Snack cravings can arise while you’re working to meet a deadline or during that mid-morning lull before a lunch meeting. Whenever it hits, the hunger comes on fast and fierce.

While hummus and fresh vegetables or nut butter and fresh fruit make great snacks, these are likely unrealistic options for those of us looking to keep a small stash of "desk snacks" handy in a drawer.

While there are endless shelf-stable snack options, most contain questionable preservatives and lack healthy fats or protein to keep you satisfied. Even though healthier snack options are becoming more widely available, making your own stash of desk snacks is a breeze.

Crunchy Roasted Chickpeas

Chickpeas have fiber and protein — two nutrients that are key to healthy snacking. They work in tandem to provide a feeling of satiety and keep hunger at bay.

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Makes 3 servings

Ingredients

  • 1 can (14 oz) chickpeas
  • 1 tablespoon olive oil
  • ½ teaspoon salt
  • 1 teaspoon za’atar
  • Pinch cayenne (optional)

Preparation

1. Preheat oven to 375°F.
2. Drain, rinse and thoroughly dry chickpeas.
3. Mix chickpeas, olive oil, salt and spices together and spread out onto a sheet pan.
4. Roast in the oven for 25-35 minutes or until crunchy.
5. Let cool all the way and then store in an airtight container.

Cayenne + Lime Pepitas

Pepitas are a good plant-based source iron — a nutrient most of us don’t consume enough of. This snack gets bonus points since the Vitamin C from the lime juice enhances the bioavailability of the iron from the pepitas.

Makes 3 servings

Ingredients

  • 1½ cups raw pepitas (shelled pumpkin seeds)
  • 2 teaspoons olive oil
  • Juice from 1 lime
  • ½ teaspoon cayenne pepper
  • ½ teaspoon salt

Preparation

1. Preheat oven to 375°F.
2. Mix pepitas, oil, lime juice, cayenne pepper and salt.
3. Spread pepitas onto a sheet pan.
4. Roast in the oven for 15-25 minutes or until crunchy.
5. Let cool thoroughly and store in an airtight container.

Cinnamon Apple Chips

Unlike most packaged apple chips, these contain no added sugar and instead highlight the natural sweetness of the apples. The addition of cinnamon provides a sweet aroma while also increasing this snack’s antioxidant level.

Makes 3 servings

Ingredients

  • 3 firm apples (Braeburn, Cortland, Honey Crisp, Fuji, etc.)
  • 1 teaspoon cinnamon

Preparation

1. Preheat oven to 250°F.
2. Wash and dry apples. Using a mandoline, thinly slice apples and remove seeds from the slices.
3. In a large bowl, toss apple slices with cinnamon.
4. Spread apple slices onto parchment paper-lined baking sheets.
5. Bake in the oven for approximately 2 hours (or until crunchy), flipping slices halfway through baking time.
6. Allow slices to cool thoroughly and store in an airtight container.

Cumin-Spiced Beet Chips

This root vegetable is often overlooked in favor of the potato, but beets also make delicious chips. Beet chips are rich in dietary nitrates which have been shown to have blood pressure lowering effects.

Makes 3 servings

Ingredients

  • 3 medium beets or golden beets
  • 1-2 teaspoons olive oil
  • 1 teaspoon cumin
  • ½ teaspoon salt

Preparation

1. Preheat oven to 350°F.
2. Wash and dry beets (no need to peel). Using a mandoline, thinly slice the beets.
3. In a large bowl, toss beet slices, oil, cumin and salt.
4. Spread beet slices onto baking sheets in a single layer.
5. Bake beet chips for 35-45 minutes until crunchy, flipping slices once halfway through baking time.
6. Allow chips to cool thoroughly and blot any excess oil with paper towels. Store in an airtight container.

Cocoa + Cinnamon Pecans

These chocolatey pecans can help curb a mid-afternoon sweet craving. Unlike most other sweet snacks, the healthy fats and protein in pecans will prevent any blood sugar spikes and provide lasting, stable energy.

Makes 3 servings

Ingredients

  • 2 tablespoons cocoa powder
  • 1 teaspoon cinnamon
  • 2 teaspoons maple syrup
  • 1 teaspoon coconut oil
  • ½ teaspoon salt
  • 1 ½ cups raw pecans

Preparation

1. Preheat oven to 350°F.
2. In a small pot on medium heat, combine cocoa powder, cinnamon, maple syrup, coconut oil, and salt.
3. Add pecans to pot and stir to combine.
4. Spread pecans evenly on a parchment paper-lined baking sheet.
5. Bake pecans for 25-35 minutes, until crunchy, stirring once halfway through baking time.
6. Cool nuts thoroughly and store in an airtight container.

Photo Credit: Shutterstock


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