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The best easy, healthy snacks

These five snacks will keep your stomach full and your mind energized

<p>An avocado toast is one of the best quick fixes during finals season for both your hunger and your health!</p>

An avocado toast is one of the best quick fixes during finals season for both your hunger and your health!

Throughout finals season approaches, students sought ways to minimize the time they spend on activities unrelated to studying. Unfortunately, it can oftentimes be easy to forgo the things that actually sustain our wellbeing like healthy food, sleep and daily movement. It’s natural to want to reach for greasy and high sugar foods that will give us a momentary burst of energy — but those foods inevitably cause us to crash. However, healthy and filling snacks will actually nourish both our bodies and our brains, giving us the energy we need to push through finals week. 

These were my five favorite study snacks that are quick, healthy, and delicious.

1. Trail mix

Nuts are a great source of both fiber and protein and can leave you feeling full for hours. I like to curate my own trail mix, so that I can pick my favorite items and leave out those that aren’t as personally appetizing  — cashews, I’m looking at you. I always add in a little extra dark chocolate because it is full of natural stimulants and actually increases blood flow to your brain, which improves focus — and who doesn’t love an excuse to eat more chocolate?

My go-to homemade trail mix includes almonds, peanuts, toasted pecans, pumpkin seeds, Lily’s Dark Chocolate Chips, cinnamon and nutmeg. All you need to do is combine all of your ingredients in a big bowl and mix them together. Afterwards, you can package the mix and snack all week long.

2. Green smoothie

I’ll admit, I was initially skeptical of green smoothies because who wants to drink spinach as a snack? However, after trying one for myself, I am definitely a huge green smoothie enthusiast. The green color comes from spinach, which is packed with vitamins and nutrients to keep you energized throughout the day. 

You are free to add whatever fruits and vegetables you enjoy, but my classic green smoothie includes one frozen banana, about a quarter cup of frozen mango, a large handful of spinach, a tablespoon of peanut butter and almond milk. I find that the sweetness from the mango and the nuttiness from the peanut butter completely masks the taste of spinach. Blend it all together and enjoy!

3. Kale chips

Kale chips are arguably one of my favorite snacks, and the saltiness and crunch is almost as satisfying as your favorite potato chips. Kale is one of the most nutrient dense foods on the planet and can help give you that extra kick need while studying for finals. 

In a bowl, combine washed and de-stemmed kale with olive oil and salt and bake in the air fryer for five minutes at 375 degrees Fahrenheit. If necessary, cook for longer to achieve your desired crunchiness. These kale chips take under 10 minutes to make and can be saved — or devoured in one sitting, which is what I usually do. If you don’t have an air fryer, you can also make these kale chips in the oven. Preheat the oven to 350 degrees Fahrenheit and bake for 10-15 minutes. 

4. Apple sandwiches

Despite the fancy name, these apple sandwiches are easy to make and only require three ingredients. Additionally, they are packed with protein and carbohydrates, keeping you full and satisfied until your next snack.

To make these apple sandwiches, you will need an apple, peanut or almond butter and granola. To start, core your apple and cut it into round, ring-like slices. Generously spread your nut butter on one slice of apple and sprinkle some granola on top. Top it off with another apple slice, and you have yourself a beautiful and delicious apple sandwich.

Feel free to get creative with this recipe — use your favorite kind of apple and any nut butter you want.

5. Avocado toast

Avocado toast is a classic that never fails to disappoint. There are so many varieties of avocado toasts today, but I always like to stick to the classics. Avocados contain 20 different vitamins and minerals and are full of healthy fats that will keep you satisfied all day. 

To make my avocado toast, I mash up an avocado with some salt, pepper and a dash of lemon juice. I spread it on a piece of toast — you can use whatever bread you like, but my favorite is the Sprouted Wheat Sourdough from Trader Joe’s — and top it off with some Everything But The Bagel seasoning. 

Finals can be a stressful time, but it doesn’t mean we have to sacrifice nutritious snacks and meals during it. Try these snacks to keep your body fueled during finals season, and I guarantee you won’t regret it.