When a food craving strikes, it's like an itch that needs to be scratched — we get it.
That's why we've tapped registered dietitians for their favorite healthy snack solutions that satisfy every single type of food pining that might hit you — whether you're hankering for something sweet, salty, crunchy, sour, umami, chewy, hydrating or creamy.
When You Want Something Sweet
1. Dates With Nut Butter
Dates can surely satisfy your sweet craving and keep you satiated as they're high in fiber. "Stuff them with nuts or nut butter for added protein and long-lasting satisfaction," says Sarika Shah, RD, a registered dietitian based in San Ramon, California.
2. Raspberries Stuffed With Dark Chocolate Chips
Raspberries + chocolate = a perfectly decadent combination. And healthy too, thanks to the potassium, iron and calcium in raspberries and the antioxidants in dark chocolate, Shah says. "Dark chocolate is loaded with antioxidants, iron, magnesium, copper and manganese." Aim for a variety with at least 70 percent dark cacao, she adds.
3. Apple 'Nachos'
Made with sliced apples, drizzled peanut butter and a sprinkle of cacao nibs, apple nachos are a satisfying snack. Apples are ample in pectin, a soluble fiber that slows down digestion and keeps you feeling full, Shah says. The peel is the most nutrient dense part of the apple, so make sure to leave the skin on, she adds.
4. Greek Yogurt With Mixed Berries and Cinnamon
A juicy jumble of fresh raspberries, blueberries, gooseberries and blackberries is a sweet, low-calorie treat that's packed with powerful antioxidants called anthocyanins, says Ella Davar, RD, CDN. Berries are also brimming with fiber, which helps to support the gut microbiome and natural detoxification processes in the liver, Davar adds.
"Yogurt is high in protein and gut-friendly beneficial probiotics," Davar says. We like Oikos Blended Greek Nonfat Yogurt. You could also go with goat's milk or sheep's milk yogurt (like Bellwether Farms) drizzled with tahini and honey, she adds.
5. Protein Bars
"Protein bars are the most convenient snack to travel with or have on the go," Davar says. Just be sure to choose varieties with limited added sugar or those sweetened with natural ingredients such as honey, she says.
Mid-Day Squares, a cross between an organic chocolate bar and a protein bar, are a great option for vegans as they're dairy-free and packed with plant-based protein from peanuts, almonds and pumpkin seeds.
When You Want Something Salty
6. Air-Popped Popcorn Seasoned With Spices
Popcorn is made from whole-grain corn, so it contains a lot of belly-filling fiber, Shah says. Simply sprinkle on your favorite spices (or just a tad of olive oil and a dash of salt).
7. Pickled Cucumbers or Sauerkraut
Crunchy and salty, pickled vegetables contain a high concentration of vitamins because the salty brine draws out the water, Davar says. Plus, pickled veggies are fermented, which helps support a healthy gut microbiome and digestion, she adds.
Davar recommends pickling your own produce with salt, herbs and spices, or buying an organic brand with no sugar added.
8. Roasted Edamame and a Handful of Olives
Roasted edamame is rich in antioxidants, folate, magnesium and manganese, not to mention packed with protein and fiber, Shah says. If you're in the mood for Mediterranean fare, olives are high in monounsaturated fatty acids, which is tied to lower LDL (bad) cholesterol levels and risk of heart disease, Shah says.
9. Mixed Nuts
An easy, salty, on-the-go snack with the perfect balance of fiber, protein and healthy fat. Nuts are also heart-healthy and abundant in antioxidants that may reduce harmful LDLs, Shah says.
To keep sodium down, Davar recommends a mix of salted and raw nuts. Try an assortment of raw brazil nuts, macadamia, pistachio, walnuts and hazelnuts, which are high in healthy unsaturated fats, she says.
10. Beef Jerky
High-protein beef jerky won't spike your blood sugar and digests slowly (read: it'll keep you full for hours), says Davar who recommends opting for organic, grass-fed varieties.
When You Want Something Crunchy
11. Carrots and Hummus
Talk about a tasty pair. This high-fiber, low-calorie combo is an excellent snack option, especially if your goal is weight loss, Davar says. Satiating hummus is a great source of plant-based protein and healthy fats.
12. Celery Sticks and Nut Butter
Full of fiber, crunchy celery is also majorly hydrating, Shah says. For a balanced bite, pair it with nut butter for added protein and healthy fats.
13. Jicama Sticks With Cinnamon
Crunchy and sweet, heart-healthy jicama is high in antioxidants, vitamin C, folate, potassium, magnesium and fiber, Shah says. Sprinkle on a dusting of cinnamon to enhance jicama's naturally sweet flavor.
14. Cucumber Slices and Bell Pepper With Guacamole
Crisp cucumber slices and colorful bell peppers make the perfect accompaniment to a bowl of guac. Avocado is a fabulous source of plant-based fats, which promote satiety, and provides plenty of potassium, which helps reduce blood pressure, Davar says.
15. Sliced Radish 'Chips' and Salsa
If you have a hankering for chips, crunchy radish slices dipped in salsa are an awesome alternative to potato chips and dip. Rich in antioxidants, radishes may help with digestion thanks to their font of fiber, Shah says.
16. Seed Crackers With Hummus, Guacamole or Tzatziki
"I love crunchy crackers made with organic nuts and seeds, such as pumpkin seeds, chia seeds, flax seeds, sesame seeds and almond flour," Davar says. "Not only are they low in carbohydrates and high in fiber, but the seeds are also high in essential minerals and magnesium."
When You Want Something Sour
17. Sour Frozen Grapes
Toss some grapes with lime juice and monk fruit sugar (a natural sweetener), then stick them in the freezer for a sour snack, Shah says.
18. Tart Cherry Ice Slush
Simply blend unsweetened tart cherry juice and ice in a blender for a mouther-puckering sour slushie.
Tart cherries are chock-full of vitamin A and antioxidants; plus, they can help you get sounder sleep thanks to their high melatonin content, Shah says.
Tart pomegranates tout a ton of terrific antioxidants and fiber, which help protect the body against inflammation and free radical damage, Davar says.
20. Citrus Fruit
To satisfy a sour craving, look no further than citrus fruits such as lemons, limes and pomelos. And while the sour notes may make your mouth water, these tangy fruits — made up of 80 to 90 percent H2O — will quench your thirst too.
Citrus fruits also supply a solid source of pectin, a soluble fiber that helps keep you satiated, Shah says.
When You Want Something Umami
21. Roasted Seaweed
Low in calories but high in antioxidants, seaweed is a great source of vitamin B12, which is especially important for those following a vegan diet, Shah says.
22. Tofu Sautéed in Coconut Aminos or Soy Sauce
Adding a dash of coconut aminos or soy sauce will transform tasteless tofu into a tasty umami treat. Tofu is high in protein, rich in antioxidants, fiber, magnesium, potassium, iron and copper, Shah says.
23. Avocado Toast on Seed Bread With Himalayan Salt
When you're pining for a savory umami flavor, avocado toast will tantalize your tastebuds.
Most of the fat in avocado is oleic acid, a monounsaturated fatty acid that's associated with reduced inflammation, gut lining health and healthy cholesterol levels, Davar says.
24. Aged Cheese
One ounce of aged cheese will easily satisfy your umami craving and hold you over until your next meal. Not only are aged cheeses dense with nutrients — calcium, magnesium and zinc as well as vitamins A, D and K — but some also provide plenty of gut-friendly probiotics, Shah says.
25. Roasted Chickpeas With Paprika and Spices
This umami palate pleaser requires little prep time: Simply toss canned chickpeas with anti-inflammatory herbs and spices such as turmeric, ginger, paprika, oregano, thyme or coriander, and roast until dry and crunchy, Davar says.
"The protein and fiber in chickpeas may help keep your appetite under control," she adds.
26. Smoked Sardines or Mackerel Salad on Bread
"I like to mash a can of sardines, mix it with lemon juice, chopped parsley, celery and carrots, and serve it on gluten-free sourdough bread by Simple Kneads or a high-fiber sprouted seed bread," Davar says.
Small fatty fish are an excellent source of brain- and heart-supportive omega-3s, as well as B vitamins, selenium, potassium and powerful antioxidants such as astaxanthin, Davar says.
When You Want Something Chewy
27. Dried Apricots
Chewy, tangy and sweet, just three to four dried apricots provide the body with an ample amount of vitamin A, which helps protect against age-related eye damage, Shah says.
28. Beef or Salmon Jerky
There's nothing chewier than a piece of protein-packed jerky that'll put your jaw to work. Just look for 5 grams or less of added sugar per serving, Shah says.
Alaskan salmon jerky is another excellent choice for omega 3 fats, says Davar. She recommends choosing brands like Alaskan Seafood that use wild salmon for the best quality fish that aren't treated with antibiotics and growth hormones.
29. Goji Berries
Chewy, sweet and tart, low-calorie, fiber-rich goji berries are bursting with antioxidants that protect against cancer, provide immune support and promote healthy skin, Shah says.
When You Want Something Hydrating
30. Watermelon and Feta
Containing up to 90 percent water, a succulent slice of juicy watermelon is a hydrating snack that will fill you up, Shah says. Jazz it up with an ounce of brined feta cheese on top, which helps cut the fruit's sweetness. Feel free to sprinkle some fresh mint on top, too.
31. Green Smoothies
Green smoothies are a great way to seamlessly sneak more veggies into your diet for a dose of fiber and powerful antioxidants like plant-based polyphenols, Davar says.
For the simplest smoothie ever, you can even skip the prep and purchase a product like Sweet Nothings. These ready-to-eat spoon-able smoothies are perfectly portioned for a 100-calorie treat and possess plant-based, organic ingredients (only fruits, veggies, nuts and seeds).
Or opt for Daily Harvest's ready-to-blend smoothies. They have a bunch of delicious options including Mint + Cacao and Mango + Greens.
32. Green Tea Latte With Dark Chocolate
Lap up a luxurious latte that boasts healthy fats from dairy milk (or a plant-based version with coconut milk) and pair it with a piece of dark chocolate (at least 80 percent cacao) for a powerful antioxidant punch, Davar says.
Rich in polyphenols, green tea also contains a catechin called epigallocatechin-3-gallate (EGCG), a natural antioxidant that helps prevent cell damage, Davar says.
Other hydrating, health-supporting herbal teas and lattes include Chaga tea (a medicinal mushroom blend for natural immune support) and turmeric tea latte (to help fight inflammation in the body), Davar recommends.
Psst, Daily Harvest offers a unique Matcha + Lemongrass latte that you just pop into your blender for an easy a.m. fix.
When You Want Something Creamy
33. Cottage Cheese With Berries
Creamy cottage cheese topped with berries is a well-balanced bite of fat, fiber and protein that'll keep the belly rumbles at bay until mealtime, Shah says.
34. Greek Yogurt Mixed With Ranch Seasoning and Cucumbers
All you need is 1 tablespoon of ranch dressing seasoning to transform your ordinary cup of Greek yogurt into a yummy dip for sliced cucumbers, Shah says.
35. Chia Pudding With Berries and Nuts
This creamy combination is packed with protein and fiber and offers a touch of sweetness thanks to the berry topping. Plus, chia seeds are stuffed with omega-3 fatty acids, which may reduce inflammation and support brain function, Shah says.