4 Healthy Snack Ideas You Can Make on a Budget
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1. Banana Ice Cream
This is my favorite! I don’t know about you, but growing up, I used to eat ice cream every night for a snack. Ice cream is full of sugar and fat, and most of us eat more than a serving size (½ cup) at one time, so you get even more bad stuff than what you see on the nutrition facts label. For me, ice cream is too yummy to give up, that’s why I’m so happy I found a solution a couple of years ago on the internet (seriously, what can’t the internet do?). It’s banana ice cream - blended up frozen bananas!
You can add a little milk to make the blending easier. Because of bananas’ unique properties, it comes out just like soft serve ice cream! The only ingredient you really need is bananas, so it’s a very cheap and healthy snack! You can be creative and add whatever you want to it for flavor. There are dozens of recipes and ideas on the internet - go explore them! Here are some of my favorite add-ins:
- Peanut Butter (I loooove natural peanut butter with banana ice cream!)
- Dark chocolate chips or cocoa powder
- Vanilla extract
- Other fruit (raspberries, peaches, etc.)
- Pumpkin spice
- Nuts (walnuts, peanuts, almond slices, etc.)
- Mint extract with dark chocolate chips
Recipe: Banana Ice Cream
- Bananas - 1 is a good portion (I like freezing a lot at a time and storing them in the freezer for whenever I want to make this)
- Milk for blending (about 2 Tbsp.; I like to use unsweetened almond milk)
- Add-ins of your choice
- Peel and chop bananas. Place chopped bananas in a plastic freezer bag in a single layer and freeze.
- Once frozen, blend desired amount of bananas in a blender or food processor. You will need to stop several times and scrape the sides down to keep blending. Add milk to add some creaminess.
- Blend or stir in your add-ins and enjoy!
2. Hummus (and Things That are Good with Hummus)
If you’ve never tried hummus before, try it! It’s full of healthy, unsaturated fat, protein, and fiber. In other words, it will give you energy and keep you full longer than chips and soda will. This is such an easy snack since all you have to do is buy the flavor of hummus that you want, and whatever you want to dip in it. It’s cheap, and you only have to eat a small amount to feel full. Some delicious, healthy things you can dip in hummus are:
- Veggies - baby carrots, sliced bell peppers, broccoli, etc.
- Multigrain pita chips
- Pretzels/pretzel thins - they are very low fat and even healthier if you get low sodium ones!
3. Salsa and Corn Chips
This is a great way to get your veggies in if you’re not a raw veggie eater. Try to get low sodium corn chips with the lowest fat possible. I think Xochitl No Salt corn chips are the best ones out there; they’re Non-GMO, only 4 ingredients, thin, crunchy, and they have only 6 grams of fat in their 1-ounce serving.
The salsa is the healthy part of this snack, where you’ll get your nutrients from the tomatoes, peppers, onions, etc. Salsa is cheap, so it’s a great snack for a college student! Some salsas can be high in sugar and sodium, so read the labels!
Everybody needs their fruits and veggies! Fruit is a wonderful snack that won’t break your budget. If you’re on the go, an apple is a perfect traveling snack. Here are some other healthy options:
- Apple slices with nut butter (if you’re allergic to nuts, try SunButter)
- Plain (unsweetened) yogurt with fresh peaches or berries
- Fresh pineapple with ricotta cheese
- Banana slices spread with peanut butter, sprinkled with crispy rice cereal
- Grapes (super portable!)
Just make sure you eat real fruit, not fruit gummies or juice, which are mostly sugar.