If you're anything like me, a late-night snack is something that comes to mind often- especially when I have a hard time sleeping. When most think of snack foods, they think of the "not so healthy" snacks are the only ones enjoyable BUT before you take another bite of a "not so healthy" late-night snack...
Here are a few of my favorite healthy snack options for a mindful late-night snack:
Apple or Banana Slices with Nut or Seed Butter
To set yourself up for a great night's sleep, try having banana or apple slices with your favorite nut butter or seed butter. Bananas are rich in an amino acid called L-tryptophan. Through a process of steps, this amino acid gets converted into melatonin, which is the hormone that is responsible for giving us a good quality sleep at night. Peanuts, sunflower seeds, and pumpkin seeds also contain high levels of this amino acid, so butters from these nuts and seeds would be great choices. Almonds contain high levels of magnesium, which is an essential mineral that can help you relax and fall asleep easier.
Almond-Milk Yogurt with Berries
Pair some unsweetened, plain almond milk yogurt with your favorite berries for a sweet but low-sugar snack. Almond yogurt has protein and will keep you satisfied before falling asleep. A great trick is to use frozen berries and heat them in a saucepan until they begin to burst and release liquid. When you stir these warmed berries into your yogurt, your yogurt will be flavored with the taste of berries without the added sugars that store-bought flavored yogurts contain! Plus, berries are great low-sugar fruits and don't have many calories. If you want to sweeten it up for a bit more of a late-night treat, you can add a teaspoon of raw honey or pure maple syrup.
You might be wondering why anyone would reach for chickpeas to satisfy their late-night cravings, but they really are delicious and crunchy when roasted! You can change the flavors, like adding spicy chili flakes to cinnamon and raw sugar. They're even tasty with a bit of salt. Just rinse a can of organic chickpeas, pat them dry, season them and place them in the oven at 350°F/175°C for around 45 minutes. You can store them in an airtight container for a few days and always have a crunchy, healthy snack to grab. They're packed with protein and have fewer calories than roasted nuts.
No more reaching for that tub of ice cream to satisfy your late-night sugar cravings! Banana "nice" cream is a much healthier alternative as it only has natural sugars from fruit and no artificial flavors or added sugars. It is a low-calorie alternative to ice cream with way less "junk", and you can make the flavor anything you want. If you're a chocolate lover, add a tablespoon of raw cacao powder, blend it with two frozen bananas, and add some dark chocolate chips to top it off. If you see that the consistency is too thick to blend properly, add a splash of your favorite nut milk.
What's your typical go-to snack?
Jennifer Castro is a Health Educator & Patient Advocate who specializes in Women's Health & Vestibular Disorders. Coach Jenny is working towards becoming Board Certified while working as an Instructional Team Member for the College of Health Solutions at ASU. She also works as an Insurance Broker providing insurance solutions for small business & office settings, employee benefits and workplace wellness options
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