Traditional recipes

8 Healthy Homemade Snacks

8 Healthy Homemade Snacks

Trim the junk food snacks in exchange for some of these healthy snacks

There are plenty of healthy snacks to whip up in a hurry.

Does anyone actually eat three square meals a day anymore? With breakfast on-the-go when you’re in a hurry, lunch half eaten at your desk, and dinner a combination of takeout and leftovers, snacking is a must. While chips and candies are an obvious and tasty choice, there are plenty of healthy options to whip up instead.

Sometimes, it’s the kind of snacks that we choose that can help keep our energy up instead of feeling sluggish. Honestly, how good do you feel after that double order of fries? How about some crunchy and salt roasted nuts instead when the three o’clock munchies hit?

If after-school snacks have you in a rut, we’ve got you covered. Kids love chicken tenders, but you it’s easy to bake your own with half the fat and calories. Plus, they keep for a few days in the refrigerator when tightly sealed, so make a big batch and keep them on hand.

Trim the junk food snacks in exchange for some of these healthy snacks. Check out our list and make sure that you incorporate some of these tasty snacks into your daily snacking routine.

Hummus

Hummus is a creamy and indulgent dip that can be made in just minutes with canned beans. Place drained and rinsed chickpeas beans, tahini, lemon, garlic, and salt in a food processor and process until smooth.

Roasted Nuts

If you crave something crunchy and salty, try roasted nuts. Mix an assortment of nuts with olive oil, salt, and pepper. Spread in a single layer on a cookie sheet and roast in the oven at 450 degrees F for about 10 minutes until golden brown.

Emily Jacobs is the Recipe editor at The Daily Meal. Follow her on Twitter @EmilyRecipes.

This story was originally published October 24, 2014.


Apple-Cinnamon Bites

1. Stir together 3 cups O-shaped multigrain cereal, 1 cup chopped dried apples, and ⅓ cup pepitas. Set aside.

2. Over low heat, combine ½ cup brown rice syrup, 3 Tbs. natural peanut butter, ½ tsp. vanilla, and a pinch of salt in a saucepan. Cook, whisking, until the mixture is runny (about 1 minute).

3. Pour over the cereal mixture and stir to coat evenly. With wet hands, shape into 24 balls.

4. Let set on parchment paper at room temperature for 1½ hours.


40 Easy & Healthy Snack Recipes


A few weeks ago at my neighbor’s reptile-themed 4 th birthday party, his mom hired a guy to bring over his collection of live animals. He showed up with an assortment of snakes, lizards, and even a huge turtle, and he patiently showed the young kids how to gently hold the smaller reptiles.

But the turtle was an immediate favorite, especially when the preschoolers learned they could feed him! The birthday boy’s mom passed around slices of brightly colored bell peppers to each kid, and they dropped the veggies in front of the turtle’s face, completely mesmerized as he munched and crunched his way through an entire garden’s worth of food.

I laughed to myself as I watched… That’s exactly how I feel during the afternoons too, Mr. Turtle! I love my afternoon snack breaks, but often I want something a little more filling than plain ol’ fresh fruit and veggies!

So that’s why I’ve rounded up this collection of 40 Easy & Healthy Snack Recipes for you! They all contained no artificial ingredients, refined flour or sugar—unlike many of the options on the snack aisle at the grocery store—and they’re incredibly simple to make. (And super yummy, too!)


THE RECIPES
from left to right, top to bottom…


Peanut Butter Stuffed Banana

Two ingredients and two easy steps, what more could we ask for in delicious high protein snacks. Just slice one small banana in half lengthwise and sandwich about 2 tablespoons of your favorite peanut butter between. If you're feeling really fancy, drizzle on honey or a sprinkle of cinnamon. This high-protein banana sandwich is the perfect cure to midday cravings.


CREAMY SNACKS

Plenty of healthy foods can taste rich and buttery when made into spreads and dips. But we also played around with sweet potatoes, silken tofu and slow-roasted peppers.

65. Give rich and addictive southern pimiento cheese a makeover: Combine equal parts shredded cheddar and low-fat cottage cheese, then fold in chopped pimientos. Spread on thinly sliced whole wheat bread.

66. Puree cucumber and mint with buttermilk for a tangy herbal shooter.

67. Instant California Roll: Quarter a ripe avocado and remove the pit. Stuff with wasabi-spiked imitation crab and drizzle with soy sauce.

68. Microwave a small sweet potato, split it open and mash a little OJ into it. Eat right out of the jacket.

69. Make strawberries just a bit decadent: Halve them and spread the cut sides with softened goat cheese.

70. Raid the supermarket antipasto bar for some lusciously creamy slow-roasted red peppers. Eat with a bocconcini or two.

71. Butternut Dip: In a food processor, pulse thawed frozen butternut squash, dried apricots and roasted cashews scoop up with sweet potato chips.

72. Melt a sliver of brie and top with chopped cherries. Eat with a fork.

73. Pumpkin Spread: Stir together tahini, canned pumpkin puree and a little apple juice and cinnamon. Spread on toasted whole grain cornbread.

74. Baby red potatoes become blissfully creamy when you microwave them for 3 to 5 minutes (leave the skin on for nutrients). Sprinkle with pepper and sea salt and pop them in your mouth.

75. Curried Hummus: Combine pureed chickpeas with lemon juice, garlic, curry powder, garam masala and olive oil.

76. Here&aposs a cheesy topping for broccoli that only tastes indulgent: Whisk together equal parts prepared cheddar cheese spread and low-sodium chicken broth and stir in chopped pickled jalapeños.

77. Dress up store-bought baba ghanoush with fresh chopped dill and parsley. Serve with whole wheat pita.

78. Combine low-fat ricotta and plain yogurt. Stir in chopped kirby cucumbers and fresh basil. Eat with a spoon.

79. Banana Soft Serve: Freeze some bananas, then pulse in a food processor with roasted peanuts and a splash of almond milk.

80. Mash canned white beans with olive oil and chopped fresh rosemary. Pile onto radicchio leaves.

81. Mini Polenta Melts: Slice a few thin rounds of store-bought polenta and slather with roasted red pepper spread. Sprinkle with parmesan and warm in the microwave.

82. Float cubes of silken tofu in a warm cup of instant miso soup.

83. Treat yourself to the most sublimely simple protein-packed treat: a soft-scrambled egg.


Easy Homemade Cat Food Recipes for Other Entrees

Other proteins and ingredients also make a great main ingredient for cat foods.

Chicken Dinner

Many cats will choose chicken over other meats. This recipe is simple, and cats love it!

Ingredients

  • 1 cup of cooked chicken (broiled or baked)
  • 1/4 cup of steamed broccoli, mashed
  • 1/4 cup of steamed carrots, mashed
  • Chicken broth
  1. Place ingredients in a food processor with several tablespoons of chicken broth.
  2. Puree or crumble the ingredients until it begins to resemble paté cat food. Add broth, as needed, to make the mixture smooth, but not soupy.
  3. Let the food cool to room temperature before serving.

Beef Dinner

If your favorite feline loves beef, this dish is sure to please!

Ingredients

  • 1 cup of ground beef
  • 1/2 cup of steamed brown rice
  • 6 tablespoons of minced alfalfa sprouts
  • 3/4 cup of small curd cottage cheese
  1. Brown and drain the ground beef in a frying pan and then cool completely.
  2. In a medium-sized bowl, mix all four ingredients together and serve.
  3. Refrigerate leftovers up to three days.

Chicken and Tuna Dinner

Chicken and tuna often prove to be an irresistible combination. If your cat is acting finicky about his food, this dinner might encourage his appetite.

Ingredients

  • 1/2 cup cooked chicken
  • 1 can tuna in oil
  • 1 tablespoon cooked carrot, mashed
  • 2 tablespoons brown rice
  1. Combine all ingredients in a food processor
  2. Pulse until blended and serve.
  3. Refrigerate leftovers, and discard after three days.

Cat Salad

Many cats like greens, but indoor cats usually don't have access to the grass they crave. This special treat should satisfy your cat's craving for something green.

Ingredients

  • 1/4 cup grated zucchini
  • 1/2 cup chopped alfalfa sprouts
  • 1/8 cup chicken or fish stock
  • 1/8 teaspoon of minced catnip for garnish
  1. Combine the first three ingredients in a bowl and toss.
  2. Serve sprinkled with the minced catnip on top.
  3. Leftovers can be stored in a covered container in a refrigerator for up to three days.

8 Healthy Snack Ideas for Movie Night

Hot summer days call for cooling off with the latest blockbuster in a dark theater or on your living room couch. Unfortunately, typical concession stand fare tends to be filled with some of the worst offenders when it comes to ultra-processed foods : sugary drinks, neon candy, and “buttery flavor” topping. Not-so-fun facts: A large buttered popcorn can set you back 1,640 calories, 126 g fat, and 1,945 mg sodium. It’s often popped in coconut oil (read: saturated fat) or canola oil, which may be a few days old. And that topping is actually soybean oil , pumped with artificial colors and flavors. Still want to share a bucket with your date (shudder)?

Skip the fake butter bomb in favor of these healthy snacks. You can sneak a zip-top plastic bag of popcorn or veggie chips into your bag before hitting the mall—or whip up homemade slushies before settling in for a movie night at home.

1. Healthy Homemade Popcorn

Underneath all of the salt and grease, popcorn is still a whole grain! And it can definitely be a healthy, crunchy, and satisfying snack. Make it fresh at home, and treat it right with a drizzle of extra-virgin olive oil, a sprinkle of sugar and spice, a little parmesan and black pepper, or any of these healthier ideas for toppings .

2. Frozen Grapes

If your movie candy of choice is gummies (62 g sugar), chewies (90 g sugar), sours (65 g sugar), or any other fruit-flavored candy, one theater-sized box is easily double to triple the recommended daily limit for sugar ! Frozen grapes are the more natural choice. They’re cool, easy to pop in your mouth, and a sweet-tart solution to sugar cravings. Spread grapes out on a baking sheet, so they freeze separately, before tossing them into a zip-top plastic bag.

3. Chocolate-Dipped Strawberries

Chocoholics can really rack up the calories on movie night—chocolate caramels can set you back 595 calories, peanut butter pieces at 600 calories, and malted milk balls at 665 calories. Consider nibbling on an ounce or two of quality dark chocolate, instead. You can savor it longer and get in a serving of fresh fruit—strawberries and bananas love a dunk.

4. Crispy Crunchy Beans

Both chickpeas and edamame are doing a pretty good job of pretending to be popcorn these days, and they offer some satisfying plant protein. Drizzle with a little olive oil, sprinkle lightly with salt, and roast until crunchy. You can roll them around in some Italian-inspired garlic, oregano, and parsley, or Indian-style coriander, cumin, and cayenne, to up the savory edge.

5. Garlicky Kale Chips

Sweet potato, kale, and zucchini chips are one of those on-the-fence foods. They’re probably better for you than plain old potato chips, but before grabbing a bag, check the label for fat and sodium. Roasting at home is really the best option—you have more control over the ingredients and can preserve some of the nutritional benefits of the veggies. Toss kale leaves with olive oil and garlic, and toast until papery and crisp in a hot oven.

6. Tortilla Chips & Guacamole

Nacho cheese is another mystery sauce that can mean almost anything—is it cheese? Wait, what kind? You can make your own at home with skim milk and sharp cheddar, so at least you know what’s going in the pot. But better yet, reach for nature’s butter: avocados, of course! Mash them into a homemade guac, and serve with veggie sticks and whole-grain chips. (As with veggie chips, keep an eye on fat and sodium and look for tortillas made from real and recognizable ingredients, starting with whole-grain corn—you might also see multigrain wheat, barley, or rye.)

7. Chicken Dogs with Grilled Veggies

There are a lot of good reasons to avoid processed meat —starting with that foil-wrapped dog. But if you love your summer sausages, there are for sure some better alternatives. Fitbit nutrition expert, Tracy Morris, feeds her kids all-natural chicken dogs , made with real boneless, skinless meat. Put them on a whole-wheat bun, and pile on grilled onions and peppers.

8. Homemade Slushies

The number one ingredient in that electric blue drink? High-fructose corn syrup. But homemade slushies, made with real fruit, are so much fun! Blend cherries or raspberries with ice, sparkling water, a squeeze of lemon, and only if it needs it, a touch of honey. Then make your way to your seat for some living room theater.

If you’re setting out a spread at home, dips and dippers, like veggies and hummus, or fruit and yogurt, are also a great option. If you need something quick to throw into a bag, take a handful of spiced pecans, rosemary almonds, or olive-oil granola to go. What’s your favorite healthy movie snack?

This information is for educational purposes only and is not intended as a substitute for medical diagnosis or treatment. You should not use this information to diagnose or treat a health problem or condition. Always check with your doctor before changing your diet, altering your sleep habits, taking supplements, or starting a new fitness routine.

Becky Duffett

Becky Duffett is a contributing nutrition editor for Fitbit and a lifestyle writer with a passion for eating well. A former Williams-Sonoma cookbook editor and graduate of San Francisco Cooking School, she’s edited dozens of cookbooks and countless recipes. City living has turned her into a spin addict—but she’d still rather be riding a horse. She lives in the cutest neighborhood in San Francisco, spending weekends at the farmers’ market, trying to read at the bakery, and roasting big dinners for friends.


Now who's hungry? Here's a list of our 11 best healthy snacks recipes that are nothing short of spectacular! We promise, you won't be disappointed.

1. Bran Whole Wheat Muffins

Why give up on muffins when you can now make them the healthy way? This recipe uses wheat bran cereal, whole wheat flour, low fat milk and brown sugar for the batter. And the best part? It substitutes the fat with freshly made apple sauce.

2. Lentil and Charred Broccoli Chaat

Dinner's at 8, but you just can't wait? We're here to help! Finish off some charred broccoli and a handful of fresh sprouts with a sweet and tangy olive oil dressing. Toss it up with some beans, potatoes and you're good to go.

3. Oats Idli

We've got yet another great surprise for your calorie-conscious friends! Make steamed idlis with some roasted oats, grated carrots, chopped chillies and fresh coriander. A recipe that's sure to draw recipe requests.

4. Three Bean Chaat

All you have to do is toss up some kidney beans, chickpeas and green beans, and drizzle with a light dressing of olive oil, chaat masala and lemon juice.

5. Ragi Cookies

Wondering how to keep your hand out of the cookie jar? You don't need to! This healthy recipe is your new best friend. Crunchy, crumbly and calcium-rich, these cookies will leave your family reaching for another.

6. Mixed Millet Bhel Puri

Low on fat and surprisingly healthy, dig into this snack made with the goodness of millets and ragi. You can even add half a cup of roasted peanuts and finish with a generous squeeze of lime.

7. Elaichi Granola Bar

Our favourite go-to snack! A beautiful energy bar made with walnuts, oats, raisins, cardamom and sweetened with honey and brown sugar. High on fiber and protein, this recipe is a must try.

8. Fresh Corn Bhel

Corn spruced up with tangy chutney, chopped onions lemon juice and a handful of fresh coriander. A scrumptious evening snack even your guests will love!

9. Jowar Medley

Cook up a storm with this healthy jowar medley filled with vegetables and packed with flavor. Enjoy a light snack, the guilt free way! All you have to do is take a cup of jowar seeds and mix them up with ginger, corn, zucchini, pepper plus a dash of salt and pepper.

10. Banana Oat Bread

This delicious recipe makes for a great snack any time of the day! A bread winner, indeed. Low on carbs and packed with nutrients, our delectable banana and oat bread replaces all that is bad for you with all that's good.

11. Jowar Apple Crumble

Bringing a healthy spin to the much-loved apple crumble, this recipe uses jowar to create a delightful sweet treat. Few ingredients and less than an hour to create a delightful, healthy snack.

Load it up with nuts for that extra crunch.

70 Tasty, Healthy Lunch Ideas That Will Truly Keep You Full Until Dinner

Further proof that delicious, nutritious, and easy-to-make lunches are possible.

Getting bored of the same lunch salad every day? Instead of plowing through uninspired lunches for yet another week, try mixing up your midday meal routine. And who said a healthy lunch always needs to be a salad? These crazy delicious soup, sandwich, and pasta recipes are proof that diet-friendly lunches are much more than just a bed of greens. Not only are these lunches super easy, they're also super quick &mdash you can throw them together in a few spare minutes in the morning, or set aside a little bit of meal prep time the night before. Either way, you'll start looking forward to getting to eat these healthy and easy lunch ideas.

The heartiest items on our lunch menus are chock-full of lean protein, which can help you feel satisfied all the way up until dinner &mdash think staples like chicken and salmon, rich dairy sources including cottage cheese and yogurt, and nutrient-packed add-ons like seeds (i.e. sunflower seeds!) and legumes. And don't be surprised if you see a lot of ingredients with lots of fiber, like avocado and chickpeas, as they're low in calories and also aid in helping you feel wholly satisfied.

Not only will you fill up on the good stuff (that means no more post-lunch crash!), but these easy-to-prep recipes are seriously affordable, which means you'll have more money to spend when the weekend rolls around. Of course, healthy eating doesn't stop at noon: start your day off with a healthy breakfast recipe and then keep it going with one of these low-calorie dinners.

RELATED: Sign up for our membership club GH+ to get a first look at seasonal, healthy recipes from the magazine.


Toast, Wrap, and Roll Healthy Snack Ideas

If you’re someone who loves healthy snack ideas that are super fresh and flavorful, this section is the one for you. Here, you’ll find veggie-forward snack recipes that are great for enjoying at home or taking on the go.

Avocado Summer Rolls
Juicy summer peaches add a surprising sweet element to these tofu, herb, and veggie-filled rolls. If peaches aren’t in season, mango is delicious here too.

Fresh Spring Rolls
Gooey peanut noodles, avocado, and sautéed veggies make these fresh rolls satisfying and flavorful. Serve them with extra peanut sauce on the side to take them over the top!

Homemade Taquitos
Whenever I make these taquitos, I double the recipe and freeze the extras. That way, I always have a supply of these crispy, zesty little guys around for snacking. If I’m lucky, I also have pico de gallo or cashew sour cream in the fridge to give them an extra pop of flavor.

Avocado Toast
Devour it plain, or try one of these 5 variations for a bold, fun, and flavorful snack!

Nori Wraps
If I’m thinking ahead, I make extra when I cook a pot of rice so that I can assemble these little nori wraps for easy healthy snacks throughout the week. They taste just like sushi, with no rolling required!

Shiitake Maki Sushi
Speaking of sushi, this brown rice roll is one of the best healthy snacks. A medley of veggies gives it a fun mix of textures, and roasted shiitakes pack it with umami flavor. Serve it with tamari on the side, or kick things up a notch with my tangy carrot-ginger dipping sauce.