Is your snack game lacking a little imagination? Snacks are usually a part of the rushed times of our lives. We throw them in our glove compartment so that we have something to boost our blood sugar while we drive between errands and meetings. We have snacks in each purse, in case hunger strikes when we’re walking down the sidewalk. We stash them in our desk, for those times when extra work means a later lunch. Since we’re usually rushed when we eat snacks, we tend to rush when we buy them, and stick to the same old boring suspects. Peanut butter. Bananas. Granola bars. String cheese. These are certainly good and nutritious items, but your snacks could be doing a lot more for you. They could be giving you more energy, and just more flavor points. Here are weird but healthy snacks you shouldn’t write off.
A new kind of jerky
When it comes to dried meats, snackers are catching onto the fact that it doesn’t have to be all beef, all the time. Try salmon jerky when you’re trying to cut back on red meat and get those healthy omega-3s on-the-go. Duck and ostrich are great options, too.
You’re likely used to pouring these out of a can and into your salads or blenders to make hummus. But baked chickpeas bring all of the high fiber and protein of this food to an easy, pop-in-your-mouth snack.
Icelandic style yogurt
Move over Greek yogurt; there’s a new cool, creamy, spoon-licking-good snack in town. Icelandic style yogurt is super high in protein. Eighty calories worth of the stuff packs 15 grams of protein and only four grams of sugar.
Toasted coconut chips
Traditionally, consuming coconut is a bit of a challenge. It usually involves an ax and a lot of willpower. But that’s over now that you can have toasted coconut chips. They are not only delicious on an addictive level, but boast potassium, magnesium, and electrolytes, making them a great gym snack.
Lentils aren’t just for that soup your mom used to force you to eat. When baked into a chip, they add fiber and protein. Who knew chips could be one of your greatest allies in stabilizing your blood sugar?
Okay it may not be the most appealing snack to look at, but dried seaweed is worth a second glance. You eat the stuff on your sushi, don’t you? So try the dried stuff because it provides a lot of important nutrients, including iodine—something we need to produce thyroid hormones.
It’s time to spice up your fruit. Have you seen those bags of dried fruit hanging by the checkout line? Covered in some odd, rough, red substance? Those are spices. Not only do they taste amazing on things like dried papaya, mango, and pineapple, but they can also improve digestion and circulation.
Adzuki beans are a bright red bean from East Asia. They’re usually mashed into a paste and made into all sorts of sweets and snacks. They are loaded with fiber and protein, as well as zinc, iron, folate, and other very important nutrients.
Teff baked goods
You may have had Teff if you’ve eaten Ethiopian food—it’s used in the Injera bread. But more bakers are putting it in their sliced bread, muffins, cookies and more because it has an impressive balance of amino acids, calcium, protein, and iron.
Purple potato chips
It’s no secret that purple produce—like blueberries, blackberries, and plums—pack a lot of nutrition. Purple potatoes are no different. They have plenty of antioxidants, Phytonutrients, and fiber. So grab those bright purple potato chips.
If you see Spirulina in a snack bar, chip, cookie, or baked good, grab it. This super food’s nutritional profile is sixty percent protein. It also contains beta-carotene, iron, and chromium.
If you’re weaning yourself off of Pirate’s Booty, try some Pea Crisps as your next, puffy, salty food. Twenty-two crisps will only cost you 120 calories, and they’re delicious.
While they may not be the usual, round shape you expect of your chip-like foods, plantain strips deserve your attention. One cup of the stuff can give you nearly half of your daily vitamin C needs. Keep these on hand during cold and flu season.
Sure they’re green, slimy, and sticky, but they have one of the highest concentrations of calcium of any food. Kelp has ten times more calcium than milk. So keep it in your fridge for a quick pick-me-up.
Do you prefer your snacks sweet? Grab some cacao nibs. They have an impressive number of antioxidants, can boost your energy, and may even be a fat-burner.