Top 5 Healthy Mediterranean Diet Snacks
Who doesn’t love snacks? We definitely do! They're a great way to maintain energy, manage hunger between meals, and increase your fruit and vegetable intake. The problem is, sometimes coming up with new and exciting snacks that are also healthy can be difficult. If you’re getting bored of your current snacks, or maybe you're looking for some healthier options like veggies and dip, Greek yogurt and berries, or olives and nuts, then snacks from the Mediterranean diet may be for you! The Mediterranean Diet focuses on whole foods like fruits, vegetables, whole grains, and legumes. It also includes lean proteins, and plenty of healthy fats like extra virgin olive oil (EVOO), avocado, nuts, and seeds.
It's a diet shown to improve overall health, often helping those who follow it lead long, fulfilled lives. And what better way to begin incorporating it than through snacks? They're a simple, easy, and convenient way to being shifting your behavior and food choices.
Mediterranean diet snacks should be delicious, but they should also be balanced so that you aren't left feeling unsatisfied or hungry again in 30 minutes. This is achieved by selecting snacks that combine a variety of macronutrients. Consuming a combination of carbohydrates, protein, and healthy fats is a key factor in weight loss and in making sure you stay full and satiated.
Here are a few delicious Mediterranean Diet snacks you can try out:
1. Smoked salmon cracker bites
This snack is a great option if you’re on the go but still want to get a little extra protein into your day. This recipe is crunchy, salty, and delicious for any time of the day! The chives add a great fresh taste to this recipe.
- Top a few whole grain crackers with a dollop of cream cheese or Greek yogurt and a piece of smoked salmon. Finish with a sprinkle of chives and a pinch of salt and pepper on top!
These smoked salmon cracker bites also make for a great appetizer. So if you're ever worried about what tidbits to serve at a gathering, give these a try! You can even make a few with smoked trout for some variety. You can use this snack recommendation to make as many bites as you'd like. Just account for the ones you're bound to nibble on while you're preparing them!
2. Simple falafel bites
This Mediterranean diet recipe is perfect because you can alter it to fit what you have in your house already. Have fava beans rather than chickpeas? No problem –– switch it out. No parsley? All good –– leave it out. Shallot instead of red onion? Totally fine! This recipe is designed to be simple. Plus, it's baked rather than fried, keeping it healthy, and again, easy. Falafel is something to love, and this recipe follows suit. It makes healthy and delicious falafel that are simple and quick to throw together. A win-win in our book!
Top tip for using oven-baked falafel bites is that this recipe is also a great option for meal prepping. Just make a big batch (we suggest quadrupling the recipe below) and store in the fridge for up to 5 days. You can even freeze some if you'd like. Just place a piece of parchment between layers to prevent sticking.
- Combine the following in a food processor: a handful of chickpeas, a couple Tbsp red onion, a garlic clove, a few parsley leaves, and a pinch of cumin and salt. Roll the mixture into small bite size balls and lightly coat in extra virgin olive oil. Toss them in the oven at 350 F and bake until golden brown.
- Serve with yogurt, fresh mint, tomatoes, and red onion
These oven-baked falafel bites are a great source of protein, fiber, vitamins, and minerals. They also contain minimal salt and no oil. Additionally, they crumble easily, making them a great finger food for infants and toddlers.
3. White bean hummus and pita chips
This spin on hummus is an easy and delicious dip that is perfect for snacking! It can be made and kept in the fridge for up to 3 days. This recipe is a great way to get more plant based protein and good fats into your diet. Feel free to switch it up by adding toasted cumin, roasted red bell pepper, chili sauce, or paprika!
It's super quick and simple to make. Plus, it calls for whole foods and minimal ingredients, making it much better than anything you might discover at the store. A perfect dip for hors d'oeuvres with friends or a great addition to an evening meal, this dip will be a particular top pick in your home year around.
- Blend a can of rinsed white cannellini beans, the juice of a lemon, 2 Tbsp extra virgin olive oil (EVOO), 2 Tbsp tahini, Greek yogurt and a pinch of salt and pepper. Eat dip with pitas chips or crackers of your choice, and any crunchy veggies you prefer, like carrots, bell pepper, celery, or cucumber.
4. Zucchini quesadilla
If you're in the mood for a cheesy, crispy Mediterranenan diet snack then this is a perfect option. This recipe is a take on a classic quesadilla with a twist. For more fiber add zucchini (or any other veggies) to your quesadilla.
This will keep you feeling full longer and helps you get in some extra vegetables and nutrients. It is so brisk, straightforward, and light! With custom made, this meets up in minutes and perhaps the most adaptable courses to make.
- Fill one small whole wheat tortilla with sliced zucchini and a sprinkle of the cheese of your choice (monterey jack, cheddar, etc.) Fold the tortilla in half and place on a pan lightly coated with Olive oil. Remove from the pan when both sides have crisped up and are golden brown and the cheese had melted.
5. Peanut butter dates
Are you looking for something to satisfy your sweet tooth? This is definitely a recipe for you! The Mediterranean diet is high in fruit, which provides a lot of fiber, vitamins, and minerals, and dates are no exception. Dates are a slightly sweet, semi-dried fruit that's a great source of carbohydrates and fiber. Pair them with nut butter to add balance it out with some protein and fat.
If you're using this recipe as a dessert, feel free to add a couple chocolate chips in as well. These can be made ahead of time and frozen or refrigerated. You can also stuff them with tahini and top them with a drizzle of honey. They can be enjoyed alone, but they're also a fantastic addition to snack and charcuterie boards.
- Fill 1-3 pitted dates with peanut or almond butter. Optional: top each date with dark chocolate chips (try to find chocolate chips with no added sugar)
Written by Isabelle Hammack
Reviewed by Kelly Powers, MA, RDN, a Registered Dietitian Nutritionist who takes a holistic approach to nutrition and health. Kelly is a recipe developer with a food blog highlighting whole foods, simple recipes, and her life in San Francisco. She’s the creator of 52 Weeks, a weekly meal plan program that helps users get back in the kitchen and feed themselves well. Kelly is also a co-founder of Olivaio.
Image Sources: PublicDomainPictures/Pixabay, uniqueton/Unsplash, nicubarbaros/Unsplash, sarahjgualtieri/Unsplash, chinalily/Unsplash
Frequently Asked Questions
- What snacks can you eat on the Mediterranean diet?
- Smoked Salmon Cracker Bites - This snack is a great option if you’re on the go but still want to get a little extra protein into your day.
- What bread can I eat on a Mediterranean diet?
- Yes, you definitely can have bread but look for a loaf made with whole grains Bread.
- What can you eat on the Blue Zone diet?
- Hummus is a very common food in the Mediterranean Diet as it is Rich in olive oil and healthy fats.