Whether you travel a lot or are always out the door juggling different hats, easy on the go snacks are a must! I find one of the worst feelings to be: hangry. It’s a real thing! We all know this, and funny enough, this term is so popular that the Merriam-Webster dictionary has a definition for it!
Hangry: irritable or angry because of hunger. Pretty relatable, right! To prevent the horrible episodes of hangry, I try to have ready to go snacks on hand for those moments when I’m going to be leaving the house on the fly. These snacks are all easy to make and affordable!
Formula for Choosing an on the go Snack
First things first, let’s break down the components of each snack and why nutritionally it matters.
Each snack has protein + carb. Carbs are the fuel for our body. They are not the enemy, even though the media and diet companies want you to believe they are.
The importance is in what carbs you choose.
You can choose simple or complex carbs. Simple carbs are more refined, so think white bread or regular soda. Complex carbs take longer for the body to process, so you don’t get that spike in blood sugar or energy. Foods with fiber like apples or oats are examples of complex carbs.
Choosing more foods with complex carbs instead of simple carbs will help keep us feeling satiated. Then, we want to pair that carb with a protein or healthy fat to keep us full and help slow the absorption of sugar in our body, so again you don’t get blood sugar spikes or spikes of energy.
Let’s Dig into These Snack Ideas!
1) DIY Trail Mix with Granola
You got healthy fats and protein from the nuts and seeds, complex carbs from the granola, and chocolate because chocolate! Life is too short to not have a little bit of chocolate every day! You can make this to your own liking: 1/4 cup nuts, 1/2 cup granola and 2 tablespoons chocolate chips. I’d recommend raw nuts or lightly salted, but if you don’t like nuts try roasting them! The flavor is incredible! In this batch, I mixed up raw walnuts with lightly salted roasted almonds….so good!
2) Fruit & Nut Butter
Many folks grab an apple or banana as a snack, which is great, but it doesn’t keep us full! We need protein or a healthy fat to make that snack go longer. You could buy the small individual packs of nut butter or save money using small reusable containers to spoon out the nut butter.
Natural popcorn is high in fiber and a great source of complex carbs. Plus, popcorn takes you back to feeling like a little kid going to the movie theater! It’s a great snack option and one that will keep you feeling full. Pop the kernels over the stove with an oil that can withstand high heat like avocado oil.
Obviously, it’s best to not load it up with butter and sugar, but there’s nothing wrong with adding some salt or other seasonings. You could try garlic or onion powder, a bit of grated cheese or do a cinnamon and pumpkin spice mix! Divide it up into baggies ready to grab on the go!
To save money on buying individual yogurts, use reusable jars and fill with your favorite yogurt, fruit, chia seed or flaxseed and granola. Try choosing yogurts with minimal added sugar and high in protein.
You don’t have to choose Greek yogurt. While Greek yogurt is higher in protein because it is strained more to get that thick texture, regular plain yogurt is a great option and often cheaper and still a great source of protein. I love Kroger’s plain low-fat yogurt, and it’s super cheap! I personally like plain yogurt because I can always change up the flavor.
Sometimes I like the sour flavor and sometimes I want a bit of sweetness, so I’ll add a little jam or vanilla extract, cinnamon and honey. Adding chia or flax seed will also increase the protein and fiber content. Have them ready in the fridge to grab and go!
5) Energy Balls
There are a million and one recipes on the internet for energy balls, but this is my favorite recipe so far! I found this matcha energy ball recipe on PBS and sadly, I don’t have the name of the author. While this isn’t my recipe, I want to share it because it’s soooo goood!
Ingredients: 1 cup almond butter, 1/2 cup honey, 3 tablespoons reishi mushroom powder, 1 teaspoon turmeric, 1/4 teaspoon cayenne, 1/4 teaspoon matcha powder, 4 tablespoons cacao powder. Combine all these ingredients together in a bowl. The consistency is sticky before chilling, so definitely refrigerate before rolling into balls. Then sprinkle energy balls with coconut flakes and enjoy!
6) Hard Boiled Eggs
Eggs get such a bad rap in the media and are greatly misunderstood. Many people worry the yolk is bad for our health due to the small amount of cholesterol, but this is not true. What rarely gets mentioned is that the yolk is where all the vitamins and minerals like choline, B12, iron, calcium, fat-soluble vitamins (A,D,E,K which need the fat in the yolk to be absorbed) and more are found!
I highly recommend this article by a dietitian that explains the research around eggs clearly. Long story short: yes to eggs!! Make sure to quickly cool down the eggs right when you take them off the stove by running them under cold water and peeling then to prevent the green/grayish layer. Eggs are a great grab and go snack for any time of day, especially if the morning got away from you and you need a quick breakfast on the go!
I hope you find these easy on the go snack ideas helpful! Remember that simple formula for a filling snack: carb + protein or healthy fat. This will help keep our energy levels more stable and prevent that sugar crash. Let me know in the comments if you have other easy on the go snack options!