20 healthy snacks

20 healthy snacks

Try these natural alternatives packed with nutritious ingredients.

Agave popcorn balls

Makes 16-20 / No toy surprise with these healthy Cracker Jack imitations — the reward comes from a deliciously sweet treat with no refined sugar, butter, or artificial ingredients. Because they contain no granulated sugar, these are softer than caramel corn. View recipe.

Gluten-free walnut brownie energy bites

Makes 12 / Decadent and rich, these are made with good-fat almonds and antioxidant-laden cacao and sweetened with fiber-rich Medjool dates. They provide whole-food nutrition, so enjoy as a snack or treat. These can be kept at room temperature for a couple of days or will keep for at least a week refrigerated. Ingredient tips: Bob’s Red Mill makes almond meal (flour), but if you can’t find it, just use whole raw almonds and process them into a powder using your food processor. Prep tip: Keep batter from sticking to your hands by lightly coating them with coconut oil, olive oil, or even water. View recipe.

No-bake apple-butter pecan balls

Makes about 20 / Rich in protein, fiber, and complex carbs, these take-along treats are even healthy enough for breakfast. Ingredient tip: Find oat flour in the bulk or baking section of natural foods markets. View recipe.

Amaranth-nut energy bars

Makes 20-24 / Loaded with good stuff for lasting energy. Molasses makes a nutritious but earthy sweetener; if you like more sweetness, experiment with a combination of molasses and honey or agave nectar. View recipe.

Soy nut trail mix

Makes 5 cups / This tasty snack can be mixed ahead of time and munched on for several weeks. If you’re sensitive to soy, substitute raw almonds for the soy nuts. View recipe.

Kale chips

Serves 8 / These mineral-rich, pop-in-your-mouth crunchies are a low-carb alternative to popcorn, potato chips, or french fries. The winning formula? Salty, sour, and sweet. View recipe.

Lemony hummus with seasoned pita chips

Makes about 1-1/2 cups / This well-known dip is a combination of chickpeas (a staple of Israeli food) and tahini, ground sesame-seed paste available at ethnic and natural foods stores. To avoid a strong raw garlic taste, gently sauté the garlic and onion in olive oil. Serve with Seasoned Pita Chips or carrot and cucumber rounds. I make my hummus extra lemony for my husband. View recipe.

Healthier nachos

Serves 2 What four words describe your child's perfect snack? "Ready in a minute!" Nachos are fast food that all kids can learn to make. And the good news is that it's a lot healthier than any drive-thru fast food, too. View recipe.

Oat and fig squares

Makes 16 / Figs are rich in antioxidants, but in processed cookies they are commonly smothered in refined flour and sugar. This recipe incorporates these healthy fruits, fiber-filled oats, and honey to make a treat with much less sugar than a standard energy bar or cookie. View recipe.

Cumin-scented bagel chips

Cumin-Scented Bagel Chips Serves 4 to 6 Who can resist a basket full of savory, crunchy bagel chips? Spelt or kamut bagel chips make wonderful treats for the wheat-sensitive people on your holiday gift list. View recipe.

Sundance granola

Serves 15 / A staple on Sundance breakfast tables, this sweet, crunchy granola also makes a great snack. Stir regularly while baking in the oven to prevent sticking or burning. Prep time: 5 minutes Cooking time: 1 hour. View recipe.

Apple Walnut Oat Muffins

Makes 12 / These tender little muffins are light on fat and heavy on flavor, and they contain cholesterol-lowering apples and walnuts. View recipe.

Nutty oatmeal-chocolate bars

Makes 24 / Although it would be great if we reached for broccoli instead of sweets when we’re stressed, there’s no need to feel guilty with these treats. Oats have a calming effect, and chocolate contains magnesium, believed to help ease anxiety. To make cookies instead of bars, drop tablespoons of dough onto a prepared cookie sheet and bake for about 10 minutes. View recipe.

Three-minute sushi rolls

Makes 12 / Both kids and adults love these simple rolls that can be made in minutes. Ingredient tip: Look for seaweed sheets in the Asian section of your natural foods market. View recipe.

Quick spinach quesadillas

Serves 6 / Prep tip: These are ideally cooked in a “tawa,” an Indian concave pan used to make chapatis. A large wok is second best, followed by a nonstick pan roughly the diameter of the tortillas. View recipe.

PB&J Muffins

Makes 12 / What kid doesn’t love peanut butter and jelly? It’s a parent-approved combination, providing protein, vitamins, and healthy fats. These kid-friendly muffins also pack in nutrients with whole-wheat flour, carrots, and zucchini—nutritional bonuses your picky eater won’t even notice. View recipe.

White bean dip with pita crisps

Serves 4/ An alternative to hummus, this dip is a fast, easy and tasty snack. View recipe.

Easy agave treats

Simple, tasty, and nutritious, the whole family with love them! View recipe.

Roasted jicama sticks with tofu-basil dip

Serves 4 / Slices of roasted jicama, a crunchy white root vegetable usually eaten raw, make a sublime match for this luscious, protein-packed dip. View recipes.

Baked Fish Sticks

Serves 4 / This recipe is much more healthful than most commercially-made versions. I used fresh cod and free-range organic chicken, and my food critics loved 'em. Prep time: 10 minutes Cooking time: 12-15 minutes. View recipe.

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