12 Healthy Snacks for Late Nights during Winters - TexasRealFood (2022)

Meal Time

Written By Mariano Clement Gupana

12 Healthy Snacks for Late Nights during Winters - TexasRealFood (1)

Is it just me or do you also have late-night cravings during these cold months? I wouldn’t call it ‘late night’ per say, but the nights are so long drawn, just one dinner doesn’t seem to cut it. Hah! Some late-night snacks are legit needed, especially after those bedtime routines with the little ones! And most of the time, I find myself grabbing an indulging snack that is not really healthy, nor light.

So, to save myself from pandering to midnight meals and undoing all the efforts made at maintaining a balanced diet, I chalked out a list of 12 low-calorie, satisfying, and sleep-promoting healthy snack ideas that you can keep at hand for those early AM hunger pangs. Here goes!

1. Moon Milk

A self-professed lover of all things warm and gooey, a mug of freshly brewed moon milk is my number one go-to on nights when the desire for something herbal is strong. Milk, vegan or otherwise, contains tryptophan and melatonin, compounds known to induce sleep. Add some spices, herbs and adaptogens to the mix and you have a lip-smacking healthy late-night snack. Here are 3 recipes for the perfect moon milk.

12 Healthy Snacks for Late Nights during Winters - TexasRealFood (2)

2. Stove Top Popcorn

By no means do I mean the butter-laden popcorn in microwavable bags. Plain corn kernels popped on stovetop can be a very satiating late-night food. Air-popped popcorn is low in calories and fiber rich. For the sweet tooth, add a dash of honey and cinnamon to give it that sweet finish, or a sprinkle of nutritional yeast for that cheesy aftertaste. No need to feel guilty if you crave something sweet or savory with this yummy, healthy snack.

12 Healthy Snacks for Late Nights during Winters - TexasRealFood (3)

3. Trail Mix

Having a trail mix at hand is addictive, but they are actually healthy snacks to munch on while finishing up on those late-night assignments. Having a variety of seeds, nuts, dried fruit in your trail mix means that you are having a good amount of heart-healthy fat, dietary fiber, vitamins, and minerals. Eating nuts will also help you feel fuller faster, as it can contain at least 20 grams of protein per serving. To ensure a restful night's sleep, add pumpkin seeds, which are found to contain tryptophan, to your homemade trail mix. But like any other snack, remember to control your portions. Just a handful of trail mix should be enough to satisfy the craving for a savory snack.

4. Oatmeal and Banana

A very versatile breakfast and supper option is oatmeal. Overnight oats can offer you a lot of fiber and beta glucans to get through the day, without an early morning sugar spike. For late night dinner, a bowl of freshly prepared oatmeal with full fat milk and a sliced banana can be very filling and sleep promoting. High glycemic carbs in both banana and oats, and calcium from the milk increase melatonin production, healing you to zzz faster. For a more indulgent flavor, you can add some cocoa powder, sugar-free peanut butter or almond butter.

5. Yogurt and Chia/Flax seed

You probably know how good Greek yogurt is at giving us that portion of high quality protein, but did you know that it helps enhancing your sleep quality? A study suggests that not only can yogurt help you fall asleep faster, it can also let you sleep longer.

12 Healthy Snacks for Late Nights during Winters - TexasRealFood (4)

I love topping my bowl of plain Greek yogurt with a slice of fresh fruit, a tablespoon full of chia seeds for extra protein or even powdered flax. Another reason why yogurt and seeds are great for midnight healthy snacking is that the probiotics in yogurt and fiber from the seeds help regulate your intestinal flora, and a sound gut leads to sound sleep.

6. Healthy Dips and Crackers

Dips are perhaps perfect to have as a little something that’s not too heavy but is quite a satisfying snack at the same time. Try making some vegan dips and crackers. They're packed with nutrition and just melt in your mouth. Match them with whole-grain crackers, and you're set for the night. You can also cut up some sweet potatoes into air-fried fries if you prefer complex carbs. They taste great with dips as well. Mediterranean dips like Foul Medamas, Baba ghanoush, Mutabal and Tzatziki are quite easy to whip up too. For a cheesy healthy alternative, try making a cottage cheese dip. It's all the goodness of cream cheese but with less guilt. Follow these recipes to know how you can get a healthy midnight snack going in no time!

7. Hummus and Veggies

This side dish needs a special mention. Hummus is a Mediterranean dip made from garbanzo beans, nutty sesame seeds, olive oil, and garlic powder or paste. Chickpeas are high in lysine and sesame seeds are a great source of the amino acid, methionine. When you combine these singularly incomplete proteins to make hummus, they create a complete plant-based protein. And many may be aware, protein keeps us full, which means no more tossing in bed with a growling stomach. Top with some fresh herbs and pair with some baby carrots, green beans, pita bread, and even apple chips for a satisfying fiber-rich snack.

12 Healthy Snacks for Late Nights during Winters - TexasRealFood (5)

For a filling snack, that is both healthy and enjoyable, enjoy this dip with veggie sticks like carrots, cucumbers, radish or even celery. Click here to know more about hummus!

8. Egg with Wholegrain Toast

You've probably heard that hard-boiled eggs is a great snack for midnight cravings, but why limit yourself to one way of cooking eggs? Sunny side up, half boiled, scrambled, or as an egg salad, have your eggs any way you like - they are super versatile and ever so healthy as a late-night snack. Packed with protein and tryptophan and essential fatty acids, eggs promote sleepiness and enhance sleep quality. For those of you who don’t like eggs, this recipe for soft scrambled eggs on whole-wheat toast is sure to convert you. Serve with a side of cherry tomatoes and mushrooms, and voila—a satisfying light meal.

12 Healthy Snacks for Late Nights during Winters - TexasRealFood (6)

9. Kale Chips

Yes chips! Chips can be a healthy light snack too! But not Lays potato chips! Baked Kale chips is a fiber-rich crispy snack that’s a good source of calcium, a vital ingredient to produce melatonin, the sleep hormone, and a great alternative for a satisfying crunch. Beware though, not all kale chips available in the market are a good choice. Many are loaded with sodium, or have a heavy coating on the chips, both of which are bad ideas for eating before bed. Another low-calorie snack option for a similar taste to roasted kale chips is roasted seaweed with a tiny bit of sea salt for an umami flavor.

12 Healthy Snacks for Late Nights during Winters - TexasRealFood (7)

We at TexasRealFood recommend K’s kitchen for homemade kale chips that are freshly made!

10. Smoothies

On days, nights that you don’t have it in you to do anymore meal prep for your snack time, dump some powerful foods into a smoothie maker and voila! Smoothies are a genius way to pack a punch of nutrients together in one glass all within a few minutes. Mind what you add to them though- fresh fruits like bananas, mangos, kiwi, pears, and tart cherries are recommended for healthy nighttime snacks as these fruits increase the secretion of melatonin in our bodies. Combine them with nut butter, cucumber slices, fresh greens, and a dash of honey. You can even mix in some sugar-free dark chocolate, which contains serotonin and magnesium to help you relax. Still confused? Try any of our 4 amazing smoothies for your late-night snack cravings!

12 Healthy Snacks for Late Nights during Winters - TexasRealFood (8)

11. Herbal Teas

Another drink for the win is herbal beverages. Some are teas, others, tisanes, but I don’t think there is much that can beat herbal beverages when it comes to a low calorie, sleep inducing, healthy late night drink. There are several health benefits of sipping a hot beverage before hitting the sheets; they help your mind unplug, relax and unwind. Tisanes of chamomile, Hibiscus and Lemon balm have been known to aid in sleep. Make sure your herbal tea is organic, and preferably packed in paper or cloth bags, as plastic can leach out of tea bags when steeped at high temperatures.

12. A Glass of Nut Milk

Almonds , cashew nuts, walnuts and pistachios are not only sources of healthy fats but are also good sources of magnesium and zinc. Since both these minerals are known to relax nerve and muscle function, having a glass of nut milk is definitely a healthy late-night drink and can actually help you sleep sooner and better. It is ideal to have homemade nut milks, since they don't contain any additives or artificial flavorings; chemicals that can mess up your sleep pattern.

12 Healthy Snacks for Late Nights during Winters - TexasRealFood (9)

To make your very own batch of nut milk at home, follow this recipe. We at TexasRealFood recommend MALK Organics and Revolucion Coffee + Juice for freshly made, organic nut milks.

Eating healthy should be a part of your life but you shouldn't have to give up the occasional sweet and salty snack. A healthy lifestyle is all about balance and keeping it easy for yourself. Just as with everything in life, nighttime snacking comes down to balance too. It turns out that eating healthily at night may actually do better for you.

There are loads of healthy snack ideas out there, but there's no reason to stop at just one. Keeping a few tasty treats in your kitchen at all times ensures that you won't be tempted by less healthy options when hunger strikes. A stash of homemade granola bars as a sweet treat will make sure you never go too long without eating something, for instance, and some banana chips dipped in peanut butter might just be the ideal mix of sweet and salty. Get creative with your own healthy snacks!

Mariano Clement Gupana

Top Articles

You might also like

Latest Posts

Article information

Author: Sen. Ignacio Ratke

Last Updated: 12/20/2022

Views: 6074

Rating: 4.6 / 5 (76 voted)

Reviews: 91% of readers found this page helpful

Author information

Name: Sen. Ignacio Ratke

Birthday: 1999-05-27

Address: Apt. 171 8116 Bailey Via, Roberthaven, GA 58289

Phone: +2585395768220

Job: Lead Liaison

Hobby: Lockpicking, LARPing, Lego building, Lapidary, Macrame, Book restoration, Bodybuilding

Introduction: My name is Sen. Ignacio Ratke, I am a adventurous, zealous, outstanding, agreeable, precious, excited, gifted person who loves writing and wants to share my knowledge and understanding with you.