We don’t typically associate the term “meal prep” with snacks, but when it comes to healthy snacks it often requires some “do it yourself” prep work.
Normally, meal prepping refers to the concept of preparing whole meals or dishes ahead of schedule. It’s particularly popular with busy people because, if done well and consistently, it can save a lot of time.
For foods that are not whole meals nor even a full “dish” but are, instead, snack items, prepping can also be a time-saver. In addition, it can also provide you with much healthier snack foods than you can find pre-packaged.
So, What Exactly Are ‘Healthy’ Snacks?
Of course, snacking in itself is something that varies from one person to the next. For some, a snack is almost always a sweet treat. This traditionally takes the form of a cookie, a candy bar, a donut, or some other processed or packaged sugar-packed goodie.
For others, a snack can be a small cup of yogurt, a granola bar, an apple or orange, or perhaps a cheese stick. And, for the most part, all these can be considered legitimately “healthy” snacks.
Then there are those among us who see a snack as nothing less than a smaller version of lunch or dinner!
These serious snackers would not consider anything less than a sandwich with a bag of chips and a soda as a “real” snack. King-size snackers are known to view personal pizzas, cheeseburgers, a bowl of chili, and even a three-piece fried chicken meal as nothing more than a snack!
According to one food blogger, there are four main groups of snacks. These classifications include Sweet snacks, Savory snacks, Plant-based snacks, and Others with the last one including items such as drinks and frozen snacks.
While some folks can easily settle for a cheese stick or piece of fruit as their healthy snack, most of us like to have a bit more substance when snacking.
And that’s where making your own healthy snacks can be a huge benefit and advantage.
Healthy Snack Ideas for Prepping in 2023
We’re heading into a New Year and with it generally comes New Year’s Resolutions. For many of us, this involves eating healthier and, often, losing weight. This means we must be careful about what we snack on in 2023 since many snacks are either high in fats, calories, carbohydrates, or all three.
In fact, if you want to stick to healthy and nutritious snacking, you should limit consuming high-sugar snacks, choose those with low-fat and high-fiber levels, and remember that fresh fruits, vegetables, or whole-grain snacks are always better than something processed and pre-packaged.
Of course, if you’ve already “meal prepped” your healthy snacks ahead of time, you can most likely snack to your heart’s delight (and health!) knowing that what you‘re eating is both healthy and nutritious.
For example, these Oatmeal Peanut Butter Energy Bites are great, no-bake healthy snacks that are easy to prepare and will last up to 10 days if you store them in a container in a cool and dry place.
- 1 ½ cups old fashioned oats
- ½ cup creamy peanut butter melted
- ¼ cup mini chocolate chips
- ¼ cup honey melted
- ¼ tsp. ground cinnamon
- ¼ tsp. vanilla extract
- Combine all of the ingredients in a large mixing bowl.
- Stir until combined.
- Use a mini ice cream scoop or your hands to roll out 15 energy bites.
- Place in the refrigerator until ready to eat.
- Store in an airtight container.
Another favorite for many snackers is a spot of applesauce. However, most processed apple sauce products are packed with sugars and other ingredients. Not so with this Sugar-Free Applesauce recipe from vegan recipe developer, cook, writer, and photographer Alison Corey.
Prep Time: 10 minutes
Cook Time: 30 minutes
- Lemon Juice
- Peel and core your apples. The apple peeler and corer will speed up the process, but you can also cut and core your apples using a paring knife. Cut the apples into smaller chunks.
- Combine the apples with cinnamon in a stockpot or Dutch oven. Add ½ cup water. The stovetop method requires one more ingredient, the water, this will help the apples steam.
- Bring to a boil. Reduce the heat, and cover. Cook for 25-30 minutes on low heat. Apples will be broken down but still a bit chunky.
- Remove from heat. For chunky applesauce mash with a potato masher or fork. For smooth applesauce use an immersion blender. Serve warm or cold.
One of the great things about this snack is that it is easy to make, and you can freeze, can, or store it in the refrigerator for 7 to 10 days.
Winter and early spring in Napa Valley lend themselves well to bread-based snacks like this Healthy Zucchini Bread. The folks at Ambitious Kitchen offer up this simple and delicious recipe for a healthy spin on a time-honored favorite.
Prep Time: 10 minutes
Cook Time: 50 minutes
- 1 ½ cups packed shredded zucchini that has been squeezed of excess moisture with a paper towel (from about 1 medium zucchini)
- 1/2 cup honey
- 2 large eggs
- ⅓ cup unsweetened vanilla almond milk (any milk will work) or sub fresh squeezed orange juice
- 2 teaspoons vanilla extract
- Optional: zest from 1 large orange or lemon
- 2 cups whole wheat pastry flour or white whole wheat flour
- 1 teaspoon baking soda
- ½ teaspoon salt
- 1 1/2 teaspoons ground cinnamon
- ¼ teaspoon nutmeg
- 1/3 cup coconut oil, melted and cooled (can sub melted butter or vegan butter)
- ½ cup chopped toasted walnuts (or chopped macadamia nuts)
- 1/2 cup chocolate chips, plus more for sprinkling on top of bread
- Preheat oven to 325 degrees F. Grease an 8×4 inch loaf pan with nonstick cooking spray.
- In a large bowl, zucchini, honey, eggs, almond milk, vanilla extract, and optional orange zest until smooth.
- In a separate medium bowl, whisk together the flour, baking soda, salt, cinnamon, and nutmeg. Add the dry ingredients to the wet ingredients until mix with a wooden spoon until just combined. Next add in coconut oil and mix again until well combined. Fold in toasted nuts and/or chocolate chips if desired
- Pour into prepared loaf pan, sprinkle with extra chocolate chips if using, and bake for 50-60 minutes until tester comes out clean. Cool in pan for 10 minutes, then remove and transfer to a wire rack to finish cooling. Cut into 12 slices.
- To make vegan: Use two flax eggs instead of regular eggs.
- To make gluten-free: Use a 1:1 substitute of gluten-free all-purpose flour.
Author Monique at Ambitious Kitchen notes that you can also freeze this scrumptious snack,
“Simply wrap in plastic, then tightly in foil and finally place in a reusable bag or freezer-friendly bag for up to 3 months. Thaw at room temperature once you are ready to eat. You can also feel free to freeze individual slices for a quick on-the-go treat.”
Prepping for a Healthier You In 2023
The quaint little town of Calistoga, tucked away in at the top end of Napa Valley, has long been the home of Cal Mart, which is conveniently located in the heart of town.
And Cal Mart in Calistoga has also been a Napa Valley shopping destination and tradition for over half a century. As a locally owned and family-owned independent grocery store, Cal Mart has provided unique and enjoyable shopping experiences to their customers for more than five decades.
Our team of employees are proud of the healthy variety and wide selection our grocery store offers. And it is because of them that Cal Mart has become the premier destination for fine Napa Valley wines, meats, cheeses, and fresh produce in Calistoga. These are just some of the many reasons why we’ve become known as “Napa Valley’s Finest Grocery.”
If you’re looking to make healthy, new food and drink choices going into the new year, you’ll be glad to know that we offer a wide variety and huge selections in our grocery, meat and seafood section, and gourmet cheese department, as well as the best in quality wines and craft beers.
And don’t forget to explore our unique and hard-to-find specialty foods department!
By the way, the new year is also the perfect time of year to treat yourself or someone you care about to one of our beautiful gift baskets.
So, let us help you stick to your new healthy snack resolutions and explore all that we have to help you stock up on healthy foods to eat.
And while you’re here, please feel free to talk with our friendly and expert staff and then treat yourself to a cup of coffee, hot chocolate, or tea from our Coffee Bar.
Remember that at Cal Mart, you will always find something that is unexpected, unusual, and uncommon!