There seems to be a great divide between people who snack and people who don’t. Snacking, when done right can help you manage your weight and balance your diet. Smart snacking may even help you get more healthy foods into your diet so that you can reach your 5 a day! The reason snacking has such a bad rap is because all of the common store bought snack foods are high in fat, sugar, salt and other nasty ingredients. Below are some of our favourite healthy snack recipes – eaten in moderation of course!
Place all ingredients except bell pepper and raw vegetables in blender. Blend on medium speed, stopping blender occasionally to scrape sides, until smooth.
To dish up, hollow out the bell pepper and spoon in mixture – serve with raw vegetable crudités for dipping.
Add all ingredients to blender and mix until desired consistency is reached.
*Serve with your favourite crackers or vegetable crudités
1. Place the dates, cacao powder and peanut butter into a blender, mix until it resembles a paste.
2. Add the almonds and pulse until desired chunkiness is achieved (don't leave it too long though or it will turn into a liquidy mess!).
3. Roll into balls (as big or small as you want)
4. Store in the fridge in an air tight container
5. Try to not devour all at once!
Add all ingredients into blender and blend until minced, not pureed. If mixture is too think you can add water – a teaspoon at a time – until it reaches a consistency that will easily hold together. Be careful not to add too much water as this will ensure that your falafels will fall apart during cooking.
If you want to deep fry add some oil to a pan and wait until hot. Shape falafels into golf ball sized bits and add to oil, fry in batches until golden.
If you would prefer to oven bake ensure your oven is preheated to 180 - 200ºc, again shape into golf ball sized bits and place on a tray lined with baking paper. Bake for 20 – 30 mins until golden.
Serve with tzatziki dipping sauce – or any dipping sauce you like! If you would like to make these delicious balls into a meal you can serve with a lovely salad or inside a pita bread with hummus (made in your blender) tahini, tabouli and lettuce with a drizzle of hot sauce for an extra kick!
Rule number one for healthy snacking….Don’t get bored! These ideas all make the cut in terms of nutritional value and they’re delicious to boot…they’re also a lot more inspired than a boring handful of almonds!
While you may feel that pang of guilt every time you indulge in a snack, you don’t have to if you choose healthy snacks like the ones listed above. Research even suggests that snacks can actually be beneficial for your health and keep you from over eating.
If you find that fitting in the recommended intake of fruits and vegetables is too hard with just 3 meals a day snacking can help you to achieve this. Eating a wide variety of fruits and vegetables will help you to get all the vitamins and minerals you need and the essential fiber is great for tummy health, and will lower your risk of high cholesterol and heart disease.
Eating healthy snacks between meals will help you from getting too hungry and over indulging at your next meal. Try to keep your snacks evenly spaced between your meals and ensure that they are between 100 – 200 calories. Healthy snacking will keep your hunger at bay and will allow you to stick to a moderate amount of food at main meals rather than gorging on a huge meal with maximum calories.
Complex carbohydrates, protein and healthy fats will all increase your energy levels for a much longer period of time than sugary, fat laden snacks will. This is because sugar and bad fats cause your blood sugar levels to spike very quickly then crash just as fast leaving you tired and lethargic. A nice healthy snack will help you to power through your tasks between meals.
Adding snacks (even healthy ones) into your diet will not help you lose weight if you just include them into your normal diet, you need to make adjustments to your eating plan and eat smaller meals so that you can fit the snacks in. Also, don’t just eat the snacks out of habit, if you are not hungry then don’t eat. Pre prepare your snacks too so that you are snacking on the correct portion sizes.
Righto then….lead the way to the fridge, I want some of that Guacamole!