We’ve all experienced late-night cravings. It usually hits just as you’re ready to go to bed; you don’t want to go to sleep with a growling stomach, but chowing down on chips and preserved snacks doesn’t seem like a great option either. So, what do you do? It’s simple. Choose a healthy snack that you won’t feel guilty about eating. In case you’re craving something a little more satisfying than an apple or granola bar, here are 15 tasty recipes that make for delicious late-night snacks.
1. Low-Fat Peanut Butter Raisin Spread
Peanut butter lovers, this one’s for you. While all-natural peanut butter is good for you, it can still cause you to exceed your daily caloric intake if you consume too much of it. Instead, try PopSugar’s recipe for a low-fat peanut butter raisin spread. Keep in mind, since there is peanut butter in it, it’s by no means a low-calorie or low-fat food. But it has less calories than regular peanut butter, making it a satisfying late-night snack that is perfect by itself, or on a cracker. It yields 1¾ cup of spread.
- ¾ cup raisins
- 1 cup applesauce
- 1 tablespoon ground cinnamon
- 1 cup natural creamy peanut butter
Directions: In a small saucepan, add the raisins, applesauce, and cinnamon and bring ingredients to a boil. Once boiling, reduce the heat to medium and simmer for 8 to 10 minutes. Add the mixture to a food processor. Add the peanut butter and pulse until smooth. Pair with crackers, bread, or fruit, and enjoy.
2. Chocolate Avocado Milkshake
Sometimes a sweet tooth can sneak up on us late at night. Skinny Chef’s chocolate avocado milkshake will cure your sugar craving, while providing you with a serving of vegetables. It’ll be a smooth, savory treat that will fill you up, while ensuring you get a healthy dose of vitamins and nutrients. This marvelous milkshake recipe yields 2 servings.
- ½ ripe avocado
- 2 tablespoons brown sugar
- 2 tablespoons cocoa powder
- 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
- 1½ cup skim milk
Directions: Add all ingredients in a blender or food processor. Blend on high. The shake is done when the ingredients are nice and smooth. Serve over ice.
3. Honey-Glazed Almonds
Smoky, spicy, and sweet, these almonds will take care of any late-night craving. Cooking Light’s recipe even found a way to speed up the process. Rather than baking the almonds, this recipe speeds things up by letting you use your stovetop. This savory snack, which yields 10 servings with each containing 138 calories, will store well in an airtight container for several days.
- 1½ cups raw, unblanched almonds
- 1 tablespoon sugar
- 1½ tablespoons honey
- ½ teaspoon ground chipotle chile powder
- ¼ teaspoon ground cumin
- ¼ teaspoon salt
Directions: Line a large baking sheet with parchment paper. In a medium nonstick skillet, cook the almost over medium heat for 6 minutes, or until lightly toasted, shaking pan frequently. In a 2-cup glass measure, combine the remaining ingredients, and microwave at high for 30 seconds. Add honey mixture to pan; cook 2 minutes, stirring constantly. Place the almond mixture on the baking tray, and let sit for at least 10 minutes. Break apart any clusters prior to serving.
4. Nut-and-Seed Mix With Papaya
This Food Network recipe is easy, filling, and really good for you, making it the perfect treat to eat before bed. This recipe, which yields 7 servings, combines hazelnuts, pecans, almonds, and walnuts, with a few seeds and dried fruit for a deliciously healthy snack. Enjoy!
- 1 cup hazelnuts
- 1 cup pecans
- 1 cup almonds
- 1 cup walnuts
- ¼ cup shredded coconut
- ½ cup dried papaya pieces
- ½ cup pitted dried dates, chopped
- ½ cup hulled pumpkin seeds
- ½ cup sunflower seeds
- 1 cup raisins
- Handful of flax seeds
Directions: Combine the ingredients in a large bowl. Store in an airtight container.
5. Cinnamon Vanilla Granola
This Allrecipes.com creation is great by itself, or served over fresh fruit or yogurt. This recipe, which yields 2 quarts, can be stored in an airtight container for several days, making it a great go-to snack when a late-night craving attacks.
- 3 cups old-fashioned oats
- 2 cups quick oats
- 1 cup chopped pecans (or sliced almonds or sunflower seeds)
- ½ cup toasted wheat germ
- ¼ cup maple syrup
- 2 tablespoons corn oil
- 2 tablespoons pure vanilla extract
- 4 teaspoons ground Saigon cinnamon
- ½ teaspoon ground nutmeg
- 1 cup dried cranberries (or raisins or other dried fruit)
Directions: Preheat oven to 300 degrees Fahrenheit. In a large bowl, combine old fashioned oats, quick oats, pecans, and wheat germ. In a separate bowl, combine maple syrup, oil, vanilla, cinnamon, and nutmeg. Pour over oat mixture, and stir. On an evenly greased baking sheet, spread the mixture evenly. Bake for 50 to 60 minutes, stirring every 15 minutes, until oats are toasted. Remove from oven and stir in dried fruit. Allow to cool before storing in an airtight container.
6. Sweet and Spicy Apple Crisps
A great replacement for potato chips, these apple crisps are a healthy snack you can feel good about. Each bite is a combination of sweet and spicy, topped off with a satisfying crunch. This Better Homes and Gardens recipe yields 4 servings. You can store the apple crisps in an airtight container at room temperature for up to 1 week. Happy snacking!
- 2 large apples
- ¼ cup granulated sugar
- ¼ teaspoon ground chipotle chile pepper
Directions: Preheat oven to 200 degrees Fahrenheit. Line baking sheets with parchment paper; set aside. Cut apples crosswise into ⅛-inch-thick slices. Arrange slices in a single layer on baking sheets. Combine sugar and chipotle pepper in a small bowl. Sprinkle the sugar mixture on the apple slices.
Turn apple slices and repeat with remaining sugar mixture. Bake for 2 to 2½ hours or until crisp, turning apple slices and rotating pans every 30 minutes. Cool completely.
7. Whole-Wheat Pretzel
Mayo Clinic recommends this snack if you’re looking for a low-sodium treat that’s loaded with flavor. At 182 calories and only 2 grams of fat, this is a guilt-free late-night snack. It’s so tasty that you’ll probably find yourself reaching for these pretzels throughout the day. This recipe yields 12 servings.
- 1 package active dry yeast
- 2 teaspoon brown sugar
- ½ teaspoon kosher salt
- 1½ cups warm water
- 1 cup bread flour
- 3 cups whole-wheat flour
- 1 tablespoon olive oil
- ½ cup wheat gluten
- Cooking spray
- ¼ cup baking soda
- 1 egg white or ¼ cup egg-substitute
Directions: Preheat oven to 450 degrees Fahrenheit. Dissolve yeast, sugar, salt, and warm water in the bowl of a food processor. Let sit 5 minutes. Add flours, olive oil, and gluten. Either by hand or in a food processor with a dough hook, mix for 5 to 10 minutes, until the dough is smooth and pulls away from bowl. Spray inside of bowl with cooking spray. Cover the bowl with plastic and place in warm place for approximately 1 hour, until doubled in size. Punch dough down, and divide into 12 pieces. Roll into long ropes.
Make a “U” shape with a single rope, cross the ends over, and pinch in the bottom of the “U” shape. It should look like a traditional pretzel shape. Bring 8 to 10 cups of water to a boil with ¼ cup baking soda. Add pretzels one by one and cook for 30 seconds in water. Remove with spatula to parchment-lined baking pan. Brush with egg white or egg-substitute and bake in a 450 degrees Fahrenheit oven for 10 to 15 minutes, until dark brown.
8. Blueberry Yogurt Parfait
A yogurt parfait is a great choice when you’re craving something sweet and healthy. The New York Times reports that “this beautiful parfait tastes so much richer than it is.” The blueberries are packed with beneficial phytonutrients called anthocyanins, making them a great source of antioxidants. You can make this snack even healthier by choosing organic yogurt that doesn’t have any thickeners or gums added to it. The recipe yields 4 servings, so plan (or gather friends) accordingly.
- 2 cups blueberries
- ¼ cup sugar
- 1 tablespoon freshly squeezed lime juice
- ½ teaspoon balsamic vinegar
- 2 cups drained low-fat yogurt or low-fat Greek style yogurt
- 1 tablespoon shelled pistachios, finely chopped
Directions: In a medium saucepan, add the blueberries, sugar, lime juice, and balsamic vinegar. Bring to a boil over medium heat. Then cook for 5 to 10 minutes, until the liquid is reduced and the blueberries attain a jam-like consistency. Cool the sauce.
To each of the 4 tumblers or parfait glasses, add ¼ cup of yogurt. Then, add 2 tablespoons of the blueberry sauce. Add another ¼ cup of yogurt, then top it off with 2 tablespoons of blueberry sauce. Cover and chill for at least an hour. (The parfaits can be prepared ahead of time and kept in the refrigerator for a day.) Sprinkle pistachios over the top just before serving.
9. Homemade Whole Wheat Flatbread
Flatbread, especially this version with white whole wheat flour from A Beautiful Mess, is a delicious and healthy snack with a whole lot of potential. For instance, you can spread some peanut butter on top and add sliced fruit. Or you can dip it in hummus or other healthy dips. Any flatbread that you don’t eat the day you make it can be stored in a plastic bag or in plastic wrap, and can be kept in the refrigerator. When you’re ready to eat it again, you can slightly toast it in the oven or on the stove.
- 2 cups white whole wheat flour
- 1 cup all-purpose flour
- 1¼ cups warm water
- 2¼ teaspoons active dry yeast
- ½ teaspoon sugar
- 1 teaspoon salt
Directions: Stir the warm water and sugar in a small bowl or a measuring cup to dissolve. Sprinkle the yeast over the surface of the water, and let it sit for 5 to 6 minutes.
Combine the flours and salt in a large bowl and add in the yeasty water mixture. Stir until the dough forms into a ball. For 3 to 4 minutes, knead the dough. Lightly oil a bowl, and place the dough in it. Cover and allow the dough to rise for an hour.
Punch the dough down. Divide it into 6 or 7 pieces and roll each into a ball. On a floured surface, roll the balls to flatten them. You want them to be ¼-inch thick or slightly thinner.
Cook in a skillet with a little oil over medium-high heat, for 3 to 4 minutes on each side.
10. New Crop Applesauce
Applesauce is a delicious and healthy snack, especially when you make it yourself with apples that are fresh from the orchard. The New York Times reports that new crop apples — the proper term for apples that have just been picked — aren’t something you’ll find at a supermarket. Instead, you’re best off heading to the farmers market, a farm stand, or even an apple tree in your own backyard. This delicious apple sauce can be served warm, at room temperature, or chilled, depending on your preference.
- 6 firm apples (look for varieties like Cortland or Macoun)
- ½ cup sugar
- ½ small lemon, sliced ¼-inch thick and with seeds removed
- 1 short piece cinnamon stick
Directions: Peel and core the apples. Cut them into large chunks. (They don’t need to be finely or precisely sliced.) Put the apple chunks in a wide heavy saucepan. Add the sugar, lemon, and cinnamon stick, stirring with a wooden spoon to combine. Add ½ cup water.
Put the saucepan over medium-high heat. Bring the mixture to a brisk simmer. Then reduce the heat to medium-low and cover the pan. Cook until the apples are soft, which should take about 15 minutes. After the apples have softened, remove the lemon and the cinnamon stick. Next, mash the apples with a wooden spoon in order to achieve a texture that’s fairly rough. Serve chilled or warm.
11. Crispy Roasted Chickpeas
Roasted chickpeas are a savory snack that’s incredibly healthy — at least if you don’t succumb to the temptation to eat far too many in one sitting. The Kitchn explains how to make this simple and delicious snack in the oven. Just make sure that you dry the chickpeas thoroughly, perhaps by rolling them between two dish towels, before you bake them. And don’t skimp on the olive oil if you want them crispy. (While they don’t stay crispy once they cool, they do turn a great kind of chewy.) It’s also best to wait to add any spices or seasonings until after the chickpeas come out of the oven.
- 2 15-ounce cans chickpeas
- 2 tablespoons olive oil
- ½ to ¾ teaspoon salt
- 2 to 4 teaspoons spices or finely chopped fresh herbs (like chili powder, curry powder, garam masala, cumin, smoked paprika, rosemary, or thyme)
Directions: Place a rack in the middle of the oven and preheat to 400 degrees Fahrenheit.
Place the chickpeas in a strainer and thoroughly rinse. Pat them dry with dish towels or paper towels until they look matte and feel dry to the touch. If you aren’t in a hurry, let them air-dry for a few minutes. Discard any chickpea skins that come off while drying.
Distribute the chickpeas in an even layer on a baking sheet. Drizzle them with the olive oil and sprinkle with salt. Use a spatula or your hands to stir until the chickpeas are evenly coated in oil.
Roast in the oven for 20 to 30 minutes, stirring the chickpeas or shaking the pan every 10 minutes. Don’t be alarmed if some of the chickpeas pop. Remove from the oven when the chickpeas are golden and slightly darkened, with a dry and crispy exterior and a soft middle.
Once you’ve removed the chickpeas from the oven, add the spices and stir to coat. Serve.
12. Fruit Salad in a Jar
Fruit salad is a nutritious and satisfying snack. But when you want a late night snack or when you’re rummaging around in the kitchen for a mid-afternoon pick-me-up, it’s not the fastest thing to assemble. Solve that problem with The Kitchn’s recipe for a fruit salad in a jar. You can use whatever fruits you picked up at the farmers market. And you can add fresh herbs like mint or basil, or spices and extracts like cinnamon or vanilla. You can also add nuts and seeds if you want some healthy fat and fiber.
- 1 small apple, chopped
- 1 medium tangerine, peeled and sliced
- 1 cup fresh pineapple, chopped
- ½ cup blueberries
- 1 lemon, juiced, plus 2 slices for garnish
- 2 tablespoons walnuts
Directions: Divide the apple between 2 half-pint mason jars. Then add the tangerine, pineapple, and blueberries. Pour the lemon juice over the fruit. Spoon the walnuts in on top and garnish with a lemon slice.
13. Chunky Peach Popsicles
Everybody loves popsicles. And a healthy popsicle — like these chunky peach popsicles from EatingWell — is a snack you can enjoy without any guilt. These popsicles are one of the rare sweet snacks that is not only low in calories, fat, and carbs, but is also vegan, diabetic-appropriate, and gluten-free. These popsicles can be stored in the freezer for up to three weeks — if you can really wait that long to finish them off.
- 1¼ pounds ripe peaches, (3 to 4 medium peaches), halved and pitted
- Juice of 1 lemon
- ¼ cup freshly squeezed orange juice
- ¼ cup sugar, or to taste
- ¼ teaspoon vanilla extract
Directions: Use a food processor to coarsely chop the peaches. Take 1 cup of the peaches out of the food processor and transfer it to a medium bowl. To the peaches that are still in the food processor, add lemon juice, orange juice, and sugar to taste. Puree until smooth.
Add the pureed peaches into the bowl with the chunky peaches. Stir in the vanilla.
Divide the mixture into 12 2-ounce freezer pop molds or 8 3-ounce molds. Freeze for an hour, or until the mixture has begun to set. Add sticks and freeze until completely set, for approximately another hour.
14. Kale Chips
Kale chips are a crispy and versatile snack. One that you can enjoy even if you wouldn’t normally opt for raw kale in a salad. According to the Minimalist Baker, this recipe can be modified to include whatever seasonings you want. This snack takes just 30 minutes to make. And it’s both vegan and gluten-free, which means it’s perfect for sharing with friends on a variety of different diets.
- 1 large bundle curly green or purple kale
- 1 to 2 tablespoons melted coconut or avocado oil
- Seasonings of choice (some options include a pinch sea salt, 1 teaspoon cumin powder, 1 teaspoon chili powder, 1 teaspoon curry powder, or 1 tablespoon nutritional yeast)
Directions: Preheat oven to 225 degrees Fahrenheit. A convection bake mode, if you have it, will make the chips cook faster and turn out crispier.
Rinse and dry the kale, then tear it into small pieces. Discard any large stems. Toss the kale in a bowl with oil and seasonings. Use your hands to distribute the oil and seasonings.
In order to ensure that the kale crisps up while baking, arrange the pieces over two baking sheets. Individual pieces should touch as little as possible.
Bake for 15 minutes. Then turn the pans and toss the kale. Bake for 5 to 10 minutes longer, until the kale is crispy and slightly browned. Remove from the oven and allow to cool slightly before serving.
15. Edamame in the Shell
If you like edamame, there’s just about no snack that’s healthier. (Or easier to prepare.) As noted in Mark Bittman’s recipe for The New York Times, edamame is low in calories and fat. It’s also perfect if you’re looking for a vegetarian or gluten-free snack. And it’s a welcome break from common veggie snacks like baby carrots or celery sticks. These young soybeans are commonly served in China, Japan, and Korea, and also work as a side dish for meals from any of those cuisines.
- 1 pound fresh or frozen edamame in their pods
- Black pepper to taste
Directions: Bring a large pot of water to a boil. Salt the water generously. Add the edamame and return to a boil. Cook the edamame until they turn bright green, for 3 to 5 minutes. Drain.
Alternately, you can prepare the edamame in the microwave. Add it to a microwave-safe dish with ¼ cup of water and a pinch of salt. Partially cover the dish. Microwave on high until the edamame is bright green. It will take between 1 and 5 minutes, depending on the power of your microwave.
Sprinkle the edamame with a teaspoon of salt, and the amount of black pepper that you prefer. It can be served hot, warm, or chilled, with an extra bowl for the pods.
Kirsten Yovino also contributed to this article.