8 Homemade Diabetes-Friendly Snacks That Are Better Than Store-Bought
Get the Recipe: Salted Peanut Butter Pretzel Energy Balls
As a person living with diabetes, I'm always on the hunt for snacks that are an easy grab-and-go option. While it can be tempting to toss whatever convenient items I can find into my cart at the grocery store, I'm often left a little stunned after I read the nutrition labels and see how much added sugar, saturated fat or sodium (three ingredients people with diabetes need to limit) is actually in the product. Luckily, some grocery store favorites are just as easy to make at home—without the excess sugar, saturated fat or sodium. Not to mention, meal-prepping your snacks is often cheaper and tastier. Here are the top diabetes-friendly snacks I like to meal-prep myself, instead of buying, for better blood sugar.
Related: Healthy Diabetes Snacks
1. Bakery-style muffins
Get the Recipe: Morning Glory Muffins
Who can resist those pillowy bakery-style muffins? They're one of the first things I always smell on the grocery store's bakery side, but they usually contain lots of sugar, which results in blood sugar spikes later. These Morning Glory Muffins are a great alternative. They get their sweetness from apples, carrots and raisins—which also have fiber to help balance blood sugar—and just a little added sugar. Plus, they're a great meal-prep option. By making a batch at the beginning of the week, you have a healthy snack ready when hunger strikes.
See More: Diabetes-Friendly Muffins
2. Flavored yogurt
Get the Recipe: Strawberry & Yogurt Parfait
Yogurt is a healthy snack option, but flavored store-bought yogurt often contains a lot of added sugar. By buying your own plain yogurt and mixing in fresh or frozen fruit and/or a sweetener of your choice, you'll have more control over exactly how much added sugar goes into your snack. Plus, you can change it up with different fruits and flavor profiles depending on what you're in the mood for.
By meal-prepping your yogurt ahead of time, like we do with this Strawberry & Yogurt Parfait, all you need to do is grab it from the fridge come snack time.
3. Energy balls
Get the Recipe: Salted Peanut Butter Pretzel Energy Balls
Want a quick and filling snack? Energy Balls are a great option. They have both simple and complex carbs, plus they're no-bake. You also may have everything you already need in your pantry to make these ahead, like oats, peanut butter and honey, so they're ready to go when you're ready for a snack.
4. Muffin-tin eggs
Get the Recipe: Muffin-Tin Spinach & Mushroom Mini Quiches
We love the sous vide eggs you can get at Starbucks and Trader Joe's as much as the next person but it's really so easy to meal-prep muffin-tin eggs on your own! They're a cheap and healthy diabetes-friendly snack that you can add just about anything to and they'll still taste delicious. And thanks to your handy muffin tin, you canmake a big batch all at once and have these healthy snacks on hand all week long.
5. Veggie chips
Get the Recipe: Beet Chips
Veggie chips are a tasty snack that delivers that salty crunch we crave but packaged veggie chips often contain lots of salt and are deep-fried. So, what is marketed as a healthy snack isn't always that healthy. (Side note: It's totally fine to go for store-bought from time to time but maybe not every day.) The good news is that when your craving for something salty and crunchy comes on, there are healthy homemade options—like these flavorful Beet Chips or our Air-Fryer Sweet Potato Chips. These are baked with a light coating of olive oil to help them crisp up and they have a light sprinkle of salt to bring out the flavor.
Get the Recipe: Maple Granola
Making your own granola is a satisfying experience—and it makes your kitchen smell amazing! Like other foods on this list, store-bought granola can sometimes contain lots of added sugar, and while some is OK, too much can quickly increase blood sugar levels. Making your own granola takes just a few steps, and it gives you the flexibility to add flavors you love and create some variety for your yogurt or breakfast cereals—all while keeping the added sugars in check. Plus, you get some fiber from the oats, and heart-healthy fats when you mix in nuts and seeds.
7. Ice pops
Get the Recipe: Strawberry Swirl Cheesecake Ice Pops
I'm always looking forward to my evening treat! The grocery store freezer section has lots of choices for sweet treats, like popsicles and ice cream, but it's just as tasty (and healthier!) to make your own at home. Take these Strawberry Swirl Cheesecake Ice Pops, for instance—with a few ingredients and a little time, you can make a healthy frozen dessert that tastes just like strawberry cheesecake. It's a yummy option that satisfies my sweet tooth.
Get the Recipe: Tuscan White Bean Soup
Who said soup can't be a snack? Definitely not me! It's tempting to buy canned soup—it's fast, it's easy, and you don't have to do much to get it ready and on the table. But the downside of canned soup is that it typically has lots of added salt, which not only helps add flavor but also helps keep it shelf stable. People with diabetes are at an increased risk of developing heart disease, so it's important to be aware of how much sodium you're eating to help prevent or manage high blood pressure and its complications.
The good news is that you can quickly make your own delicious diabetes-friendly soups at home with fresh produce and fantastic flavor. Soup is a great item to prep ahead for a quick and easy snack or lunch, and with recipes like this Quick Creamy Tomato Cup-of-Soup, which is ready in just five minutes, you can also make it on the fly.
Some of the foods we believe are more convenient to buy at the grocery store are actually just as easy to make ahead in your own kitchen. Plus, you can make them more diabetes-friendly when making them yourself. As a result, you end up with a batch of healthy snacks for the week that are not only delicious but also help you better balance your blood sugar.
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