Trying to find healthy snacks is quite the challenge because what’s on the shelves at your local supermarket is often highly processed, and is filled with heaps of unnecessary salt and sugar. So what I thought I’d do in today’s post is share a few of my favourite snacks that can be easily found at the supermarket, and are healthy and affordable.
Everywhere you go, people will always tell you that nuts are a healthy snack, and it really is true!! Fats are essential for our diets, and nuts are a fantastic source of fats! They are also so convenient because you can easily take them on the go (put them in a small container or wrap them in glad wrap). In addition, rather than buying pre-packaged trail mixes, you can make your own with nuts and dried fruit. Now, you may ask why I would say such a thing considering how easy it is to just buy a trail mix packet from the supermarket. However, these are often full of added sugar and preservatives, and so if you want a healthier trail mix, make your own! Also, when you’re buying nuts at the supermarket, the best option to go for are those that are unsalted and not roasted. Those that are roasted will often be less nutritious because the heat will have taken some of the nutrients out of it, and those that are salted will just add unnecessary sodium to your diet. If you do find that unsalted nuts are a bit bland, it is better for you to add salt yourself because packaged salted nuts usually have an excessive amount of salt.
Nuts are also useful in baking. They add a nice crunch to muffins, cakes, loaves, etc. If you have someone who is gluten free in your family, you can grind nuts in a food processor, thus allowing you to use the nuts as flour. Furthermore, nuts can easily be sprinkled on your breakfast, or you can grind them up to make nut butters!
Popcorn is another healthy choice for a snack because it is a great source of antioxidants. When you’re at the supermarket, there is an enormous variety of popcorn you can choose from. However, the first thing you should look out for is whether or not it is buttered. Butter popcorn will add unnecessary unhealthy fat to your diet, and this is something you should avoid to maintain a healthy lifestyle. Although the microwave popcorn is extremely convenient, a healthier option would be buying whole kernels which you can then pop yourself. You can then season it however you wish (e.g. with cinnamon), but do keep the amount of salt or oil you add to a minimum!
However, if you’re feeling a bit lazy and you don’t want to pop your own popcorn, i.e. you just want to buy packaged popcorn, you should pick any popcorn that is not salted, buttered, or flavoured with knowingly unhealthy toppings, e.g. caramel. If you buy plain popcorn, you can just season it however you wish, which is much healthier than buying already flavoured popcorn. Furthermore, if you’re looking for a particular brand of popcorn to buy, I would recommend The Wholesome Food Company. They have a variety of healthy popcorn flavours, which are delicious!
There’s a reason they recommend you 5+ a day in your diet. I know that everyone has their own taste buds and yes, it’d be boring if everyone liked the same kinds of foods. However, I’ve always been a little confused when people tell me they don’t like fruit. They’re so sweet, tasty and nutritious! In saying this, if you are someone who may not be the biggest fan of fruit, there are many ways in which you can make them “taste better.”
- Add a dollop of peanut butter on a slice of apple or banana (banana and peanut butter is a fantastic combination).
- Use berries and bananas in smoothies.
- Sprinkle cinnamon on apple or pear slices.
4) Rice Cakes
Rice cakes are excellent snacks, and you can enjoy them however you please by putting whatever toppings you’d like on them. My favourite toppings are banana and peanut butter, or avocado and banana (despite sounding like a strange combination, it is so good!). However, do beware that it is not the rice cakes that are extremely healthy, but rather the toppings you put on them.
5) Hummus and Veggie Sticks
Another way to satisfy your 5+ a day is to cut up vegetables and snack on them. Again, you may find this boring and so dipping your veggie sticks in hummus is a fantastic healthy snack. My favourite veggies to snack on are carrots, cucumber and celery. Often, store bought things are less healthy than if you make it your own. This does apply to hummus, however, store bought hummus is still incredibly healthy and so if you don’t want to make your own, buying hummus at the supermarket is still a smart choice. In saying this, hummus is extremely easy to make and is very nutritious, because chickpeas, a key source of protein, is the main ingredient.
So those are my 5 favourite healthy snacks. Do try them out, and although they sound generic, they are the best ways to snack if you want to maintain a healthy lifestyle.