It's Snack Time! Healthy Options From Portlandia and Beyond

A few weeks ago, Oregon Entrepreneurs Network invited Zest Nutrition to blog about healthy, local snacks. Since we all need a little snack inspiration now and then, I couldn't resist sharing these suggestions with you as well. So, here goes:

Snacking has unfairly earned a bad rap. When done right, snacking can make the difference between a sluggish, unproductive day and an energized, checking-off-that-to-do-list kind of day.

Ultimately, snacking is the missing ingredient for an energized day. And smart snacking puts us in control of how much, what and when we eat.

So what’s the trick to smart snacking? 

Be prepared.

Inspired to make your own healthy snack? Try this Zest recipe for quick & easy “Banana Bakies” - only five ingredients!

Inspired to make your own healthy snack? Try this Zest recipe for quick & easy “Banana Bakies” - only five ingredients!

The best way to save time, money and your waistline is to pack healthy snacks before leaving the house. Think whole, unprocessed foods with protein, fiber and healthy fats (fruit & nuts, trail mix, string cheese, crunchy edamame, hard boiled eggs, yogurts, or even lean jerky).

Entrepreneurs are busy bees, and planning, well, it takes time. We totally get it.

So what to do? 

Below are a few Oregon-made, healthy favorites to fill your pantry, cupboards and office drawers. 

  • Wild Friends Nut Butters has so many flavors, it’s seriously nutty. Even better, they sell single-serve packets, so you can throw one in your bag to spread on a banana or apple.
  • Chickpea hummus, get ready for the small but mighty lentil. Lentils have more protein, fiber and energy-boosting iron than chickpeas. Portland-made Mariam Foods Lentil Dips are filling, flavorful and an easy snack on the run.
  • With an overwhelming number of bars to choose from, go ahead and get picky. Picky Bars are made with whole ingredients, in the optimal protein to carb balance to energize your workouts. 
  • Enjoy grazing? So do the free range animals that go into Shurky Jurky. These mouth-watering dried meats really are the perfect portable protein. And, yes, free-range really does matter – for the environment, the animals and your health.
  • Keep your gut flora well fed, and in turn, they will boost your immune system, improve digestion, and may even promote weight control. Quench your thirst and keep your GI bacteria thriving with locally-made Humm Kombucha.
  • Can’t forget the sweet treat. Petunia’s Pies & Pastries hit the sweet spot with high protein and high fiber goodies. Best options: the naturally sweetened Millionaire Bar or Hummingbird Muffin.
  • The ultimate fast food solution: The New Season’s Market salad bar. With a variety of veggies, lean proteins and whole grains, you can make it just the way you like it. 

Snack smart and dominate your day.

If you live in the Portland area, tell us about your favorite healthy snacks.

For those elsewhere, we still want to hear your tips for healthy snacking - do tell!