10 of the Healthiest Snacks You’re Not Eating
When it comes to healthy snacking, you've got your bases covered. You have almonds in your bag, an apple at your desk and a Greek yogurt chilling in the fridge. But...is that all there is?
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Forget your childhood toast of butter on white bread! Toast has gotten a major upgrade lately. Whole grain bread provides fiber, B vitamins and antioxidants, not to mention an energy boost during your 3 p.m. slump. Top your toast with mashed avocado and red chili flakes, or ricotta cheese and strawberries, or try these delicious combinations from our Test Kitchen.
A greasy burger and fries are not exactly healthy snacks, but you can make your own healthier fries at home. Vegetables like potatoes, carrots, zucchini and sweet potatoes can be tossed with a little olive oil and salt, then roasted to make the perfectly crisp fries. These beet and sweet potato fries may surprise you!
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Caprese salads make the perfect summer appetizer, but don’t save them for nights out. This nutrient-packed snack can be made anytime and give you an instant pick-me-up. Tomatoes provide antioxidants, lycopene and vitamin C. Eating them has even been linked to lowering your cancer risk!
No time for the real thing? Whip up these caprese salad kebabs for the perfect bite on-the-go.
If you are a potato chip addict, you’re going to love the salty goodness from cooked edamame. These soybeans are gluten-free and naturally low in calories. Boil the pods in salted water, then lightly salt them as they dry. Pack them in a bag for work or munch them on the drive home. For an extra kick, try spicy edamame.
Do you crave a little sweet treat in the afternoon? Keep a pack of multigrain waffles in your freezer for craving emergencies. (Learn how to make our homemade version.) Eating whole grains lowers your risk for heart disease, stroke and even obesity. Top your waffle with nut butter and sliced strawberries. Yum!
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Chips and Salsa
Chips and salsa are not just for Mexican restaurants. You can enjoy this satisfying snack anytime with the right ingredients. Opt for whole grain or baked tortilla chips to increase the nutrients and cut down on fat. Make your own fresh salsa (like this Fire-Roasted Salsa) to get a serving of vegetables.
Deli meat is a quick and easy snack, but has been avoided because of sodium concerns. When shopping at the grocery store, read labels carefully and opt for nitrate-free and low-sodium deli turkey. A 2-oz. serving of turkey breast is only 60 calories and can be wrapped around fresh peppers for a crunchy snack, or tucked into a whole grain wrap. Try these turkey and apricot wraps!
Microwave popcorn is not the healthiest snack option, but popping your own might be the perfect late-night snack. (Here’s a primer on how to make your own popcorn on the stovetop.) Popcorn fills you up with very few calories. It’s also a great source of fiber and may even have as many antioxidants as fruits and vegetables.
Shutterstock/Sarah E. Crowder
English Muffin Pizzas
Any other pizza addicts here? Don’t give up your favorite indulgence in the name of health. All it needs are a few tweaks! For a satisfying afternoon snack, spread some tomato sauce over a whole grain English muffin and top with fresh veggies and a sprinkle of cheese.
That’s right–cookies can make a healthy snack! Using oatmeal and chopped nuts instead of white flour can increase the fiber content and keep you full all afternoon. Try using mashed banana instead of butter to cut down on fat while still getting that sweetness you crave. These trail mix slices look like healthy cookies, and your entire family will be lining up for them.