^
Muscle for life

20 Healthy Late Night Snacks for When Cravings Strike

By
20 Healthy Late Night Snacks for When Cravings Strike

When late night cravings hit, ditch greasy delivery or processed foods and opt for these healthier recipes instead.

Maybe you had a few too many out at the bars.

Maybe you ate a small dinner and your stomach is rumbling as you get ready for bed.

Maybe you’ve been stressed at work and snacking your way through the fridge at 2 am seems like a surefire antidote to your woes.

Or maybe it’s late at night and suddenly, for no reason at all, you want to eat enough for a small army.

We’ve all been there: Nighttime cravings can happen to anyone and for any reason.

And when you’re working hard to stick to a meal plan and workout routine, these hankerings quickly become the enemy.

But fear not–eating at night isn’t the problem, even when you’re dieting to lose fat. Only overeating can get in the way.

(And in fact, eating a protein-rich meal before bed is a good idea for anyone looking to build muscle.)

So don’t fear nighttime cravings. Just opt for lighter, healthier snacks like these instead.

Enjoy!

Cake Batter Rice Crispy Treats

cake batter rice crispy recipe Picture courtesy of The Big Man’s World

These protein rice crispy treats are a great midnight snack, and there’s no marshmallow to chance a sugar rush before bed. Instead, nut butter and a sticky sweetener are mixed with puffed rice for the base.

To turn vanilla protein powder into a glaze for this sweet treat, mix it with either nut butter, a sticky sweetener, or melted coconut oil depending on which one fits your macro targets. Top with sprinkles or shredded coconut.

Serves 12

Ingredients

Rice Crispy:

2 cups crispy rice cereal

1/2 cup + 1 Tbsp. peanut butter

1/2 cup brown rice syrup (or honey)

1 scoop (about 1/4 cup) brown rice protein powder

Sprinkles (optional)

Protein Glaze:

2 scoops WHEY+ vanilla protein isolate

1 Tbsp. peanut butter (or coconut oil)

Water to thin out

Nutrition Facts (Per Serving)

Calories: 169

Protein: 9 grams

Carbs: 20 grams

Fat: 7 grams

 

GET THE RECIPE

 

 

Chocolate Raspberry Chia Pudding

Raspberry Chocolate Chia Pudding recipe Picture courtesy of Maria Ushakova

Late-night hunger might be your body telling you it didn’t get enough calories throughout the day. When that’s the case, you need a nutritious dessert that’s as filling as it is sweet to eat.

Keep this chocolate chia seed pudding stashed in the fridge for when you’re too dead tired to consider what to eat before bed, let alone have energy to choose healthy options.

It requires just four ingredients, and you can assemble it in the morning or the day before.

Serves 2

Ingredients

6 Tbsp. chia seeds

2 cups unsweetened almond milk

6 large squares (about 2 oz.) dark chocolate

1/2 cup raspberries, fresh or frozen

Nutrition Facts (Per Serving)

Calories: 388

Protein: 13 grams

Carbs: 38 grams

Fat: 26 grams

 

GET THE RECIPE

 

 

Yogurt Swirled with Peanut Butter, Honey & Graham Crackers

yogurt peanut butter recipe Picture courtesy of The Kitchn

Satisfy cravings for cookies and cream without reaching for a box of Oreos. Try this quick yogurt snack with chocolate graham cracker crumbs, and you can even stir in half a scoop of WHEY+ cookies and cream for an extra-special protein snack.

This can be delicious with honey or maple syrup, and for leaner macros, a few drops of vanilla liquid stevia could work best.

Serves 1

Ingredients

1/2 cup nonfat plain Greek yogurt

1 Tbsp. peanut butter, softened

1 tsp. pure honey

1 whole-wheat graham cracker, crumbled

Nutrition Facts (Per Serving)

Calories: 245

Protein: 17 grams

Carbs: 26 grams

Fat: 10 grams

GET THE RECIPE

Want to know how to build muscle and lose fat eating delicious foods like these?"Dieting" doesn't have to suck. You CAN eat foods you like and have the body you want!

Baked Eggs with Chanterelles

baked eggs recipe Picture courtesy of Cannelle et Vanille

This dish feels as indulgent as a dessert because it’s warm, gooey snack with robust flavor, but it comes in at less than 250 calories per serving. And if you want to make this lower in fat, use egg whites instead

Get more snack ideas, including Apple-Yogurt Upside-Down Cake and Roasted Strawberry and Coconut Milk Sherbet, in Small Plates and Sweet Treats: My Family’s Journey to Gluten-Free Cooking by Aran Goyoaga, the blogger behind Cannelle et Vanille.

small plates sweet treats book

Serves 4

Ingredients

2 tsp. butter, for greasing ramekins

Salt and freshly ground black pepper to taste

2 Tbsp. extra-virgin olive oil

1/2 medium leek, white and tender green parts sliced

6 oz. chanterelle mushrooms, slices

1/4 cup heavy cream

1 oz. goat cheese

4 large eggs, room temp.

1 Tbsp. finely chopped chives

Nutrition Facts (Per Serving)

Calories: 223

Protein: 10 grams

Carbs: 4 grams

Fat: 19 grams

GET THE RECIPE

Cookie Dough Protein Brownies

protein-brownie-recipe Picture courtesy of Macro Chef

If you’re going to limit yourself to one sweet treat at night, may as well make it a double. This protein-packed dessert isn’t just a brownie. Instead of getting slathered in icing, it’s topped off with tasty cookie dough.

Not just any cookie dough, this one is made from chickpeas, applesauce, oats, and peanut butter. You can even use a scoop of protein powder to thicken it up.

Serves 7

Ingredients

Casein Brownie:

3/4 cup whole-wheat flour

1 scoop chocolate casein protein powder

1/4 cup dark cocoa powder

1/2 cup granulated stevia

1/2 tsp. baking powder

1/4 tsp. ground cinnamon

3/4 cup unsweetened almond milk

1/4 cup canned pumpkin

1 large egg

1 tsp. vanilla extract

3/4 cup

Peanut Butter Chocolate Cookie Dough:

1/2 cup garbanzo beans, drained and rinsed

2 Tbsp. + 2 tsp. unsweetened applesauce

1/4 cup oats

2 Tbsp. + 2 tsp. natural peanut butter

1/3 cup cinnamon protein powder (or vanilla protein powder)

1 Tbsp. + 1 tsp. granulated stevia

2 tsp. sugar-free maple syrup

2 Tbsp. dark chocolate chunks

Pinch of cinnamon

Nutrition Facts (Per Serving)

Calories: 155

Protein: 18 grams

Carbs: 10 grams

Fat: 6 grams

 

    GET THE RECIPE

 

 

Chocolate Espresso Quinoa Pudding

chocolate espresso pudding recipe Picture courtesy of Jules Food

Pulling a late-nighter? Get a little jolt to help you stay awake from this mocha quinoa pudding. Not only does it have great flavor, but the nutritional content is perfect too.

You’ll get a mix of whey protein to fill you up, quinoa for those slow-digesting complex carbs, and just enough healthy fats to recharge your brainpower.

And you’ll have leftovers to enjoy for breakfast, whether that’s in just a few hours or at some point in the afternoon after you catch up on sleep.

Serves 4

Ingredients

1 cup uncooked quinoa

3 cups unsweetened almond milk

1/4 cup pure maple syrup

1/4 cup unsweetened cocoa powder

1 Tbsp. chia seeds (optional)

1 scoop WHEY+ chocolate protein isolate

3/4 tsp. espresso powder

1/4 cup stevia baking blend

Nutrition Facts (Per Serving)

Calories: 290

Protein: 14 grams

Carbs: 47 grams

Fat: 7 grams

 

GET THE RECIPE

 

Crispy Sweet Potato Nachos

sweet potato nachos recipe Picture courtesy of Van’s Foods

Instead of smothering tortilla chips in processed cheese sauce, try these nutritious nachos made with sweet potato chips.

They have a sweet topping of Greek yogurt and maple syrup, with suggested add-ons like fresh fruit, chopped nuts, or shredded coconut.

If you’d rather go savory with your late-night snack, you can still use plain yogurt for Greek nachos.

Finish them with olives, feta, cherry tomatoes, and either pepperoncini or roasted bell peppers. Garnish with fresh oregano or parsley, if you have some in the fridge.

Serves 2

Ingredients

2 sweet potatoes (about 1 lb.)

2 1/2 Tbsp. extra-virgin olive oil

1/2 cup nonfat plain Greek yogurt

1 Tbsp. maple syrup (or honey)

1/4 cup fresh fruit (or other toppings)

Nutrition Facts (Per Serving)

Calories: 487

Protein: 10 grams

Carbs: 75 grams

Fat: 18 grams

    GET THE RECIPE

Strawberry Cheesecake Banana Parfait

strawberry cheesecake banana parfait Picture courtesy of Nutritionist in the Kitch

For a dairy-free alternative to cheesecake, whip up some tofu with fruit for a creamy parfait. All you have to do is blend together berries, tofu, and your sweetener of choice.

Then layer it in a jar or a glass with the mix-ins you love, like walnuts, banana slices, and graham crackers.

If that’s not your thing, try a layer of no-sugar-added jam in the middle, plus crushed almonds to stand in for the cheesecake crust.

Serves 4

Ingredients

1 package (12 oz.) silken tofu

1 cup strawberries, fresh or frozen

1 Tbsp. agave syrup

1 banana, sliced

1/2 cup raw walnuts, chopped

1/2 cup crushed whole-wheat graham crackers

Nutrition Facts (Per Serving)

Calories: 214

Protein: 8 grams

Carbs: 20 grams

Fat: 12 grams

GET THE RECIPE

Healthy Almond Joy Cheesecake Pudding

Almond Cheesecake pudding recipe Picture courtesy of Food Faith Fitness

Cottage cheese and chocolate casein powder both deliver excellent nutrition before bed, but just the two together doesn’t taste like a late-night treat.

Luckily you won’t need more than a couple ingredients to turn them into a cheesecake pudding that tastes like Almond Joy. All you need are the two main ingredients found in the candy bar filling: coconut and almonds.

Don’t want to finish it all for dessert? Save the second half to enjoy for breakfast.

Serves 1

Ingredients

1/2 cup low-fat cottage cheese

3 Tbsp. chocolate casein protein powder

1/4 tsp. pure stevia

2 Tbsp. almond butter

1 Tbsp. unsweetened coconut flakes

Nutrition Facts (Per Serving)

Calories: 411

Protein: 39 grams

Carbs: 13 grams

Fat: 24 grams

 

GET THE RECIPE

 

 

Strawberry Banana “Ice Cream” Sandwiches

strawberry banana ice cream sandwich recipe Picture courtesy of Divas Can Cook

With some planning in advance, you can have healthy ice cream sandwiches ready in a few minutes. And these are made with whole fruit, not heavy cream.

When frozen and blended, bananas have a soft texture like ice cream. Mix in some chopped berries, slather between two graham crackers, and you have a three-ingredient ice cream sandwich that’s low-fat and dairy-free.

Serves 11

Ingredients

5 ripe bananas, sliced and frozen

3/4 cup diced strawberries

11 sheets graham crackers

Nutrition Facts (Per Serving)

Calories: 116

Protein: 2 grams

Carbs: 26 grams

Fat: 2 grams

 

GET THE RECIPE

 

 

Berry Protein Cheesecake

berry protein cheesecake recipe Picture courtesy of 12-Minute Athlete

You’d never know it from the outside, but this cheesecake has more protein than anything else. And it’s not a trick – this is the real deal with cottage cheese, Greek yogurt, and vanilla whey protein powder.

Then the almond crust has nothing else, not cookie crumbs, oil, or butter. It’s just a simple mix of almond meal and almond butter.

Serves 6

Ingredients

Crust:

1/2 cup almond meal

1 1/2 Tbsp. almond butter

Filling:

1 cup low-fat plain Greek yogurt

1 cup low-fat cottage cheese

1 scoop WHEY+ vanilla protein isolate

2 egg whites

2 Tbsp. coconut flour

Topping:

2 cups frozen berries

1 Tbsp. pure maple syrup

Water to thin as needed

Nutrition Facts (Per Serving)

Calories: 200

Protein: 17 grams

Carbs: 16 grams

Fat: 8 grams

 

GET THE RECIPE

 

 

Juicy Berry Bowl with Cardamom Cream

berry bowl with cream recipe Picture courtesy of Earth Sprout

Berries alone can be an amazing snack, especially on a humid summer night when you want to cool down before heading to bed. It’s a delicious and healthy option, just not the most indulgent.

When you want to dress up any whole fruit, try this creamy topping made from cashews and spiced with cardamom. You could also use ground cinnamon or an apple pie spice blend.

Serves 5

Ingredients

Berry Bowl:

2 3/4 cups raspberries

1 2/3 cup red and black currants (or strawberries and rhubarb)

1 cup water

1 vanilla bean pod

2 Tbsp. arrowroot powder

6 Medjool dates, pitted and mashed

Cardamom Cream:

1 1/4 cup raw cashews, soaked for 5 hours

3/4 cup water

1 tsp. pure honey (or more to taste)

4 whole cardamom pods

Pinch of salt

Nutrition Facts (Per Serving)

Calories: 346

Protein: 7 grams

Carbs: 49 grams

Fat: 17 grams

 

   GET THE RECIPE

 

 

Quick Whole-Wheat Homemade Crackers

Homemade Crackers recipe Picture courtesy of Melissa Norris

Since these homemade crackers only take a few minutes to get in the oven, you can always have some ready when there’s cheese in the fridge to snack on later that night.

Even if you don’t plan in advance, these crackers can be ready in under a half hour. That includes prep work, ten minutes in the oven, and time to cool before you chow down.

Serves 8

Ingredients

1 1/4 cups whole-wheat flour

1/4 tsp. onion powder

1/4 tsp. garlic powder

1/4 tsp. chili powder

1/4 tsp. smoked paprika

1/4 cup butter

1/4 cup water

1 Tbsp. pure honey

Sea salt, for topping

Nutrition Facts (Per Serving)

Calories: 131

Protein: 2 grams

Carbs: 17 grams

Fat: 6 grams

 

GET THE RECIPE

 

 

Protein Pancake Sticks

protein pancake sticks recipe

Picture courtesy of Andrea’s Protein Cakery

Can’t wait until breakfast to have some pancakes? Snack on these before bed.

Made from a mix of egg whites and pea protein powder, these pancake sticks are practically pure protein – and the slow-digesting kind that’s great for sustaining muscle growth while you sleep. They’ll fill you up with just 100 calories, plus the macros of the dipping sauce you choose.

For an easy, low-cal option, mix pure maple syrup into peanut flour (such as PB2) until it’s dippable. With three kinds of protein in one low-cal dessert, you won’t keep snacking through the night.

Serves 4 / Makes 20

Ingredients

8 large egg whites

2/3 pea protein blend

1/2 tsp. baking powder

1/8 tsp. ground cinnamon

2 packets stevia (or sweetener to taste)

Nutrition Facts (Per Serving)

Calories: 94

Protein: 21 grams

Carbs: 1 gram

Fat: 1 gram

 

GET THE RECIPE

 

 

Mixed Berry Mousse

berry mousse recipe Picture courtesy of Om Nom Ally

Cottage cheese and fruit makes a great late-night snack. It’s sweet to satisfy dessert cravings, while the cheese is a natural source of casein, the slow-digesting dairy protein that’ll sustain muscle growth the whole time you’re asleep.

Yet not everyone wants to eat cottage cheese plain. Quickly transform it into a healthy mousse by blending in a touch of juice and a spoonful of ground almonds.

That’ll give it more of a pudding-like texture. Then fold in fruit, preferably frozen since the chill will help to thicken up the creamy dessert, and dig into your healthy high-protein snack.

Serves 2

Ingredients

1 cup cottage cheese

Juice of 1 lemon

1 Tbsp. apple juice

1 Tbsp. almond meal

1/2 Tbsp. maple syrup

1 cup frozen berries, thawed slightly

Nutrition Facts (Per Serving)

Calories: 185

Protein: 17 grams

Carbs: 18 grams

Fat: 4 grams

 

GET THE RECIPE

 

 

4-Ingredient Popcorn Protein Bars

popcorn protein bar recipe Picture courtesy of Fitness Treats

These protein bars are deceptively simple, and even with just whey powder in the mix, they don’t suffer from the dense texture problem. That’s because popped popcorn is mixed right in, which keeps the protein bars airy and also adds a bit of crunch.

Goji berries, or your favorite dried fruit, will add natural sweetness while rich full-fat coconut milk ensures the protein bars are moist and cakey.

Serves 6

Ingredients

3 cups popcorn, unsalted and unsweetened

1 cup (about 4 scoops) WHEY+ vanilla protein isolate

1/2 cup full-fat coconut milk (or milk of choice)

1/4 cup goji berries, soaked

Nutrition Facts (Per Serving)

Calories: 147

Protein: 16 grams

Carbs: 9 grams

Fat: 5 grams

 

GET THE RECIPE

 

 

Lentil Trail Mix

nut free Trail Mix recipe Picture courtesy of Healthful Pursuit

Lentils are great to eat before bed because the folate and other nutrients are linked to better quality rest, and they provide protein to refuel your muscles while you sleep.

Research has also shown that the best bedtime snacks have a combo of high-quality carbs and proteins, and this lentil trail mix offers that well-balanced nutrition you need before hitting the hay.

To turn lentils into granola, bake them in the oven instead of boiling them on the stove. And since they have a nutty flavor, you can forget peanuts and almonds altogether, filling up this trail mix with fruit and seeds.

Serves 8

Ingredients

1 cup dry red lentils

1/2 cup pumpkin seeds

1/2 cup sunflower seeds, roasted and salted

1/2 cup dried cranberries

1/3 cup diced dried apricots

1/2 cup diced dried pineapple

1 tsp. white rice flour

1/8 tsp. Himalayan rock salt

Nutrition Facts (Per Serving)

Calories: 162

Protein: 9 grams

Carbs: 20 grams

Fat: 6 grams

 

GET THE RECIPE

 

 

Gingerbread Chocolate Overnight Oats

chocolate overnight oats recipe Picture courtesy of Lauren Kelly Nutrition

It’s no wonder overnight oats are gaining in popularity. Stir in milk, plus nutritional add-ins like chia seeds and protein powder, and you’ll have an easy meal at the ready.

Once you prep the chilled oatmeal, it will stay good in the fridge for up to five days. That makes a convenient breakfast, of course, but you can also stash overnight oats away for an awesome late-night snack.

Serves 4

Ingredients

2 cups rolled oats

2 cups unsweetened almond milk

1/4 cup chia seeds

1/2 tsp. ground cinnamon

1/4 tsp. ground ginger

1 tsp. vanilla extract

2 tsp. pure maple syrup

2 scoops chocolate plant-based protein powder

Cacao nibs (optional garnish)

Nutrition Facts (Per Serving)

Calories: 286

Protein: 13 grams

Carbs: 39 grams

Fat: 10 grams

 

GET THE RECIPE

 

 

Turkey, Salami & Cheese Open-Faced Sandwich

turkey salami sandwich recipe Picture courtesy of Recipe 4 Living

At night, it’s better to maximize the protein and not just eat carbs, so an open-faced sandwich is the perfect solution.

This recipe makes enough to serve as an appetizer, and it’s also a good amount if you want pre-assembled snacks to feed your family.

But if you’re just hungry late at night and need a sandwich for one, take a piece of bread, add a couple kinds of meat, and drizzle with Italian dressing for a quick topping. Cheese optional.

Serves 15

Ingredients

15 small baguette slices

1/2 tsp. Italian dressing

4 oz. sliced turkey

4 oz. sliced salami

4 oz. cheddar cheese slices

Nutrition Facts (Per Serving)

Calories: 137

Protein: 8 grams

Carbs: 15 grams

Fat: 5 grams

 

GET THE RECIPE

 

 

What did you think of these healthy late night snack recipes? Have anything else to share? Let me know in the comments below!

admin admin

I'm Mike and I'm the creator of Muscle for Life and Legion Athletics, and I believe that EVERYONE can achieve the body of their dreams.

If you like what I have to say, sign up for my free newsletter and every week I'll send you awesome, science-based health and fitness tips, delicious "diet-friendly" recipes, motivational musings, and more.

OVER 100,000 PEOPLE HAVE USED MY COOKBOOK TO GET THE BODY THEY WANT EATING THE FOODS THEY LOVE. WILL YOU BE NEXT?

What if I told you that just about everything magazines and trainers “teach” you about dieting is wrong?

What if you could build muscle and lose fat eating “naughty” foods every week?

What if you didn’t have to suffer through low-carb dieting to get lean? In fact, what if you could eat all the carbs you wanted?

And what if you didn’t have to gorge yourself just to gain muscle and didn’t have to put on pounds and pounds of ugly fat, either?

In short, what if I told you that proper dieting--whether you want to maximize fat loss or muscle growth--is much simpler and more enjoyable than you’ve been led to believe?

Imagine eating delicious, filling meals every day...never feeling starved or stuffed...having great energy levels and workouts...and watching your body respond exactly as you desire, dropping fat or adding muscle each and every week.

And imagine finally understanding how proper dieting really works, never again falling for the BS, tricks, and gimmicks pushed by “gurus” and other shysters.

Well, I have good news.

All these “fantasies” can be a reality...if you know how to do a handful of “little” things correctly.

You see, when you know how to diet properly--and this doesn’t mean learning to eat boiled chicken and raw broccoli six times per day--getting lean and muscular becomes simple, convenient, and dare I say...enjoyable.

And this book will show you the way.

Want more awesome stuff like this? Enter your email address to get the weekly newsletter.
LIKE MUSCLE FOR LIFE? Let Google know!
Leave a Comment!
Comment!
  • Thanks for stopping by and checking out my article! I hope you enjoyed it.

    Feel free to comment below if you have any questions. I do my best to check and reply to every comment left on my blog, so don’t be shy!

    Oh and if you like what I have to say, you should sign up for my free weekly newsletter! You’ll get awesome, science-based health and fitness tips, delicious “guilt-free” recipes, articles to keep you motivated, and much more!

    You can sign up here:

    http://www.muscleforlife.com/signup/

    Your information is safe with me too. I don’t share, sell, or rent my lists. Pinky swear!

Sign in to Muscle For Life
or use your MFL Account