We’ve all been there when it’s 3 p.m. and the munchies kick in, and we’re tempted to grab the most convenient thing in our pantry, which is often a cookie or a bag of chips.
While it’s okay to splurge every once in a while, there are healthy snacks that could be made right at home that is more wholesome and will help to keep you energized throughout the day.
I’ve rounded up more than 5 healthy snacks for you to enjoy, these snack ideas that are not only healthy, but which can be meal prepped and then stored in your pantry, fridge, or freezer.
It’s a smarter approach to snacking with a little planning ahead, and there’s something salty and sweet for every craving that you have. So let’s dive in.
Banana Bread Energy Balls
You will love my banana bread recipe and these taste like little bites of banana bread, but they’re no-bake and super easy to make. Just add two cups of old-fashioned oats to a food processor along with half a cup of mashed banana.
You should be able to get one medium to a large-sized banana. But if your bananas are smaller, you might need two. Add that to your food processor along with half a cup of raw almonds, half a cup of pecans, one-third cup of maple syrup, one teaspoon of ground cinnamon, a quarter teaspoon vanilla extract, and a quarter teaspoon of salt.
Then add the lid and blend for about 20 to 30 seconds, scraping down the sides as needed throughout. Once your texture is mostly fine with a few chunks of nuts, use a medium cookie scoop to scoop out a portion and roll it between your hands.
It will be a bit soft and sticky when you first take it out, but these will continue to dry as the oats absorb more of the moisture. And after you roll them, place them on a parchment-lined baking tray.
Refrigerate these for about 30 minutes just so they can firm up, then enjoy them as a healthy bite throughout the week.
Trail mix granola bars:
Preheat your oven to 325 degrees Fahrenheit and then add one cup of raw almonds and one cup of cashews to a bowl.
You can use any nuts in this recipe, these are just my favorite. So feel free to substitute.
To that, you’ll add half a cup of dried coconut flakes; a quarter cup of dried cranberries for chewy sweetness; a quarter cup of pepitas, also known as pumpkin seeds; one tablespoon of chia seeds; and a quarter teaspoon of salt.
In a separate small bowl, you’ll add a quarter cup of maple syrup and one teaspoon of vanilla extract. And then give that a stir before pouring on top of all of your nuts and seeds.
Use a spoon then mix everything together and make sure each piece is well coated in maple syrup, as that is your sticky binder.
Line an eight by eight-inch square baking pan with parchment paper and my hack is that I always just fold the edges to size instead of trying to cut it.
Then pour the nuts and seeds into the pan, and try to flatten them into a solid, flat layer as much as possible.
Bake the granola bars for about 35 minutes and what you want is the maple syrup to caramelize and hold the bars together once they’ve cooled.
Now, because every oven is different, you may need a little more or a little less time. But the nuts and coconut flakes should be lightly golden on top when they’re done.
The hardest part is letting them sit for an hour in the baking tray to completely cool before you slice. But trust me, they’ll be worth the wait.
So once they’re cooled, remove them from the pan and use a large knife to cut this block into 12 individual granola bars.
You may have a few nuts break off while you’re cutting and that’s fine, those just go instantly into my mouth and nobody is any the wiser.
Make sure to check that out. And enjoy these 12 healthy, homemade granola bars as a delicious midday snack.
Let’s switch gears now to something creamy and make homemade tzatziki, which is a refreshing dip. Especially on hot days.
You’ll start by peeling one medium cucumber and then grating it using the larger grating holes on a box grater.
Cucumbers are about 95% water, similar to zucchini, so you’ll wanna squeeze out as much of that liquid as possible. You can add it to a fine-mesh sieve and press down to remove the liquid, or use a nut milk bag and wring it out. But this will prevent our dip from becoming watery.
In a mixing bowl you’ll add, one and a half cups of Greek yogurt. And if you’re vegan or dairy-free, hold tight, because I’ll show you a vegan version next.
To that, you’ll add the drained cucumber; two tablespoons of chopped fresh dill; two minced garlic cloves; two tablespoons of olive oil; one tablespoon of fresh lemon juice, and I do recommend fresh lemon juice and not jarred lemon juice; and a half a teaspoon of salt.
Then give everything a stir until it’s nice and creamy. You can enjoy tzatziki with a variety of raw veggies including celery, carrots, cucumber, bell pepper, and cherry tomatoes. Or drizzle it on roasted veggies if you’re outside grilling.
I just love that enjoying this as a dip is a sneaky way to also eat more veggies throughout the day. But if you’re vegan or dairy-free, let me quickly show you how to make another version of tzatziki using cashews as the base.
Vegan or Dairy-free Tzatziki
Soak one cup of cashews in water overnight and do use plenty of water as the cashews will expand. The next day, drain them and give them a good rinse.
Then add them to a high-powered blender. Add half a cup of fresh, clean water; a quarter cup of fresh lemon juice; and one clove of garlic. Then add the lid to your blender and blend for one to two minutes, or until it’s smooth and creamy.
Pour this cashew cream into a mixing bowl and add half of a medium zucchini that you’ve peeled, grated, and drained just like the previous version.
Then add two tablespoons of chopped, fresh dill and half a teaspoon of salt. Give everything a stir to combine and look at how amazingly similar that looks to the traditional dairy version of tzatziki.
This is best chilled for about 30 minutes as it’s slightly warm from the blender and chilling it will help the flavors meld together. You can, of course, enjoy this with all of the vegetables and I think celery sticks are perfect for dipping into tzatziki.
Baked tuna meatballs
I’m excited to share this recipe because the idea literally popped into my brain a couple of weeks ago. I don’t know if these are a thing, I’ve never had them before. But, hopefully, this community can make them a thing because they’re delicious, low-carb, and protein-packed.
To get started, preheat your oven to 400 degrees Fahrenheit. Dice half of one yellow onion and set that aside for now. Then roughly chop two cups of baby spinach.
You wanna chop the baby spinach so there are no huge pieces of spinach in any single meatball bite. And even though you’ll saute and wilt it down, it’s best to have smaller pieces to start with. Heat a tablespoon of olive oil or avocado oil in a pan on medium heat, and add the diced onion and two cloves of minced garlic.
Stir this for about a minute, or until it starts to soften. Then add the chopped baby spinach and stir for another one to two minutes, or until the spinach is wilted.
Those of you who love salmon patties I think will love this recipe as well, but I will say that it’s milder in flavor as tuna is just more mild than salmon. So if you have a picky eater when it comes to seafood, this might be a great recipe for them.
Pour the onions and spinach into a bowl and make sure this cools completely. And you can speed this up by placing it in the fridge. So while that cools, you’ll drain three five-ounce cans of tuna.
I’m using albacore tuna. If you’re using tuna that isn’t in steak form, just make sure that you squeeze out all of the moisture really well, as there tends to be more liquid in those cans. o the tuna, you’ll add a quarter cup of almond flour, which is our gluten-free binder, along with two eggs that are lightly beaten.
Then add one tablespoon of lemon juice and one tablespoon of mayonnaise, which will help to keep these meatballs moist. And chop up two tablespoons each of fresh parsley and fresh dill.
You could use a variety of herbs in this recipe, so feel free to swap those up and use what you have on hand. Season the mixture with salt and pepper, and then add the cooled onion-spinach mix.
Dig in with your hands as if you were making traditional meatballs or meatloaf, and make sure everything gets well-mixed and combined.
Line a sheet pan with parchment paper, and then use a medium-sized cookie scoop to scoop out the mixture into your hands and form it into balls.
You don’t really wanna roll it into balls, as it will fall apart, just use your fingers to sort of mold it. And you should get about 20 meatballs out of this recipe.
Once you’ve got that done, bake the tuna meatballs for 20 to 25 minutes, or until they’re lightly golden on top. You can enjoy these plain and pop them straight into your mouth for a quickly high-protein snack. But, guess what, they also pair perfectly with the tzatziki.
I found myself just dipping them in the tzatziki. But if you wanna get a little fancier, you could spoon a little sauce onto a plate, and enjoy them with a knife and fork.
Chocolate Almond Butter Banana Bites
Of course, I saved the sweetest snack for last. And that’s frozen chocolate almond butter banana bites because it always makes sense to have a healthier option for when those sweet cravings strike.
To make these, you’ll peel and thinly slice three bananas, and you do want the slices thin. About an eighth to a quarter of an inch thick. If you slice them thicker, they’ll be super chunky at the end and a little harder to bite through.
Then add the banana slices to a parchment-lined baking tray. You’ll need one-third cup of almond butter or other nut butter. And you can add this to the banana slices plain, but I say we give it a little boost and add one teaspoon of chia seeds.
So stir that together and then dollop a small amount on each banana slice. This part can get a little messy and I have yet to determine if it’s easier with a spoon or butter knife, so you can let me know which way you prefer in the comments.
Once that’s done, add the top banana slice and give it a gentle tap. Then freeze your tray for an hour or until the bananas are frozen solid.
To make our chocolate dipping sauce, add half a cup of chocolate chips to a bowl along with one teaspoon of coconut oil. And the coconut oil just keeps our chocolate a little bit softer so it doesn’t crack off.
Then melt this together in the microwave for 30 seconds or until it’s completely smooth. Take the banana bites out of the freezer, dip them halfway in the melted chocolate, and place them back on the tray to be refrozen.
You’ll wanna work fairly quickly during this stage because the bananas will soften fast. So only take a portion of the bites out of the freezer at a time.
I also recommend scraping the bottom side of the banana on the edge of the bowl so you don’t end up with a puddle of chocolate around the banana.
You should get about 30 bites out of this recipe and once you’re done, store these back in the freezer in a sealed container with parchment paper in-between if you stack them.
And next time one of those sweet cravings strikes, just enjoy one or two of these chocolate-dipped banana bites.
I hope you guys enjoyed these easy healthy snacks today.