"Our bodies do need some salt, but too much sodium can lead to high blood pressure," says registered dietitian Jenna Gorham, RD. The key is making sure you don't go over the recommended sodium intake (1,500 milligrams a day, according to the American Heart Association) while choosing snacks that have other nutritional benefits. "Include a source of protein, healthy fat, or fiber," says Gorham. "These nutrients will help fill you up and keep you full until your next meal."
Below you'll find 20 healthy salty snacks (15 you can make at home and five you can buy) that are actually good for you. Each of these snacks travels well, so grab a baggie and fill it up.
15 healthy salty snacks to make yourself
1. Homemade cheese crackers
Salty, crunchy, cheesy—this simple snack checks off so many boxes. Unlike most of the cheese crackers you'll find at the grocery store, this one from Brendid is completely free of additives, preservatives, or any weird ingredients. Oh, and as for the salt: the recipe calls for a teaspoon, which doesn't sound like much, but you'll find that it's more than enough, especially coupled with the cheese.
Get the recipe: homemade cheese crackers
2. Baked carrot chips
Keeping with Gorham's advice, this snack from A Spicy Perspective involves adding a little salt (one teaspoon) to something that's inherently healthy: carrots. The recipe also calls for anti-inflammatory spices cumin and cinnamon to add a bit of depth to the flavor.
Get the recipe: baked carrot chips
Get you a snack that does both: This recipe will satisfy your hankering for something salty while simultaneously powering your workout. Made with peanut butter, oats, and milled flaxseed, they're packed with protein. Wondering where the salt comes in? Ground up pretzels, which adds a satisfying crunch to each creamy bite.
Get the recipe: sweet-salty energy bites
4. Sweet and salty trail mix
It's the perfect balance of sweet and salty that make trail mix a classic snack. Salted peanuts and salted almonds are still included in this dietitian-approved recipe to hit the salty notes, and raisins, cinnamon, and coconut flakes are all included for sweetness. You can include chocolate chips too, just go for dark chocolate.
Get the recipe: sweet and salty trail mix
5. Sweet and salty roasted chickpeas
Get some good protein with your salty snack by roasting spiced-up chickpeas in the oven for half an hour. Besides salt, this recipe calls for cinnamon and a touch of maple syrup, so it works to quell a sweet tooth, too.
Get the recipe: sweet and salty roasted chickpeas
6. Sea salt popcorn
This recipe ditches the microwave and calls for popcorn kernels, sea salt, Parmesan cheese, coconut oil, olive oil, and parsley. It's a step beyond just your basic kernels-and-salt recipe, and the taste is more elevated, too.
Get the recipe: sea salt popcorn
7. Savory hummus no-bake energy bites
The winning combo of salt and chickpeas strike again, only this time, instead of being roasted, the legumes are blended up and transformed into creamy hummus...and then turned into energy balls. If you find that the dash of salt in the recipe isn't enough to satisfy, opt for salted seeds when making your bites to get a bit more.
Get the recipe: savory hummus no-bake energy bites
8. Baked potato chips
If you really want some potato chips and nothing else will do, this recipe is for you. Made with just potatoes, olive oil, and salt, it still has everything you want from a classic potato chip.
Get the recipe: baked potato chips
9. Salted roasted green peas
These little salted peas are the perfected savory, crunchy snack. Pro tip: cooking them in coconut oil adds just a touch of sweetness that your tastebuds will love.
Get the recipe: salted roasted green peas
10. Homemade pita chips
Three ingredients and 15 minutes are all you need to make a batch of these salted pita chips. Just grab some hummus and you're good to go.
Get the recipe: homemade pita chips
11. Jalapeno cornbread muffins
Muffins don't have to be sweet. For something savory and salty in the form of a warm baked good, try these gluten- and dairy-free muffins.
12. But-free granola
Similar to muffins, granola is often thought of as sweet but can be given a savory twist, too. This one is loaded with protein-rich ingredients including hemp seeds, pumpkin seeds, and chia seeds. Turmeric, orange zest, and a touch of sea salt give them plenty of flavor.
13. Sweet potato fries
If salty foods are your jam, chances are that you love a hot serving of fries. When they're baked, it can actually be a nutrient-rich snack. Sweet potatoes are full of fiber, potassium, and vitamin A. This recipe also includes instructions for making three different types of sauces: chipotle aioli, avocado wasabi, and tamarind ketchup.
Get the recipe: sweet potato fries
14. Chewy trail mix cookies
Trail mix cookies? So smart. This recipe is vegan and gluten-free, so a wide-range of eaters can enjoy them.
Get the recipe: chewy trail mix cookies
15. Seaweed chips
Seaweed is chock full of nutrients including calcium, iodine, vitamin A, and vitamin C, making it one very healthy snack. See how to make your own with just nori, sesame oil, and a touch of salt.
Get the recipe: seaweed chips
5 healthy salty snacks under $5
Don't have time to make your own snack? Here are five that meet Gorham's requirements on still being nutrient-rich while hitting the spot.
Made with cauliflower, you get more fiber than you would with these crackers than ones made with traditional white flour. There’s also two grams of protein per serving from lentil flour and ccassava.
If you love pretzels but are trying to keep your sodium intake in check, go for ones that are unsalted, like this. They’re made with just four organic ingredients.
Whether you want to make your own snack or buy one, there are plenty of healthy salty snack options to choose from that aren't overloaded with sodium. Everything on the lists here are more nutrient-rich than your typical vending machine fare and taste a heck of a lot better too. It's a snacktime win-win!
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