Meal-prepping can be a handy tool for simplifying recipes and deciding what to eat for meals and snacks during the week, especially when you’ve got one of those extra jam-packed work weeks without much time to cook from scratch at home. Plus, it’s also a nice way to make sure you’re using the food you’ve purchased in a variety of ways, so you make the most of the product and prevent any waste, in both product and bucks.
However, some snacks are particularly popular for meal-prepping as go-to snacks for their longer shelf life by nature and their ability for big-batch, bulk cooking or preparation where you can make a lot at once and stash away for later, when you need a bite or as a good resource that’s always accessible in your bag, car or office drawer, for example.
These are the best healthy snacks to meal prep during the week, where you can cut down on time spent in the kitchen, budget-buy more efficiently and have good nutritious options to grab when you’re starving and need something fast, as opposed to giving in to the urge to grab fast-food when out, for convenience.
Low-Carb, High-Protein Trail Mix
Make your own batch of trail mix that’s high in valuable nutrients and lower in sugar and refined carbohydrates, as is the case with most store-bought granolas and trail mixes containing dried fruit, coated and glazed nuts that add extra sugar and other not-so-good-for-you ingredients. Buy a high-protein granola to have as a base, then mix in other ingredients to create a balanced trail mix that hits all the marks for health and flavor.
Add in nuts and seeds, like almonds and pistachios or pumpkin seeds and sunflower seeds. For some sweetness, try a small service of freeze-dried or dehydrated berries or vegan, keto approved semi-sweet dark chocolate chips or raw cacao. Keep in ziploc-sealed bags or containers and portion accordingly for how large a snack you’re looking for.
Roasted Beans and Legumes or Veggie Chips
While you can buy packaged bean and legume roasted snacks at the store, as well as packaged vegetable-based chips, such as kale or broccoli chips, you can also make your own recipes from scratch at home to get a bigger bang for your buck by buying in bulk at the store and roasting yourself. Plus, you can also experiment with different seasonings and flavors, as well as bean, vegetable and legume types, so you’ll find it easier to avoid getting bored.
Make spicy roasted chickpeas with turmeric, cayenne pepper and ginger for a spicy, crunchy snack or roast broad beans with just a hint of salt and black pepper to keep things simple. Season kale, brussels sprouts’ leaves or broccoli florets with spices that lend a kick, like wasabi or garlic, or choose nutritional yeast for a cheesy flavor but without the cheese, since it’s vegan and high in both protein and B vitamins, so it’s super good for you!
Protein Bar or Bites
Is anything easier than stashing a few protein bars or bites in your bag or your office refrigerator for easy access when that dreaded afternoon slump hits? Nope, it’s grab and go, and it’s accessible all week long. If the bars need to be refrigerated, keep them in the office fridge with a label to claim it as yours (fair warning: if it’s a peanut butter chocolate chip cookie dough protein bar that’s keto too, people will want to steal it, so mark your territory!).
That’s a good storage spot for long-term needs, but you’ll be just fine keeping a protein bar regardless of refrigeration needs outside at room temperature as a snack for the day. Look for ones that have 15-20 grams of protein a serving and some good fat and fiber, along with a lower concentration of grams of sugar, carbohydrates and extra calories than should be allocated for snack size, depending on your individual needs.
Dip with Veggie Sticks, Edamame and Crackers
Bring out your favorite dip, like guacamole, hummus or pesto and pair a serving with veggie sticks and edamame. You can even put the edamame outside of their pods in the dip itself, which you can dunk whole grain or low-carb crackers into to nicely get both the dip and edamame stacked on top at once. Aim to eat the rainbow with the veggies, with red, yellow and orange bell peppers, cucumber, celery, tomatoes and more.