Make healthy snacking delicious with this free recipe guide featuring 35 easy snacks to make in 5 minutes. Plus, get my favorite healthy snack tips for perfect snack pairings when the craving hits!
The Art of Healthy Snacking
Although I’m not a big snacker myself, as a registered dietitian specializing in personalized nutrition, I firmly believe that no one diet or eating style fits all. And many of my clients want easy recipes for healthy snack ideas to bridge the gap between lunch and dinner. I get it!
The Merriam-Webster dictionary defines a snack as “a light meal; food eaten between regular meals.” Based on this definition, I fully support planned snacking, scheduled at the best time of day to most support keeping your mood and energy levels up.
If you choose to snack, here are my top tips for snacking better.
- Plan your snacks instead of grazing. I know some people out there maintain their optimal weight through grazing, but that’s definitely not me. Grazing always gets me in trouble. #dietitianconfessions I have a regular intermittent fasting/time-restricted eating schedule outside of vacations and holidays. Brunch is at 11 am, late lunch/snack is around 3 pm, and dinner is at 7. After that, I close the kitchen 🙂 Your best snacking time may differ, leading me to tip number 2 below.
- Consider keeping a food and mood journal for a couple of weeks to determine your optimal time for snacking. You might want a snack in between if you eat first thing in the morning and have a late lunch. Or, if your energy drops in the early afternoon, which is very common, BTW, plan a quick snack between 2-4 pm as I do. Figure out what works best for you!
- Try to “close the kitchen” after dinner like I do. I know for many of you, this may be your biggest challenge. But, for most people, late-night snacking has more cons than pros. Eating too close to bedtime may be associated with poor sleep quality (1) and heartburn (2). Additionally, because most after-dinner snacks tend to be on the “not-so-healthy” end of the snack spectrum, you can add many unwanted calories, potentially leading to unwanted weight gain.
- The best snacks pair at least two macronutrients to help fill you up until your next meal. This can be protein + carbs (i.e., Greek yogurt + fruit), carbs + fat (i.e., trail mix), or protein + fat (i.e., hard-boiled egg + avocado). Of course, you can pair all three macronutrients for a nourishing snack or light meal. Have fun coming up with your favorite pairings!
- If you choose to make your snack a mini meal (for me, it’s my 3 pm “lunch”), be sure to include protein, aiming for 20+ grams. If it’s a regular snack in addition to three meals per day, you don’t need to worry about getting as much protein.
35 Easy 5-Minute Snack Recipes
I’ve included various quick recipe ideas in this round-up of my best 5-minute snacks. By keeping your fridge, freezer, and pantry stocked with healthy ingredients, you can whip up a quick 5-minute snack with whatever you have.
Click on the individual recipe links below for each recipe or scroll to the bottom of this post to sign up for my newsletter, Delicious News, and get your free 5-minute Easy Snack Recipes cookbook featuring ALL 35 recipes you can download or print!
Note: All of these recipes are gluten-free and many of them are vegetarian or vegan too.
Smoothies & Smoothie Bowls
Smoothies are always a great idea for a nourishing and delicious snack. They’re also a fun way to get in your 30-40+ plants per week.
The basic recipe is simple. Pair frozen or fresh fruit and (optional) veggies with protein and healthy fats. Experiment with different fruits and veggies. Even better, add spices, herbs, or boosters (think cocoa, tea, coffee, fiber, probiotics & prebiotics, adaptogens, etc.) for the best-tasting rainbow-packed smoothie you can imagine.
Check out the veggie and fruit smoothie recipes below to get you started!
- Ginger Peach Mango Lassi
- Fresh Apple Pie Smoothie
- Cherry Chocolate Cheesecake Smoothie
- Oatmeal Raisin Cookie Dough Smoothie
- Kiwi Lime Smoothie
- Banana Tofu Smoothie
- Cacao Date Smoothie
- Zucchini Banana Smoothie Bowl
- Acai Wild Blueberry Smoothie Bowl
Yougrt or Cottage Cheese Parfaits
Protein-packed Greek yogurt or cottage cheese forms the basis of these simple snack ideas. Pair with fruit, nuts, seeds, or crunchy granola for a savory version. Or top with crispy chickpeas and veggies for a savory parfait option. Which of the recipes below will you try first?
- Cantaloupe Berry Cottage Cheese Bowl
- Yogurt with Apple and Walnuts
- Greek Yogurt with Orange, Blueberries, and Pumpkin Seeds
- Coconut Yogurt Banana Boat
- Yogurt with Peaches and Granola
- Chickpea and Tomato Savory Yogurt Bowl
Bites & Skewers
Bites and skewers are a great way to pair your favorite healthy snack ingredients. Sweet bites include dates, banana slices, berries, or melon. Savory options include cheese, meats, and smoked salmon. Try some of the tasty combinations below!
- Chocolate Chip No Bake Energy Bites
- Peanut Butter (or Almond Butter) Stuffed Dates with Walnuts
- Cottage Cheese and Nut Stuffed Dates
- Chia and Hemp Seed Banana Bites
- Everything Bagel Cucumber Bites with Cream Cheese
- Salmon & Goat Cheese Pepperoncinis Bites
- Feta Strawberry Skewers
- Salami, Tomato, and Cheese Skewers
Salads & Wraps
Simple salads, wraps, and sandwiches can help fill the bill when you’re craving a savory snack. For salads, top leafy greens with protein, nuts, seeds, other veggies, and my go-to Easy Homemade Vinaigrette. Try gluten-free tortillas (I love the Siete brand) or lettuce leaves to wrap up veggies, hummus, beans, avocado, and other yummy fillings. Open-face sandwiches made with your favorite gluten-free bread or English muffin work well, too!
- Spinach, Mozzarella, Tomato, and Chickpea Salad
- Sesame Cucumber Salad with Nori
- Strawberry, Tomato, and Mozzarella Salad
- Carrot, Hummus, and Arugula Wrap
- Turkey Avocado Lettuce Wrap
- Avocado Chickpea Smash
- Hummus Kimchi Wrap
More Easy Tasty Snacks
- Chocolate Peanut Butter High Protein Sundae
- Apple Slices with Peanut Butter Yogurt
- Chocolate Strawberry Nut Free Trail Mix
- Greek Yogurt and Peanut Butter Rice Cake
- Edamame Hummus and Veggies
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Let’s Chat! Which of these easy 5-minute snack recipes will you try first? Are you a snacker or a three-meals-per-day eater? What are your favorite healthy snacks? Do you struggle with snacking after dinner like many of my clients do? Leave a comment or question!
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