Forget the Caffeine! 5 Snacks that Give You Healthy Energy

It’s called the 3 p.m. crash: That moment when you realize if you don’t eat something now you are going to either face-plant on your keyboard or go into a state of hanger (hungry equals anger). Anytime you go for more than four or five hours without eating your body’s energy levels will drop, and while the vending machine may be right around the corner, those sugar-filled carb-based snacks will leave you wanting more in a matter of minutes. Be prepared for the mid-afternoon crash by bringing snacks that will hit you with a punch of protein and energy to keep you going until your next meal.

1. Cheese and Veggie Quinoa Bites

carrots

Sliced carrots | iStock.com

These delicious bites of goodness are full of protein from cheese and the complex protein, quinoa. Make a batch of these, and pack a few for your daily snack. This recipe makes 24 mini bites that are packed with veggies and are guaranteed to keep you satisfied until dinner. Recipe from The Curvy Carrot.

Ingredients:

  • 2 cups cooked quinoa
  • 2 large eggs
  • 3 carrots, shredded
  • 1½ cups fresh spinach, chopped
  • 1 medium shallot, chopped
  • 2 teaspoons garlic
  • 4 ounces sharp cheddar cheese, grated
  • 2 tablespoons flour
  • Sea salt and pepper, to taste

Directions at The Curvy Carrot.

2. Sweet Potato Smoothie

Smoothie | iStock.com

Make this smoothie from Bonnie Taub-Dix before work, and pack it to go in a mason jar or your to-go cup for easy portability. Throw it in the fridge at work, and enjoy this refreshing, energy-packed smoothie mid-morning or mid-afternoon. The Greek yogurt and chia seeds will give you the protein needed to get through your day, and the sweet potato gives this concoction a smooth texture. This recipe makes 2 cups.

Ingredients:

  • ½ medium baked sweet potato
  • ½ cup plain 0% fat Greek yogurt
  • ½ cup skim milk
  • ½  banana
  • 1 teaspoon ground sweetened cocoa powder
  • 1 teaspoon chia seeds
  • 3 ice cubes

Bonnie Taub-Dix has the directions.

3. Homemade Hummus and Veggies

hummus-with-pita-bread-and-vegetables.jpg

Hummus | iStock.com

Hummus is surprisingly easy to make and full of protein, iron, and magnesium from this recipe’s main ingredient, the garbanzo bean also known as the chickpea. This super easy recipe from AllRecipes.com keeps the ingredient list simple, although you can feel free to add tahini (sesame paste) or sesame oil to the mixture to taste.

Ingredients:

  • 1 (15-ounce) can garbanzo beans, drained, liquid reserved
  • 1 tablespoon lemon juice
  • 1 tablespoon olive oil
  • 1 clove garlic, crushed
  • ½ teaspoon ground cumin
  • ½ teaspoon salt

Directions at AllRecipes.

4. Spicy Oven-Roasted Chickpeas

chickpeas

Chickpeas | iStock.com

The garbanzo bean/chickpea strikes again with this easy-to-follow recipe from the Food Network that will provide you with a boost of energy and enough spice to keep you awake. If you’re hoping to lose weight, the paprika in this recipe is known to boost your metabolism, reduce your appetite, and lower your blood pressure.

Ingredients:

  • 2 (15-ounce) cans chickpeas
  • 2 tablespoons olive oil
  • 1 teaspoon paprika
  • 1 teaspoon ground cumin
  • Pinch cayenne pepper
  • Salt to taste

Directions at Food Network

5. Cranberry Pistachio Energy Bites

cranberries

Dried cranberries | iStock.com

Make Gimme Some Oven’s no-bake energy filled bites regularly, and you can replace expensive, sugar-packed granola bars for good. These energy bites are also a great substitute for breakfast when you don’t have time to sit down for a bowl of granola or oatmeal. For a full list of healthy energy-bite recipes, check out a complete list on Greatist.com.

Ingredients:

  • 8 ounces (about 1 packed cup) chopped dates
  • ½ cup honey
  • 1 tablespoon chia seeds (optional)
  • 1 tablespoon ground flax seeds
  • Pinch of salt
  • 1½ cups old-fashioned oats (dry, not cooked)
  • 1 cup shelled pistachio nuts
  • 1 cup dried cranberries
  • ⅓ cup white chocolate chips (optional)

Directions at Gimme Some Oven

 

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