We’ve all been there. It’s 10:45 p.m., or 4:30 p.m., and you’ve been “good” all day: You chose the fruit over the donut, the salad over the pizza. But suddenly you find yourself caught between meals, desperate to find something to tide you over until lunch or dinner and before you know it, you’re eating a Snickers. Don’t get caught in this trap. Instead, read on for our favorite snacks that are healthy, delicious, and perfect for the office.
Sliced Cucumber and Feta With Za’atar
We’ve found that the key to healthy snacking is finding one that provides a complex flavor profile and is a bit refreshing. That’s why we love sliced cucumbers with feta and a sprinkling of za’atar. Sliced cucumbers lay a fresh, crisp foundation while feta cheese adds a creamy, salty counterpoint perfectly offset by the herbaceous Middle Eastern spice blend za’atar—a mix of thyme, sumac, and sesame seeds. This combination of ingredients has an umami-like quality that makes us feel sated more quickly than simple cheese or cucumber slices would on their own. Cucumbers also have the added benefit of traveling well because they can be sliced one night in advance and will still remain crisp and fresh through the next day. The same is true for feta. And you can store a bag of za’atar at your desk so you have it at the ready. This snack also looks like an appetizer you’d see passed at a party, which makes it feel less like a keyboard grub and more like a special treat.
Black Pepper Crackers with Ricotta, Honey, and Sea Salt
Another favorite snack we swear by are black pepper crackers with ricotta and honey. For black pepper crackers, we swear by Mary’s Gone Crackers. They’re organic, gluten-free, wheat-free, vegan, non-dairy, whole grain, kosher, and nut-free. Meaning they’re suitable for almost any diet. We also can’t be mad at the fact that one serving only has 140 calories, and that you get 13 crackers in one serving. To each cracker, add a dollop of your favorite ricotta cheese, a drizzle of honey, and a sprinkling of flaky sea salt, and you’ve got a snack with several layers of flavor and texture that complement each other beautifully. As with the cucumber snack above, we love this combination because it feels worthy of an hors d’œuvre but is actually economical and easy to throw together at your desk.
Popcorn With Chocolate Shavings
For those craving something a little indulgent, we recommend a small bowl of popcorn topped with low-sugar chocolate shavings. The popcorn will satisfy your craving for carbs and will fill you up quickly without sitting like a pile of bricks in your stomach all afternoon. The chocolate shavings feel indulgent but won’t break your calorie bank and provide a healthy dose of antioxidants to boot.
Tomatoes With Feta, Black Pepper, and Olive Oil
Dressed-down tomatoes are best at the height of summer, so you may want to keep this one in your back pocket until you start to see the ripe ruddy fruit appearing in the stalls of your local farmers market. And while this is a simple snack, it packs such a punch of flavor that we would have been remiss had we excluded it. For this low-calorie snack, it’s all about the quality of your ingredients. With perfectly ripe tomatoes, the best feta you can find, good olive oil, and a crack of black pepper, this snack instantly transports you from your desk to the rolling hills of Tuscany. And this doesn’t take very long to put together: You can either use cherry tomatoes or slice your other favorite variety before work, toss the feta and olive oil in a container, and easily put it all together at the office.
This simple vegetable is packed with protein and provides a good source of a variety of minerals, including calcium, iron, magnesium, phosphorus, potassium. Edamame is also super easy to prepare: Just boil the pods in a pot of salted water the night before, drain them, and throw them in a container once they’ve cooled. At work, toss them with salt just before eating. Edamame is also naturally gluten- and cholesterol-free.
Greek Yogurt with Walnuts and Honey
If you find yourself being hit with a craving for something sweet after lunch, skip the vending machine and dip into a small bowl of low-fat Greek yogurt with walnuts and honey. The key here is to make sure you get a low-fat Greek yogurt but even those have a thickness to them that will almost trick you into thinking you’re eating an actual dessert. The walnuts add a nice crunchy texture while also providing a good dose of healthy fats that will keep your hunger at bay without making you feel too full. Adding a little honey sweetens the deal and nicely rounds out the flavors. If you keep a bottle of honey and a bag of walnuts at your desk, all you need to do is bring a container of yogurt into the office, put it all together, and, voila!
These days, it seems like everyone is singing the praises of bone broth. Well, count us among the bandwagoneers because we cannot get enough of it. In the colder months, bone broth is a soothing dish that satisfies our desire for something heart-warming and filling that doesn’t weigh us down. If you make your own bone broth, more power to you. But for those without the time to simmer a pot of this magical elixir for hours on end, it’s more widely available than ever and can be found everywhere from your local butcher to the canned soup aisle. In addition to being just plain delicious, bone broth contributes to a healthy gut thanks to the presence of collagen, which heals the gut and reduces intestinal inflammation. Bone broth also contains glucosamine, which protects your joints. Thanks to the presence of an abundance of minerals, bone broth supports a healthy immune system—critical during flu season. It’s office friendly, too: Just bring a container’s worth at the beginning of the week and reheat when ready. Time to jump on this trend.
By far, our favorite low-calorie, easily transportable snack perfect for storing in the office fridge is pickled vegetables of any kind. There is nothing wrong with a jar of classic dill pickles, but why not branch out to the many varieties of pickled vegetables available today? From cauliflower to mushrooms to okra to carrots, we’ve found a cornucopia of pickled vegetables available at our favorite grocery and specialty food stores. The best part about this snack is that it keeps for an extended period so you can bring a jar into work and eat it for several days. Pickled vegetables are also packed with probiotics, healthy bacteria that promote healthy digestion. And the best part? Pickled veggies are almost always super low-calorie, meaning you can basically eat as much as you want without consequence. Deal us in.
What are your favorite healthy snacks? Tell us in the comments below!