Healthy Snacks Based on Your Taste

For some people, finding healthy snacks can be really hard. So if this is something you struggle with, I think this list will help point you in the right direction. I’m hoping you’ll walk away with some good healthy snack suggestions and an understanding of why each one makes the cut. I want this to be helpful the next time you’re picking out or prepping your own snacks, so feel free to come back to me with all your healthy snack questions! Because knowledge and understanding is EVERYTHING.

We’re also going to do this based on taste – cause when we don’t know exactly what we’re looking for, we still know what we like and what we don’t like. So with that, find the taste(s) that fit(s) you below and check out the corresponding snack suggestions!

SWEET SNACKS

  1. Fruit – organic or local seasonal fruit is best. try to avoid fruit in the winter months or whenever it is out of season where you live. berries are a great low-sugar and convenient option! 
  2. 72% (or higher) dark chocolate (Eating Evolved) – when it comes to anything you eat, you want to limit sugar as best you can. for chocolate, it’s best to go for 70% or higher. start there and work your way up to 80%, 85%, 88%… don’t feel pressure to make it up to 100%, but if you do then that’s great! I prefer chocolate with the least amount of ingredients, and I like to opt for coconut sugar when it’s available. ingredients should look something like this: cacao, cacao butter, coconut sugar, and maybe vanilla. at home, I sometimes like to dip my chocolate in nut butter or coconut butter!
  3. Coconut Butter Cups (Eating Evolved) – these are similar to a peanut butter cup, but they’re made with coconut butter (yay, allergy friendly!). the ingredients list is also amazing. seriously, as clean as they come. in addition to the great and minimal ingredients, there’s only 4g of sugar per cup and plenty of healthy fats. so ditch the peanut butter cups and try these instead!
  4. Fruit and nuts bars* (LARA BAR, RXBAR) – look for minimal ingredients: fruit, nuts, spices, natural flavors, cacao, sea salt. you get the idea. no added sugar! 
  5. Elemental Superfood Seed Bars – these may be my favorite store-bought bars out there. I love the ingredients, that there’s only around 7g of sugar for the entire bar, along with 6g of protein and 14g of healthy fats. This is how a bar should be made. I do consider these a sweeter snack for myself, and they seem to have a very wide appeal with their taste – meaning, they don’t “taste healthy.” I’m sure you’ve heard people say that before with a grossed out look on their face, right? anyway, they’re just good. and they are a healthy option! so it’s a win-win. the currant, cacao, and hemp seed one is my FAVORITE. Chris and I both think it tastes like a cookie. oh! and these are very filling for a bar, so that’s also a huge plus!

*fruit and nut bars are super convenient and can also be super delicious… cause they’re sweet. there’s about 12-18g of sugar in each one of these bars, and that’s a lot in one sitting. especially if it’s the only thing you’re eating. I recommend eating half of these at a time. spread some nut butter or coconut butter on the half or enjoy alongside a squeeze pack, and I promise you’ll be satisfied. when it’s hot, half is also delicious dipped in yogurt. a plain half is also great pre and post workout – half now and half later!

SALTY SNACKS

  1. Potato Chips (Jackson’s Honest, Boulder Canyon) – look for three ingredients with potato chips: potatoes, coconut or avocado oil, sea salt. that’s all you need.
  2. Tortilla chips (Siete, Jackson’s Honest) – again, look for super simple and minimal ingredients. nothing funky! ones that use avocado and coconut oil are best. I don’t know about you, but when I’m in a crunchy mood, I like tortilla chips plain or simply with salsa. pair with some guac for a healthy dose of fat and creaminess or refried beans (Better Bean) for a snack that’s basically a meal.
  3. Popcorn (Lesser Evil Buddha Bowl Popcorn) – this is the only store bought popcorn I will buy. any others just aren’t worth it. these people have seriously nailed it. their popcorns are made with coconut oil, avocado oil, and ghee! can you believe it? a total of 3-4 simple ingredients, and they taste incredibly delicious. pro tip: drizzle on some melted chocolate when you want your popcorn to be extra decadent. 
  4. Salted Nuts – whatever combination you’re heart desires. but be cautious of packaged mixes and always read the ingredients. also try to avoid added oils. ingredients should be the nut and sea salt. I like the plain organic ones from the store (Stop & Shop or local health food store) and the Back to Nature brand. I also throw in cacao nibs from time to time!
  5. Avocado with sea salt and nutritional yeast – avocados are great because they are a healthy source of fat and can help keep you satiated. they’re delicious with some salt and/or nutritional yeast for a little extra flavor.

SWEET AND SALTY SNACKS

  1. Caramel Sea Salt Coconut Butter Cups (Eating Evolved) – these are similar to a peanut butter cup, but they’re made with coconut butter (yay, allergy friendly!). the ingredients list is also amazing. seriously, as clean as they come. in addition to the great and minimal ingredients, there’s only 4g of sugar per cup and plenty of healthy fats. so ditch the peanut butter cups and try these instead! this particular flavor is incredibly indulgent and has a roasty-toasty thing going on. I’ve seen people sprinkle some extra sea salt on top too, if you’re into that.
  2. Sweet + Salty Roasted Coconut Butter (Eating Evolved) – 3 simple organic ingredients and SO much flavor. dip or drizzle this stuff on anything and thank me later. my favorite part? there’s only 6g of sugar per 2 tbsp!
  3. Dark chocolate and salted nuts – break up a dark chocolate bar (don’t use the whole thing at once) or get some dark chocolate chips (Enjoy Life 69% or Pascha 85% and 100%). mix 1/4 of nuts and 1-2 tbs of chocolate chips. ingredients should look something like this: cacao, sugar, cacao butter, and maybe some vanilla. it’s all about the ingredients and amount of sugar. minimal ingredients and minimal sugar. 
  4. Popcorn and dark chocolate (Lesser Evil Buddha Bowl Popcorn) – this is the only store bought popcorn I will buy. any others just aren’t worth it. these people have seriously nailed it. their popcorns are made with coconut oil, avocado oil, and ghee! can you believe it? a total of 3-4 simple ingredients, and they taste incredibly delicious. drizzle on some melted dark chocolate (recommendations above) at home or pack some to-go and pair with a few dark chocolate pieces!

PROTEIN RICH SNACKS

  1. Hard-boiled eggs – I’ve heard before that egg’s are nature’s multi-vitamin. they are jam packed with nutrients, protein, and healthy fats. if you can tolerate them, I suggest going for local or organic and pasture-raised eggs. remember that these things come from another living thing. sick chickens = unhealthy eggs. healthy, happy chickens = healthy eggs. it’s as simple as that.
  2. Meat bars (EPIC bars, Bricks bars) – these are the two brands I like. they’re both good, but I tend to go for EPIC bars. the ingredients are great, there’s nothing weird in them, and they’re made with uncured, grass-fed beef and other high-quality meats. it may help to familiarize yourself with these ingredients and see for yourself how they compare to mainstream jerky products.
  3. Yogurt (Siggi’s or any other low-sugar, grass-fed yogurt) – read the ingredients and go for unsweetened if you can. ingredients should look like this: milk, cream, live active cultures. yep, that’s what yogurt should look like. if there is sugar or sweetener in the yogurt, go for real cane sugar and only a little bit of it. Compare sweetened ones to unsweetened ones to see how much sugar is being added. dairy does have naturally occurring sugars, so even unsweetened yogurts will contain a few grams. and avoid agave – it’s basically straight fructose and will spike your blood sugar. I buy unsweetened yogurt and add a few drops of organic liquid stevia. once in a while, I will indulge in one with a tiny bit of cane sugar. adding a little coconut or nut butter is also really delicious!

WHOLE-FOOD SNACKS

  1. Fruit – organic or local seasonal fruit is best. try to avoid fruit in the winter months or whenever it is out of season where you live. low-sugar fruits, like berries, are a great and convenient option.
  2. Veggies and hummus* – the veggies are the main focus here but it’s important to look for hummus with super simple ingredients and no soybean or canola oil. olive oil or a sunflower and olive oil blend is preferred. read those ingredients! you can also make your own right at home! here are some veggie suggestions for dipping and enjoying: carrots, cucumber, celery, radishes, sugar snap peas, bell peppers, and grape tomatoes. 
  3. Hard-boiled eggs – I’ve heard before that egg’s are nature’s multi-vitamin. they are jam packed with nutrients, protein, and healthy fats. if you can tolerate them, I suggest going for local or organic and pasture-raised eggs. remember that these things come from another living thing. sick chickens = unhealthy eggs. healthy, happy chickens = healthy eggs. it’s as simple as that.
  4. Homemade Trail Mix – mix whatever you’re heart desires! be very cautious of packaged mixes – more often than not, they have added oils and sugars. I suggest making your own mix right at home. mixed nuts and seeds, dried fruit, and dark chocolate pieces is a go-to for me. always read the ingredients of the things you buy. nuts and seeds should have 1-2 ingredients: the nut or seed itself and sea salt. dried fruit should have one single ingredient: the fruit itself.
  5. Avocado with sea salt and nutritional yeast – you can’t get much simpler than this. avocados are great because they are a healthy source of fat and can help keep you satiated. they’re delicious plain or with some salt and/or nutritional yeast for a little extra flavor.
  6. Pickles – another super simple option but reading the label is still necessary! it may seem odd to read the nutrition label and ingredients of pickles, but you should always read the label of anything that comes with one and pickles are no exception. you will sometimes find added sugar and preservatives that aren’t necessary. look for refrigerated pickles with the most simple ingredients around: cucumber, water, vinegar, salt, spices and herbs. 

*hummus is super easy to make at home and only requires a few simple ingredients. you can find several easy recipes online. look for ingredients like chickpeas, olive oil, tahini, garlic, and other spices. that’s all you should need! in the picture above, I added some beet powder to store-bought hummus, and it was so good!

CRUNCHY SNACKS

  1. Crackers (Mary’s Gone Crackers) – these super seed crackers are my favorite crackers ever. they are SO crunchy, and I love the ingredients. Simple Mills also has really nice almond flour crackers in a variety of flavors that are a little more like a traditional cracker in look and texture.
  2. Mixed nuts – whatever you’re heart desires. but be cautious of packaged mixes. always read the ingredients and avoid added oils. ingredients should be the nut and sea salt or another spice. I like the plain organic ones from the store and Back to Nature brand. these below are curry cashews!
  3. Raw vegetables – carrots, celery, radishes, and cucumbers all have a cool, refreshing crunch. they’re each ideal when they are in season, but I’ll never say no to you eating a vegetable. if you don’t enjoy your raw veggies plain (understandable), dip them in some dressing*, hummus, or guacamole!
  4. Tortilla chips (Siete, Jackson’s Honest) – again, look for super simple and minimal ingredients. nothing funky! ones that use avocado and coconut oil are best. I don’t know about you, but when I’m in a crunchy mood, I like tortilla chips plain or just with salsa. pair with some guac for a healthy dose of fat and creaminess or refried beans (Better Bean) for a snack that’s basically a meal.

*my favorite store-bought dressings are from Primal Kitchen. Tessemae’s and Hilary’s also have good ones. Read the labels and pick the one that looks best to you! and yes, ranch dressing is available 🙂

BAKED SNACKS

  1. Any healthy, homemade baked good recipe will do! Just remember that ingredients matter. Two of my favorite people for healthy recipes like these are Rachel Mansfield and Rachael DeVaux. their recipes are not only healthy and easy to make, but they’re insanely delicious! trust me.
  2. Simple Mills muffin mixes – in a pinch? Simple Mills has got you covered. whip up some banana or pumpkin muffins and call it a day.
  3. Homemade gluten free muffins – there are plenty of gluten-free muffin recipes out there. decide on what flour you want to use, look for a recipe you like, and go for it! I have an almond flour muffin recipe here, and Detoxinista has a fantastic recipe for Paleo Pumpkin Spice Muffins with coconut flour! I’ve made these and they are awesome. highly recommended! they’re also nut-free, if that serves you and your family. 

FUNCTIONAL-FOOD SNACKS

  1. Keto Cups (Eating Evolved) – these have NO sugar, plenty of healthy fats, and are made with MCT oil. enjoy one plain, with nut butter, or more coconut butter. finally a decadent and delicious dark chocolate cup with NO added sugar! yayyy! it’s a dream come true.
  2. Primal Kitchen grass-fed collagen bars – the chewiness of these bars is not for everyone. I highly recommend going with the cashew or macadamia nut ones. those are my favorites and have the best texture! the page linked has a lot of information, but these are great nut and seed bars made with grass-fed collagen!
  3. Rachael’s Sweet + Salty Coconut Cashew Bars – Rachael re-created a popular product at home with this recipe, and to be honest, thank goodness she did. if I can make a packaged product at home and know exactly what’s in it, I’m 100% down for it. plus, this is a super simple recipe. I am in love with the ingredients and ease of it. If you follow Rachael’s recipe exactly, this snack has both collagen peptides and MCT oil in it!
  4. Dairy-free Fat Bombs – Chris and I are downright obsessed with these things. I consider them functional because they’re loaded with healthy fats and you can easily add in collagen peptides or whatever else you’re into. it’s such a great base. want to add in some adaptogens, reishi mushroom powder, or something else like that? go for it! add it in little by little, test the taste, adjust, and make it work for you. 

There you have it! My favorite healthy snacks 🙂 I hope this list gives you a better understanding of what makes a healthy snack a healthy choice. I am happy to answer any questions you have, so please don’t ever hesitate to reach out! You can also find me on Instagram @balancebykim, where I share more of my snacks and meals regularly. ‘Til next time!!

xo

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