With the right snack, we can keep our bodies energized and fueled between meals. Whether they’re gluten-free snacks or homemade snacks with protein and not too much sugar, the choices are endless and you can even make them at home.
Modern snacking has moved towards healthier options, and manufacturers should be aware of this trend and understand the snack preferences and habits of today’s consumers.
2021 Healthy Snacking Trends
Influenced by the past pandemic year, snacking at home has become a habit for many consumers, and this trend will continue to rise between now and 2022 due to these major consumer habits:
Millennials tend to use snacks as replacements for meals because of their busy lifestyles, while Gen Z tends to cut back on sweet snacks.
Boomers are actively making changes to their diets to maintain a healthy lifestyle by prepping healthy snacks every day.
Consumers want healthy products that are good for the planet, but also tasty; the concept of 'good taste' remains strong.
With these factors in play, snacking throughout the day is becoming the new way to eat. Here’s a look at 2021’s healthy snacking ideas for every craving!
High-Protein Snacks High-protein snacks are extremely popular these days, with 51% of global consumers saying they've switched from traditional snack foods such as chocolate and confections to high-protein/low-sugar products. You can join the trend too by taking the easy way with this protein power ball, a gluten-free quick bite designed for those looking for a quick meal.
Chia Seed Pudding You can satisfy all your cravings with Chia Seed Pudding, a tasty treat full of protein, fiber and healthy fats. It's also incredibly easy to prep for a grab-and-go snack.
Instructions: In a small container, combine: 1 cup of unsweetened almond milk 1/4 cups chia seeds 2 tbsp of honey 1 cup plain Greek yogurt with any fruits you have (blueberries, bananas, dates, etc.)
Stir it together and refrigerate overnight - and there you have it! Enjoy!
Low-Sugar Snacks The low-sugar trend is showing up across multiple food categories with claims that include reduced sugar, low sugar, no sugar, and no added sugars. The options are endless, and high demand is causing manufacturers to launch a variety of great options like these incredibly addictive lemon cookies. Or you can choose the DIY option, with an easy and fun idea here:
DIY Five-Ingredient No-Bake Granola Bars These no-bake granola bars contain only five ingredients, no added sugar, and are infinitely customizable!
1 cup of chopped dates ½ cups of rolled oats 1 cup dried cranberries (or other dried fruit or chopped nuts of your choice) ¼ cup honey ¼ cup sunflower seed butter (or nut butter of your choice)
Line an 8x8 square baking pan with parchment paper.
Process the dates in a food processor until it forms a ball of dough-like consistency, and only small bits remain, for about 30 seconds to 1 minute.
Place the pureed dates, oats and dried cranberries in a large bowl.
Place the honey and peanut butter in a small bowl and microwave for 30 seconds. Stir briefly, then pour over the date and oat mixture. Using a wooden spoon, stir to combine, breaking up the pureed dates to ensure that they are evenly incorporated throughout the mixture.
Transfer the mixture to the prepared pan and press into an even, compact layer. Cover with plastic wrap and refrigerate for 30 minutes to firm up. Remove from the pan, transfer to a cutting board, and slice into bars.
The granola bars can be stored in an airtight container at room temperature for up to 1 week, or individually wrapped in plastic, placed in a freezer bag, and stored in the freezer for up to 2 months.
Full Recipe Instruction, Here.
Good-for-your-Gut Foods Food plays a major role in the composition of the gut microbiome, which contains bacteria and other microbes. You can improve or damage your microbiome by eating certain foods, which in turn affects your immune system. Good-for-your-Gut foods aren’t going anywhere this year and are becoming a huge trend, with more consumers focused on enhancing gut health and being well-aware of the direct effects on our immune system. There are many foods that contain probiotics, such as kvass, kimchi, and kefir. You can also just eat real, fresh, whole foods that are beneficial for gut health. Here is a great homemade solution for an amazingly good gut bacteria snack:
Antioxidant-Rich Chocolate Smoothie Snack Bowl This isn't your typical grocery store chocolate snack, but the real stuff - the 70% or darker varieties, unsweetened. Researchers have found that when you eat dark chocolate, it ferments and may promote the growth of good gut bacteria, as well as producing anti-inflammatory compounds.
1 frozen banana 1 tbsp raw unsweetened cacao powder 1 tbsp almond butter ¼ cup unsweetened coconut milk 1 tbsp raw honey For toppings: shredded coconut, blueberries, chia seeds
Add all ingredients minus the toppings to a high-speed blender, and blend until smooth (add a splash more milk if needed). Sprinkle with desired toppings and serve in a bowl.
The New Popular Bean - Mung Beans Mung beans are edible seeds that belong to the legume plant family, a staple in Ayurvedic medicine for centuries. From light mung bean pasta salad to chips to cereal, mung beans are becoming increasingly popular as anti-inflammatory snacks. These small olive-green pulses come from a plant species called Vigna radiate (also known as green grams). Originating from the warm lands of India, mung beans are a nutritious food rich in carbohydrates, proteins, vitamins, minerals, dietary fibers and active biochemicals. These advantages make them useful for treating a range of health issues. However, the best thing about these energy-packed, slightly sweet beans is that they are extremely versatile.
Crunchy Oven-Roasted Mung Beans
Ingredients: 200 g mung beans 2 tbs olive oil Crete P.G.I., cold-pressed 2 tsps sea salt with iodine
Optional: 1 tsp curcuma powder 1 tsp curry powder 1/2 tsp cayenne pepper
Directions: - Soak mung beans overnight in water. - The following day, preheat the oven to 345 °F/175 °C. Mix the mung beans with olive oil and salt, and spread them out evenly on a baking sheet. If you like, you can dust the beans with additional spices. Roast them for about 15 minutes, turning them frequently. Let them cool in the oven until they are golden-brown and crispy. Enjoy!
More Mung Beans Recipes, Here.
Kale - the Ultimate Fun Snack Solution. Kale isn't new to the food world, it’s been around for centuries. Kale has basically exploded into the spotlight during the last ten years, just as it should! Kale is extremely healthy, as it contains fiber and antioxidants like quercetin and kaempferol.
Kale Chips This easy recipe for kale chips provides about 150 calories, and are incredibly easy and fun!
Ingredients: 1 cup (67 grams) of bite-sized kale leaves 1 tablespoon (15 ml) of olive oil 1/4 teaspoons (1.5 grams) of salt
Directions: Mix all ingredients in a bowl. Place kale pieces on a parchment-lined baking sheet and bake at 350°F (175°C) for 10–15 minutes. Watch them closely, as they can easily burn.
Interested to know more about the Leading Food Trends of 2021? Read: Plant-based Diet Top Trends .