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Making healthy choices while eating on the go can be tough. Sometimes a bag of Doritos just sounds soooo good.
But despite the convenience, prepackaged, nonperishable goodies (and even many homemade snacks) are often packed with sugar, sodium, and other not so great ingredients.
Let us help out. Here are 32 of our favorite healthy snacks to grab and go — no refrigeration required.
1. Annie Chun’s seaweed snacks
Seaweed is quite the superfood: It’s full of antioxidants, calcium, and tons of vitamins and minerals. But while the health benefits are many, its slimy texture doesn’t appeal to everyone.
Annie Chun’s seaweed snacks are crunchy and come in multiple flavors (brown sugar, anyone?), so the snack tastes less like algae, and more like a small slice of heaven.
2. Trail mix
We love trail mix, with its tasty mix of nuts, fruit, and other goodies — but high amounts of sugar and saturated fat mean this snack can be a dangerfood (not to mention easy to overeat).
Luckily, there’s several tricks for keeping it healthy, like buying pre-portioned bags, storing it in single serving bags, or whipping up one of these 21 healthier trail mix recipes at home.
3. Green pea chips
Baking veggie chips can be fun, but there are times when buying them is simply easier.
Our store-bought favorite? Trader Joe’s Contemplates Inner Peas. (We dig the Zen name, too). Filling up on greens has never tasted so good. Just beware of eating the entire bag in one sitting.
4. Pretzels and cheese
It’s true: Cheese does require refrigeration. But if you’re planning to snack midday, string cheese will hold up just fine. We recommend pairing a stick with a small bag of whole-grain pretzels.
5. Mary’s Gone Crackers
Thanks to the rise in popularity of gluten-free diets, finding wheat-free products is no longer so difficult for those who need them. What is difficult is finding ones that are both healthy and tasty. Mary’s Gone Crackers, however, are both.
Made with brown rice, flax, and other gluten-free grains, the crackers are both tasty and sturdy — perfect for a topping like Justin’s nut butter squeeze packs.
6. Dry cereal
Cereal is a popular breakfast food for a reason. It’s super convenient and can offer healthy carbs, fiber, and protein. It’s also easy to throw in a container, toss in your bag, and eat on the go.
Just be careful when it comes to serving sizes and be sure to read labels, since some breakfast cereals can be high in calories and sugar. Here are some of our healthy faves.
7. Suzie’s Puffed Rice Thin Cakes
Looking for a lighter, more compact version of rice cakes? Try Suzie’s Puffed Rice Thin Cakes. They may be thin, but they’re sturdy enough to stand up to the likes of avocado, a great topper made even better with a dash of Sriracha.
8. Dark chocolate
It’s true: chocolate can be a healthy snack. The key is sticking to dark varieties, which pack antioxidants and have even been linked to better mental health.
Pair dark chocolate with a healthy sidekick, like a clementine or pomegranate seeds. Just try not to eat the entire bar. It’s all about moderation, after all.
9. Turbana plantain chips
Chips made from plantains may not be as familiar as the fried, potato-based variety, but they’re a much healthier option — and still quite good!
Turbana keeps it simple by using all-natural ingredients in their seven varieties. We love pairing the chili-flavored version with hummus.
10. Buddy Fruits pure blended fruit
Squeezable fruit in a pouch may look like something you’d give your toddler (and good for you, if you do!) but these handy snacks can help adults get our daily dose of fruit, too.
Buddy Fruits’ prepackaged fruit blends come in multiple flavors, from plain apple to banana-mango, all made with 100% real fruit.
11. KIND cinnamon oat bar
KIND consistently ranks as one of the healthiest, lowest-sugar granola bar brands on the market. Check out their 140-calorie cinnamon oat granola bar, which has only 5 grams of added sugar. But be warned: these bars tend to crumble, so bring a napkin.
12. CHOMPS grass fed beef jerky
High protein grass-fed beef fits easily into your diet (and your back pocket) with these tasty jerky sticks. Pack them with whole wheat crackers to make it a mini-meal.
13. Caramelized pumpkin seeds
Autumn means pumpkin-flavored everything, but why stop when the trees are finally bare? Instead of grabbing another pumpkin spice latte, bake a batch of pumpkin seeds.
These bite-sized snacks can be made sweet or savory, and are packed with vitamins either way, making them ideal to grab as a quick, crunchy snack.
14. Homemade turkey jerky
There’s a reason campers carry this protein-filled snack: Jerky is great fuel for a long, active day, and it can withstand long treks in any temperature (talk about sturdy).
To keep the chewy snack lighter, opt for turkey instead of beef — it’ll cut down on fat and sodium.
15. Spicy roasted chickpeas
Chips are an easy go-to snack, but few have substantial nutritional value. (Sigh, we’ll miss you, Cheetos.) Instead, satisfy crunch cravings by noshing on a protein-filled bowl of roasted chickpeas, which can be seasoned to suit all taste buds.
Love spice? Layer it on. Prefer sweet? That works, too.
16. Curried carrot chips
Plain raw carrots aren’t the most exciting or satisfying snack on the planet. To keep your taste buds enthused, get crafty with a peeler and make curried carrot chips.
These crispy orange ribbons take under 30 minutes to prepare and taste great with a variety of spices (or just salt and pepper).
17. DIY protein bars
Packaged protein bars can be delicious (and they certainly market themselves as nutritious), but heed caution: they’re a dangerfood.
Avoid the sugar trap of store-bought bars by experimenting with flavors and making them yourself.
Some of our favorites: No-Bake Almond Fudge Protein Bars, No-Bake Cinnamon Roll Protein Bars and Chocolate Chip Cookie Dough Protein Bars. Don’t let their sweet names fool you — they’re actually healthy!
18. DIY fruit leather
Remember the days of fruit rollups and lunch boxes? Those were the best. And there’s no reason not to incorporate them into adult life.
Simply pick your favorite fruit and let your taste buds relive childhood — without the sugar crash. We’re big fans of this Sneaky Green Apple Fruit Leather recipe, which has an extra nutritional boost from one of our favorite superfoods.
19. Carrot cake granola
Recipes with “cake” in the title tend to be winners, and this carrot cake granola recipe is no exception.
Made with grated carrots, nuts, and natural sweeteners like maple syrup, a handful of this cereal is the perfect pre-gym snack or treat to keep you full between meals. Did we mention it tastes like cake?
20. Protein wrap
While regular ole bread may become squishy after sitting in a bag all day, wraps are much sturdier. Plus, they come in a variety of flavors (and can fit just as many dietary needs).
Fill them with nut butter, hummus, shredded veggies, turkey, cheese, pesto, or any other nutritious stuffer you like. Try this easy 5-minute recipe for starters.
21. Homemade granola bars
Granola bars are a great go-to snack, but many store-bought versions aren’t as healthy as their labels may indicate.
While packaging looks healthy, they’re often packed with high-fructose corn syrup, which has been linked to weight gain
These homemade, sugar-free granola bars make an excellent alternative.
22. No-bake zucchini bread granola bites
Gluten-free and vegan, these bites are the perfect snack for someone with stomach sensitivities. Simply mix the ingredients, pop them in the fridge, and grab a few before heading out the door.
23. Healthy no-bake double chocolate peanut butter bites
Quick, easy, delicious… it’s hard to go wrong with a snack like this. Not to mention these hearty bites are full of two of our favorites: chocolate and peanut butter. And they taste like cookie dough.
24. Whole wheat zucchini muffins
Whoever started the trend of putting veggies into baked goods is a genius. It can be tough to get the recommended amount of fruits and vegetables in a day, so adding them to snacks certainly makes it easier.
These zucchini muffins are full of fiber and vitamins, plus they’re suitable for those who prefer the dairy-free or vegan lifestyle.
25. Whole wheat pita chips
Before grabbing a bag of sodium-laden potato chips, consider deconstructing a whole-wheat pita and turning it into a handful of bite-sized snacks that satisfy when it comes to crunch, but are better for your body.
We love the Old Bay seasoning in this recipe, but you can also go sweet by adding cinnamon and a dash of sugar.
26. Vegan “Dorito” popcorn
Did someone say Doritos and popcorn in the same sentence? Sign us up. This healthy recipe uses nutritional yeast in place of cheese to make it vegan — and to make it non-perishable so you can pack it up and go.
27. Fruit and dip
Many fruits don’t require a refrigerator and taste great with a dip like nut butter. Simply pick a dipper of choice (apples and bananas are always winners), put a few scoops of nut butter in a small Tupperware, and hit the road.
Worried about your banana being ripe in time? Speed things up by packing it in a paper bag.
28. Dried fruit
Fresh fruit is awesome, but it’d be pretty darn difficult to cut and eat a mango while commuting. Avoid the mess and reap the nutritional benefits by packing dried fruit instead.
Just make sure to buy unsweetened, as some store-bought varieties can have up to 25 grams of sugar per serving. Excess sugar consumption can have some not-so-sweet consequences like increased risk of obesity
29. Fresh veggies
Carrots, bell pepper, and sugar snap peas are just a few veggies that can be packed as a snack and enjoyed throughout the day. Pro tip: To keep them fresher for longer, store vegetables in a Tupperware instead of a plastic bag.
30. Homemade veggie chips
Chips are delicious — there’s no doubt about it. But the packaged kinds aren’t exactly healthy.
Making them from scratch, on the other hand, is nutritious and easy. Plus, you can experiment with ingredients (green beans, sweet potato, apple… oh my!) and have control over the amount of sodium and fat in each batch.
31. Vegetable salad rolls
Salad is difficult to eat while on the run, but salad wrapped in rice papers is another story. Simply slice your favorite veggies, add a little sauce, wrap them up, and they’re good to go.
Not sure where to start? We love this recipe for bite-sized garden veggie salad rolls with allergy-friendly SunButter dressing.
Sure, it’d be great if you could always reach for fresh, refrigerated snacks on the go. But for those days when a long commute or harried errand-running mean your cup of yogurt would die a sad, slow death in your car, stock up on these fridge-free portable snacks. Your health and your taste buds will thank you.