing health or flavor.
Sometimes when I see snack ideas I think, “That’s not a snack. That’s a small meal!” A snack for me has to not only be small enough to be a snack, but it also has to be quick. It does need to be satisfying, but if it isn’t something I can just grab and go, then it better take less than about 3 minutes to make.
I am not going to make meatballs from scratch, no matter how easy, for a snack. I’m not going to bake something for 20 minutes as a snack. I am not going to spend half an hour chopping vegetables for a salad ‘snack’.
So what are the healthy things I turn to time and time again? (We’ll ignore the unhealthy things today 😉 )
1- Trail mix packs.
I found these at Trader Joe’s. They are individual sized packs and they have a variety of types. I like the Happy Trekking as well. I always have one of these in my purse for sudden hunger or when I’m out running errands and don’t have time to eat without running through a drive through. They are quite filling and keep me going until I can get home for a late lunch.
2- Romaine Spears or Wraps
I make these with just about anything in them: lunch meat, previously chopped veggies, leftover taco filling, or my favorite, avocado and uncured bacon. I use leftover bacon that just ‘recrisps’ in a pan while I get the romaine out and the avocado chopped. They almost always have salt and pepper on them too.
Just for today I made this with non-leftover bacon to see how long it would take. I put half a strip in a pan to sizzle while I got out the romaine and chopped half an avocado. Then my bacon was pretty much done. Chopped it and sprinkled on top. 4 minutes, not rushing.
To keep these healthy you really want to focus on buying good quality, no nitrate bacon. Also, use just enough to taste, don’t make it the main flavor.
PS- My 8 year old would like you to know that she likes bacon cheddar in hers. I am cutting out more and more dairy due to hormonal issues so no cheddar for mine.
This one is new to my repertoire. I’ve historically not really liked oranges as snacks due to their messiness, but these are really minimally messy while peeling and also peel pretty easily. In addition, they are more portable than many snack ideas that involve fruits or veggies. The seedless ones are fabulous and they smell great too!
4- Fresh Veggies
I know, you’re thinking, but chopping those takes a long time! That breaks all your rules! You’re right. Except for this one case. A couple of years ago, when I first started trying to get the family to eat more veggies, I started this new afternoon thing. I put out a tray of fresh veggies every day at 4 pm. This is the snack everyone in the family can have. They cannot ask for anything else, cannot complain of being hungry, cannot ask me about dinner…You see where I am going with this?
This veggie platter has been one of the best things I ever did to get my family to eat more veggies. They cannot have fruit for snack at this time. (We already eat plenty of that. The point was to add in veggies) They can use homemade dressing or garlic salt on it (we currently have ranch and Italian) and they can eat as many as they want. I figure if they’re spoiling their appetite by eating too many veggies, I’m OK with that.
At first they picked out a lot of new veggies to try and got adventurous. It was fun. We discovered that we like raw beets! There are usually mushrooms, cucumber, and celery on this plate too, but we’re currently out. I need to refill the plate soon.
So how is this a quick snack?
I don’t make this when I’m hungry for a snack. I make this plate every Monday right before I start dinner. At dinner time I cover what’s left and put it in the fridge. One large plate lasts 3-4 days before I need to refill it. Something funny happened when I started putting this out to get my family eat more vegetables. I started eating more too. 😉 Sometimes, on my most lazy days, I just reach under the wrap in the fridge and just grab a handful of whatever is on that plate for my snack. It may not be what I’m craving at the moment, but I often reach for these when I’m deciding on something else that I never end up eating because these filled me up. They’re quick because they’re already made. Shhhhh. Don’t tell my kids I’m eating them all day long.
5- Good Ol’ Apples and nut butter
Sometimes I like sunflower butter, sometimes almond butter, sometimes peanut butter. These slice fast, and with a scoop from your jar you have a snack in less than 2 minutes. Just make sure your nut butter has just nuts, no added sugar or other nasties.
Don’t tell. Sometimes I buy one of those small containers of raspberries, or blackberries, or a little green basket of strawberries at the farmer’s market, and keep it just for one single snack for myself. Straight antioxidants! By the way, this picture came from this post (not my own) about the health benefits of berries. It’s just soooo pretty!
Just drain and eat. Seriously easy. If I am craving something salty I’ll eat the green ones. Loaded with healthy fats, it doesn’t get much quicker than this.
I’d love to know what fast and healthy snacks you reach for! Leave them in the comments below please. I’m always looking for new ideas.