Mealtimes on a whole food diet are actually pretty easy. I have over 300 recipes on this blog that make perfectly balanced breakfasts, lunches, and dinners… but what about healthy snacks? In my experience, snacking is the biggest challenge when transitioning to unprocessed food. The cravings for a sugary or processed snack come on strong. There are times when you want to run straight towards the nearest convenience store to devour every bag of junk food in sight.
To combat these cravings, I created this list of 21 healthy snack recipes that you can whip up in minutes. If you’re looking for some healthy snack ideas this year, here are my 7 Satisfying Sweets, 7 Magnificent Munchies, and 7 Savory Sensations:
7 Satisfying Sweets
When eating a whole food diet, sweet cravings can hit hard – especially as you’re beginning to make this transition. To help you fight off this sweet tooth with healthier snack alternatives, here are 7 satisfying sweets that make the perfect end to a healthy meal. You’ll notice that bananas are over-represented in this section, but can you blame me? They’re naturally sweet, full of nutrients, and super versatile. What would a whole-foodie do without bananas…
1. Dates with Nut Butter
Perhaps my favorite healthy snack of all, this is an instant antidote for every sweet tooth. Simply slice open a few dates, remove the pits (if necessary), and stuff with a teaspoon of almond, peanut, or cashew butter.
2. Sliced Apple Drizzled with Tahini
What is tahini? You can think of it like peanut butter made with sesame seeds instead of peanuts. It has a very distinct taste and creamy flavor that makes a great compliment to apples. Slice an apple into wedges and drizzle tahini over top.
3. One Ingredient Ice Cream
Ah, the classic. This is a *truly* one ingredient dessert. To make, freeze a few bananas overnight, cut into small chunks, then pop them in a food processor until you have a creamy frozen dessert. See my original recipe for a few flavor suggestions.
4. Crispy Cocoa Kale Chips
The second kale chip recipe goes in the sweet direction. I’ve long believed that chocolate and kale go amazingly well together and this is the perfect example. These crispy chips are the perfect base for this healthy unprocessed chocolate and coconut sauce that firms up on the outside. MGet the recipe »
5. Banana Oat Cookies
These cookies are sugar-less, flour-less, and so delicious you’d never know they’re healthy. Plus, they’re virtually foolproof – this is one baked good you cannot mess up no matter how hard you try. They’re my favorite afternoon snack that can be prepped, baked, and devoured in less than 20 minutes. Get the full recipe »
6. Instant Chia Pudding
You might remember the chia pudding (pictured) from a previous recipe on this blog. That one has been a huge hit with readers, but it takes an hour or two to set correctly. Modify that recipe by combining almond milk, chia seeds, vanilla, a banana, shredded coconut, rolled oats, and cinnamon in a blender. Start with a very small amount of almond milk at first and slowly add more to get the perfect pudding consistency. Serve immediately. See the original chia pudding recipe »
7. Sexy Strawberry Ice Cream
You’ll be amazed at how incredible this strawberry “ice cream” tastes. It has only 5 healthy ingredients blended together (frozen strawberries, dates, almond milk, cocoa powder, vanilla), takes 5 minutes to make, and is packed with antioxidants and nutrients. The more you eat, the healthier you become. That’s my kind of dessert. Plus, no bananas 🙂 Get the full recipe »
7 Magnificent Munchies
Watching your favorite sports team (go Chelsea!) or a movie on a lazy sunday afternoon just isn’t complete without some munchies… but who says they have to be unhealthy? These seven flavor-packed snacks are made with nothing but whole foods…
8. Roasted Chickpeas
This is a classic healthy munchie that’s so easy to make. Preheat the oven to 400º and thoroughly rinse/dry a can of chickpeas. In a bowl, toss with cumin, chili powder, sea salt, and (optionally) a tablespoon of maple syrup. Arrange on a baking sheet and bake until the chickpeas are crisp and crunchy.
9. Air-Popped Popcorn
Popcorn is a perfectly healthy and delicious snack… as long as it isn’t loaded with butter, salt, and other chemicals that come in the store-bought bags. To make your own, simply buy organic popcorn kernels and pop them with air using either a specially-made popcorn popper or by adding the kernels to a brown paper bag with some sea salt, folding over the top, and microwaving until popped. If you’d like to indulge, just one teaspoon of coconut oil goes a long ways here.
10. Steamed Edamame
These fresh soybeans are so much fun to eat and packed with a complete source of protein. To cook, boil a pot of water under a steamer basket and allow the beans to steam for about 10 minutes, until thoroughly heated. You can also boil the edamame if you don’t have a steamer basket. Once cooked, serve in a bowl with a pinch of sea salt. To eat: place the pod in your mouth, bite down, and squeeze the beans out, discarding the pod.
11. Sweet & Spicy Cashews
I love these things. They’re oven-roasted cashews (much like the chickpeas above) with beautiful Asian/Indian spices and a hint of sweetness from maple syrup. Simply coat raw cashews with spices, soy sauce/tamari, and maple syrup. Bake at 300º until crispy. See my original recipe »
12. Jicama Chips
Jicama is one of my favorite snacking vegetables. These root vegetables look like a cross between a potato and a radish, with a crisp texture and a mild refreshing flavor. My favorite use for them is raw chips. Slice a whole Jicama into thin slices and enjoy by themselves, with fresh guacamole, or any healthy spread.
GORP (Good Ol’ Raisins & Peanuts) is the backpacker’s staple. It’s the perfect trail mix for hiking as it packs a concentrated boost of energy in a portable format that doesn’t spoil. While the name suggests raisins and peanuts, you can add any combination of nuts, seeds, and dried fruit you like. I make this different every time, but one of my favorites is almonds, raisins, dried cranberries, and sunflower seeds.
14. Dangerously Cheesy Kale Chips
The second of our pair of kale chip recipes goes in the savory direction, with tons of cashew + nutritional yeast cheese slathered onto the crispy chips. The problem with these is trying to not eat the whole batch at once. Get the recipe »
7 Savory Sensations
What happens when jicama chips just aren’t doing it for you? Here are seven additional healthy snack ideas that have more depth and could potentially become entire meals on their own…
15. Craving-Busing Steamed Greens
Greens are packed with micronutrients, and one of the rules of a whole food diet is that, “if you under-eat on micronutrients (i.e. antioxidants, vitamins), you over-eat on macronutrients (cookies).” A bowl full of steamed greens can bust your cravings for something processed in an almost magical way. Simply boil a few inches of water and add 2 handfuls of kale, spinach, or chard to a steaming basket. Cover, and allow to steam for 10 minutes. Sprinkle with balsamic or fruit vinegar and sesame seeds. See my recipe at: Sesame Steamed Greens »
16. Avocado Toast
Nothing need be said about avo toast. It’s basically the world’s most perfect snack. Simply take a piece of very unprocessed whole grain bread (i.e. Ezekiel brand) and mash about 1/3 of an avocado over the top. Sprinkle a pinch of sea salt and you’re happy. If you want to get really fancy, top with jalapeño slices and tomato as pictured.
17. An Artichoke
Seriously. It may sound totally bizarre, but I’m telling you – artichokes are an amazing snack. They’re healthy, delicious, and quite fun to eat. I have an entire cooking guide on how to cook artichokes, plus an amazing vegan aioli sauce recipe right over here »
18. Veggies with an Asian Peanut Sauce
Veggies are fine on their own… but when you dip them in a blend of peanut butter, tamari, and sesame oil they get kicked up to a whole new level. To make the dipping sauce, simply stir one tablespoon of peanut butter with one teaspoon of tamari, and 1-2 drops of sesame oil. It’s BFFs with carrots, celery, broccoli, and more.
19. Tofu Nuggets
Definitely one of my favorite snacks, you can whip up some delicious breaded tofu bites in minutes to satisfy your cravings for something savory. Here’s a bonus 3-for-1 recipe for making tofu in an air fryer or oven – Get the tofu recipes »
20. 2-Minute Taquitos
These taquitos satisfy any afternoon snack craving and seriously take two minutes to make. The filling is a blend of leftover brown rice with fresh salsa and lime juice. Heat this in the microwave, then wrap it all up in a corn tortilla and you’re done. See the full recipe with my homemade salsa here: Two-Minute Taquitos with Homemade Roasted Salsa »
21. Flax Crackers with Vegan Parmesan and Italian Herbs
These crackers are incredible! Made primarily from flaxseed (packed with healthy fats that will keep you full all afternoon) and an incredible seasoning combo that resembles parmesan cheese. You’ve got to try them – get the recipe here »