Snacks…We all love snacking. We all do that on a daily basis but is it ok to snack? The answer is YES, but if you are sticking to a reasonably healthy diet and snacking on sugary/salty/processed/high calorie food it can result in putting on extra pounds. For example, food high in sugar will give you a short boost of energy but if you are aiming at 3-4 snacks a day (3 meals + 3-4 snacks a day), you should really stick to high fat/protein/fibre, low sugar snacks as they will keep your full for longer.
In this blog I am going to list a few healthy snacks, which are very easy to make. I have made them myself, and I genuinely do like all of them. You can play around with the recipes and add or exclude the ingredients.
I am dairy free so I now mostly use goat’s milk, lactose free or coconut yogurt (don’t use soya milk or yogurts please!). Greek yogurt or quark are great alternatives for those who do take dairy!
1. STEWED APPLES/PEARS WITH CINNAMON, DRIED FRUIT AND GREEK (or goat’s milk/coconut etc.) YOGURT.
Ingredients (serves 1):
2 apples/pears (peeled and cut into small chunks)
greek/goat’s milk/coconut etc. yogurt
dates/dried apricots/desiccated coconut (if you fancy)
honey (1 tbs) or 1-2 tbs xylitol/stevia (sweetener)
Peel the apples, place them in an oven proof dish, add cinnamon, sweetener or honey, add a little bit of water and microwave for around 4-5 minutes.
Chop up dates, apricots or any other dried fruit and mix them up with yogurt. Serve with stewed apples/pears.
*** you can also add flax seed, almonds or any other nuts***
2. QUARK WITH GREEK YOGURT, BERRIES AND NUTS
*** Quark is a soft white cheese made from skimmed milk, so it is very low in fat and ideal for slimmers.***
Greek (or any other) yogurt
Berries (fresh or frozen): blueberries, raspberries, blackberries (can also use pomegranate/chopped banana/dried fruit etc)
Honey or xylitol/stevia to taste
***you can also add flax seed/nuts and protein powder (I add 1 scoop of chocolate protein powder – tastes LUSH!***
3. CARROT, CELERY AND CUCUMBER STICKS WITH HUMUS. Quick, easy, tasty snack: good fats in humus will keep you full for long.
4. GREEK YOGURT WITH BERRIES, NUTS AND FLAX SEED
Berries are very low in sugar, especially raspberries so you can eat them daily without feeling guilty! They don’t have to be fresh – frozen berries are cheaper and it only takes a couple of minutes to defrost them. If you can afford fresh berries – go for it, but if you are also a smoothie addict then go for frozen ones as you can use them in your smoothies, omelettes, etc.
***Nuts are a great source of good fats. A handful of nuts will keep your hunger at bay and is much healthier than a bag of Maltesers***
5. RICE CAKES WITH NUT BUTTER.
This is, without any exaggeration, my everyday snack. I take it everywhere with me: whether it is for after classes I teach, or CrossFit, or when shopping in town. My daughter loves it as well, and being a six year old spreading nut butter onto the rice cake is the best thing ever (makes you feel so grown up!! :))
***Go for unsalted or lightly salted rice cakes and organic nut butter if possible***
Almond, cashew and pistachio nut butters are the best. If you can – try and use them instead of peanut butter.
6. NUT AND DRIED BERRIES MIX
What I do is I buy a bag of mixed nuts and a bag of dried berries (mostly cranberries) and mix them up in a big jar.
These are handy to have on you when you are out and about: nuts will give you the good fats you need to keep hunger at bay, and dried berries will cure your sugar cravings.
I would not go overboard with dry berries though: too much sugar in them. Having the ratio of 3:1 (nuts to berries) is a good combination.
7. BEEF JERKEY
If you are not a vegan or vegetarian – you can try this. It is very high in protein. low in sugar and fat and you do not need a lot as a snack.
The cost might put you off (they are about £3 for a 50g bag). But… you do not need to consume 50g of beef jerky in one go; you can also mix it up with tomatoes or other veg (I normally make beef jerky and cherry tomato mix and carry it with me in a tub (even to the cinema.. so if you compare it with the cost of popcorn + saved calories .. – win – win!!); and also if you were to go for a coffee and a cake instead, that would cost you at least £5!
Cut them up, put into a tub and you can snack on them when you are out and about!
If you start feeling hungry: drink!! It might not be the hunger, but boredom that makes you think you need food. If that’s the case – a good few sips of water will do the trick!
10. BOILED EGGS
It might not be the best idea to eat them in public (some people are not very tolerant to the smell coming from them).. but it’s a quick hunger fix: very high in protein and with all the good fats from the yolk these would keep you full for a good while!
Boil them, leave them to cool, and place them into a container (together with sliced veg).
Common sense: don’t do that in heat; do intend to eat them within a few hours.. and, please, stop caring about what people think if they see you eating a boiled egg in a public place!! Do what makes you happy, and what you feel is right for you!
I’ve eaten boiled eggs in town, in a college, and in a variety of other places.. Isn’t it amazing that seeing obese people or children snacking on chips and donuts is considered to be a normality, but if they see you eating a carrot, a boiled egg or tomatoes from a tub in public (I’m talking from my personal experience) they give you THE look.. and point fingers.. At the end of the day it is you who will be ripping the benefits of smart snacking, not them!
And to cap it all, I would just like to add that treats and cheat meals are absolutely fine! Depriving yourself of the foods you crave will result in you pigging out on that exact same food eventually making it worse on yourself.
Craving chocolate? Have a few squares, not the whole bar! Moderation is the key!
Hope you have found this informative and if you have any comments, please add them on here or contact me directly!