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10 Favorite Snack Foods You Didn't Know You Could Make at Home

Spoon University logo Spoon University 9/17/2018 Chandler Seed

Sometimes it's far too easy to feed a couple dollars into a vending machine and suppress your midday hunger with the salty glories of a bag of Cheez-Its or the melty delectableness of some Reese's Peanut Butter Cups. But inevitably, you end up feeling guilty and a little nauseated, with a promise you know you won't keep to stop quelling your hunger with processed, artificial ingredients. But you shouldn't have to give up tempting snack favorites like Doritos or Oreos to feel better about life. Instead of buying them, try making these nostalgia-inducing treats at home to reduce their artificiality—and impress your friends.

1. Cheez-Its

a chicken sandwich and fries on a plate: snack food sweet french fries © Alyssa Rosello snack food sweet french fries

Cheez-Its could hands down be labeled one of the best snack foods for any occasion. That being said, there’s something about the taste and look of Cheez-Its that screams, “I’m sabotaging my health by eating this.” Not only are Cheez-Its nutrient void, made with food coloring, and high in fat and sodium, but they also contain TBHQ— a controversial food additive derived from petroleum. TBHQ has been known to cause weird side effects like nausea and delirium. It’s also used in silly putty. If you want to eat Cheez-Its, your best bet is to make them yourself to avoid harmful additives. 

2. Cool Ranch Doritos

a sandwich cut in half: snack food © Benjamin Martin snack food

There are two types of people in the world: the "Nacho Cheese" Doritos fans and the "Cool Ranch" people. Personally, I'm a Cool Ranch girl, so this recipe got me very excited. Another thing that got me excited: the fact that in Europe, "Cool Ranch" Doritos are actually called "Cool American" Doritos. 

3. Fruit Roll Ups

snack food chocolate candy © Robert Arrasate snack food chocolate candy

While Fruit Roll Ups may have played a considerable role in your childhood, it’s probably for the best that they stay a thing of your past. Fruit roll ups are unfortunately highly processed—look at the ingredients list and you won’t recognize more than half the words. They also contain trans fat and harmful artificial coloring, so if you want to have confidence you’re not eating a bunch of sketchy ingredients, stick to the homemade recipe.  

4. Peanut Butter Chocolate Chip Chewy Granola Bars

a piece of food on a plate: snack food sweet granola © Audrey Mirabito snack food sweet granola

Chewy granola bars really bring me back to when I was forced into soccer as a young, unathletic child. Those chocolate chip Quaker Oats bars were staples at every halftime snack break. Honestly, they're what kept me coming back to the sport. But the artificial sweeteners make it a not-so-great-for-you snack. Take an hour out of your day to make these instead, and feel both nostalgic and a little bit better about yourself.

5. Reese's Peanut Butter Cups

You’re better off leaving this Halloween favorite in its wrapper. Another offender of containing the aforementioned food additive TBHQ (see Cheez-Its), Reese’s are also guilty of containing lots of saturated fat and added sugars. This DIY peanut butter cup recipe will taste just as good as the real thing, and is sure to impress your Halloween party guests. 

6. Twinkies

a piece of food on a table: snack food © Emmy Daniels snack food

Twinkies were always the snack food I would beg my mom to let me try on road trip gas station stops. But now that I'm older, I understand why she shook her head in disgust at their suggestion. Their shelf-life is a bit unnerving. You can definitely feel less disgusted while eating these homemade versions. They look and taste just like the famous yellow cake rolls, but with ingredients you can actually pronounce.

7. Potato Chips

a close up of a plate of food: snack food © Alison Weissbrot snack food

This recipe for microwave DIY potato chips is quick, easy, and will save you the unwanted calories from your go-to vending machine chips. They’re perfect for satisfying your snack fix, but also make for a great side dish with lunch or dinner. 

8. Pop Tarts

Now that I'm old enough to concern myself with my eating habits, I've finally realized that I shouldn't be eating Pop Tarts for breakfast every morning. I truly can't believe that these were such a normalized snack food for kids, much less a full meal for breakfast. Why not give your kid a banana instead of the Pop Tart's highly processed and artificial ingredients? Or, next time you get nostalgic for Pop Tarts, try making your own instead, with this much healthier, vegan recipe.

9. Oreos

snack food chocolate candy © Sophie Maschinot snack food chocolate candy

I think we all know someone with an emotional attachment (read: addiction) to Oreos. And while they may not be the unhealthiest choice of cookie in the food industry, Oreos still contain some unhealthy, unnatural ingredients such as cheap oils, high fructose corn syrup, and fake vanilla. Enjoy this recipe for homemade Oreos, because at the end of the day, don't you want them fresh out of the oven?

10. Sour Patch Kids

a close up of a glass of red wine: snack food strawberry jam © Morgan Nagy snack food strawberry jam

Sour Patch Kids were always my favorite of the gummy candies. Their sweet and sour nature allows for truly the best of both worlds. For this recipe, all you need is juice, fruit puree, gelatin, honey, sugar, and lemon juice. Compare that to the long list of ingredients you've never heard of on the back of real Sour Patch Kids and you'll feel much better about eating more than you should of these.

These ten recipes are sure to satisfy you're cravings without completely sabotaging your health. Indulgence has never looked so guilt-free!

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