Snacks give me life at least five out of seven days each week. I’m not entirely confident that I could remain standing after 3 p.m. without a few handfuls of something bite-size. And don’t even get me started on my fondness for snacking in bed, which is usually a big no-no but feels so good, like eating a stack of saltines with grape jelly while standing up in the kitchen reading a fashion magazine.
In other words, snacks are non-negotiable for me. But I’ve found it wise to limit the amount of store-bought snacks I stock. This can be problematic, however, as it’s sometimes hard to make healthy easy snacks from scratch if you’re short on time. Typically what works best is simple (e.g., carrots and hummus or celery and peanut butter) but boring.
In an effort to mix it up without adding more labor into my already stacked days, I scoured the recipe blogosphere for simple, healthy, and affordable between-meal (or before-bed, if you’re naughty) treats.
You can actually use any freeze-dried fruit for this super-simple recipe. If you’re in the mood for something more savory, try sprinkling nutritional yeast, dehydrated spinach, chili powder, or even taco seasoning onto your popped kernels instead.
Eggs and avocado are to this century what peanut butter and jelly were to all of the 1900’s: the world’s most perfect pairing. Sure, we got the iPhone in this epoch, but TBH it’s a toss up for me on which “invention” is more invaluable. To make an avocado egg salad in minutes, simple mash together the two star ingredients in the ratio of one avocado for every four hard-boiled eggs. Lemon or lime juice and salt are optional.
Despite having been usurped in the category of best partnered foods, peanut butter remains a snack time hero. You can always split a banana in half and spread it with the nut butter of your choice, but if you’re looking for a sweeter option trying stuffing powdered peanut butter into a fresh strawberry instead. This version adds chocolate chips.
Coconut yogurt is delicious and also really expensive. You can make it at home, however, using just two ingredients you likely already have on hand—coconut milk and probiotic capsules!
After trying Sakara Life‘s watermelon jerky, I totally wanted to buy a food dehydrator to make my own (check out this affordable cutie). This recipe actually has three ingredients—watermelon, cayenne powder, and lime—but if you’re looking to keep it extra simple, just the fruit will do.
Stuff a date with cheese—any cheese, really, including brie, goat cheese, or even a hard cheese—and you have a satisfying snack packed with potassium, protein, calcium. (Peppers stuff well with cheese, too.) Nuts also work well sandwiched into a date, as do nut butters. You can also skip the filling and instead wrap your date (or fig!) in prosciutto. Whichever route you choose, just be sure not to overdo it as dates are high in sugar.
This treat walks the line between snack and dessert, but given its main ingredient is banana, I’m going to go ahead and count it as an appropriate between-meal nosh. Especially in a heat wave.
To bake a chickpea, you can use oil, salt, both or neither, which is why I’m counting them as two-ingredient snacks. You can also get creative with further seasonings from there without adding too much effort or making a grocery run, like this sweet and salty variety. You can roast green peas, too.
Potatoes aren’t the only veggie that can be turned into a healthy, snackable chip with just a sprinkle of salt and some oven time. Kale chips, squash chips, carrot chips, zucchini chips, and you-name-it chips are all also a thing. So, too, are fruit chips, such as plantain chips, apple chips, etc. Like their veggie counterparts, most only require one additional ingredient such as cinnamon or salt. Oh, and you can also make chips solely out of cheese, if you’re feeling French-adjacent.
Sometimes you just need a cookie. These are made from just bananas and oats, though I’m going to go ahead and assume you’ll spring for the optional third ingredient being that it’s once again chocolate chips. (Nuts and dried fruit also work.)
If you’re partial to sweet snacks, try more easy-to-make recipes that’ll satisfy without causing a sugar spike. Or you could just buy snacks if you’re lazy—here are the least processed on the market.