After watching documentaries like "Fed Up", I learned that processed sugar is at the root of all weight gain, low energy, and even some diseases like diabetes. Scary, right?! If you look at everything in your fridge or pantry right now, probably most of it has a ton of processed sugar, and ingredients you can't even pronounce. I'm sure you can imagine these ingredients do not make for healthy snacks or meals.
Most of our sugar intake comes from snacks we can quickly grab when we're running out the door for class.
Snacks like protein bars and chips have either tons of sugar or are really high in the bad kinds of fats (trans fats), which in turn makes your cholesterol higher. And no one wants that.
Haven't you noticed that every time you eat a snack, it doesn't make you full, and you don't have any more energy than before?
The key to getting filled up is eating smaller portions, more frequently in a day.
According to some health experts, you should be eating small portions six times a day.
We're here to give you some healthy snack ideas, that are made with natural ingredients, and are high in protein so that they keep you full for longer.
And don't worry, none of these snacks require any fancy food processors or any equipment that you don't already have in your dorm room. Read on to find out all the healthy snacks you have at your fingertips!
1. Nuts and Seeds
Source: Rebel Dietician
Nuts and seeds are great snacks when it comes to being quick and easy to grab when you're running late.
Avoid the nuts and seeds that roasted, salted, or pre-packaged at the grocery store.
These packages have a bunch of unecessary, unhealthy added fat and cholesterol content!
The above photo of nuts and seeds are all snacks that are healthy and unprocessed!
If you can't pronounce any of the added ingredients on any packaging, it is not going to be a healthy option!
2. Energy Bites
These little balls of energy are one of my new favorite healthy snacks to make! They require a bit more prep, but you can do that on the weekends, for the week ahead.
These recipes below are no-bake energy bites, and they are stocked full of protein. You will love them so much, you'll have to make another batch mid-week!
Energy bites usually are comprised of oats and some type of nut butter, with some other ingredients to make the bites flavorful!
This snack is great because it doesn't have any processed sugar, only natural sugar (I tend to stick with honey rather than maple syrup).
An important thing to note is these recipes require chia seeds and flaxseed which, if you don't already have in your kitchen, you can easily grab from Trader Joe's or your local grocery store.
Chia seeds are one of the most nutrition-filled foods out there, and flax seeds are very high in fiber and have Omega-3 fatty acids.
These healthy fats are good for your heart.
The great thing about these items is that once you buy them, you have them at your disposal for a long time since there is so much in one bag! Same with oats. :)
Check out my favorite recipes below!
No-Bake Energy Bites 7 Ways
Source: Sweet Peas and Saffron
These bites 7 ways are from the blog Sweet Peas and Saffron.
This blogger gives the instructions for the base recipe, and then tells you 7 different ways to add toppings and fun flavors.
Check out the ingredients for the base below.
- 1 tbsp coconut oil
- 1/3 cup almond butter (or other nut butter)
- 1/4 cup honey or maple syrup
- 1/2 cup old fashioned oats
- 2 tbsp chia seeds
- 1/4 cup ground flax
Check out the full instructions here
No-Bake PB & J Energy Bites
Source: Minimalist Baker
I picked up this recipe from Minimalist Baker, and she's got some great stuff. You should definitely check out her other recipes, too!
Everything is 10 ingredients or less, require one bowl, and are prepared in 30 minutes or less. Definitely an amazing resource for a college student!
- 1/2 cup creamy salted peanut butter (or almond, cashew or sunbutter)
- 1/4 cup maple syrup or finely chopped dates
- 2 tbsp protein powder (optional ingredient)
- 1 1/4 cup rolled oats
- 1 1/2 tbsp flaxseed meal
- 2 tbsp chia seeds
- 1/4 cup dried fruit (strawberries, cherries, blueberries, etc.)
See the full instructions here
3. Apple Slice "Cookies"
Source: One Little Project
Oh my gosh. These are the absolute best!
They are the easiest thing in the world to make, and they actually keep you full.
They are definitely a new favorite of mine.
The great thing about apple slice cookies is you can make them as simple, or as topping-filled as you want!
The recipe I use, from One Little Project, has coconut, little chocolate chips, and walnuts as toppings.
I use almond butter for the base, instead of PB. You can omit the chocolate chips if you want less sugar, and substitute something else.
The possibilities are endless with these little guys. Check out the full recipe here
4. Banana + Anything
Fruit is definitely my favorite snack, because it is amazing just by itself, and also when you add things to it!
I like eating bananas with almond butter (surprise, surprise).
You can also make toast with banana and some kind of nut butter (make sure it says "natural" on the jar) on whole wheat bread!
This also works for a yummy, quick breakfast.
5. Watermelon Slices
Pretty self-explanatory, but it's super easy to cut up a big, juicy watermelon at the beginning of the week, put it in tupperware and then take it in your backpack if you need a quick snack.
Plus, it is a sweet option when you are craving some sugar. Having a slice will get rid of your cookie craving in no time!
6. Sweet Potato
Sweet potatoes are a super easy snack you can make in the microwave.
Just poke some holes in them with a fork on all sides, nuke 'em for 3 minutes (less or more depending on the size), and cut them down the middle.
Then, sprinkle some salt on the middle for some flavor.
You can also bake them in the oven for a fry version. Slice them into a fry shape, and bake them with some coconut oil!
Dip them in guacamole if you're feeling crazy.
7. Healthy Toast Options
I love having toast for breakfast, and even a late-night snack.
A really good option is have almond butter toast, with strawberries on top.
Slice the strawberries in half, and then you can use whole wheat toast or, my personal favorite, chia seed bread from Trader Joe's.
Another favorite is hummus avocado toast.
You can also add tomatoes as an optional topping, if you're into that sort of thing.
Both of these toast options are more exciting than plain old toast, and you add lots of nutrients by putting these toppings on.
You'll stay full for longer, and have lots of energy!
8. Sweet and Savory Wrap
You can easily make this one with a sprouted whole grain tortilla, peanut butter, dark chocolate chips (make sure they're over 72% cacao - the healthiest kind of choco chips), granola, and unsweetened coconut flakes.
This recipe is from the Rebel Dietician and it's seriously yummy for a snack or breakfast.
9. Open-Faced Rice Cake "Sandwich"
The last of our healthy snacks is..rice cakes!
We love putting natural peanut butter and natural jelly on a rice cake - a healthy alternative to a PB & J sandwich.
You would think it tastes very plain and dry, but I've really grown to like rice cakes. There are even different flavors!
We really hope you gained some new ideas on how to stay healthy during college and the school day!
We love these healthy snacks, and hope you try at least one of them.
You won't be disappointed!