I have always been a snack lover. Many years ago, when I was in my twenties, I was diagnosed with hypoglycemia. After much research and experimentation, I realized that mini meals were the key to keeping my blood sugar even. On the road to getting there I tried many kinds of snack foods, with varying results. Without the knowledge that I have now, I frequently ate the wrong kinds of food, even though I thought I was eating “healthy.”  Of course, the wrong kinds of snacks resulted in uneven blood sugar, which for me also resulted in fatigue or headaches and also in unwanted weight gain. 

The truth is that snacking can be healthy, IF you are snacking wisely and with the idea that your snack is a mini meal! So, it should be loaded with nutrients, some healthy fat to sustain you, and should be a smaller quantity than your regular meals. After years of searching for readily available, truly healthy snacks that are also reasonably priced, I came to the same conclusion that I reached about the rest of our food. It’s best when you prepare it yourself. 

As you might expect, most of the snacks that are available in stores or vending machines are high in calories and low on nutrients. The good news is, there are so many healthy snacks that you can make at home. I am a firm believer in prepping ahead, whether for meals or snacks. Sunday is my usual prep day and that includes making enough snacks for the week.  

Here are a few of my favorites (with recipes for you)!

I generally like to prepare a spread or dip like beet hummus or cannellini dip, which I enjoy with crudités like celery, carrots and peppers. I wash, cut and prepare these all ahead as well. 

Roasted Beet Hummus_Nourished Body and Mind_ Joanne Schneider      Canellini Dip_Nourished Body and Mind_Joanne Schneider  

When the salty, cheesy cravings are strongest, I enjoy my kale chips or roasted chickpeas, both easy make ahead recipes that last 4-5 days and travel well!

Roasted Beet Hummus_Nourished Body and Mind_ Joanne Schneider      Roasted Chickpeas_Nourished Body and Mind_Joanne Schneider  

Nothing beats a trail mix for simple and easy protein and healthy fat. I always carry a small bag of this with me to keep my blood sugar even.

Trail Mix_Joanne Schneider_Nourished Body and Mind

Fresh fruit and veggies are always my favorites when available. Because pesticides can be extremely damaging, I recommend choosing organic produce whenever possible and remember to always wash your produce before consuming it… even if it is organic! Here is a link to the EWG dirty dozen list, which will help you make good and informed decisions about which produce you can safely enjoy, organic or conventional. 

Another super easy make ahead snack is chia pudding. The health benefits of chia seeds are off the charts. High in omega-3 fatty acids, fiber, antioxidants and minerals, these little gems are also highly bio-absorbable, meaning easy to digest. This weekend I added a new twist to my chia pudding by making them into chia pops! This pudding is extremely satisfying and is a great post workout snack, too! Click here for the new recipe! 

Chia Pudding Ice Pops by Joanne Schneider of Nourished Body and Mind

Of course, you can tweak any of my recipes using other nuts, seeds or produce that you enjoy. Be creative and try something different, or go with my recipes as they are here! Either way I would love to hear from you. Which are your favorites? Are there other healthy snacks that you love and prep ahead? 

Crunching with love,

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