Keeping your carb intake down is a great way to stay on track when it comes to weight loss, but coming up with creative and delicious midday snacks that meet these requirements can be tough.
For those of you who could do with a bit of inspiration, here are 15 low carb snacks that you can easily take with you to work.
Hummus makes for a tasty and filling snack, but it is traditionally made with chickpeas, which contain quite a high amount of carbohydrates.
Put a spin on the original recipe by making yours with cauliflower instead, giving you a dairy-free, gluten-free, nut-free and grain-free snack, making this something that just about anyone will be able to enjoy.
All you need to do is blend together the following ingredients:
- Olive or avocado oil
- Tahini paste
- Lemon juice
Wondering what to eat this with?
Vegetable sticks are your best option, since these are naturally low in carbs. Celery is the lowest, followed by cucumber, bell peppers and carrots, giving you plenty of variety.
If you tend to crave something sweet while you’re at work, these homemade fruit leathers are perfect for satisfying that sweet tooth.
Thought that fruit leathers were high in carbs?
They are if you buy them from the store, and this is due to the way that commercially prepared fruit leathers have been sweetened with fruit juices or a type of fruit sugar, adding to their carb count.
When making them at home, you don’t need to do this. Many fruits are sweet enough to hold their own without added sugars, but if you would like to give your leathers some extra sweetness, you can opt for a low carb sweetener such as stevia.
The easiest way to make fruit leathers is in a dehydrator. All you need to do is puree the fruit, as well as a sweetener if you are using one, spread this out on a tray and then place the tray into your dehydrator for a few hours. Once the leather has cooled, cut it into strips before wrapping and storing.
Roasted Pumpkin Seeds
Searching for a snack that you can munch on throughout the day without getting your hands dirty?
Roasted pumpkin seeds are the answer. While the seeds can be eaten raw, and actually provide you with more of their healthy fats when done so, roasting them brings out their unique nutty flavor, making them such a tasty crunchy snack.
And yes, it’s really just as simple as throwing some pumpkin seeds into the oven for about 20 minutes, until they are crispy.
To give them some extra flavor, toss them in an olive oil mixture of herbs and spices before roasting, such as:
- Garlic powder
- Black pepper
- Sea salt
- Dried sage
- Dried thyme
Wondering what the carb content for this snack is?
It works out to about six grams of carbohydrates for every quarter cup of pumpkin seeds.
Don’t worry, cloud bread isn’t technically a bread, meaning that it doesn’t contain any carbs.
Instead, it is made with just eggs, cream cheese and some baking powder. There is a bit of skill involved, and this comes from having to whisk the egg whites for a while until they have formed stiff peaks. Don’t skip out on this step, as it is crucial for the egg whites to be properly fluffed up in order for the breads to gain their delicious texture.
The outcome is crispy and chewy at the same time, making this bread perfect for a work snack.
Wondering what to eat it with?
Try it with the cauliflower hummus mentioned earlier, or with the guacamole discussed below.
Guacamole makes for such a tangy and tasty snack, and with half a cup of this dip containing around just 12 grams of carbohydrates, guacamole is the perfect snack for when you are on a low carb diet.
The beauty of guacamole is that it is so easy to make, simply requiring you to mash up some avocados before mixing them with:
- Lime juice
- Olive oil
- Salt and pepper
Top with some sour cream for some extra decadence.
Turkey roll-ups are a snack that provide you with a combination of lean protein and monounsaturated fat, both of which work together to keep you feeling fuller for longer. If you tend to find yourself tempted by all of the high carb snacks available at work, this is a great snack to keep those hunger pangs away.
All you will need to make your turkey roll-ups is:
- Turkey slices
- Pickle slices
- Avocado slices
- Tomato slices
Simply wrap each slice of turkey around a slice of the other ingredients, before packing into a box to take into work with you. Three roll-ups contain just nine grams of carbs, making this a great healthy lunch option too.
When made correctly, beef jerky is a snack that is packed with protein but contains zero carbs and sugars. It is naturally low in fat and intensely flavorful, making this a fantastic snack to take to work with you.
Of course, in order for all of that to be true, you need to choose a cut of beef with a low amount of fat for making your jerky. Top and bottom round, as well as flank steak and sirloin tip, are all good options.
All you need to do is cut the beef into strips and place them into a bag to mix them with a marinade for a few hours.
Then, remove the strips, pat them dry and skewer them, before hanging the skewers through the grates in your oven rack.
How long do you bake them for? It depends on how thick you have cut your strips. Thin strips should be ready in about four hours, while thicker strips, which will also need to be marinaded for longer, will take a bit more time.
Once done, your jerky will store in a refrigerator for up to a month, making this the perfect snack to cook up in advance.
Date, Pecan & Coconut Balls
This is another snack that will satisfy your sweet tooth, and are easy to eat while on-the-go too.
These are so easy to make, simply requiring you to process the following ingredients in a food processor:
- Coconut flakes
- Hemp seeds
- Vanilla extract
Once you have your blended mixture, roll this into small balls and then refrigerate for an hour or so, until they have firmed up.
Not only is this a low carb snack, but the coconut flakes within it will provide you with plenty of added health benefits, including stimulating the metabolism to help with weight loss.
Prosciutto Melon Skewers
This sweet and savory dish not only makes a great snack, but can also work for your lunch too, thanks to the fact that it contains protein from the prosciutto as well as plenty of vitamins from the melon.
Wondering what type of melons you should use?
Honeydew or cantaloupe work well for this dish. Ideally, you would use a melon baller to scoop small balls out of the melon, before alternating this on skewers with the prosciutto.
For some added flavor, try adding some fresh herb leaves, such as basil, to your skewers, or even a cheese.
For those of you who aren’t familiar with Baba Ganoush, this is a Middle Eastern dip featuring roasted eggplant. With just nine grams of carbs per serving, this dip will work especially well with the cloud breads mentioned above.
How do you make it?
Simply grill or bake an aubergine before removing its pulp and mashing this up. Add it to a food processor, along with some garlic, tahini paste, lemon juice, olive oil and yogurt, before blending this all together. The yogurt is optional, but will help to thicken the dip up and give it a tart taste.
If you want to spice this dip up a bit…
Try adding in some cumin or cayenne powder.
Leafy Green Sandwiches
Craving a sandwich but don’t want to deal with all of the carbs that the bread brings?
Try using some leafy greens instead of the bread. From large lettuce leaves to chard and collard greens, there are plenty of leafy greens out there that make the perfect vessel for holding your favorite sandwich fillings.
Not sure what to put inside these leafy green sandwiches?
These are some delicious low carb filling ideas you could try:
- Egg and bacon
- Chicken salad
- Roast beef and cheddar
- Bacon, lettuce and tomato
Bite-Sized Peanut Butter and Jelly Snacks
If you have been missing the classic flavors of peanut butter and jelly, this snack will give you all of that, but without the carbs.
Let’s begin with the bread…
Since you don’t want to be using real bread, slice up some bananas into rounds instead and smear these with peanut butter. These will then form the outer layers of your sandwich snack.
What about the jelly? Store-bought jelly will likely be high in carbs, so a great alternative would be to slice up some strawberries instead. Sandwich a strawberry slice in between two banana and peanut butter slices to create your mini low carb sandwich.
Greek Salad on a Stick
A classic Greek salad is so refreshing, and when you place its components on a stick, it makes the salad work so well for a midday snack.
What does a Greek salad consist of? Simply place the following ingredients onto skewers:
- Feta cheese
How about the dressing? This is best made in a small bowl and used as a dip while you eat your skewers. All it takes is a mixture of olive oil, red wine vinegar, lemon juice and chopped oregano leaves.
Roasted Edamame Beans
For a crisp, crunchy and salty alternative to potato chips, give roasted edamame beans a try. They contain just 11 grams of carbohydrates per serving, plus plenty of protein to keep you going for the rest of the day.
The process is similar to that of the roasted pumpkin seeds mentioned above – simply toss the beans with some olive oil and seasoning before baking for about 15 minutes. Then, remove them from the oven, sprinkle them with some sesame seeds, and then bake them again for another five minutes.
Many people following a low carb diet often stay away from nuts, believing that these easy snacks are high in calories.
Well, while they are calorie-rich, they also contain everything from vitamin E and omega-3 fatty acids to lutein and other antioxidants, making this a snack that will really boost your overall health.
So long as you regulate how many nuts you eat, you won’t need to worry about too many calories either.
Wondering what your portion size should be?
It depends on the nuts you choose…
Here are some guidelines:
- Almonds – 13 almonds amount to around 4 grams of carbohydrates
- Pistachios – 30 pistachios provide 5 grams of carbohydrates
- Walnuts – 8 walnuts contain around 3 grams of carbohydrates
You can either choose to go for just one type of nut, or mix a few different types together to give yourself some variety.
It can sometimes be difficult to come up with exciting low carb snacks that are enough to take away the temptation to binge on high carb alternatives. However, each of the snacks on this list not only contain a minimal amount of carbohydrates, but are also tasty enough to encourage you to stick to your low carb diet.