It’s easy to sabotage our energy with unhealthy snacks.
When we need a quick pick-me-up, we have a lot of unhealthy options to choose from, like chips, cookies, sweets, and sodas, especially when we are at work or school and that craving hits.
The snacks you choose affect your energy more than you think.
Sugary snacks sap your energy by spiking your blood sugar and causing energy crashes.
Greasy and fried snacks can make you feel sluggish and bloated.
So, how do you choose the right snacks?
The key to snacking smart is balance.
Foods that contain adequate portions of protein, healthy carbohydrates, and balanced healthy fat, will support your energy levels.
Processed snacks, like cookies, donuts, and fries lack this balance, so they disrupt your energy.
These types of snacks are full of fast releasing sugars, unhealthy fats, and little or no protein.
If you want to beat fatigue, it’s time to overhaul your snacks selection.
Here are 10 healthy snacks made with whole foods that will boost your energy levels and improve your mood:
1. Gluten-free granola with coconut yogurt
Granola and coconut yogurt make a wholesome snack with enough carbs, fats, and protein.
Gluten-free granola is packed with nuts and grain-free cereals, which provides you with complex carbs and polyunsaturated and monounsaturated fatty acids.
When you pair it with plain coconut yogurt, you add a healthy dose of saturated fat.
Coconut is rich in medium-chain triglycerides (MTCs). These fats are absorbed quickly by your body and turned into fuel faster than long-chain fatty acids, which improves your energy and brain performance.
Unlike long-chain fatty acids, MCTs don’t stay stored as fat. Most of it is used to produce energy molecules called ketone bodies.
Ketone bodies are one of the few molecules besides glucose that your brain, organs and muscles can use for energy.
Make sure you choose granola and yogurt with no sugar added. Or better yet, make your own: Grain Free Granola by Minimalist Baker.
2. Carrot sticks with hummus
Carrots and hummus make a crunchy, savory and filling snack.
Carrots are high in fiber, vitamin A, biotin, and vitamin K. Both biotin and fiber help to balance your blood sugar, which supports your energy levels.
Hummus is high in monounsaturated and polyunsaturated fatty acids (from the olive oil and tahini), as well as complex carbohydrates and protein (from the chickpeas).
To make the snack, simply peel the carrots, cut them into sticks, and dip each stick in hummus.
Keep your portion of hummus from ¼ to ½ cup.
3. Low-glycemic berries with nuts and seeds
This snack is perfect if you have a sweet tooth.
Low glycemic berries will give you energy without unbalancing your blood sugar levels.
Nuts and seeds add healthy fats and protein that help to keep you satiated.
Low-glycemic berries include strawberries, raspberries, blueberries and blackberries.
Mix the fruits with almonds, cashews, walnuts, sunflower seeds, chia seeds, flaxseeds, or sesame seeds and you’re done.
4. Kale chips
Kale chips are a delicious way to enjoy this nutritious leafy green.
Kale is low in calories, while high in vitamin K, vitamin C, vitamin A, manganese, and copper.
Vitamin C is crucial not only for your skin and bone health, but also for your brain health. It helps to produce neurotransmitters in your brain that regulate your mood, well-being, and many processes in different systems of your body.
Manganese is important for sustained energy because it’s involved in a process called gluconeogenesis, which is the production of glucose (your body’s preferred source of fuel).
Here’s how to make kale chips:
- Preheat your oven at 350F and line a baking sheet with parchment paper.
- Tear the kale leaves into bite-size pieces.
- With clean hands, massage the kale with olive oil, sea salt, pepper, and other condiments you want to add.
- Bake for 10-15 minutes until crispy.
- Let the chips cool for 5-10 minutes. Enjoy!
5. Roasted cauliflower “popcorn”
Cauliflower is a healthy cruciferous veggie high in vitamin C, vitamin K, folate, pantothenic acid, vitamin B6 and choline.
Folate is necessary for the creation of red blood cells, which carry oxygen throughout your body.
Vitamin B6 helps in the metabolism of carbohydrates – which is vital for your energy levels.
You can easily turn your cauliflower into a “popcorn” snack, like this:
Preheat your oven at 425F and line a baking sheet with parchment paper.
Cut your cauliflower into bite size pieces, excluding the core and thick stems.
In a bowl, toss the cauliflower pieces with olive oil and sea salt.
Place the cauliflower bites in one layer over the parchment paper
Roast for 1 hour, tossing 2-4 times, until caramelized.
Let the “popcorn” cool for 10-20 minutes. Enjoy!
6. Guacamole and chips
Avocado is a healthy fat rich in fiber, folate, vitamin K, copper, vitamin B6, and vitamin E.
Both copper and vitamin B6 are involved in the production of energy from carbohydrates – so they help to sustain your daily energy.
The high fiber in avocado can also help to regulate your blood sugar levels.
Combine avocado with baked chips for healthy dose of carbs, or use some crunchy veggies instead like celery, peppers, cucumbers, jicama, or kohlrabi.
Here’s how you do it:
- In a small bowl, mash 1 whole ripe avocado with a fork.
- Add sea salt to taste.
- Add a splash of lemon juice to taste.
- Add chopped onions, cilantro, and tomato.
- Mix well.
- Preheat the oven at 400F and line a baking sheet with parchment paper.
- Stack 3-4 corn tortillas together and cut into 4 pieces to create chips. This creates 4 chips per tortilla.
- Place all the tortilla pieces in one layer over the baking sheet.
- Sprinkle the chips with sea salt and other condiments to taste.
- You can use cumin, paprika, chili powder, onion powder, and garlic powder.
- Bake for 8-12 minutes until golden brown.
- Serve with your guacamole and enjoy!
7. Chocolate chia pudding
Chia seeds are a great source of omega 3s and a good source of plant-based protein.
They are also high in manganese, phosphorous, iron, and magnesium.
Phosphorus is vital for the production of ATP. ATP is an energy-carrying molecule produced when your body metabolizes the food you eat. It can be used for energy by all the cells in your body.
You can make chocolate chia pudding in less than 5 minutes:
- 1/3 cup of chia seeds.
- 1 cup of almond or coconut milk.
- 3 tbsps cacao powder.
- 3 tbsps of xylitol or ¼ tsp powdered stevia.
- 1 tsp vanilla extract.
- A pinch of cinnamon.
- In a bowl, mix the chia seeds and plant milk.
- Mix in the cacao powder.
- Stir in your sweetener, vanilla extract, and cinnamon.
- Move the mixture to an airtight container and let it sit overnight in the fridge.
- Your pudding will be ready to serve the next morning.
8. Almond butter with celery
Almond butter and celery make a filling and crunchy combo.
Celery is a healthy carb with a low glycemic index. It’s high in folate, potassium, and fiber.
Almond butter provides healthy fats, protein, and vitamin E.
To enjoy, simple cut 1-2 celery stalks into big pieces and spread almond butter on each piece.
If you’re allergic to almonds, you can try sunflower seed butter.
9. 3-ingredient almond butter cookies
Almond butter is high in monounsaturated fat and protein. It’s rich in biotin, vitamin E, manganese, copper, and vitamin B2.
Like I mentioned before, biotin helps to regulate your blood sugar and copper is involved in energy production.
Because you only need 3 ingredients to make almond butter cookies, these are very filling and nutrient-dense.
Here’s how you make them:
- 1 cup of almond butter.
- 1 egg.
- ½ cup of xylitol or ½ tsp powdered stevia.
- 1 tsp of baking soda.
- 1 tsp of vanilla extract.
- Preheat your oven to 350F and line a baking sheet with parchment paper.
- In a medium bowl, whisk the egg.
- Add the almond butter, sweetener, vanilla and baking soda. Mix with a whisker until fully incorporated.
- Scoop a little bit of the mixture with your fingers and shape it into a ball. Place each ball in the baking sheet.
- Bake for 8-12 minutes, until golden brown.
- Remove from the oven and let them sit for 10 minutes in the baking sheet. Then transfer to a rack to cool completely. Enjoy!
10. Healthy chocolate fudge
This decadent chocolate fudge is made with healthy ingredients: coconut oil, almond butter, cacao powder, stevia or xylitol, and nuts.
Coconut oil is rich in medium-chain fatty acids that fuel your body quickly while keeping your blood sugar balanced.
Almond butter is packed with both monounsaturated fats and protein.
Cacao powder gives you a boost of antioxidants and improves circulation.
This is all you need to do:
- 1 cup coconut oil.
- ½ cup almond butter.
- 1 cup raw cacao powder.
- 1 cup of xylitol or 1 tsp powdered stevia.
- 1 teaspoon vanilla extract.
- Chopped nuts (almonds, peanuts, cashews or walnuts).
- A pinch of sea salt.
- If your coconut oil is solid, warm it first to liquefy it.
- Mix coconut oil, almond butter, and cacao powder.
- Add sweetener, vanilla, and sea salt.
- Fold in the nuts.
- Line a rectangular container with parchment paper.
- Pour the fudge in the container. Sprinkle more nuts on top if desired.
- Freeze the fudge for 1-2 hours or until solid.
- Once solid, remove from the parchment paper and cut into squares. Enjoy!
Wishing u good health…naturally…
To your health | a votre santé| uf diini gesundheit
registered clinical nutritionist ba dip ion fd/sc mbant ntcc cnhc