If you're fed up with reaching for a packet of crisps or a chocolate bar when you're after a quick snack and would really like to punctuate your 'between meals' breaks with something a little healthier, then we have some solutions for you.
- Zero-cooking ideas
- Plan ahead recipes to pop in the fridge
Finding healthier snack options shouldn't be too hard or boring so long as you employ some creative thinking and plan ahead.
We've taken some of the hard work out of it for you and come up with some simple healthy snack ideas, as well as some recipes you can whizz up over the weekend then pop in the fridge and keep for those moments when your blood sugar takes a dip and you need a quick energy boost.
The healthy snack suggestions below require absolutely no cooking and in some cases no chopping or slicing.
Portable, healthy and within easy reach when hunger strikes…
Hummus comes in so many flavours these days and is divine scooped up with sweet bell pepper or crunchy carrot strips. You can also make your own hummus (recipe below).
This snack is protein packed and provides a couple of your 5 a day veg quota.
Bell peppers are particularly high in Vitamin C, more so than oranges or lemons.
The chickpeas in hummus are an excellent source of fibre, helping to keep your colon healthy and promote regular bowel movements.
Nuts combined with fruit are a winning combination in terms of healthy eating.
They are great sources of protein, omega 3s, and fibre as well as vitamins, minerals and antioxidants but the nuts can also be calorie laden so don't overdo it if you're watching your waist-line.
Celery has been perfectly created to hold a generous serving of your favourite nut butter.
You can chomp on these safe in the knowledge that you're providing yourself with healthy fats, good quality protein and a good dose of manganese, calcium and magnesium.
These minerals are thought to help maintain healthy bones in later years. (5)
The healthiest version of this snack comes when you make the pate yourself.
Just mix up some chopped smoked salmon, with a dollop of horseradish sauce and a couple of spoons of low-fat cream cheese and voilà! you have a delicious topping for satisfying low GI oatcakes.
You can make a dairy-free version of this healthy snack using cashew nuts.
Find out how at 'paleo gluten-free eats'. (3)
Mix some cooked prawns with low-fat mayonnaise, salt and pepper and spoon onto an avocado half.
Avocados have good levels of vitamin B 6 and vitamin C as well as being a rich source of oleic acid, which is known to help reduce inflammation (4)
Prawns, as well as being particularly low in calories, contain a plentiful supply of selenium super important for thyroid health. (6)
They also have high levels of the immune supporting mineral zinc.
These are great for satisfying a sweet craving but don't overdo it.
Dates are super sweet but have the calories to match, which can add up when they are coupled with high-calorie nuts.
On the plus side, you will be getting plenty of omega 3s from the walnuts and a good dose of vitamin A, calcium, magnesium and potassium from the dates.
Boil an egg for 10 minutes, halve, scoop out the yolk and mash up with a pinch of curry powder and a little light mayonnaise.
Fill the egg white cavities with the creamy spicy mixture.
These are both filling and tasty plus, they're bursting with vitamin D, vitamin A, iron and calcium….yum yum.
Taking some time out at the weekend to cook up some of the following delicious healthy snacks will pay off when the mood takes you for something sweet or savoury to nibble on.
Free from refined sugar, wheat and dairy these mouth-watering and easy to put together treats make delicious snacks. An excellent healthy alternative to sweets and biscuits.
- 170g chopped dates
- 120ml of boiling water
- 80g organic coconut butter
- 3 tbsp black strap molasses
- 300g oat flakes
- 50g sunflower seeds
- Preheat the oven to 200 degrees C.
- Line a deep 20x30cm baking tray with grease-proof baking paper
- Place the dates and boiling water in a medium-sized saucepan. Simmer over low heat for 1-2 minutes, stirring continuously, until the water is absorbed and the dates resemble a paste.
- Add the coconut butter and molasses to the hot date mixture and mix well.
- Add the oat flakes and sunflower seeds into the pan and mix thoroughly with other ingredients.
- Transfer the mixture to the baking tray. Press firmly and evenly with a clean metal spoon.
- Cook in the oven for 20 minutes until golden brown
- Remove the tray from the oven and while the flapjack mixture is still warm, use a sharp knife and cut 15 squares. Leave to cool.
- These keep in an airtight container in the fridge for about 5 days. Perfect if you want to take one to work every day.
These bars have a lovely sweet and nutty texture without being packed with sugar.
The sweetness comes from the dates and also from Xylitol, a natural sweetener sourced from Beech and Birch trees.
Xylitol has 40% fewer calories and the added benefit of keeping your teeth and gums healthy.
Studies show that Xylitol helps prevent tooth decay. (1) It also has a negligible effect on blood sugar levels.
- 250g stoneless dates, roughly chopped
- 75g Xylitol
- 60g wholemeal flour
- 50g porridge oats
- 4tbsp olive oil
- 1tsp baking powder
- 1tsp mixed spice
- 1tsp vanilla extract
- 2 large eggs
- 175g pecan nuts, roughly chopped
- Heat oven to 180 degrees C.
- Place all the ingredients into a large bowl and stir together.
- Pour into a 15cm square tin, level the top and put on the middle shelf for 30-35 minutes or until the top is browned.
- Leave to cool for 10 minutes, then turn onto a wire rack
- When cold cut into 12 bars and enjoy!
Walnut hummus is a delicious alternative to standard hummus but is worth the swap.
Walnut in Latin means 'fit for a god', which reflects how incredibly good for you walnuts are.
These brain shaped nuts are a rich source of omega 3 essential fatty acids, which have been shown to support brain health! (2)
- 100g organic walnut butter
- 1 garlic clove quartered.
- 1 x 400g can chickpeas, drained and rinsed
- 1/2 tsp orange zest
- 100ml orange juice
- Salt and pepper
- Combine the garlic, chickpeas, orange zest and orange juice in a food processor.
- Add the walnut butter and blend.
- Add the seasoning to taste.
- Serve with crudités.
Feel like you need more help sticking to healthy eating?
Why not contact one of our expert Naturopaths for some nutrition guidance.
Any advice given will be tailored specifically to suit your lifestyle and circumstances.
Click the banner for a Free Personalised Health Consultation with Amchara
Jacqueline Newson BSc (Hons) Nutritional Therapy
READ THIS NEXT: