Are you a snacker? If so, you’re not alone. According to a 2014 Nielsen report, snacking is a $374 billion global industry. With our lives becoming busier and busier, more people are turning towards snacks to sustain them between meals, which can lead to overeating without us even realizing it. And let’s be honest, some of us just snack because we like to.
If you’re like me, you are always on the lookout for a healthy snack to reach for when the cravings hit. Sure, you could go to the store and buy one, but making your own snack mix means total control over both ingredients and flavor. Let’s take a look at some ways to make a delicious snack mix that is healthy to eat.
A Quick Note for Vegan Snackers
If you decide you’d rather buy your healthy snack mix pre-made, you have options that can be found at almost any grocery store. There are several ingredients that are commonly used in commercial snack mixes that you’ll want to watch out for though. Check the label for honey, powdered milk or milk solids, whey, cheese, or Worcestershire sauce which typically contains anchovies. And since you’re looking for a healthy mix, look for ones without added sugars, oils, or salt.
How to Make Healthier Snack Mixes at Home
The first thing you should know about making your own healthier snack mix is that they’re incredibly easy to make and, there’s no right or wrong way to make them. Snack mixes are as diverse as we are, each one can be made to suit our own specific tastes. That said, there are a few things you can do to make them better for your health.
Making a healthy snack mix takes more than just starting out with any ingredients, you have to start out with the right ones. A lot of store-bought mixes are often filled with oils, sugars, and high levels of sodium, things you can avoid when making your own mix with just a few simple swaps.
Here are a few easy ways to make any snack mix healthier:
- Select raw or dry roasted nuts over those salted and cooked in oil.
- Choose baked ingredients over fried.
- Try dried fruit without added sugars or oil.
- Use dark chocolate instead of milk chocolate.
- Skip the added sugars (candy, granola, cereals).
- Add spices to keep it flavorful.
- Choose whole food ingredients such as nuts, seeds, popcorn, or fruit.
When choosing the perfect snack mix ingredients, remember to get creative. Snack mixes can be more than just nuts, seeds, and dried fruits. Instead, make snack mixes using unexpected ingredients like kale chips, dehydrated vegetable or vegetable crisps, spiced nuts or seeds (like these smoky chili-spiced sunflower seeds), or even puffed whole grains like quinoa, amaranth, or rice.
Try mixing new ingredients together for unusual combinations. Do you like a mix of white raisins and Pizza Kale Chips? Go for it. Dark chocolate and Curried Baked Carrot Chips? Sure, why not? My point is that a wide variety of healthy snacks can be mixed together for something really remarkable.
Are you ready to make a snack mix of your own? I’ve collected a few recipes that are not only tasty, but also healthy.
Healthy Snack Mix Recipes to Try:
Now, it’s your turn to share. Do you have a healthy favorite I didn’t mention? Tell me about it in the comments!