Some people say that paleo snacks are unnecessary, and in a perfect world that might be true: In a perfect world, you’d eat a perfect sized meal that would keep you nourished and fulfilled until the next meal time. But obviously things don’t always work out like this and there are always times when you just need a little something to tide you over. It’s for times like these that it’s a good idea to have a go-to list of paleo snacks.
This is especially true if you’re in the early days of your Paleo regime, as it will help to protect you when moments of weakness strike. With this in mind, we’ve compiled a list of snacks for just such occasions. First up are 7 snacks that require a minimal amount of preparation, followed by emergency paleo snacks that you can grab from the cupboard or the fridge at a moment’s notice,
1. Tuna & Avocado
Some foods make you feel healthier than they logically should, and I love that. Tuna and avocado are two foods that give me that healthy happy feeling, and it definitely helps that they also taste delicious! Cut the avocado in half and scoop out the inside into a bowl, add the lemon juice and mash it together with the tuna. Obviously the sizes of avocados and lemons can vary, so be sure to taste the mixture as you make it the first time so you get the right balance for you between the ingredients.
2. Roasted Pumpkin Seeds
Pumpkin seeds are a great source of fiber, potassium, and protein, as well as being a really easily prepared and tasty snack. Preheat the oven to 180 degrees C/350 degrees F. Toss the pumpkin seeds in the coconut or olive oil, and spread them evenly on a baking sheet in one layer. Bake for about 20 minutes, stirring occasionally until the seeds are crisp and golden brown. Add salt to season if desired.
3. Bacon and Eggs
You might scoff at the notion of this being a quick and easy snack, but you’d be wrong. You can even pretend you’re baking! All you need is a muffin tray, english bacon strips and eggs. Push the bacon strips into the muffin cup, and simply crack an egg into the middle of it. Pop it in the over at about 180 degrees for 10 minutes and you’ve got the easiest bacon and eggs of all time.
4. Kale Chips
Tear your kale leaves into chip-sized pieces and coat them with olive oil or coconut oil. Then bake them until the edges are crunchy.
5. Apple & Cheese Slices
Apples and cheese go surprisingly well together, and sometimes when an apple just won’t satisfy you, a few slices of cheese can make all the difference.
6. Carrots & Paleo Hummus
Some easily-prepared paleo hummus along with sliced carrot is a perfect snack. Of course, it doesn’t have to be carrot—celery, cucumber, or pepper will all qualify as paleo snacks
7. Fruit Smoothie
This is a great one for when you’ve just finished a gym session or other form of exercise; just be sure to use fresh fruit. Personally I’ve a weakness for mango, so it usually features in any smoothie I make, along with either kiwi or freshly-squeezed orange juice and lots of ice. If you don’t like to add ice, just dice your mango into cubes and freeze those for the same result. To recreate the creaminess of a traditional smoothie use either coconut milk, or even avocado. This snack can get even healthier if you decide to modify it by adding fresh vegetables like carrot, kale or spinach.
Emergency Paleo Snacks
8. Tin of tuna
Healthy, fast and convenient, it’s always a good idea to have a tin of tuna in the cupboard.
9. Smoked salmon
Wrapping your smoked salmon in a leaf of lettuce makes for a handy on-the-go snack.
10. Dark chocolate
Sometimes, the only thing that will satisfy the craving is chocolate!
11. A trail mix of your favorite nuts and seeds
This one does need a small bit of preparation, but if you keep a container of mix in the cupboard it’s there whenever you need it.
12. Melon & prosciutto slices
This is a great snack for summertime. Just wrap some melon slices in prosciutto and enjoy.
13. Fresh fruit
Ready to eat, straight from the fruit bowl. Healthy and convenient.
14. Dried fruit
Dried fruit can be fairly calorie dense naturally, so it’s often advised not to eat too much of it but as a snack now and again it shouldn’t be an issue.
These are one of the foods that inspire huge relief when you find out they’re allowed. Just be sure they’re not packaged in a non-paleo substance.
It can be tough to find true paleo jerky, but it is possible. Just make sure there’s no sugar, soy MSG or other preservatives.
17. Chopped raw veggies
Chopping vegetables for dinner, I often end up eating raw carrots or peppers or turnips, and they’re just as useful as quick snack.
18. Sliced cold meats
Sliced deli style meats are obviously convenient. If you’ve not gone for your own pre-prepared turkey, ham or beef you’ll need to find a brand that offer a paleo friendly product.
19. Natural salami (no artificial additives)
Much like jerky above it can be tough to find a true paleo-friendly salami, but if you’ve got a local butcher you should be fine.
20. Cucumber sandwiches
A slice of meat between 2 slices of cucumber is quick, tasty and paleo friendly.
Have You Gone Paleo Nuts? The Top 5 Signs You’ve Taken The Paleo Lifestyle Too FarFeatured photo credit: iamtheo via Flickr,peter pearson via Flickr,CeresB via Flickr,matt-lucht via Flickr,Sweet Potato Hash with Fresh Herbs, Peppers and Onions via Shutterstock