Let’s be real. When 3 o’clock rolls around at work, you need one of two things: caffeine or sugar. As a person who is trying to avoid caffeine re-addiction, a little sweetness is the perfect afternoon pick-me-up.
But, sweetness without unhealthy refined sugar? Is that possible? Absolutely. In fact, you’ll find the following 6 homemade snack ideas nourishing, filling, and craving-quenching. Try packing a couple on your next long work day.
Cashew Power Balls
I make these weekly. Some weeks they are filled with dates, chia, coconut and more. Other times, they are just pureed cashews (not yet butter), a touch of salt and coconut oil, and some dark chocolate chips—a.k.a. cashew cookie dough. Experiment. Healthy cookie dough and brownie bites are not out of reach.
As I have stated before, I love chia pudding, especially when it is thick and creamy. Coconut milk makes this fiber-rich pudding indulgent as an afternoon snack; fresh raspberries take it out of the park. Think of it as an adult version of your childhood chocolate pudding pack.
Honey Roasted Chickpeas
Looking for something subtly sweet and crunchy? The fiber and protein content of chickpeas make them a fantastic snack option. To make: drain, rinse and dry 2 cans of chickpeas. Roast in a single layer on a baking sheet at 375 degrees Fahrenheit for about 45 minutes, or until crispy. Remove from oven and toss in a bowl with 1 tablespoon coconut oil, 2 tablespoons raw honey (or maple syrup), 1 teaspoon cinnamon (optional, although good for balancing blood sugar) and 1/4 teaspoon of salt. If you’d like the coating to firm up, roast for another 10 minutes before storing in an airtight container. Crunch away!
If you are able to juice this delightful beverage in the mornings, by all means, do it. Simply juice 2 whole granny smith apples and one half of a lemon. That’s it. The result is a drink that is invigorating and as good as any traditional lemonade you’ve ever had. If you like ginger, try tossing a knob into the juicer to make things a bit more zingy. Juice inspiration courtesy of Sproutman.
Nuts make a great snack. Why not add spices to dress them up a bit? In this snack, the inherent sweetness of cashews is balanced out by the savory, inflammatory-fighting spices. I love this recipe, which can seem a little daunting, but is actually quite straightforward and malleable to ingredient substitutions or detractions.
Homemade Almond Butter Cups
Yes, you can make peanut/almond butter cups at home. I store dozens in the freezer for snacktime. All you have to do is melt some dark or unsweetened chocolate in a double boiler or a microwave. Pour a dollop of melted chocolate into each of 6-12 muffin papers, swirling the chocolate around the lower rim a bit so it settles. In a separate bowl, stir almond butter, salt and maple syrup together, to taste. Place a spoonful in each muffin paper, flattening it out with the back of a spoon. Lick the spoon and mostly empty bowl. Top with melted chocolate until nut butter is covered. Place in freezer until snack time!
This recipe originally appeared on Care2.com.