This Summer, to help you plan for successful snacking, we’re featuring a series celebrating healthy munchies. With #SnackSmart, you’ll get quick and easy ideas for foods to eat when you need something STAT, but aren’t ready for a complete meal. We’ve been putting together a list of all of our go-tos and hope you’ll find some new favorites, too.
Lots of us arrive at a certain time of day where we need a little boost to keep our momentum up. Even with regular exercise, balanced meals and adequate sleep, life demands can leave us a little depleted at certain times of day. Whether it’s 10am in the morning for you, or 3pm in the afternoon for us, packing a snack to prepare for an inevitable energy loll is a great pro-active practice to keep your lifestyle healthy.
Last week we shared some of our favorite healthy snacks to satisfy our sweet tooth – this week we’re talking about the opposite end of the spectrum.
Do you crave salty goodness when you’re lagging? If so, check out these 10 savory ideas to help you #SnackSmart!
#1 – Cheese Please!
Cheese is so versatile, and there are so many varieties and potential pairings, that it’s a good choice for a salty snack. We love an ounce of sharp cheddar cheese with apples, or a blue cheese with pears. Even the pre-packaged “string” style cheeses are great with a small handful of pretzels and a piece of fresh fruit to round out a solid snack.
#2 – We Love Olives
Can you think of anything more savory than a nice salty olive? We can’t. And you can certainly take your pick of varieties; from black to green, Spanish to Greek, stuffed to pitted – a small handful of olives pack healthy fats as well as important nutrients.
#3 – Go Nuts with Seeds and, Uh, Nuts
Other great salty snacks that pack healthy fats as well as other crucial nutrients are nuts and seeds. You can buy or make a mixture, toast your own, or grind them in a processor for butters and spreads. We love toasted almonds and cashews together, or roasted and salted pumpkin seeds (pepitas). A little bit packs a lot of calories, so make sure to munch of a small handful.
#4, #5 and #6 – Protein-Packed Roll-Ups, 3 Ways!
Sliced cooked and cured meats are a great source of protein, and adding some healthy fat and vegetables or fruit can make a perfectly portable bit when you need a boost.
Turkey + Hummus + Red Peppers
Spread a teaspoon of hummus on a piece of deli-style turkey. Then lay three or four julienne-style slices of red pepper in the middle, and roll the turkey to enclose the peppers.
Roast Beef + Avocado + Cucumber
On top of a piece of deli-style roast beef, lay a couple thin slices of avocado and some pieces of cucumber cut lengthwise. Roll up and enjoy!
Prosciutto + Melon or Asparagus
Have fresh cantaloupe or honeydew melon? What about leftover grilled asparagus? Prosciutto pairs well with either sweet or savory flavor so wrap a thin slice of the cured ham around the fruit or veg of your choice and enjoy a unique and delicious snack.
#7 – Incredible Hard Boiled Eggs
We all know hardboiled eggs are one of the best compact snacks you can enjoy. If you make a batch at the weekend, you can have them all week. A plain hard boiled egg, simply peeled, halved and sprinkled with salt and pepper is a great option when you need a boost and need to keep moving.
#8 – Hummus in a Hurry
Did you know you can actually buy snack-size portions of hummus now that come with veggies or pita chips? Pretty convenient and perfect to get a protein and fiber-packed bite or two. For the dedicated hummus lover, we suggest bringing a container of hummus to your work to store in the fridge, and bring fresh veggies daily to dip. We love hummus with cucumbers slices, jicama sticks, baby carrots and broccoli florets. And of course we love it with deli-style turkey slices as we mentioned in #4 above!
#9 – Guilt-Free Popcorn
When you think of popcorn you might think of the buttery, salty (calorie and processed-ingredient) laden stuff at the movie theaters and we can all agree that’s not an awesome healthy choice for everyday snacking. Natural popcorn isn’t inherently bad for you, though. Plain air-popped popcorn is a terrific option, especially because you can be in charge of the flavor toppings. A little drizzle of olive oil and sprinkling of salt is delicious – or you can mix it up and toss cooked popcorn with a low-sodium taco seasoning. We love this unsalted microwavable kind from the Newman’s Own Organics brand for folks who don’t have an air-pop popcorn machine.
#10 – Crispy and Crunchy Greens
We all know kale and seaweed are current “on-trend” foods – we keep seeing them all over the place on menus and at the stores. It’s for good reason, too. These greens are not only considered superfoods, they can also be excellent snack choices! We don’t expect you to sit down to a raw kale or seaweed salad at 10am (though you might!) but what about green chips? You can buy both online and in stores, but it’s also easy to make them at home by seasoning the greens and baking in the oven. Popsugar has a how-to for seaweed chips, and the technique is similar for kale chips. Simply tear kale into “chip size” pieces, then wash and dry well. Drizzle with olive oil and salt, then bake at 350 degrees Fahrenheit for 10-15 minutes. You want the edges browned but not burnt. Let cool completely before eating for maximum crunch!
Want more ideas? Here’s a list of 25 High-Protein Snacks that features a lot of pre-made salty and not-too-sweet options!
What is your go-to bite when you want something salty and need to #SnackSmart? Tell us in the comments below!
Make it Happen,
– Team FitStar