Achieving a lean look might start in the kitchen, but that doesn’t mean you have to starve yourself to skinniness. The key to maintaining a well-balanced diet is staying satiated throughout the day so that your hand doesn’t reach for the metaphorical cookie jar. That means that you can (and should) eat between meals, but you should also make sure you’re eating snacks that will work for you rather than against you.
We’ve rounded up 10 satiating snacks that will fill you up the healthy way and help you lose weight. Swap out the store bought chemical-laden granola bars and cookies, and swap them for these homemade bites. They’re made with whole ingredients that are sure to satisfy your stomach and your taste buds.
1. Nut Butter and Yogurt-Dipped Fruit
First up is an easy recipe from Cooking Light. Take your favorite fruit and dip it in nut butter and Greek yogurt. Stick it in the freezer, wait 20 minutes, and then enjoy. By dipping your fruit in nut butter and yogurt, you add to the fiber and protein content of your snack, guaranteeing it’ll satiate you for longer. Instead of only snacking on fruit that will probably keep you full for no more than 10 minutes, dip it in Greek yogurt and nut butter, and you’ll enjoy the enriched taste and nutrient content that’ll keep you satiated till your next meal.
- 1 pint fresh strawberries
- 1 cup unsweetened, dried apricots
- 1 tablespoon honey
- 2 cups 2% Greek Yogurt
- ⅓ cup unsalted, creamy almond butter warmed in the microwave
Directions: Mix honey with yogurt. If not freezing, mix in the almond butter straight into the yogurt and eat. If freezing, dip the fruit into the honey-yogurt mixture then add another layer by dipping the fruit into the warm almond butter. Add toppings or freeze for 20 minutes.
2. Peanut Butter and Jelly Smoothie
Smoothies serve as a great snack in between meals, especially after a workout. Just remember that they can be high in calories, so you should watch what you put in the blender. Keep it sweet and simple by adding one or two varieties of fruit in the blender, and then concentrate on the other ingredients that will give you fiber and protein.
In this recipe from Eating Well, the primary ingredients are Greek yogurt and peanut butter. Those will combine with spinach, banana slices, and frozen strawberries to make a peanut butter and jelly smoothie that is optionally sweetened with a pinch of maple syrup. This smoothie can serve as a small meal or as a substantial snack, and its healthy whole ingredients will fill you up so you don’t need to supplement your diet with crackers or cookies.
- ½ cup low-fat milk
- ⅓ cup nonfat plain Greek yogurt
- 1 cup baby spinach
- 1 cup frozen banana slices (about 1 medium banana)
- ½ cup frozen strawberries
- 1 tablespoon natural peanut butter
- 1 to 2 teaspoons pure maple syrup or honey (optional)
Directions: Add milk and yogurt to a blender, then add spinach, banana, strawberries, peanut butter, and sweetener. Blend until smooth.
3. No Sugar Added Applesauce
Next time you’re craving sweets in between meals, reach for some homemade applesauce rather than for the cookies or candy in your cupboard. You can easily make applesauce with this recipe from Food.com. It’s a no sugar added recipe, and it is naturally flavored with nutmeg, cinnamon, and lemon slices. A small cup of applesauce will appease your sweet tooth, and then you can go on with your day. Even better, the fiber from the apples will help keep you satisfied, allowing you to maintain your diet without depriving yourself.
- 3 pounds apples
- 1 teaspoon cinnamon
- 1 pinch nutmeg
- 1 ½ cups water
- 2 thin lemon slices
- ¼ teaspoon salt
Directions: Peel and core apples. Cut apples into approximately 1 inch cubes.
Add all ingredients to pot, and turn heat on high. Bring to a boil, then cover and reduce heat to low. Simmer for 20 minutes or until the apples have softened significantly.
Stir frequently, making sure that the apples are not sticking to the bottom of the pot. Add more water if necessary. Remove lemon slices.
Mash with a potato masher or use a food mill for a smoother consistency. Serve warm or at room temperature.
4. Lightened-up White Bean Dip
When people are craving a snack to crunch on, they often bring out the chips and fat-laden dip. Unfortunately, such a snack choice won’t keep you satisfied, and you’ll find your hand going back into the bag more than you care to admit. Queso cheese might be tasty, but it doesn’t fill you up fast enough, and that’s where a nutrient-rich, fibrous dip comes in. Take this white bean dip from Food Network as an example. It’s simply made with white beans, cottage cheese, thyme, paprika, and olive oil. So portion out a few crackers and enjoy a serving of this dip without feeling any guilt.
- ⅔ cup reduced-fat 2% cottage cheese
- 1 tablespoon apple cider vinegar
- ½ teaspoon dried thyme
- One 15.5-ounce can cannellini beans, rinsed and drained
- Kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper
- 2 teaspoons good quality olive oil
- Pinch smoked or sweet paprika
- Chopped chives, for garnish
Directions: Combine the cottage cheese, vinegar, thyme, beans, ¼ teaspoon salt, and ¼ teaspoon pepper in a food processor. Puree until smooth, scraping down the sides of the bowl as needed. Chill 30 minutes to 1 hour.
Transfer to a serving bowl and drizzle with the olive oil, sprinkle with the paprika and garnish with chives.
5. Mini Zucchini Pizzas
You’re going to like this next snack recipe from Delish. This recipe teaches you how to make mini zucchini pizzas that are reminiscent of the real thing, minus the carbs. Instead of munching on plain zucchini strips in between meals, make them more exciting by adding a little cheese and pizza sauce to the mix.
- 3 large zucchini, sliced into ¼ inch rounds
- Extra-virgin olive oil, for brushing
- ¼ cup marinara or pizza sauce
- ⅓ cup shredded mozzarella
- ⅓ cup mini pepperoni
- Dried oregano, for sprinkling
Directions: Preheat oven to 400 degrees Fahrenheit. Place sliced zucchini on a baking sheet and brush with olive oil. Bake until slightly tender, 5 minutes.
Spoon a thin layer of sauce over each slice, then top with mozzarella and mini pepperoni. Sprinkle with dried oregano and bake until zucchini is tender and cheese is melted, 10 minutes more.
6. Peanut Butter Date Balls
This next satiating snack is composed of only three ingredients: oatmeal, peanut butter, and dates. That’s all you need to make the energizing snack balls from Food.com that are filled with fiber, protein, and healthy fats. Dates are natural sweeteners that are also full of healthy fats, and when they’re paired with peanut butter, it’s a match made in sweet and savory heaven. Don’t believe us? Try them.
- 12 dates, chopped
- 1⁄3 cup oatmeal
- 2 ½ tablespoons peanut butter
Directions: Combine the three ingredients in a food processor. Shape into balls. You can either refrigerate them until they’re firm or consume them immediately.
7. Healthy Trail Mix
We all know that trail mix can be addicting, but the snack only serves to healthfully satiate you if it is full of the right ingredients. Many trail mixes are full of candies, chocolate, and added sugar, but you can avoid those extra calories by making a healthy trail mix at home. This Delish recipe is full of whole ingredients and doesn’t have any added sugar. The fiber and protein from the nuts are guaranteed to fill you up before you overdo it, so you can depend on this healthy trail mix as a snack that will keep you in check while still making sure you’re not starving between meals.
- ¼ cup raw almonds
- ¼ cup raw cashews
- ¼ cup raw walnut halves
- sea salt or kosher salt
- ¼ cup golden raisins
- ¼ cup dried cranberries
- ¼ cup dried apricots
- ¼ cup banana chips
Directions: Preheat the oven to 350 degrees Fahrenheit. Toss the nuts with a pinch of salt and spread on a baking sheet. Toast for 10 minutes until golden, stirring halfway through. Let the nuts cool completely. Mix the nuts with the dried fruits.
8. Dressed Up Yogurt
This next snack from Bon Appetit is less of a recipe and more of a food formula. You can easily amp up the flavor and nutrition content of your favorite snack by simply adding a little natural sugar and crunch to the mix. This dressed up yogurt is all about the honey, figs, and pine nuts that go into your favorite cup of dairy. The honey naturally sweetens the yogurt, while the pine nuts give it texture and crunch. The dressed up yogurt stays low in calories, all while upping the satiety potential. The recipe serves 8.
- 3 tablespoons pine nuts
- ¼ cup honey
- ½ teaspoon rose water or orange-flower water
- 3 cups plain Greek yogurt
- 16 fresh figs, halved
Directions: Toast pine nuts in a dry small skillet over medium-low heat, tossing often, until golden brown, about 4 minutes. Immediately transfer to a plate.
Heat honey and rose water in a small saucepan over medium heat, stirring occasionally, until very runny, about 1 minute; let cool.
Serve yogurt and figs drizzled with warm honey mixture and topped with pine nuts.
9. Avocado Yogurt Dip
Keeping with the yogurt theme, we come to another recipe from Cooking Light that enlists the protein-packed snack. This avocado yogurt dip is not only packed with nutrients, it’s also packed with flavor, as it’s made by combining yogurt, onions, cilantro, cumin, avocado, and garlic in a food processor. The green creamy dip will fill your stomach in between meals and keep you from overeating at dinner.
- ¾ cup plain fat-free yogurt
- ½ cup finely chopped red onion
- 3 tablespoons chopped fresh cilantro
- 1 tablespoon finely chopped seeded jalapeño pepper
- 2 tablespoons fresh lime juice
- 1 tablespoon ground cumin
- ½ teaspoon salt
- 3 ripe peeled avocados, seeded and coarsely chopped
- 1 garlic clove, minced
Directions: Place all the ingredients in a food processor or blender, and process until smooth.
10. Spicy Cereal Mix
Here’s one last snack you can make at home and take with you on the go. The recipe for this spicy cereal mix comes from Food Network, and it’s a step up from the sodium- and calorie-packed stuff you find at the grocery store. To give it that kick, you’ll need to toss in a mixture of olive oil, Worcestershire sauce, hot sauce, garlic powder, cumin, onion powder, and cayenne pepper, and then you’ll need to bake it for 40 minutes. What you’re left with is a snack that’ll make you feel good inside and out.
Directions: Preheat the oven to 350 degrees Fahrenheit. Whisk the olive oil, Worcestershire sauce, hot sauce, garlic powder, cumin, onion powder, cayenne, and ½ teaspoon salt in a bowl. Combine the rice cereal squares, cornflakes, pita chips, and pepitas in a bowl. Toss with the spice mixture and spread on a baking sheet. Bake, stirring occasionally, until golden, about 40 minutes.