Sometimes schedules and excess work in college can get in the ways of things that make us healthy; like regular sleep, exercise and balanced diets. It's a habit that resonates among those in pursuit of higher education, or maybe just too tired to go to the store or make something to eat. However, healthy snacks don't have to be a hassle. Here are some inexpensive, quick, tasty and simple snacks to make in your dorm room that you can snack on during studying, or even just watching Netflix.
1. Apples Dipped in Peanut Butter
Okay, so this one seems pretty basic, but it's really good at satisfying those cravings for something sweet but fatty. The apple, preferably something crunchy like a red delicious, can easily be dipped into peanut butter jars or to-go cups. With only a minute of prep time needed to cut up the apple and open the lid, this one really is a no-brainer.
2. Banana, Peanut Butter and Honey Roll Up
You can make other types of roll-ups as well, but this one is sweet and satisfying, the bananas, honey and peanut butter all working together to fulfill those noontime munchies. It's a twist on an Elvis Pressley favorite. Just use a tortilla, 1 teaspoon of honey, 1 tablespoon of peanut butter, 1 banana and slap it all together. Make them earlier in the day when you have more time and put them in the fridge for a cooler, less messy treat later on. You really can't go wrong with this one.
3. Sliced Bell Peppers
Bell peppers come in all different colors based on how ripe they are, ranging for red sweet ones to green mild ones. So, on days when I want something crunchy and sweet, I'll just gut one and chop it into thin little slices. They somehow taste like candy for me, something mind-boggling to most of my friends, but it's true. Try this treat for yourself and find out if it's your new snack time addiction.
4. Caprice Salad
Just mozzarella, tomatoes and basil. If you're feeling a bit fancy even add on some balsamic dressing. It's just that simple. For the dorm-friendly college version try using baby tomatoes and cutting all the ingredients into a bowl. Make sure to use sliced mozzarella and cover in the fridge. You can make this to keep for a few days (if you don't eat it all at once!) and snack on it throughout the week. It's tasty and fresh and healthy, something so rare to have just at your fingertips in college. Lucky you!
5. Trail Mix
This one's traditional, but that's because it really is simple and good. Just mix almonds, chocolate chips, peanuts, raisins, dried cranberries, yogurt bites, whatever you want into a bag. In most markets and grocery stores you can even buy them pre-made and packaged. So, there's really no excuse to not have these around. Just make sure to check the ingredients and keep it healthy. Trail mix made of just chocolate is still just chocolate.
6. Buffalo Chicken Dip and Celery Sticks
I'm almost drooling at this one, and it's way easier than it looks. Mix half a block of reduced-fat (or fat-free) cream cheese, softened, 1 cup plain Greek yogurt, 1 cup shredded part-skim Mozzarella cheese, 1/2 cup hot sauce, 1/2 cup crumbled light blue cheese, 1 tablespoon ranch seasoning (optional) and 3 cups shredded cooked chicken together in a bowl.
Heat it up if wanted. You can get the chicken from the grocery store pre-cooked and just break it apart in your dorm. You only have to make it once a week, so it can stay in a container with celery sticks on the side for any occasion you want to much for. It has 13g of protein and under 200 calories. It's filling and fun to eat. It needs some prep work, but it's totally worth it.
7. Frozen Yogurt Fruit Bar
As long as you have a freezer, you can make popsicles. Mix 1 large container of plain yogurt, 1 teaspoon of vanilla, and a cup of up fruit of your choice in a bowl. Then take a popsicle mold and pour all of the ingredients in, putting the sticks in the top. Wait until fully frozen and you have a delicious snack. For when you're craving something sweet or something fruity. You can't go wrong with yogurt pops.
8. Popcorn with Nutritional Yeast
Popcorn, without all the commercialized butter, actually isn't bad for you. In fact, with some nutritional yeast, it can have flavor and fiber. So pop some kernels yourself or (if your dorm building doesn't allow it) grab a bag of the unsalted stuff from your local grocery store or market and put it in the microwave, sprinkle some nutritional yeast on top. It's delicious and stackable, and not all too different from what you're probably eating now.
No matter what the time of day or amount of resources, everyone deserves a healthy body and mind. And, with the stress of college work and schedules, these snacks can get your nutritional intake back on track when reaching for a bag of chips of Ben & Jerry's pint. You'll be happy you did.