Need snack inspo? Here’s how to snack like a Greek.
Healthy snacks can be tricky to find. You want something fresh, filling, and full of vitamins, but also something that’s not totally boring. Plus, it helps when it’s something you can take on the go and doesn’t need refrigeration. One option? Get ideas for healthy snacks from the Mediterranean diet.
What Is the Mediterranean Diet?
The Mediterranean diet is a dietary pattern based on the cultures surrounding the Mediterranean Sea. Many people associate this diet with the coast of Italy and Greece, but it also includes the coast of France, Spain, northern Africa, and the Middle East.
The Mediterranean diet gets its fame because people in these regions historically have lower rates of chronic diseases. There’s nothing mysterious or magic about this diet: It’s common sense. For example, it encourages fresh fruits and vegetables, legumes, nuts, and whole grains. A Mediterranean diet also limits sugary, fried, and hyper-processed foods.
Snacking on a Mediterranean Diet
Skip the processed foods and focus on whole, fresh foods (sorry, potato chips). That doesn’t mean you have to settle for a plain ol’ apple. Get creative with these healthy snacks for a Mediterranean diet.
1. Baba ganoush with whole-wheat pita bread
Baba ganoush, an eggplant dip from the Levant region, is similar to hummus. In fact, the recipes are nearly the same, except with roasted eggplant instead of chickpeas. Pair with whole-wheat pita bread to get your whole grains.
2. Smoothie pops with fruit + plain yogurt
Uninspired by smoothies? Pour it into a popsicle mold. Just make sure to use plain and unsweetened yogurt (dairy or non-dairy) to avoid added sugars.
3. Apple chips with peanut butter
Swap your potato chips with apple chips. Look for baked chips (or find out how to make apple chips yourself), because these snacks are sometimes fried. To make them more filling, eat with your favorite nut butter. This snack is also a great option to pack in your bag for later in the day.
4. Hard-boiled eggs on whole-wheat crackers
Pair sliced, hard-boiled eggs with whole-wheat crackers (like Triscuits) for a satisfying snack with protein.
5. Nuts + dried fruit
Don’t have a fridge? This option is a classic for a reason: It’s the go-to healthy snack for traveling. For the healthiest choice, opt for unsalted nuts, and be mindful of portion sizes. Dried fruit may have “natural” sugar, but it can add up quickly if you eat mindlessly.
6. Roasted chickpeas
If you’re craving something crunchy, roasted chickpeas are a great alternative to pretzels or chips. They can go sweet or savory, and you can season them to replicate a number of your favorite foods, Imagine zesty ranch roasted chickpeas, parmesan roasted chickpeas, cinnamon and sugar roasted chickpeas, and more.
7. DIY energy balls made from oats, dates, and nuts
If you love Larabars and Clif Bars (to name a couple), you’ll love these energy balls. Play with different fruits and nuts for different flavors, such as:
- Cashews and dried blueberries
- Almonds and dried cherries
- Pecans and dried apricots
8. Fruit kabobs dipped in plain yogurt
One way to make fruit more exciting is to put it on a skewer. Then, dip it in plain yogurt (dairy or non-dairy) to take it to the next level.
9. Frozen banana slices with almond butter
Sure, you can just eat “raw” banana slices, but frozen bananas are creamy and satisfying. They melt in your mouth like soft serve ice cream. Plus, the almond butter adds protein, healthy fats, and lusciousness.
Pro tip: Slice the bananas first, and then freeze them in tupperware in the freezer.
10. Black bean hummus with veggie slices
Okay, you can use any kind of hummus, but if you’re getting bored of the regular chickpea dip, try it with another bean. You can even switch up the seasoning to complement the frijoles negros, such as cumin, chili powder, and paprika.
Now, these healthy snacks might not physically transport you to Cyprus, but they’ll definitely keep you fueled until dinnertime.
Want more healthy snack ideas?
- Healthy snacking. Dallas, TX: American Heart Association. (Accessed on September 1, 2020)
- Smart snacks for your trip. Chicago, IL: Academy of Nutrition and Dietetics, 2018. (Accessed on September 1, 2020)
- Tips to help kids enjoy fruits and veggies. Chicago, IL: Academy of Nutrition and Dietetics, 2018. (Accessed on September 1, 2020)
- What can I eat? Smart snacks. Arlington, VA: American Diabetes Association, 2015. (Accessed on September 1, 2020)
- What is the Mediterranean diet? Dallas, TX: American Heart Association. (Accessed on September 1, 2020)