clean eating: 7 easy & healthy snacks!

it can be trying to keep in line with healthy eating when an unexpectedly busy weeks pops up, translating into quick and easy snacks and meals. in my case, this typically means shuffling across Washington into trusty Walgreens when i suddenly realize mid-meeting frenzy that i might keel over if i don’t procure food. thanks to my revolutionary and groundbreaking ”pack your lunch the night before” plan (this is thought leadership if i ever saw it, folks), this does not happen often but on the days that it does, it’s helpful to have a set of snack solutions in mind, which are easily conjured.

as any shopper knows, the snack aisles at nearly every grocer and convenience store are jammed with greasy treats packed with preservatives, fats, and unnecessary sugar. let me tell you, those Rold Gold pretzels and Chex Mixes have been known to call my name! healthy snacking has been something i’ve had to hone with the transition to clean eating. the crafting of a suite of satisfying, filling, and interesting mini-meals is at the pinnacle of my diet. this in part because i’m part human, part rabbit. clean eating has resulted in a day long food fest of almost entirely produce, legumes, and grains transformed into delicious snacks to nourish me all the live long day.

so, it’s safe to say that at this point, i’m somewhat of a snack master. today i’m sharing 7 easy clean eating snack solutions that will satisfy cravings ranging from sweet to savory. you’re bound to find something that will suit your tastes! these are some of my favorites to keep in stock and pick-up on the go. some options will work best at home; but, nearly all of them can be kept in a desk drawer or in the office fridge if office work is your thang.

savory broths, specifically Wow Bao’s hot Thai Herb Broth, and puree soups have been a clinch hitter in my daily happiness. the focus here isn’t about filling up or delaying a meal, it’s about flavor. this snack just brings a smile to my face.

if you’re in reasonable distance of a Wow Bao, please please go get one of these. it’s unque in that you sip it from a coffee cup the same way you would with a sweet tea. but, i promise, that the armoa and wonderful lemongrass and ginger flavors will hook you. here’s the nutritional deets.

and along the lines of puree soups, i’m married to Imagine Gluten-Free Creamy Soups, available at Whole Foods and commercial grocers such as Jewel-Osco.

the title of this post is clean eating snacks, and i’d certainly say that these soups do not constitute a full blown meal; but, they are a fantastic side with a salad or as an afternoon snack (i usually do a cup and a half). the Butternut Squash is my favorite! you could also get a little crazy and use these as a base and add in your own roasted veggies and such.

100% fruit strips are nature’s fruit roll up! gone are the days of fruit by the foot, i’m substituting blue raspberry and mystery flavor for REAL peaches and strawberries. the above strips are sold exclusively at Whole Foods and can be found in the dried fruits section (near the bulk goods and nuts).

similar items here and here. i’ve also been told that Trader Joes sells their own brand which is very good.

meals on the go are hard. getting stuck in a tight spot and absolutely needing something to eat has happened to me on more than one occasion. i keep a small bag of almonds and a Gluten Free Bar in my bag at all times. similar brands with praise are Kind and LUNA.

if power bars turn you off, a good alternative is keeping a bag of raw nuts in a small container or bag in your purse/desk/car. i find myself nibbling on these when i get in a bind and it helps tremendously. almonds are my choice nut for their protein punch. they are also full of dietary fiber, vitamin B, minerals, and healthy fats.

air popped popcorn with popcorn salt is my ultimate after dinner “i’m STILL hungry” snack. perfect for movie nights and sharing with a movie buddy. i own a Presto Air Popper and highly recommend the brand. i’ve used mine 3-4 times a week for the past four years and she’s still going strong. easy to clean and use.

my go-to toppings are Morton’s Popcorn Salt + Crushed Red Pepper Flakes.

bell peppers + carrots + sugar snap peas with lemon white balsamic vinegar & red pepper vinegar.

if you live in Chicago, or even not, i’d recommend visiting Old Town Oil in person or online. they’ve various locations, but my favorite is the flagship store right on Wells just south of North Avenue. next door is Old Town Spice Shop which is a treasure not to be passed up!

spicy salsa + brown rice crackers makes for a flavorful and zesty snack.

i’d like to recommend (& urge) trying the River Valley Ranch and Kitchen’s XX Tomato Heirloom Salsa, as pictured above. i visit their stand at the Daley Plaza Farmers market on a weekly basis for everything from veggie burgers to giant portobello mushrooms. last week, i got adventours and splurged on a jar ($8). i’d heard some rave reviews around the coffee spot at work. welp, i tried it and it’s freaking fantastic. just the right amount of kick!

other ways i like to enjoy this the traditional style with corn chips, mixed straight in with black beans, rice, and roasted veggies to make a burrito bowl, or use as a dip for celery.

as for the brown rice crackers, Sesmark makes a full range of flavors that will surely help fill the place of salty snacks. you can have about 10 rice crackers for the same value as 3 traditional potato chips. that’s crazy talk right there. the transition to these was simple and easy for me!

while this toast might not look as appetizing as it tastes, i can vouch for the fact that it’s absolutely delicious and packed with protein that will hold over till the next meal time. i use Udi’s Gluten Free Whole Grain Bread and Justin’s Honey Almond Butter. lightly toast bread, spread on almond butter, and slice a banana on the side. i’ve posted a similar variation of this before, but using brown rice cakes instead!

i hope you’ve found something here that you’d like to experiment with! i’m always eager for new healthy snack combinations, so please share your favorites.

more clean eating recipes from posts you may have missed, available here!