I'm a peanut butter junkie. Not that it's a problem, peanut butter is a good source of protein, healthy fats, and vitamins and minerals (magnesium, vitamin E, B vitamins, and more). But when I realize I've gone through an entire jar in a week I start to wonder if maybe I could be adding a little more variety to my diet.
Lately, when I run out of a jar and before I rush to buy the next, I've been playing a little game with myself (it's super fun) trying to find alternate snacks.
What I've learned from this little experiment is that I typically want peanut butter either when I'm pretty hungry (like a 7+ on the hunger scale) and want something filling and satisfying OR when I want something sweet (nothing like a spoonful of pb with choc chips).
Below are a few snacks I've found to satisfy the hunger pangs and sweet tooth needs when I'm fresh out of the good stuff. While none of these replace peanut butter and I am by no means suggesting you should, this is simply a list of filling and satisfying snacks if you're looking for more variety in your go-to snack options.
I should also mention that when it comes to peanut butter, I choose varieties that contain just peanuts (sometimes salt too). There are many varieties that contain hydrogenated oils (although they have now been outlawed, read more here) and added sugars and oils which aren't exactly essential. I like Adam’s and Teddy’s.
1. Plain Greek Yogurt with Fruit
Plain Greek Yogurt is a great option because there is no added sugar and it is high in protein. I choose the plain variety I can add my own sweetness and flavor with fresh berries, cinnamon, cocoa powder and a drop of honey, or even chocolate chips. Greek yogurt has more protein than traditional yogurt which plays a role in satiety, helping to fill you up and feel satisfied.
2. Hummus and Veggies
Most people rely on dinnertime for their daily vegetable consumption and find it difficult to get in veggies more often throughout the day. Hummus is a healthy plant based source of fat, protein, and fiber - the three keys to a filling meal. Pre-slicing veggies early in the week makes this a quick and easy grab and go option.
3. Cheese and Crackers or Apple Slices
4. Smoothie Bowls
I recommend eating smoothies from a bowl with a spoon rather than slurping through a straw. Eating it with a spoon can help you be more mindful, engage in the act of eating, and recognize when you may be filling up. This way you can also add nuts, seeds, or granola as toppings to make the drink more of a meal. Try adding both fruits and veggies and a healthy fat (nuts, seeds, avocado) or source of protein (greek yogurt, nuts, or collagen peptides).
5. Avocado Whole Wheat Toast
Whole wheat toast is a good source of fiber which helps to fill you up and keep you feeling satisfied. Fiber is also beneficial to heart health and digestive health. (Learn more about fiber in this article I wrote). Check to see that the first ingredient in your bread is a whole grain for the most nutritious option and smear on some avocado for a delicious savory snack. Avocado is a great source of filling and healthy monounsaturated fats. I like to top my avo toast with Trader Joe’e Everything But the Bagel Seasoning.
What are your favorite healthy snacks?
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1/2 cup 1% milk
1/2 cup nonfat, plain Greek yogurt
1 cup frozen cauliflower
1/2 tsp turmeric
Dash of black pepper
Dash of cinnamon
1 Tbsp whole-milled flaxseed (I like Manitoba Milling Co.)
1 scoop collagen peptides (I like Further Food - save 5% off with this link! -if you use another brand or a protein powder instead, this is equivalent to 8 grams or a rounded tablespoon)
1. Combine all ingredients in a blender (I love my Vitamix!) and blend until smooth.
2. Serve in a glass or bowl or store it in a mason jar for later. Enjoy!
Note: If you prefer your smoothies ice cold, you could use a frozen banana instead.