Nutritionist-Approved Snacks You Can Eat Before Bed
Craving a treat before calling it a night? Try these healthy options from Energy Balls
, a new book by nutritionist Christal Sczebel.
The Breakfast-y Bedtime Bite
If you're a granola fan, you'll love these fruity, nutty delights. Their base is a combination of dried fruits (dates and dried cranberries), nuts (cashews) and coconut, plus some vanilla protein powder. Pulse those ingredients in the food processor until they're the consistency of damp sand, then add a spoonful of almond milk and whiz again until the mixture is sticky enough to roll into balls. The magnesium- and antioxidant-rich balls are just sweet enough, and each one is only 100 calories.
Cashews and dates are high in magnesium, which may help encourage a deeper, more restful sleep
Get the recipe: Cashew, Cranberry and Coconut Balls
A Pairing That Deserves More Love
Ginger and pear aren't as well known a combination as, say, apples and cinnamon, but there's something pretty fantastic about tasting the flavors of mellow pears and zippy ginger together
. These nibbles, which boast immune system-friendly vitamins C and E, include dates, dried pears, cashews, pistachios, oats, cashew butter and ground ginger; then, after you roll the mixture into golf ball-size spheres, you coat them in chopped pistachios, for a little crunch and a gorgeous green hue.
Pistachios are an excellent source of vitamin B6, which helps support the natural production of serotonin, a relaxing neurotransmitter
Get the recipe: Ginger, Pear and Pistachio Balls
The Dessert That'll Have You Dreaming of the Beach
You could have a slice of key lime pie or a coconut cake before bed—but we're willing to bet that you'll have a more restful night's sleep if you opt instead for one of these fiber- and vitamin-rich yet still tropical-inspired snacks. They start with almond meal (or ground almonds), coconut flour, shredded coconut, maple syrup, lime juice, almond milk and lime zest. Then you add chopped dates until you've got a mixture you can form into balls. Roll them in more shredded coconut and lime zest, and enjoy a zesty, low-calorie treat.
Vitamin C (which is found in limes) can lower your levels of cortisol, a stress hormone, and blood pressure, if you are feeling anxious
Get the recipe: Lime and Coconut Balls
The Protein-Packed Indulgence
Had a long day? We feel you. Unwinding with a chocolaty treat usually does the trick—and these rich and comforting truffles fit the bill nicely, since they're made with cocoa powder and
chocolate protein powder. The rest of the ingredient list is blessedly brief: almonds, oats, dates and almond milk. There's no added sugar, and each serving contains 4 grams of protein.
Eating protein and healthy fat can help to keep your blood-sugar levels steady through the night, allowing you to get some quality shut-eye
Get the recipe: Chocolate-Almond Truffles