6 Nutritionist-Approved Snacks
These on-the-go innovations deserve a place in your cupboard.
If your daily snack regimen is suffering from handful-of-almonds fatigue, take hope: Health-conscious companies are upping the ante with what you can eat on the fly, from kale doused in chili-laced cacao to parsnips seasoned with a chef’s hand.
“A diet of whole foods is best, but these snacks show the beauty of what you can do with health-minded minimal processing. Plus it’s probably not a bad thing to find ways to eat more unusual veggies even if they’re dehydrated and come in a bag,” says Ryan Andrews, R.D., a fitness and nutrition coach with Precision Nutrition.
This gluten-free, soy-free, mostly organic group may even help you finally throw over your potato chip habit if you haven’t already.
Azzizah’s Herbal Green Popcorn
What it is: Hot-air popped organic corn seasoned with spirulina, nutritional yeast, cayenne pepper, sea salt, and spices like turmeric.
How it tastes: Cheesy, spicy, and addictive. The salty, hot, sweet kick keeps you reaching for all 3 servings in the small bag.
The nutritionist’s take: "The corn is organic, which is good, and turmeric is a great anti-inflammatory," says Andrews. "The sodium is a little high at 720 mg if you eat the whole bag. Spirulina is an algae that’s being added to a lot of protein powders too, it’s rich in iron and protein but can sometimes contain toxins depending on where it’s grown.”
Urban Remedy Carrot Curry Crackers
What it is: A cracker that can stand alone or up to dips. Organic carrots, flax and sunflower seeds, dates, curry, coconut sugar, cayenne, and more.
How it tastes: Nice combo of sweet and spice, the carrot and curry blends well and isn’t overpowering. Broken up over a salad, it makes a great crouton.
The nutritionist’s take: “Carrots are a great source of Vitamin A, the flax seeds provide some omega-3 fatty acids and the sunflower seeds offer protein and antioxidants like Vitamin E. The dates are more sugary than some other fruits but it’s not an isolated sugar and they contain essential minerals. The coconut sugar seems unnecessary, but they’re using minimal amounts, so it’s a non-issue,” says Andrews.
Tamarind Apple Brussel Bytes
What it is: Brussel sprouts shaved into pieces and dregged in a blend of raw cashew, apple cider vinegar, apples, tamarind, ginger, and more.
How it tastes: If you’re not already a BP fan you will be after trying these. This veggie’s taste is always distinct but it blends perfectly with the tamarind, apple, ginger, and cilantro flavors.
The nutritionist’s take: “Brussel sprouts are linked to numerous health benefits, including a lowered risk of cancer. They’re rich in vitamins and minerals and the apple cider vinegar here can aid absorption. Overall you’re getting a good balance of protein, fiber, and healthy fat,” Andrews says.
Cheesy Herb Truffle Parsnip Coconut Snip Chips
What it is: Parsnips, unsweetened coconut, red bell peppers, nutritional yeast, rosemary, truffle oil, and more.
How it tastes: Each chip is substantial thanks to the parsnip-coconut blend but they’re more sweet than cheesy. The truffle oil makes them satisfyingly rich but it’s subtle so you won’t be put off if it’s not your favorite.
What the nutritionist says: “I love that the first ingredient is a root veggie like parsnips–they pack Vitamin C and E, are high in potassium and fiber and have no added sugar, all of which is great,” says Andrews. “The nutritional yeast is a good source of vitamins like B12 as well.”
Wild Zora Parmesan Tomato Basil Beef & Veggie Bar
What it is: Jerky meets bar for a handy kind of protein. Made from 100% grass-fed beef without antiobiotics or added hormones plus parmesan cheese and a mix of organic red bell pepper, apricots, basil, kale, tomato, and more.
How it tastes: Sweet and savory. The parmesan, basil, and tomato make it like a gourmet meatloaf you can eat on the run.
The nutritionist’s take: “I favor a highly plant-based diet, but something like this might be able to fit in smaller amounts,” says Andrews. “I like that it’s minimally processed, grass-fed beef because grass is a more natural diet for cows than grains. It’s a protein-dense snack, you get 9 grams in the serving and it’s low sugar at 4 grams.”
Lemongrass Chili Dipperz
What it is: Crudité that’s dehydrated and already dipped. A mix of broccoli, cauliflower, carrots, and raw cashews seasoned with tamari, cilantro, lemongrass, and more.
How it tastes: Earthy, cheesy and interesting with a “meaty” bite and enough of a smoky/lemony kick of chipotle and lemongrass that one serving satisfies.
The nutritionist’s take: “This sounds fantastic, I love that the primary ingredients are vegetables. It has no added sugars or refined grains, and you’re getting some protein and healthy fat from the nuts. And I’m a fan of anything that’s certified organic—it’s good for you, the soil, the farmers, the whole environment,” says Andrews.