Are you on the hunt for fresh snack ideas that crush cravings, sidestep highly processed pitfalls, and rack up impressive nutrition and health points?

Here are 6 easy ideas for fall guaranteed to wake up your taste buds and deliver immense nutritional value with every bite.

1. Sprouted grain toast with fresh hummus + pickles.

Pickles, I’ve happily discovered, are the perfect way to liven up that hummus snack. With a splash of color and a refreshing bite, traditionally made pickles can also be a source of good-for-your-gut probiotics.

High-quality whole grains help maintain a steady blood sugar level (one of the key requirements of a good snack) and (2-3 servings a day) can slash the risk of type 2 diabetes and heart disease by 30%.

Make this: 1 slice sprouted grain bread + 1/3 cup hummus + 2 tablespoons pickles

2. Hard-boiled eggs with dukkah

A high-protein post-workout snack, these eggs are spiced up with a hefty pinch of dukkah. Dukkah is an Egyptian spice blend with nuts, sesame seeds, coriander, and cumin. You can buy premade or blend your own.

Eggs are one of the most eco-friendly sources of animal protein (2 eggs provides 14 grams) and one of the top sources of choline, a nutrient important in nervous system signaling, building resilient cell membranes, and brain health.

Make this: 2 hard-boiled eggs + 1 tablespoon dukkah

3. Carrot-top pesto with carrots

This quick, ultra-simple pesto lets you finally embrace those fluffy carrot-top greens that peek out from your bag on your way home from the farmer's market.

Slicing beta-carotene-rich carrots on the diagonal makes for a welcome change from ho-hum carrot sticks (they also provide the perfect shelf to slather pesto on — think carrot chips).

Note: I recommend using organic carrots for this. Store the carrot tops separately from the carrots once you get home from the market so the tips don’t drain energy and moisture from the roots.

Quick Carrot-Top Pesto

Makes 1 cup

Ingredients

  • 1½ cups roughly chopped carrot top leaves
  • 1 large garlic clove, chopped
  • 1/3 cup extra virgin olive oil
  • 1/8 teaspoon kosher salt
  • 1 tablespoon fresh lemon juice
  • 3 tablespoons toasted walnuts or pine nuts
  • 1/3 cup freshly grated Parmigiano-Reggiano
  • 1-2 organic carrots, sliced into ½-inch thick coins

Preparation

Place first 5 ingredients in a blender or food processor and pulse until combined (scrape down sides if needed). Add pine nuts and Parmigiano and pulse until combined. Serve with carrots.

Make this: 1/3 cup pesto + 1 medium carrot

4. Pumpkin seeds + chili-spiced popcorn

If you’re a devout crunchy/savory snacker like I am, this one’s for you. I love to make a batch ahead of time and pop it into a reusable bags for instant toting to work or the gym.

Popcorn is a whole grain, which means it provides a lot of fiber and antioxidants in one cup. One ounce of pumpkin seeds boasts a whopping 8 grams of protein, is a good source of iron and zinc, and an excellent source of magnesium.

Chili Spiced Popcorn

Ingredients

  • 1 tablespoon organic canola oil
  • ¼ cup popcorn kernels
  • ½ teaspoon cumin
  • ½ teaspoon chili powder
  • ¼ teaspoon kosher salt

Preparation

1. In a medium saucepan, place oil and kernels and cover with lid. Cook over medium heat until popping slows, gently shaking occasionally, about 5-7 minutes. Remove from heat and allow to cool for 2-3 minutes.

2. Meanwhile, in a small bowl, combine spices and salt. Place popcorn in spice bowl and toss gently to combine.

Make this: ¼ cup pumpkin seeds + 1 cup Chili Spiced Popcorn

5. “Wild” PB&J with hemp seeds

Wild blueberries help PB&J realize its full nutritional potential.

Find wild blueberries in the freezer section at your local grocery store. You’ll love the spectacularly intense blueberry flavor. Hemp seed and peanut butter add protein, essential fats, and creamy goodness.

Make this: 2 tablespoons all natural peanut butter + 7 whole grain crackers + 1/3 cup frozen wild blueberries (thawed) + a sprinkling of hemp seeds.

6. Blackberries + almonds

What could be simpler than this grab-and-go dynamic duo? Just one ounce of almonds packs 6 grams of hunger-crushing protein, 3.5 grams of fiber, 12 vitamins and minerals, and 13 grams of healthy monounsaturated fats.

Blackberries go toe-to-toe, offering fiber, vitamin C, and folate.

Make this: ¼ cup almonds + ½ cup fresh blackberries

Want more healthy snack ideas? Start here:

Photo Credit: Shutterstock


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