The midnight snack is generally thought of as off-limits for health-conscious consumers, but as long as you’re not gorging yourself on milk and cookies late into the night, there’s no reason to fear after-dark consumption. Snacking at night can actually aid in keeping your metabolism running, and as long as you’re feeding your body the right foods, there’s no reason to fear late-night munching. Next time you find yourself hungry, whip up one of these snacks that will put your appetite to rest before you put yourself to bed. Thanks to these snacks high protein and fiber content, you’ll go to sleep feeling full and satisfied.
Oatmeal has long been touted as the ideal midnight snack, and for good reason. According to Health Ambition, not only do the carbs in oatmeal help you sleep, but the warmth of the oats also help encourage the release of serotonin which will make you feel more relaxed. And luckily, oatmeal couldn’t be easier to make. It takes less than 5 minutes when prepared in the microwave as this recipe featured on Food.com suggests. Pick out the toppings of your choice and tuck into some oats before you tuck into bed.
- ½ cup old-fashioned oatmeal
- 5 ounces water
- 1 tablespoon raisins
- 1 tablespoon walnut pieces
- 1 to 2 dashes salt
- 1/8 teaspoon cinnamon
- 1 to 2 teaspoons brown sugar
Visit Food.com for recipe directions.
2. Basic Scrambled Eggs
Another breakfast you can enjoy late into the night is scrambled eggs. Because eggs are rich in protein, they’ll help you stay satiated and get a good night’s sleep. Plus, when you pair them with toast, you’ll also get the benefits of the warm carbs and subsequent serotonin secretion. Incredible Egg has a basic scrambled eggs recipe. Follow the formula, eat your eggs, and kiss insomnia goodbye.
- 4 eggs
- ¼ cup milk
- salt and pepper
- 2 tablespoons butter
Visit Incredible Egg for recipe directions.
3. Cottage Cheese with Jam and Cereal
If you’re a fan of Cottage Cheese, it’s another good snack to have as you’re burning the midnight oil. According to Cooking Light, the slow-digesting protein in cottage cheese will keep you satiated long into the night and it also helps prevent heartburn. Martha Stewart has a recipe for cottage cheese with jam and cereal that you can make in minutes before bed. Pairing your cottage cheese with sweet jam and carbs makes it all the more enjoyable to eat.
- ½ cup low-fat (1%) cottage cheese
- 2 tablespoons bran cereal
- 2 tablespoons apricot jam
Visit Martha Stewart for recipe directions.
4. Cinnamon Sugar Popcorn
Regardless of whether you’re watching a movie before bed, popcorn is a snack you can eat without guilt as long as you avoid the preservative-packed store bought variety and instead pop your own. The fiber in popcorn will help you stay satisfied and when you make your snack homemade like this formula on My Recipes suggests, a serving of the good stuff can come in as low as just 65 calories. Sweeten your popcorn with cinnamon and sugar and you’ll have a new favorite midnight snack on your hands. This recipe serves 10.
- 10 cups popcorn (popped without salt or fat)
- 2 tablespoons light brown sugar
- 1 teaspoon ground cinnamon
- 1/8 teaspoon salt
- 2 tablespoons butter, melted
- Cooking spray
Visit Oxmoor House for recipe directions.
5. Chocolate Avocado Shake
Craving something cold before you go to bed? Make this healthier twist on your traditional chocolate shake. The recipe for the chocolate avocado shake can be found on Eating Well, and it yields a dessert-like snack full of fiber and healthy fat that will keep you satiated and get you ready for bed. Thanks to the star ingredients in this shake – avocado, chocolate chips, and cocoa powder — the snack tastes indulgent but it’s good for you, too. Blend one up when your stomach is rumbling and you won’t hear from it again until morning.
- 1 ripe avocado, halved and pitted
- 1½ cups vanilla almond milk or other nondairy vanilla milk
- 3 tablespoons unsweetened cocoa powder
- 3 tablespoons brown sugar or maple syrup, or to taste
- 2 tablespoons nondairy semisweet chocolate chips, melted
- 1 tablespoon vanilla extract, or to taste
- 12 ice cubs
Visit Eating Well for recipe directions.
6. Peanut Butter Protein Balls
Last but not least: Peanut Butter Protein Balls. If you know you have a sweet tooth but don’t want to let it run wild into the night, prepare healthy snacks ahead of time such as these peanut butter protein balls from The Healthy Chef. The balls that are full of fiber, protein, healthy fats, and natural sugars will curb your cravings without throwing you into a sugar or carb coma, and because they are already pre-portioned, you don’t have to worry about overdoing it. Grab a few before you head to bed and go to sleep satisfied.
- 120 g fresh pitted dates
- 1 cup rolled oats
- ½ cup desiccated coconut
- 1 tablespoon protein powder
- 150 grams peanut butter or your choice of nut butter
- a little water to mix if needed
Visit The Healthy Chef for recipe directions.