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Advice / Succeeding at Work / Break Room

33 DIY Office Snacks That'll Make You Forget the Vending Machine Exists

While breakfast might get the reputation for being the most important meal of the day, snacks are arguably equally important. They have an almost supernatural ability to keep you energized during those seemingly neverending workdays—and even have the power to keep you focused and boost productivity.

However, finding the right snack can be surprisingly tricky since you usually don’t have a lot of time to spare—meaning you’re often stuck trying to find the best non-stale option in the vending machine. Or resorting to eating that granola bar that’s been sitting in your desk forever.

I know what that’s like. So, to help you in your quest to eat fresher foods (that weren’t packaged years ago and filled with all the chemicals), I’ve compiled a list of 33 snacks that you can easily make in your office kitchen.

The biggest question now will be: Should you share?

To Make in the Toaster Oven

1. Grilled Cheese

Ingredients: Bread, cheese

Although it’s not technically “grilled,” you can still come close to replicating the classic comfort food. Start by toasting two pieces of bread at 450 degrees until they are half-toasted (about two minutes). Then top with a cheese that melts easily (such as Havarti or American) and return to the toaster. Once the cheese melts, just sandwich the two halves together, cut diagonally (because we all know it tastes better that way), and enjoy!

2. English Muffin Pizzas

Ingredients: English muffin (or tortilla, wrap, or bagel), tomato sauce, shredded cheese, optional toppings

It’s a fact that everyone loves pizza. Make it at work by cutting an English muffin in half, covering each half with sauce, and sprinkling shredded mozzarella on top. Cook it in the toaster oven at 350 degrees until the cheese is melted.

3. Cookies

Ingredients: Cookie dough

Mostly everything you can make in a real oven you can also make in a toaster oven—including cookies (at the right temp, of course). Just place your favorite refrigerated dough on the baking sheet and cook at 325 degrees until golden brown.

4. Broiled Grapefruit

Ingredients: Grapefruit, brown sugar or honey

If you're looking for something sweet but healthy, you can simply cut a grapefruit in half, top it with brown sugar or honey, and then wrap it in foil (to help the fruit stand up in the toaster oven). Set the the toaster to broil mode and bake for about five minutes, or until the sugar starts to bubble.

5. Kale Chips

Ingredients: Kale, olive oil, seasonings of your choice

Thanks to its wide array of health benefits, kale’s considered a superfood. Stay healthy with these tasty toaster oven kale chips.

6. Toasted Almonds

Ingredients: Almonds, olive oil, salt

Toasting nuts improves their texture and flavor, as it brings out their essential oils. Make your own by lining the nuts in a single layer on a baking sheet and roasting for about 10 minutes at 350 degrees. Once they’re toasted, put them in a bowl, and toss with a dash of olive oil and salt.

7. Baked Cinnamon Banana

Ingredients: Banana, lemon juice, honey, cinnamon

Low on potassium? Try a baked banana, which is both healthy and incredibly flavorful. Check the recipe out here.

8. Avocado Toast

Ingredients: Bread, ripe avocado, salt, pepper

Practically synonymous with Instagram, this popular vegan-friendly snack is pretty magical. There are countless ways to customize it, but you can make the basic recipe by toasting a piece of bread at 350 degrees, topping it with mashed avocado, and sprinkling it with salt and pepper.

9. Cinnamon and Sugar Toast

Ingredients: Bread, butter, cinnamon, sugar

Another effortless way to jazz up your toast is by tossing some cinnamon and sugar together in a bowl, and sprinkling the mixture over a slice of buttered toast. Yum!

10. Pita Melts

Ingredients: Pita bread, olive oil, mozzarella cheese, red onion, kalamata olives, herbs

If you love the flavors of the Mediterranean neatly wrapped up together, this pita melt recipe is for you!

To Make in the Microwave

11. Apples and Caramel Dip

Ingredients: Soft caramels, half and half, apples for dipping

Nostalgic for fall? Here’s a microwaveable caramel dip recipe that tastes especially great with apples. (Note: You’ll probably want to make the dip snack size by reducing the recipe.)

12. Quesadilla

Ingredients: Tortilla, shredded cheese, dips (optional)

When hunger hits, you can always make this staple by filling a folded tortilla with your favorite type of shredded cheese and microwaving it until the cheese melts. Dip it in some salsa, sour cream, or guacamole if you want to get crazy.

13. Pepperoni Chips

Ingredients: Pepperoni

Surprisingly, microwaving America’s favorite pizza topping completely changes its texture and makes a great snack! Sandwich pepperoni slices in a single layer between paper towels and microwave for one to two minutes until they’re crispy.

14. S’mores

Ingredients: Graham crackers, chocolate, marshmallow

Since most offices sadly don’t have a fireplace, make a summer favorite using the microwave.

15. Spicy Popcorn

Ingredients: Microwave popcorn, taco seasoning or butter and sriracha

If normal popcorn bores you, try spicing it up! Pop the popcorn in the microwave, and toss it with some taco seasoning, or equal parts melted butter and sriracha, or really, anything you’re willing to experiment with.

16. Rice Krispies Treat

Ingredients: Rice Krispies, butter, marshmallows

This elementary school favorite is so easy to make a first grader could do it. Check out the full recipe here.

17. Nachos

Ingredients: Tortilla chips, cheese, toppings of your choice

While the best way to make nachos is hotly debated, I can tell you that the simplest method is to first arrange tortilla chips in a single layer on a plate and top with shredded cheddar or pepper jack cheese. Heat them until the cheese is melted, then garnish with jalapenos, salsa, sour cream, and guacamole.

18. Rolo Pretzel Delights

Ingredients: Rolos, mini pretzels, pecans

If you’re a fan of the salty and sweet combo, these will exceed your expectations. But beware, they’re very addictive.

To Make in the Keurig

19. Oatmeal

Ingredients: Packet of instant oatmeal

Surprise! You can make things besides coffee with a Keurig machine. Just empty a packet of oatmeal into a bowl and brew six ounces of hot water (without a K cup inside) directly over the bowl, then stir.

20. Soup

Ingredients: Packet of instant soup

Just like with the oatmeal, empty a packet of instant soup into a bowl, brew hot water over it, mix, and eat!

21. Affogato

Ingredients: Coffee or espresso, vanilla ice cream

This Italian dessert—literally translating to “drowned”—is sure to provide both a caffeine buzz and sugar rush. Put a scoop of vanilla ice cream into a mug, brew a cup of espresso directly over it, and dig in!

No Heat Needed

22. Ants on a Log

Ingredients: Celery, peanut butter, raisins

A classic after-school snack for a reason. Both healthy and simple—just spread peanut butter inside of celery sticks and top with raisins for extra sweetness.

23. Fancy Rice Cakes

Ingredients: Rice cakes, toppings of choice

Rice cakes usually get a bad rap, but they’re actually incredible because you can top them with pretty much anything—hummus, peanut butter, pesto, jam, tapenade, guacamole, Nutella, queso, flavored cream cheese, marshmallow creme—the list goes on and on.

24. Chips and Dip

Ingredients: Sour cream, instant onion soup mix, potato chips

Combining instant onion soup mix and sour cream in a bowl makes for an effortlessly easy and yummy dip that pairs perfectly with potato chips. (OK, yes, you can get those from the vending machine.)

25. Peanut Butter and Banana Wrap

Ingredients: Tortilla, peanut butter, banana, honey

For a contemporary take on one of Elvis’ favorite flavor combinations, spread peanut butter onto a white or wheat tortilla, and drizzle it with honey. Place a banana in the middle of the tortilla, fold it up like a wrap, and enjoy!

26. Strawberry Creme Dip

Ingredients: Strawberry cream cheese, marshmallow creme, assorted snacks for dipping

This dip is so delectable, you wouldn’t believe it’s only two ingredients. Mix strawberry cream cheese and marshmallow creme in a bowl, and serve with fresh berries, cookies, or pretzels. Just, um, prepare for that sugar crash later.

27. Cheese-Stuffed Dates

Ingredients: Pitted dates, soft cheese

To recreate the cocktail party favorite, start by creating a slit in the middle of several pitted dates. Then fill the dates with your favorite type of soft cheese—I’d recommend goat, mozzarella, or blue.

28. Fruit Salad

Ingredients: Assorted fruit, whipped topping (optional)

Technically fruit salad can be made with any kind of fruit, so it’s a wonder why it seems to almost always contain a 90% cantaloupe-to-other-fruit ratio. Make use of some underutilized fruits like blackberries, pomegranate, kiwi, or whatever else is in season, then serve with a dollop of Cool Whip or whipped cream.

29. Prosciutto and Melon

Ingredients: Cantaloupe, prosciutto

This may sound like an odd combination, but trust me. This Italian aperitivo is light and refreshing, but sure to satisfy your afternoon cravings. Just take some sliced cantaloupe, wrap in prosciutto, and voila!—now you’re the fanciest person in the office.

30. Fruit and Yogurt Parfaits

Ingredients: Yogurt, chopped fruit, granola

Parfaits are ideally the healthier version of a sundae, but they doesn’t always turn out that way. Keep it healthy by layering a cup with alternate layers of Greek yogurt, granola, and your choice of fresh fruit. My personal favorite combo is vanilla honey yogurt with pomegranate seeds.

Requires Cold

31. Frozen Grapes

Ingredients: Grapes

For a cool, healthy snack that literally could not be easier, just pick some grapes from their stems, rinse, and stick them in a sealed plastic bag overnight in the freezer. The grapes will retain their sweet flavor, but take on a new, refreshing, icy form.

32. Frozen Yogurt or Pudding Pops

Ingredients: Yogurt or pudding, popsicle sticks

Much like with the grapes, putting a pre-packaged cup of yogurt or pudding in the freezer makes an unexpectedly tasty snack. Placing a popsicle stick in the container before freezing it will make it handheld, and hence make the frozen treat easier (and more fun) to eat.

33. Chia Pudding

Ingredients: Chia seeds, maple syrup, almond milk

Chia pudding is a new-ish health-food craze, and if you’ve never had it before, you can try making it yourself using this basic recipe.

So, which recipe are you going to make today?

Photos courtesy of Shutterstock.