I really can't eat just one chip
June 16, 2010 8:01 PM   Subscribe

Looking for nonperishable, healthy snacks! Will accept perishable snack ideas for half credit.

I've looked through some of the past posts on healthy snacking, and I did see a lot of good ideas. However, I don't always have access to fresh, refrigerated produce so that knocks out a lot of the contenders.

Ideally, I'd like to find a whole host of low calorie/low fat snacks that I can keep on hand because I am a serial snacker, especially in regards to carbohydrates and saltiness in general. I recently put on about 8 pounds after keeping off the 45 I lost, so I'm kind of panicking.

I am looking into getting a popcorn popper so I can air-pop at home, and I was also curious about these dried vegetables. I LOVE roasted chickpeas, and unfortunately can bulldoze through a whole can's worth in less than an hour.

Bonus points for frugality!
posted by rachaelfaith to Food & Drink (18 answers total) 20 users marked this as a favorite
Dried fruit. Yum! Get yourself a dehydrator and make your own. I love making my own fruit roll-ups using just unsweetened applesauce on the dehydrator.

Dried bananas, dried apples, dried plums, etc.
posted by Sassyfras at 8:05 PM on June 16, 2010 [1 favorite]

Those dehydrated veggies are pretty expensive. You can get your own dehydrator and do it yourself if you're not opposed to doing a little slicing (a mandoline makes it pretty easy though). I've done zucchini, peppers, kiwi, bananas and a few other things over the past year. You will need to be careful about storage because they will pick up moisture over time, but in general I find it to be worth the effort.
posted by smalls at 8:08 PM on June 16, 2010

get a shaker of hot chilli flakes and/or chilli powder (use different flavourings with the powders maybe to give it more variety - there are obviously a whole variety of chillis out there too), always carry it with you and use it on ALL your snacks every day- works with chocolate/candy, works with fruit (dried or not), works with rice cakes, dried peas, chips etc etc.
If its spicy enough, your mouth won't be able to tolerate more than a few mouthfuls, plus you will get a bonus endorphin high.
posted by Bwithh at 8:12 PM on June 16, 2010

Oh - I just thought of another one since you like salt, but it is a little out there... Arame salad (arame is a sea vegetable and is sold dried in packages). The recipe I have is from a book, so I haven't tried this particular recipe, but it's pretty close. I do know that I did not use any carrots, cucumber or agave nectar... just the non perishables (and way more sesame seeds).
posted by smalls at 8:18 PM on June 16, 2010

Frozen blueberries or peas or the like (can eat frozen).
Frozen edamame (microwave them).
Nuts (fatty, but good fats).
posted by LobsterMitten at 8:25 PM on June 16, 2010

If you have a microwave, 1/4 cup of popcorn kernels, and a brown paper bag, you don't need an air popper. Just pour kernels into bag, fold over a couple times, and microwave until you don't hear rapid popping. Delicious, healthy popcorn. Sprinkle with a multitude of toppings.

My favorite "I'm bored so I need to eat something" snack is a container of pickles. Not the bread and butter kind - those are full of sugar. But 7 or 8 pickle slices, or 1-2 spears are so sour and salty that it immediately makes me drink 6 cups of water, which is a bonus!
posted by kerning at 8:45 PM on June 16, 2010 [3 favorites]

This Nordic Ware microwave popcorn popper works much better than poppers that use hot air. Air popped popcorn tends to be dry and tough. Microwave popcorn does not need any oil and the popped corn has a much better texture.
posted by calumet43 at 8:46 PM on June 16, 2010

Protein shakes or bars. The bars you have to be very careful about, of course, so check the labels. There are also lots of recipes out there to make your own bars.

mochi. You can salt it, and bake it. Most health food stores carry it, and it's high in fiber.

I love to have a small V-8, and a handful of nuts.
posted by annsunny at 8:49 PM on June 16, 2010

almonds. for half credit: frozen blueberries, which someone else said. low-calorie fudgesicles. string cheese!
posted by prior at 9:02 PM on June 16, 2010

I heart me some Popchips. After i had my first taste i immediately subscribed fo them on amazon. Now once a month a case of them arrives on my doorstep like magic.

My apologies for the lack of linkage...
posted by mrsshotglass at 9:16 PM on June 16, 2010

Beef jerky! no carb, almost no fat! (Lots of salt, though, be careful about that.)
posted by KathrynT at 9:20 PM on June 16, 2010

I love the stuff from Just Tomatoes. It is expensive, but I find it worth it on an an occasional basis. Most of the products are freeze dried, so you get a crunch rather than the chew of most dehydrated fruits and easy. They definitely win on convenience as well.
posted by freshwater at 9:36 PM on June 16, 2010

Dehydration is a preservation method, but it also makes foods more calorie dense. Calorie dense foods aren't particularly helpful for weight control.

With that in mind, I'd suggest canned chickpeas rather than dried chickpeas. Chickpeas are a traditional Middle-Eastern snack food. The unopened can is shelf-stable, and if you should happen to blast through the entire can in one sitting, you will be full.

Also canned mandarin oranges packed in no-sugar-added Splenda-flavored water.

And canned sardines; they're pretty calorie dense, but most of the calories come from heart-protective, brain-friendly omega-3 fats that most Western diets are criminally deficient in.

Finally: a sliced loaf of good 100% whole-grain bread will keep for weeks in the freezer. You can take out a slice or two whenever the mood strikes you, thaw for 15 seconds in the microwave, then slather with Smuckers sugar-free preserves. The 100% whole-wheat gives you a great feeling of fullness and satiety, while also being packed with healthy fiber and nutrients.
posted by Wufpak at 9:44 PM on June 16, 2010

Dried cereal
trail mix
granola bars
fruit leather
rice crackers
sugar-free jello snack cups
applesauce snack cups
canned fruit snack cups
posted by JoannaC at 9:50 PM on June 16, 2010

Granola! I make my own and have posted the recipe for it here before. Memail me if you want ms to dig it up and send it to you.
posted by bilabial at 1:21 AM on June 17, 2010

The "hard" granola bars (like Kashi bars) are good and ridiculously filling. They're also kind of difficult to chew, so you can sit there and gnaw on one for a long time.
posted by anaelith at 5:21 AM on June 17, 2010

I'll definitely consider the dehydrator as soon as I see some give in my budget. In the meantime, will definitely try air-popping in a brown bag, as well as more 'time-consuming' snacks like chewy fruit leather and dense granola bars.

I'll also have to try pickles. I've never had one, but everyone keeps talking about how great they are...
posted by rachaelfaith at 8:26 AM on June 17, 2010

Fab frugal food has instructions for making your own fruit roll-ups without benefit of a dehydrator.
posted by you zombitch at 6:01 PM on June 21, 2010

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