Snacking sometimes gets a bad reputation, but it can be a healthy, not just a guilty pleasure. Healthy snacking is easy, if you’re conscious about the kinds of snacks you choose.
When you’re on the go and your energy levels start flagging it can be tempting to grab something sugary or fatty for a quick fix, and with so much choice out there it’s easy to be tempted by unhealthy options. But snack wisely and you can be ‘healthy on the go’ and give your energy levels a healthier, sustained boost.
Fruits and seeds
Dried natural fruits such as mango, apricot and raisins are a nutritious and convenient way to satisfy a sweet tooth as well as a rumbling tummy (just watch portion sizes as they’re a fairly concentrated source of calories, and choose unsweetened varieties). Similarly nuts and seeds are a great way to stave off hunger pangs and they provide a rich source of healthy fats and minerals at the same time. Mix a few almonds, cashews, Brazil nuts, pumpkin and sesame seeds into an airtight container for a tasty DIY snack on-the-go. You can find nut and seed mixes from most high street shops. Remember to buy unsalted and unsweetened.
Kale chips recipe
Regular potato crisps can be greasy and high in salt and saturated fat, so try the healthier option of kale crisps – you may not notice the difference and may even prefer their light, roasted flavour. They’re available to buy in many supermarkets but are so easy to make yourself. To make kale crisps toss chopped kale in a drizzle of olive oil or coconut oil and bake in the oven at (180 ˚C) until they are crispy, about 10 to 15 minutes. This retains all the nutritional value and creates a low-calorie, nutrient-dense snack.
Similarly, seaweed delivers a great savoury taste, contains few calories and is relatively low in salt too. Try Selwyn’s Crispy Seaweed Thins. Alternatively, choose popcorn (watch out for added sugar and salt), or edamame beans. Yoghurt is creamy and satisfying but some shop-bought yoghurt isn’t quite as healthy as it appears, with alarming levels of sugar, fat and calories. Either choose very carefully for natural versions or make your own instead! Simply add a few blueberries and strawberries (frozen berries defrost quickly, are easily available at home and help keep the yoghurt cold) or any other chopped fruit of your choice to natural yoghurt, mix in a little honey and spoon into a small airtight Tupperware container for a deliciously healthy, natural pick-me-up.
Chia seeds pack a nutritional punch containing fiber, omega-3 fatty acids and protein so try sprinkling some in.
Don’t forget that fresh fruit and veg in its natural form is a great healthy snack choice and most can be easily carried around. So why not choose a naturally sweet, crunchy and fibrous apple, a potassium-rich banana or freshly chopped carrot and cucumber for a simple, low-calorie and filling snack on the go.
Emma Mills is a writer and editor with a passion for healthy living, nutrition and well-being. Find her at: www.emmamillswriter.co.uk