Do you love a good snack? If so, you're not alone: 41% of Americans snack twice a day, according to research from The Hartman Group. I'll take any excuse to eat; plus, snacks are a great way to get in some good nutrition to keep my energy up throughout the day. If you're tired of the same old between-meal bites, here are some fun ideas to quell your hunger and satisfy your cravings.

Indian guacamole

Give avocado a whole new flavor. Mash one up and mix in chopped cilantro, a splash of lime juice, a bit of chopped fresh ginger, a sprinkle of curry powder, a tablespoon or two of minced seeded jalapeno (if you like spice) and a dash of salt. Pour in a dollop of yogurt if it's too dry. It's tasty on whole-grain crackers or sliced vegetables.

RELATED: 10 Healthy Veggie Snack Recipes Packed With Flavor

Upgraded nachos

I'll take 4 or 5 healthier tortilla chips (I like Food Should Taste Good Sweet Potato or Blue Corn tortilla chips), sprinkle with a couple tablespoons of grated sharp Cheddar and bake in the toaster oven until the cheese melts. I dip these into a tablespoon or two each of salsa and guacamole (or just toss on a couple slices of avocado if there's no guac).

Raw 'brownie' bites

I keep a batch of these in the freezer they're a perfect on-the-go snack. Soak a cup of pitted dried dates in boiling water for 5 minutes then drain, saving the water. Whirl the dates in a food processor with 1 cup nuts (raw or roasted unsalted cashews, almonds, pecans, pistachios, or a combo) and pulse until a paste forms. Add a couple tablespoons of raw cacao, a generous pinch of salt, and a little honey or maple syrup and pulse again. Then I play with the taste, putting in more cacao (even a few chocolate chips), vanilla extract or some of the date-soaked water if it needs more moisture. Then I scoop it into little balls and freeze. Even my daughter, who won't touch any kind of nuts or even peanut butter, loves these.

 

 

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Raw "brownie batter" bites. Attempting a healthy treat for little d — will she go for it? Stay tuned…

A post shared by Beth Lipton (@cookiepie0402) on Dec 1, 2013 at 1:11pm PST

RELATED: 4 Easy Snacks from The Biggest Loser’s Jen Widerstrom

 

Chocolate yogurt

While we're talking chocolate, try this: Whisk a tablespoon or two of raw cacao or unsweetened cocoa into plain yogurt (I always do full fat), along with a bit of maple syrup. Then, dip in a few strawberries or raspberries, or some sliced banana.

 

 

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Chocolate for breakfast? Yup! Blended coconut kefir (plain yogurt would be good, too) with unsweetened cacao powder (#navitas) and a little honey, and poured it over fresh strawberries. Topped it with hemp seeds (but any chopped but would do). Tasty and filling.

A post shared by Beth Lipton (@cookiepie0402) on May 17, 2014 at 12:10pm PDT

Hemp on a log

I love peanut butter, and I love celery but not together. So instead of the classic ants on a log (celery smeared with peanut butter and topped with raisins), I spread cream cheese onto celery ribs and sprinkle with hemp seeds and a touch of coarse sea salt. Creamy plus crunchy plus a little nutty from the hemp seeds quick, easy, delicious, and so satisfying.

 

 

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Celery + cream cheese + hemp seeds + sea salt = quick, healthy snack! Crunchy, creamy, a little salty. Yum! #healthysnack

A post shared by Beth Lipton (@cookiepie0402) on Jul 6, 2014 at 9:58am PDT

RELATED: 17 High-Protein Snacks You Can Eat On the Go