Healthy Snacks You'll Want To Make All The Time

Sweet or savory. Salty or spicy. Crunchy or creamy. Mid-morning, afternoon, or late night. However you like them, snacks are a way of life, powering us through to our next meal bite by bite, morsel by morsel. But all that snacking can come at a cost if your favorite treats are sugary, fatty, and calorie heavy. (And let's be honest — most of the best are.) But what if our favorite snacks could be as healthy as they delicious?

Well, wonder no more. These nutritious snacks have all the flavor — and then some — of your traditional favorites but are packed with healthy ingredients that provide the energy and nutrients your body needs. Even better, they're not difficult to make, and most can be made entirely from household ingredients and be ready to eat in minutes. Whether it's healthier versions of some classic snack staples, a few no-bake sweet treats, or a vegan cheese, these are the healthy snacks you'll want to make all the time.

Homemade peanut butter is a snacking go-to

Is there any snack more delicious than rich, creamy peanut butter? Not only does it taste great on its own, the nutty spread pairs well with a number of other snack foods, including apples, bananas, and dark chocolate. While peanut butter is relatively high in fat, most of that is coming from the peanut, meaning its a type of healthy fat. Nutritionally, the main downside to store-bought peanut butter is the added sugar, oils, and preservatives used to improve flavor and make it more shelf-stable. But these harmful additives can be a thing of the past if you make your own peanut butter with this recipe.

The recipe couldn't be simpler to follow and has just three ingredients: roasted unsalted peanuts, honey, and sea salt. Blend the peanuts in a high-speed blender until they form a thick paste. When it reaches that consistency, add in the salt and honey and blend for a few more seconds. Just like that, you have your own healthy homemade peanut butter. Break out the apples!

No-bake oatmeal cookies for a healthy slack that feels indulgent

A healthy cookie that requires no baking? Dreams really do come true, thanks to our no-bake oatmeal cookie recipe. These cookies get their sweetness from maple syrup and cinnamon instead of sugar, and they also contain almond butter, which adds plenty of protein.

As for putting these delectable bites together, start by microwaving the almond butter and maple syrup until the butter softens. Then, mix in oats, raisins, cinnamon, vanilla extract, and salt. Scoop out balls of dough and place them on a parchment-lined cookie sheet, and then press the balls down to flatten the dough. Instead of the oven, these cookies are going to harden in the refrigerator. After 25 minutes, your no-bake oatmeal cookies are formed and ready to be snacked on.

No-bake energy bites for when you need a healthy snacking boost

We've all been there, going through our day as usual when out of the blue the afternoon crash hits us hard. Desperate for energy, we reach for a snack. All too often that bite of food is something packed with sugar, which means it's not only unhealthy but will only give you a short-term energy boost, if any. These no-bake energy bites, however, provide the pick-me-up you're after while simultaneously being good for you.

"These no-bake bites are filled with a few simple ingredients rather than processed ones often found in the snack aisle," says recipe developer and registered dietitian Mackenzie Burgess. "I love using nuts, nut butter, and chia seeds in energy bites because they provide plant-based protein and heart-healthy fats."

The no-bake aspect of these bites means they're easy to make as well. Simply blend walnuts, dates, chia seeds, peanut butter, cocoa powder, and almond milk until the mixture sticks together. Roll balls of the dough in cocoa powder to coat, then pop them in the freezer for 30 minutes. As a final step, dip the bites halfway into the melted chocolate to coat the top and they're ready to go! 

Vegan cheese are a great snack substitute

If just uttering the term "vegan cheese" is sacrilege to you, we get it. After all, you'd be hard pressed to find a dish that isn't made better with the addition of some variety of cheese. Tinkering with this culinary treasure in anyway, let alone stripping it of its main ingredients (animal milk), won't go over well with most eaters. But this this recipe for vegan cheese creates a non-dairy version that's as tasty as any traditional cheese you've had before.

The key ingredient here is agar agar powder, a a thickening agent derived from seaweed. You may have trouble finding this at a regular grocery store, but you can order it online if specialty stores in your area don't carry it. Most of the other ingredients are likely already in your kitchen. The recipe is rather simple. Blend all the ingredients (except the agar powder) until smooth, while dissolving the agar in boiling water. Pour the water directly into the blender, then put the whole mixture in a bowl. Two hours in the fridge, and your cheese will solidify and be ready to eat!

Chex mix can be customized for healthy snacking

Chex mix has long been one of the most popular snacks around, and its versatility makes it easy to customize to your liking. Want more salt? Add some pretzels and peanuts. Craving a sweet bite? Throw in some dark chocolate. Chex mix's flexibility also means it's very easy adjust for dietary reasons.

"Any of the dry ingredients, from Chex, to nuts, to pretzels, to bagel, or rye chips, can be omitted or swapped," says recipe developer Stephanie Rapone. "If you are allergic to peanuts, for example, just use an extra cup of something else. If gluten-free, just use an extra cup of Rice or Corn Chex in place of the cup of Wheat Chex."

To get this Chex mix recipe started, combine all the dry ingredients in a bowl and pour in the butter mixture consisting of melted butter, granulated garlic, onion powder, Worcestershire sauce, and kosher salt. Spread the mixture on a baking sheet and put in the oven for one hour, making sure to stir every 20 minutes. Once done, let it cool before packaging up the Chex mix in a zip-lock bag, mason jar, or plastic container for a handy snack the next time hunger calls.

Homemade granola bars are a healthy on-the-go snack

Granola bars are one of the most popular on-the-go snacks. But when it comes to store-bought varieties, as recipe developer Tara Rylie reminds us, "They are either unhealthy, or super healthy, but then too chewy or tasteless." Rylie's recipe for homemade granola bars, on the other hand, contains clean, healthy ingredients as well more than enough flavorful extras. 

To get started with making these tasty treats, stir together peanut butter, nut butter, honey, coconut oil, and almond extract over medium heat. Add in salt, cinnamon, oats, toasted almonds and coconut, and finally, after 15 minutes of cooling, mini chocolate chips. Transfer the mixture to a baking pan and refrigerate for one hour. Once done, you can cut the granola in whatever size, shape, and number of bars you desire. We recommend eating one or two right away and storing the rest in the fridge for when you need a quick snack.