5 Balanced Snacks to Curb Hunger and Satisfy Your Sweet Tooth

     We've all been there before - reaching for a box of crackers or a bag of chips during the afternoon to tide yourself over until dinner.  Before you know it, half of the box of crackers might be gone and you still aren't satisfied.  It's easy to plow through a box of crackers in just 1-2 sittings, because most of them don't have the proper balance of macronutrients.  You know what though? The same thing applies when you eat fruits or vegetables solo for snacks too.  The satiety factor just isn't there if you don't pair your carbohydrates with fat and protein (or at minimum, one or the other).  Eating properly balanced meals and snacks throughout the day is a great way to minimize spikes in blood sugar (and subsequently insulin) and eliminate "hanger" and the mood changes that go along with it, if you know what I mean.  Below I'm going to list 5 snacks I've been all about lately to curb hunger and cravings and still satisfy your sweet tooth if you've got one. 

1. Celery with Nut Butter and Chocolate Chips

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Plain celery just isn’t going to cut it for most people from a taste or satiety standpoint.  While this kind of reminds me of eating “ants on a log” with raisins and peanut butter in Kindergarten, there is something addicting and satisfying about throwing a few dark chocolate chips onto your celery and nut butter log.  Sprinkle with a bit of sea salt to up the flavor intensity even more.  The fat and protein from the nut butter makes this snack quite satisfying and the bit of carbs from a few chocolate chips isn’t enough to cause any major blood sugar imbalances for most. 

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2. Banana with Nut Butter (and optional cinnamon sprinkle)

This is one of my all time favorite snacks.  Spread some natural peanut butter over banana slices and sprinkle with cinnamon if desired.  This is SO much more satisfying than just eating the banana by itself.  Always listen to your body, but many people are satisfied with 1/2 of a large banana or 1 small banana when you add on the fat and protein from the nut butter.  If you use only 1/2 of the banana, save the other half to throw into the freezer for a smoothie on a later date.  This also could make a great travel snack if you buy portable nut butter packets.  

3. Rx Bars

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I’ve tried many bars, and these are one of the only ones that actually keep me full for at least 3 hours or so.  Fair warning, some people take issue with the super chewy texture and you might have to look in the mirror to check your teeth before engaging in a conversation with anyone after eating one.  Other than that, I actually love the taste of these, but I know they are hit or miss for some people.  

 

4. Raw Nuts with Berries, Cinnamon, and Milk 

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Instead of eating a bowl of cereal, try eating a bowl of raw nuts with some berries (which are low glycemic index compared to many other fruits) and a few chocolate chips if desired.  Pour milk of choice (plant-based or dairy) on top.  My favorite combo is blanched almonds with blueberries, strawberries, a few chocolate chips, cinnamon, and sometimes a drizzle of natural peanut butter on top too.  Eat with a spoon like cereal. 

 

 

 

5. Siggis 2% or Full-Fat Yogurt (or Full-Fat Greek Yogurt)

If you tolerate dairy, Siggis yogurt should totally become your new jam.  The macro content is hard to beat from a balance standpoint and you also get gut-healthy probiotics from it. Go for the 2% or full-fat variety because it will be more satisfying than eating low-fat yogurt.  Optional toppings include slivered almonds or berries if you want to jazz it up a bit.

 That’s some awesome macronutrient balance there with the 10 g carbohydrate, 9 G protein, and 10 g fat.

That’s some awesome macronutrient balance there with the 10 g carbohydrate, 9 G protein, and 10 g fat.

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   There you have it! Comment below if you try any of these or if you have a favorite balanced snack idea you’d like to share! If you like these ideas and want more, you can download my Free 2-3 Macro Snack handout by subscribing to my email list on my home page.

Almond and Oat Pumpkin Chocolate Chip Muffins

     Fall in Michigan just screams all things pumpkin, so I figured it would be a shame if I didn't pick up some cans of pumpkin purée and see what I could whip up in the kitchen.  My mom would always make homemade pumpkin bread when I was younger and we would just devour slices of it with butter spread on top.  Instead of using white flour like most bread recipes use, I decided to use a combination of almond flour AND old fashioned oats for this recipe because I happened to have both on hand.  I also wanted to boost the nutritional value (fiber and healthy fats) and reduce the glycemic index a bit.  My family (which includes my husband and 2-year old daughter) may or may not have eaten 2-dozen of these within 3 days.  I would highly suggesting putting a little bit of grass-fed butter or nut butter on them because, well, do I need an explanation?  

 Pumpkin muffins made with almond flour, oats, and chocolate chips

I think you will love these muffins, they are:

Just slightly sweet
Moist (I know I know, sorry to use that word...)
Flavorful

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These are super easy to make! You literally just combine the wet and dry ingredients together with a spoon and bake for about 22 minutes!  

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Almond and Oat Pumpkin Chocolate Chip Muffins
Delicious pumpkin muffins made with almond flour and oats.
Ingredients
  • 1 cup old fashioned oats (GF if needed)
  • 1 cup almond flour
  • 1/3 cup dark chocolate chips
  • 1 tsp cinnamon
  • 1 tsp pumpkin pie spice
  • 1/4 tsp salt
  • 1/2 tsp baking soda
  • 2/3 cup canned pumpkin purée
  • 1/4 cup pure maple syrup
  • 2 eggs, beaten
  • 2 tablespoons milk (plant or cow)
  • 1 tablespoon coconut oil, melted
  • 1 tsp pure vanilla extract
Instructions
1. Pre-heat oven to 350F. 2. Line muffin pan with parchment paper liners (if using). 3. Combine all dry ingredients (minus chocolate chips) in one bowl and all wet ingredients in a second bowl. 4. Pour wet ingredients over dry and stir well with a spoon (do not over-mix). 5. Fold in chocolate chips 6. Spoon equal amounts of batter into each cupcake tin and then bake on 350 for 20-25 minutes until a toothpick inserted comes out clean.
Details
Prep time: Cook time: Total time: Yield: 12 muffins

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