I loooooove snacks. I always find myself munching on things in order to keep from being hungry between meals. And because I’m always snacking, it’s easy to just grab whatever is around to satisfy my hunger. But over the years, I’ve found that grabbing just anything can backfire on my health and fitness goals. And I always seem to grab the sweet stuff. So, I’ve learned to be prepared as much as possible and try my best to have my favorite snacks in the house or in my purse. Now that summer’s here and swimsuit season is in full effect, I’m snacking a little bit smarter and lighter.
My usual goal with any snack is to tide me over until I eat a full meal, but I try to be sure the snack will serve a nutritional purpose as well. Protein, energy, good fats, good (complex) carbs, all that! Check out my top 10 favorite healthy summertime snacks! (in no particular order, they’re ALL amazingly delicious)
1. apples and peanut butter
Come on… with a little cinnamon sprinkled on top? Apples and peanut butter is a classic! My favorite peanut butter is the Smuckers’ Natural line because it’s so creamy and I don’t refrigerate it after I open it so it stays that way. I may or may not be addicted to it. This snack is my number one go-to between meals. Nutritional Stuff: Peanut butter is full of protein and good fats for building and repairing muscles. Apples give you fiber, vitamin c and natural sugars.
2. pretzel crisps or carrots and hummus
My hummus obsession is ranking right up there with my peanut butter one. Lately I’ve been enamored by Tribe brand hummus and all their yummy flavors. I was hooked on Roasted Garlic for a while, but now my favorites are the 40 Spices and the Everything flavor. SO YUMMY! Paired with my favorite Pretzel Crisps and I’ve got myself a filling snack that I won’t feel guilty about. Nutritional Stuff: Hummus is made from chick peas that are chock full of protein, iron, fiber and manganese for energy. Pretzel Crisps are half the fat of potato chips with no trans fats and only 110 calories!
What else can be said about pistachios besides the fact that they’re awesome? I try to keep a bag in my cabinet at all times. Grab a handful and get cracking. They’re not extremely filling, but they do the trick when you just need something to munch on until dinner’s ready. My favorite are roasted and salted. Nutritional Stuff: Pistachios are full of heart healthy benefits like fiber, protein and other phytonutrients. They’re also an excellent source of vitamin B6.
4. almonds and dark chocolate
If you haven’t tried the Blue Diamond Almonds “Honey Dijon” flavor yet, you are missing out on life! Getchu some! They are incredibly delicious and I know I shouldn’t but I find myself eating a whole can of them in a day. I gotta learn some self control. Anyway, a handful of plain almonds, paired with a handful of my favorite dark chocolate treats from Brookside makes me happy. Something sweet, something savory. Perfect. Nutritional stuff: Did you know almonds are full of calcium? They are also full of other nutrients like Vitamin E, manganese for energy, potassium, healthy fats and the list goes on!
5. rice cakes and peanut butter with honey
Peanut butter is a growing theme here, as you can see. Spread atop a rice cake and drizzled with honey? Amazing. This is a really great snack for after a workout, too. Protein from the peanut butter, carbs from the rice cakes to restore glycogen to your system. Easy peasy!
6. tuna salad with avocado and whole grain crackers
The newest snack (and sometimes dinner) I’ve added to my list of favorites has to be avocado with tuna. I mean… avocado by itself is amazing, but with tuna? Yes! I make my own tuna salad with a little bit of lemon juice, dill, celery, onions, salt and pepper (no mayo) then scoop it into half an avocado and eat it with a spoon. Boom! Nutritional stuff: Avocados are loaded with good fats, fiber, potassium, vitamin E, vitamin c, folic acid and a ton of other good stuff for your body.
7. banana slices and peanut butter
Another peanut butter snack? Yep. This time with another one of my favorite fruits: bananas. Sweet and salty is always a great combo so this definitely gives me the best of both worlds. You can’t go wrong with peanut butter and bananas. You just can’t. Nutritional stuff: Bananas are an excellent source of potassium (I bet you already knew that…) and are full of other great nutrients like magnesium, vitamin A and vitamin C.
8. chips and homemade salsa
Do I make my own homemade salsa all the time? Nope. But when I do, it’s delicious and I use this recipe. Extremely easy to make and doesn’t take long at all. I try not to get down on the chips too hard, but who can resist? Chip and salsa are a staple snack for crunching and munching before a big meal.
9. yogurt and granola
I like to consider this my “breakfast on-the-go” snack for those mornings when even cereal seems like too much of a hassle. I found some great dairy free coconut milk yogurt from So Delicious that tastes pretty good combined with my favorite granola from Kind Snacks. Nutritional Stuff: coconut milk yogurt is gluten free, soy free and dairy free.
10. homemade fruit salad
Summer time always calls for a yummy, chilled, bountiful fruit salad. It’s like a summer time staple. When I make my own, I like to include watermelon, pineapples, grapes, apples, melons, mangoes, peaches and strawberries. Very filling, so refreshing and uber good for you. I don’t think I need to include the nutritional stuff on this one. Fruit is amazing for you!
So… those are all MY favorite things to snack on during the summer (and really, anytime). What are yours? Anything I left out? Share!
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