Clean Eating Snacks for weight management will be the focus of this week's challenge. To maintain an easy approach you will find in the following many suggestions for wholesome ideas with little or no preparation time.
If you need to watch your weight then you will love the fact that I've specified some quantities for good snack foods I recommend to indulge wisely;) In addition, expect three easy steps that will help you “automate” your smart snacking habits.
For your convenience I've packed the suggestions in 3 different categories:
- 50 Single ingredient foods without or just a little preparation time
- 25 Plant-based snack recipes with two main ingredients
- 25 Healthful snack ideas with more than three ingredients
Why you should opt for fiber loaded alternatives
Nutrient-poor junk food with added sugar, like candy bars or pastries, act similar to fuel that runs hot and flames out. Yes, they can give you a quick energy shot, but it is often followed by a crash that can leave you sleepy, hungry and unable to concentrate.
Fiber-rich snack foods, in contrast, will work like slow-burning fuel providing you with a flow of steady energy that keeps you satiated much longer. All of the 100 inspirations are at least vegetarian and a big bunch of them are naturally vegan, dairy free, gluten-free and perfectly suitable for a plant-based diet..
Let’s start with some quick snack ideas for times when you are super-lazy in your kitchen.
Easy & quick ideas
If you’re short on time, it is still better to opt for nutrient-dense single ingredient snacks instead of unhealthy treats. Use easy no-cook groceries that need no preparation, like fruits, veggies, eggs or nuts. In the summertime, frozen grapes are amazing options.
If chosen wisely, a handful of dry fruits are wonderful energy providers too. But please take note of the ingredient list – choose packages that say “no sulfites”; only the fruit should be listed. For the best possible weight management, limit your fruit consumption to two portions per day.
50 single ingredient ideas without or little preparation time
- Frozen blended banana “ice cream”
- Fresh grapes
- A medium banana
- Sliced bell peppers
- Nibbling some carrots (a great strategy against sugar cravings)
- Fresh cherry tomatoes
- Apple wedges (preferably organic)
- 1 tablespoon of almonds (high in fiber!)
- Fresh strawberries
- Fresh watermelon chunks
- Sliced kohlrabi
- Hard boiled egg (extreme high satiation, healthy snack for he office)
- Fresh pineapple chunks
- Dried self-made fruit chips (ideal cinema snacks)
- Fresh cherries
- Sliced cucumbers
- A handful of sunflower seeds
- Fresh blueberries
- Frozen grapes (great summer snack)
- 1 tablespoon of cashews
- Fresh grapefruit
- Green pears
- 1 tablespoon of walnuts
- Dried mango slices
- A handful of peanuts
- Homemade popsicles
- Some dark chocolate (max. 1 oz./30 gr. per day)
- Clean olives & pickles
- 1 – 2 apricots
- 1 tablespoon of hazelnuts
- 2-3 Medjool dates
- A handful of pumpkin seeds that are extra rich in fiber. Click here to check out my list of Top 11 high fiber snacks!
- A small cup of brown rice
- 1 Peach
- Steamed edamame with sea salt
- Baked sweet potato toast
- 1 tablespoon of pistachios
- 1 tablespoon of clean raisins
- 1 tablespoon of mixed nuts
- A cup of cottage cheese
- Plain baked potato
- Fresh raspberries
- 2-3 Prunes
- 2 tablespoons pomegranate seeds
- Radishes slightly salted
- Fresh figs
- Toasted coconut chips
- Roasted chickpeas
- Fresh honeydew chunks
25 Wholesome Snack Recipes with Two Ingredients
These are complex carbohydrates with plant-based protein or healthy fats – with a few exceptions. From a clean eating standpoint, most snacks should be a combination of complex carbohydrates (veggies, fruits, nuts, whole wheat) with lean protein.
These kinds of snacks guarantee the highest satiation effect, and the protein content will create an extra mental boost:
- Self-made crunchy baked savoy cabbage chips with olive oil
- Passionfruit with Soy yogurt
- Banana with 1 tablespoon almonds or some dark chocolate chips
- Frozen strawberries in Greek yogurt
- Hard-boiled eggs with nuts or an apple (Tip: prepare eggs on the weekend)
- Some mozzarella (15 g/0.5 oz) with sliced radishes.
- 2 tomatoes with 1/2 a cup of cottage cheese
- Banana topped with almond butter or other nut butters
- Clean eating banana oatmeal cookies
- Kiwi carpaccio with almonds (great for summer parties)
- Herb roasted nuts
- Sliced tomato with a balsamic drizzle
- Almonds and raisins
- Baked zucchini chips with clean eating ketchup
- Self-made crispy baked carrot chips with coconut oil
- Leftover grilled veggies
- Sweet potato fries (baked)
- Apple slices with almond butter
- Self-made crispy baked kale chips
- Plantain fries
- Clean Almond milk
- Grilled fruits
- Butternut squash chips
- 1 cup air-popped cinnamon popcorn
- Spiralized carrots with cottage cheese
25 nutrient-dense snack ideas with more than 3 ingredients
- Energy balls with dried plums and almonds + Top 12 no-bake energy balls (also with peanut butter)
- Tomato Mozzarella Skewers
- Strawberry banana smoothie
- Fresh veggies and guacamole
- Mango salad with cucumber and red pepper
- Veggies with pesto dip
- Clean eating raspberry muffins
- Clean fruit and nut bar
- Parsley root soup
- Celery sticks with some hummus
- Spiralized apple cranberry salad
- Parmesan roasted carrots
- Small Endive salad with clean dressing
- Clean Eating cabbage soup
- Leftover red beet burger or black bean patty
16. Roasted Brussels sprouts
17. Marinated mushrooms
18. Clean eating pear salad with walnuts
19. Veggies with lentil dip
22. Vegetable broth from clean vegetable stock concentrate
23. Ice smoothie: blend frozen berries and unsweetened coconut milk (a little ginger adds zing)
It might not be as healthy as the above suggestions, but it is a great compromise with a high satiation effect that won't make you craving any cookies, promised. The satiation comes from low-fat milk. This very common “snack idea” in Europe is made of 1 espresso, warm low-fat milk, and some milk foam (see picture above).
3 baby action steps for switching to healthier habits
- Think about your single most unhealthy food that you tend to desire most often. Do you find yourself often craving greasy potato chips or something similarly addictive?
- Try to replace it with one of the fiber-rich foods above. (e.g. replace potato chips with crispy baked savoy cabbage chips).
- Remember: it's all about balance. If you slip and eat something unhealthy, don't beat yourself up! Try it again the next time and replace your unhealthy snack with something different on the list, like dried fruit chips. Iterate as often as necessary till you find your optimal replacement. With over 90 clean ideas, I'm sure you'll find your all-time favorite:)
5 additional tips for fiber-rich snacking
- Eating small meals every three to five hours can help to resist the urge to overeat. It keeps your metabolism revved up and helps normalize blood sugar.
- With several snacks per day, you can actively prevent post-meal sleepiness that comes from consuming too many calories in one sitting.
- Make sure that snacking happens during your active times of the day in between your meal time. That way you'll be better off with your weight-control goals.
- Keep healthy snacks easily-accessible; hide or ban unhealthy snacks around you.
- Stock your handbag with nutrient-dense treats (I have always a box of raw almonds or a homemade trail mix in my bag).
Click here for my top 11 high fiber snacks!
And what about healthful bedtime snacks?
I’m often asked for healthy midnight snacks… and if you followed my 52-week clean eating habits challenge so far, then you know how important it is to develop a pre-bedtime routine (challenge week #3). This recommendation is still valid: Finish eating at least two hours before bedtime, and eat no later than 9 p.m.
What are your favorite clean eating ideas for breaks?
Could you successfully switch an unhealthy habit to a better alternative? Please share your clean recipes with us in the comment section below!