The munchies, man. They have the power to make you dig through your fridge and pantry to find anything resembling cheese and crunch. They give you the urge to order so much food on Grubhub that the restaurant assumes you need utensils for two people. In my case, they cause you to spend your morning with a stomach ache after a 2am chocolate chip cookie binge. (Don’t be like me.) These cravings are real and goddamn strong and we’re here to help you with some tips for healthy munchies.
I’m a full believer in “treating yourself” so I’m not gonna lecture you on what foods to avoid at all costs. Instead, we are here to give you some ideas for healthy munchies that will satisfy your snacking needs without the overspending on delivering apps or waking up covered in cheese dust. These options for healthy munchies will fulfill your desire to stuff your facehole without taking the toll on your insides that, say, a dozen cookies past midnight will.
For my healthy munchies, I love food with high volume. That means they take up a lot of space on the plate and look like a lot of food without actually being too dense. Enter: the humble corn kernel. Optimally heated until it is the beautiful, air filled snack we know and love.
Popchips and white cheddar popcorn are usually my go-to late night snack when I duck into a bodega. It’s satisfying, salty, and crunchy, but not as dense as my other cheese cravings like mozzarella sticks or Doritos. I can eat a good amount and not hate myself the next day. I usually go for Smartfood or jalapeno Popcorners but you do you.
Obviously, there’s a lot of opportunity to do this at home as well. Sure, you could buy the good ole microwave bags. But if you’re trying to avoid the butter or trying to find an even cheaper way to get your snack on, buying kernels and making popcorn on the stove is easy peasy!
An added benefit of making popcorn at home is that you can experiment with flavors. Have a bunch of spices laying around your house? Say hello to your new popcorn flavors. Old Bay seasoning? My friends swear by it. Parmesan and oregano? Hell yeah. Curry powder? Why not! Popcorn is one of my favorite healthy munchies because it takes on flavor so well.
Here’s a pic by Nerdy Millenial on her guide to at-home popcorn seasoning:
I love salsa, guac, artichoke dip, queso, etc. You name it, I’d dip it. And you can find tons of healthier alternatives for making those recipes with a quick Google search! But I’m here to share with you a love of mine that I rediscover about every summer: dipping my fruit.
It’s all the satisfaction of using food to scoop more food into my mouth but translated into a mode that’s more dietarily acceptable.
Easy, low effort mode: Buy your favorite Greek yogurt (flavored, unflavored, no fat, 2% fat, all fat, it’s your life you live it) and dip fruit in it. It’s literally as easy as those jars of queso without the tummy side effects of processed cheese and chilis.
If you wanna get fancy (but not too fancy), I love this recipe from Budget Bytes for Honey Vanilla Cottage Cheese Dip. It is the best of the cheap, easy, fast, and delicious healthy munchies. As simple as its name, all it involves is blending honey, vanilla, and cottage cheese.
“Smoshe,” you say, “Water is not a munchie!” My friend, that is where I believe you are blatantly wrong. Cottonmouth? Over eating? Headache? Breaking out? Dark yellow pee? Water, my dear reader, is always the answer. If you want healthy munchies, one of the best and most crucial aspects is drinking water while you eat or smoke.
If you are one of those weirdos who is like “I don’t like water,” it’s time to convert! Try putting carbonated water into your other carbonated drinks to get the extra hydration and reduce sugar. Do the same thing with non-carbonated drinks (half water, half juice) and you’re on your way to clearer pee.
If you need some online motivation to keep you on track on this new way of life, I have some suggestions for you. Plant Nanny is an app that combines hydration habits with a Tamagotchi-like plant. It sends reminders to you throughout the day to drink water, and every day you do so it gets bigger and cuter. You’re watering yourself and a little buddy!
If you’re someone who needs group motivation and memes to keep you on track, check out HydroHomies on Reddit. Self described, “This is literally for memes about drinking water.”
Stay hydrated, friends!