1. Greek Yogurt and Mixed Berries
Apart from being super easy and quick to make, plain Greek yogurt with berries is also a nutrient-dense, antioxidant-rich snack. Greek yogurt, in particular, has many health benefits and is rich in protein and minerals, and unlike flavored yogurts, it doesn't contain added sugar. Berries, on the other hand, are an antioxidant and vitamin powerhouse. Avoid adding any sugar or sweetener on top, though, to keep calories low.
1 serving (3.5 oz or 100 g) of Greek yogurt with a serving of mixed berries (½ cup or 50 g) has about 150 calories and 10g of protein.
2. Dark Chocolate and Almonds
Yes, you read right, chocolate is not the enemy as long as you stick to chocolate with at least 60% cocoa and don't eat too much of it. In fact, 70% dark chocolate is quite antioxidant-rich and was shown to aid heart health in previous studies. Almonds, on the other hand, have both health and weight loss benefits and are full of healthy plant fats.
Dark chocolate and almonds are a surprisingly nutritious and filling snack, and 1 oz (30 g) of both separately contain around 300 calories depending on the chocolate.
3. Hummus and Sliced Cucumbers
Although many other veggies like baby carrots, celery, and bell peppers taste great dipped in hummus, cucumbers are extremely low in calories and are very hydrating, both of which are excellent features for weight loss. The hummus will fill you up and lower the level of inflammation in the body, not to mention that this chickpea, olive oil, and tahini-based spread tastes great!
1 serving (1 cup or 52 g) of cucumbers and 100 g (3.5 oz) of hummus will provide around 180 calories.
4. Guacamole and Bell Peppers
Another delicious and healthy snack you should consider if you're craving something savory is guacamole with bell peppers. You can go around this recipe two ways - either make guacamole separately and dip the bell peppers in the spread or simply cut the peppers into bite-sized pieces, mix them into the guac, and enjoy as is.
No matter what you choose, you'll be gaining a lot from this tasty dish - the antioxidants and vitamin C from the peppers (choose red ones for the highest dose of both), a healthy dosage of fiber, tons of healthy fats from the avocado, all with a relatively low calorie-count: just 200 from 1 large bell pepper and 1 serving (3 oz or 85 g) of guacamole.
Steamed edamame is a real protein powerhouse, with just 1 cup of the beans containing a whopping 17 grams of protein, so if you want to gain muscle, this is the perfect quick snack for you. In case you didn't know, edamame beans are essentially young soybeans, and so like all soy products, edamame is rich in folate, antioxidants, and is a lean protein source that helps people lose weight. 1 cup (about 155 g) of edamame will provide you with 180 calories.
6. Apples or Pears with Peanut Butter
Another sweet delicious snack you can confidently enjoy without the fear of gaining weight are apple or pear slices with any kind of nut butter, be it peanut, almond, or hazelnut, as long as they are unsweetened. Most store-bought nut butter varieties do contain a lot of added sugar, though, so seek out those that don't by carefully checking the packaging and ingredients list.
Best of all, this super healthy snack and takes just a minute to prepare! Apples and pears are full of fiber, vitamins, and antioxidants, and they have been even found to improve digestive health and heart health in the long run. Peanut butter, too, is a great source of healthy fats that will help lower cholesterol levels, but it can be quite dense in calories, so make sure to use it sparingly.
One apple with 1 tbsp (around 15 g) of unsweetened peanut butter contains about 200 calories.
7. Canned Sardines or Salmon
To get a break from plant-based snacks, consider adding more canned fish, such as salmon or sardines, to your diet. Not only are these foods long-lasting, so you can keep them in the pantry for months as an emergency snack, they are also quite tasty and contain those omega-3 fatty acids we all need more of in our diet.
Canned fish is also a pretty good source of lean protein, so it will help you build muscle. Keep in mind, however, that fish preserved in oil will cost you a lot more calories than fish in its own brine, so we recommend the latter. A 100g (3.5 oz) serving of canned fish will contain about 130-180 calories.
8. Pears with Ricotta Cheese
As you likely already know, not all dairy is bad for those who want to lose weight. It is the high-fat varieties like parmesan, gouda, cheddar, and others you should definitely limit or avoid, but when it comes to white cheeses like ricotta, cottage cheese, or mozzarella balls, you can still have them as long as you're not eating too much.
This is because these cheeses typically contain quite a lot of protein and relatively little fat, so they can actually benefit your weight loss plan. Take ricotta, add in a fiber and vitamin-rich pear, and a sprinkling of nuts on top, and you have yourself a delectable yet healthy treat. Ricotta is also quite high in Calcium, whereas pears contain polyphenol antioxidants that are known for their cancer-fighting properties.
1 serving of ricotta with 1 pear will give you 250 calories.
9. Kale Chips
Often defined as a superfood, kale is one of those leafy greens we should all eat more of. But many people don't like the tough texture of kale in salads and other fresh meals, which can discourage them from eating more kale. Enter kale chips, a food that will be able to satiate your craving for potato chips and takes just a few minutes to prepare.
1 cup of kale chips contains just 150 calories, and it will provide you with an entire daily dose of vitamin C, vitamin A and, K. To make kale chips at home follow this easy recipe:
1 cup kale, divided into bite-sized pieces
1 tbsp olive oil
a pinch of salt and black pepper
Preheat the oven to 350°F (175°C) and line a baking sheet with baking paper. Divide the kale evenly on the sheet, drizzle with oil, add the salt and pepper, and toss the kale around the sheet to make sure it's evenly coated in oil and spices. Bake for 10-15 minutes, or until golden brown.
10. Chia Pudding
Like the previous snack, this chia pudding takes a bit more time, but most of it will be passive, as you'll have to wait overnight or for a few hours for the chia seeds to absorb the milk. You can make this snack with any plant milk of your choosing, or even water, but here we use cow's milk to make it a bit richer in protein content. As you may know, chia seeds are quite high in fiber and antioxidants, and they have even been found to reduce the level of inflammation in the body and can benefit digestive health.
The interesting feature of chia seeds is that they expand and gain a jelly-like coating when exposed to liquids, so they are great to make desserts that are very reminiscent of pudding but healthier. You can also add cocoa powder in the pudding, and top the dessert-snack with fruits, granola, nuts, or any topping of your choosing. Here is how to make chia pudding at home:
Ingredients (yields 1 cup of chia pudding, less than 200 calories)
1 tbsp chia seeds
⅓ cup milk
Honey or another sweetener to taste (optional)
Combine all the ingredients together in a cup, stirring in the seeds last to avoid any clumps. Cover, refrigerate overnight, or for at least 1-2 hours. The chia seeds should have expanded and the pudding should be thick and jelly-like when ready. Add toppings of your choice and enjoy cold.
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