It's time to get real about snacking! We came up with 103 snack recipe ideas that rely on natural, real and delicious foods: sweet, juicy, drip-down-your-chin fruit, crunchy-yet-savory veggies, and creamy without-the-cream puddings and dips.


healthy snacks in containers, veggies, popcorn mix, trail mix
Credit: Photography by Adam Albright

Boldly flavored ingredients like briny olives, cured meats and smoky cheeses are perfect when you're jonesing for some salt -- and a little goes a long way.

1. Cheesy Kale Chips: Tear kale leaves into large pieces and arrange on a baking sheet. Spritz with olive oil and bake in a 350° oven until crisp. While still warm, sprinkle with grated parmesan.

2. Tamari-seasoned rice crackers are a salt lover's vehicle for tuna salad. We like to punch it up with a squeeze of sriracha chili sauce!

3. Mound chopped smoked salmon onto lettuce leaves and top with dill.

4. Sprinkle drained canned artichoke hearts with lemon zest, capers, chopped fresh basil and olive oil. Eat with toothpicks, as if you were in Italy.

5. Crumble feta cheese over cold watermelon cubes; sprinkle with slivered fresh mint.

6. Munch on dried nori (seaweed) strips -- they're surprisingly addictive!

7. Stuffed Mushrooms: Briefly microwave button mushroom caps until softened. Fill with jarred pesto and a little chopped ham.

8. Smoked Turkey Pinwheels: Spread a layer of softened cream cheese on sliced smoked turkey breast and top with thinly sliced tomato. Roll up and cut into 1-inch pieces. 

9. You know what's delicious on baked potato chips? Chopped hard-boiled egg seasoned with lemon, parsley and anchovies (trust us!).

10. Spruce up a shot of tomato juice by topping it with finely chopped cooked shrimp, scallions and crumbled saltines.

11. Pile smoked gouda slices and dried cherries on a whole wheat tortilla and microwave until hot and melty.

12. Whisk together peanut butter, tamari and a few drops of water. Use as an Asian-style dip for baby bok choy.

13. Mini Mock Reubens: Turn pub food into a power snack. Spread mustard on thin slices of pumpernickel cocktail bread, heap with sauerkraut and sprinkle with pickle relish and a small amount of shredded swiss. Pop them under the broiler.

14. Five-Spice Pumpkin Seeds: Toss salted pumpkin seeds (also known as pepitas) with sesame oil and chinese five-spice powder, then bake at 350° until crisp.

15. Turn cucumber slices into crackers: Spread them with olive tapenade and garnish with chopped fresh tarragon.

16. Whole wheat pretzels are always delicious, but they're flat-out irresistible when slathered with spicy mustard spiked with ancho chile powder and sea salt.

17. Buffalo Popcorn: Toss air-popped popcorn with olive oil, a little hot sauce and a handful of crumbled blue cheese to season.

18. Combine a little butter with a lot of chopped chives and dill. Spread on rye crackers and top with sliced red radishes and sea salt.

19. Inside-Out Hot Dog: Wrap a dill pickle spear in a paper-thin slice of ham and dip in ballpark mustard.


These snacks are made with flavorful and healthy foods (think nuts, fresh veggies, quick slaws and even frozen foods) that offer the same satisfying crunch as a bag of chips.

20. Plantain Chips with Caribbean Salsa: Toss together finely chopped banana, cucumber, jalapeño, bell pepper, red onion and a good squeeze of lime juice.

21. Tex-Mex Treat: Dress bagged coleslaw mix with jarred salsa and roll up in a corn tortilla.

22. Dunk root veggie chips (such as Terra chips) into low-fat sour cream seasoned with hot sauce and orange zest.

23. Ants on a Log: Here's a grown-up version: Stuff celery sticks with cashew butter and dot with dried currants.

24. Mix crisp and spicy jarred corn relish with chopped tomatoes and cilantro; use it to top crunchy melba toast.

25. Ranch-Style Popcorn: Spritz air-popped popcorn with olive oil and dust with buttermilk powder, celery salt and chopped fresh dill.

26. Stuff iceberg lettuce leaves with chopped ripe tomatoes and crumbled smoked tofu.

27. Dip sugar snap peas into warm goat cheese (30 seconds in the microwave should do it).

28. Chickpea Poppers: Thoroughly dry canned chickpeas. Spritz with extra-virgin olive oil, season with dried oregano and garlic salt and roast at 400° until crisp.

29. Put down the butter! Spread whole grain toast with tahini instead. Top with shredded carrots, golden raisins and alfalfa sprouts.

30.Spread granny smith apple wedges with chunky cashew butter and top with toasted sesame seeds.

31. Snack on frozen edamame right out of the bag -- it's crunchier (and more refreshing!) than fresh.

32. Fill endive spears with chopped bosc pears and season with balsamic vinegar.

33. No-Chop Gazpacho: Combine tomato juice, cucumber, bell peppers and onion in a mini chopper, then pulse just until chunky. Add a splash of red wine vinegar.

34. Cut jicama into sticks. Dip in a sauce of chunky almond butter, lime juice, honey and fresh ginger.

35. It's upscale finger food: Scatter grated pecorino-romano cheese and lemon zest over blanched asparagus spears.

36. Combine finely chopped broccoli, multicolored bell peppers and scallions with greek yogurt and a dash of prepared horseradish. Keep a bag of baby carrots close by.

37. 1-2-3 Thai Slaw: Open a bag of shredded carrots; dress lightly with toasted sesame oil, lime juice, olive oil, honey and a dash of cayenne pepper. Toss in chopped salted peanuts.

38. Shred iceberg lettuce into tuna salad and eat on thick-cut bread-and-butter pickles.

39. Stir chopped fresh pineapple into prepared salsa; season with ground cumin. Nosh with baked blue corn tortilla chips.


We're hardwired to love sugar -- but you can indulge without reaching for a candy bar. These good-for-you snacks take advantage of the subtle sweetness found in whole foods like berries, cinnamon, fresh ricotta and, yes, even dark chocolate.

40. Fold smashed ripe nectarines into low-fat cottage cheese and spoon onto gingersnaps.

41. Are you a fan of chocolate-covered pretzels? Try tamari-seasoned rice cakes dipped in melted bittersweet chocolate.  

42. Thread alternating chunks of pineapple, papaya and naturally fat-free angel food cake onto bamboo skewers.

43. Spoon-Worthy Slushie: Puree frozen lemonade with loads of frozen cherries.

44. Slather a store-bought crepe with creamy almond butter and roll up with fresh blueberries inside.

45. Mini Coffee Pops: Spike vanilla rice milk with brewed espresso, then pour into an ice cube tray and freeze, using cinnamon sticks as handles.

46. Minimalist, yet amazingly delicious: Sprinkle cocoa nibs on canned pears.

47. Make berry gelatin with pomegranate juice instead of water. Float in fruit cocktail.

48. Whip up a pudding: Blend equal amounts fresh raspberries and silken tofu. Add vanilla and honey to taste. Top with more berries, of course.

49. Peanut Butter & Coconut Bars: Combine puffed whole grain cereal with just enough peanut butter and marshmallow cream to hold it together. Stir in shredded coconut and dried blueberries. Press into a pan, chill and cut into bite-size portions.

50. Jazz up ordinary apple slices with a faux-caramel topping: Simply boil a cup of apple cider down to a syrup and stir in chopped walnuts; drizzle away!

51. Who says you need a party to nibble on something fancy? Stuff pitted prunes with neufchâtel cheese and chopped almonds, then sprinkle with ground cardamom.

52. Sweet and Spicy Citrus: Dip tangerine segments into honey and dust with chili powder-spiked cocoa.

53. When it feels like banana cream pie would really hit the spot, try this: Grab some graham crackers, spread them with vanilla greek yogurt and top with a handful of banana slices and a sprinkling of ground flaxseed.

54. Frosty Melon Drink: Puree ripe honeydew with vanilla yogurt and ice.

55. Stir mini bittersweet chocolate chips into part-skim ricotta and sprinkle with chopped toasted pistachios. Dream of cannolis.

56. Cut crosshatches into a pitted mango half and turn inside out to expose the fruit. Season with lime juice and cayenne and take a big, juicy bite.

57. Make one-ingredient sorbet: Puree seedless watermelon in the blender, spread in a metal pan and freeze, stirring every 20 minutes, until it has the icy texture of a granita.

58. Break out the machine or hit your local juice bar for fresh carrot-beet juice. It tastes like candy. Seriously.

59. No-Bake Fruit Crisp: Sprinkle fresh blackberries with your favorite type of granola and microwave until warm.

60. Toast mini whole wheat waffles and top with a schmear of apple butter and a sprinkling of walnut pieces.

61. Transform a simple grapefruit into something more like crème brûe;lée: Halve it, drizzle it with dark honey and broil until bubbly.

62. Virgin Tropical Treat: In a blender, combine frozen peaches, unsweetened coconut milk and honey. Sprinkle with chopped salted macadamia nuts. Eat with a spoon.

63. Chewy Chocolate Clusters: Melt bittersweet chocolate and stir in chopped dried apricots, rolled oats and sunflower seeds. Drop spoonfuls onto wax paper, then let chill.

64. Freeze green and red grapes until firm and eat them while still icy (they taste like little sorbet bites).


Plenty of healthy foods can taste rich and buttery when made into spreads and dips. But we also played around with sweet potatoes, silken tofu and slow-roasted peppers.

65. Give rich and addictive southern pimiento cheese a makeover: Combine equal parts shredded cheddar and low-fat cottage cheese, then fold in chopped pimientos. Spread on thinly sliced whole wheat bread.

66. Puree cucumber and mint with buttermilk for a tangy herbal shooter.

67. Instant California Roll: Quarter a ripe avocado and remove the pit. Stuff with wasabi-spiked imitation crab and drizzle with soy sauce.

68. Microwave a small sweet potato, split it open and mash a little OJ into it. Eat right out of the jacket.

69. Make strawberries just a bit decadent: Halve them and spread the cut sides with softened goat cheese.

70. Raid the supermarket antipasto bar for some lusciously creamy slow-roasted red peppers. Eat with a bocconcini or two.

71. Butternut Dip: In a food processor, pulse thawed frozen butternut squash, dried apricots and roasted cashews; scoop up with sweet potato chips.

72. Melt a sliver of brie and top with chopped cherries. Eat with a fork.

73. Pumpkin Spread: Stir together tahini, canned pumpkin puree and a little apple juice and cinnamon. Spread on toasted whole grain cornbread.

74. Baby red potatoes become blissfully creamy when you microwave them for 3 to 5 minutes (leave the skin on for nutrients). Sprinkle with pepper and sea salt and pop them in your mouth.

75. Curried Hummus: Combine pureed chickpeas with lemon juice, garlic, curry powder, garam masala and olive oil.

76. Here's a cheesy topping for broccoli that only tastes indulgent: Whisk together equal parts prepared cheddar cheese spread and low-sodium chicken broth and stir in chopped pickled jalapeños.

77. Dress up store-bought baba ghanoush with fresh chopped dill and parsley. Serve with whole wheat pita.

78. Combine low-fat ricotta and plain yogurt. Stir in chopped kirby cucumbers and fresh basil. Eat with a spoon.

79. Banana Soft Serve: Freeze some bananas, then pulse in a food processor with roasted peanuts and a splash of almond milk.

80. Mash canned white beans with olive oil and chopped fresh rosemary. Pile onto radicchio leaves.

81. Mini Polenta Melts: Slice a few thin rounds of store-bought polenta and slather with roasted red pepper spread. Sprinkle with parmesan and warm in the microwave.

82. Float cubes of silken tofu in a warm cup of instant miso soup.

83. Treat yourself to the most sublimely simple protein-packed treat: a soft-scrambled egg.


These eats aren't just healthy -- they're supercharged! We packed them with ingredients that will boost your energy and mood.

84. Cereal is everyone's default snack of choice. Make it healthier by sprinkling your bowlful with dried goji berries and slivered almonds.

85. File this under "sounds weird but tastes amazing": Spread crisp pear slices with a thin layer of canned sweet potato puree and drizzle with balsamic vinegar.

86. Green Deviled Eggs: Replace mayo with greek yogurt to make deviled eggs. Fold a handful of finely chopped watercress and a pinch of Old Bay Seasoning into the yolks.

87. Stuffed Figs: Split plump dried figs and stuff with toasted hazelnuts. Who says health food can't taste decadent?

88. Halve a cup of cherry tomatoes and drizzle them with olive oil. It's that simple.

89. Flake a can of sardines with a fork and mound onto whole grain crackers.

90. Kiwi Stacks: Crown kiwi slices with dollops of honey-sweetened sour cream and scatter chopped pistachios on top.

91. A scoop of vanilla low-fat frozen yogurt tastes richer -- and looks prettier -- when sprinkled with green tea powder.

92. Munch on dark-chocolate-covered espresso beans.

93. Spinach-Miso Dip: Thaw a box of chopped spinach and squeeze it dry. Stir in enough yogurt to make a dip and season with powdered miso soup mix.

94. Sneak some finely chopped swiss chard into your pesto, then spoon onto garlic pita chips.

95. Wrap smoked salmon around a whole wheat pretzel rod.

96. If you love chocolate milk, whip up this healthy version: Blend kefir with frozen açaí and cocoa powder.

97. Stir chopped cherries into low-fat cream cheese and smear on shredded-wheat crackers. Top with walnuts.

98. Rub thinly shredded tuscan kale with lemon juice and olive oil (an old Italian trick for making it tender and juicy!), then stuff into a whole wheat pita.

99. Indian-Spiced Cashews: Toss raw cashews in coconut oil and curry powder; roast at 400° until golden.

100. Sushi Stick: Roll up sliced avocado, cucumber spears and brown rice in a nori sheet (it won't look perfect, but who cares?) and eat with pickled ginger.

101. Punch up plain yogurt with fragrant grapefruit zest and honey, then peel the fruit and dunk the segments into it.

102. Up the antioxidant levels in your guacamole -- and give it a sweet-tart kick -- by stirring in some pomegranate seeds and diced tomatoes.

103. Easy Blueberry Compote: Toss blueberries with olive oil and cinnamon and pan-fry until they're on the brink of bursting, then gobble up while warm.