So you’ve most likely finished the last of your easter eggs by now and, like me, back on the health kick to try and detox your body of all those naughties and extra calories you’ve been inhaling in since Easter Sunday… woops! Don’t worry, we’re all feeling it.
With the Bank Holiday weekend now come to an end, I thought today was probably a good time to share with you some of my favourite healthy snacks, so you can stock up and prep for the rest of the week ahead.
Snacking needn’t be something to feel guilty about. ‘Little and often’ is the phrase I’m always hearing, and it definitely rings true. ‘Healthy’ and ‘snacking’ can fall into the same sentence. If you’re fuelling your body with good nutritious foods regularly (and no, I don’t mean every single hour) your body will slowly start to crave less of the naughty ones… And with that in mind, here are some of my favourite healthy snacks I’d like to share with you, to keep you feeling full til dinner time!
High in protein, this tasty snack is one of my favourites! Not only is it really filling, it’s also jam-packed full of vitamins and minerals, and some studies have shown it to lower cholesterol too! You can buy them in their jackets (like I have here), or popped out and frozen in a bag. Just remember NOT to eat the jackets – they’re just not edible…….. at all!
Banana with Almond butter
De-lish! This one’s SO yummy (and also great for a hangover!) Full of fibre, this carby fruit is great at bridging the hunger-gap! Bananas actually contain several antioxidants and nutrients such as resisant starches and pectin, both of which help in balancing out your blood sugar levels. Eat with a swipe of almond butter for some added protein, and it really is a very satisfying snack.
Yes, they look like mahoosive raisins… but they taste SO much better – trust me on this one! If you haven’t tried them already, they make a great alternative when you’re craving something sweet, like chocolate for example. With a delicious caramelly flavour, dates give you that sweet fix, without all those hidden nasties. They do contain high levels of fruit sugars though, so you’ll probably find you won’t want any more than about three (and you probably shouldn’t either).
Padron Peppers with Hummus
Fancy something a little more savoury? Padron peppers are just perfect! Dunk them in a dollop of hummus for a more filling snack. You can either throw them in the oven with a drizzle of olive oil, or, if you’re in a rush, shallow fry them in a tablespoon of olive oil until their skins starts to blister, take them off the heat and sprinkle with salt. It only takes five minutes of your time, so there’s no excuse really. Also, a handful of padron peppers can count as one of your five a day – so that’s always a plus!
They’re generally quite mild, but do be warned – with every fifty or so mild padron peppers, there’s going to be a hot one! Unfortunately there’s no way of visually recognising the rogue hot padron pepper from the rest, but they do sneak in there every so often… it’s a little game of russian roulette for you! I have to say though, in all my padron pepper eating, I have never actually come across a hot one………………………. (yet!)
King of the nuts, these little fellas are my favourite by far (hence the almond butter further up the page ^^) Almonds are one of the most nutrient-dense of the nut family, with just one small handful containing 6 grams of protein, 3.5 grams of fibre and oodles of vitamin E – 37% of your RDA to be precise, as well as manganese and magnesium too (thanks for the stats Authority Nutrition). It’s a common misconception that nuts are ridiculously calorific, but it really does depend on the nut you choose, and do remember that your body does need some good fats! Just a small handful of almonds contains approximately 160 calories, with 10-15% of these calories not absorbed by the body at all as the fats are too difficult to access and to break down. Try and avoid the roasted and smoked varieties though if you can, as these tend to contain loads of added sugar and salt.
They’re quick and they’re easy – a simple hard-boiled egg is MASSIVELY underrated! I have to say, it angers me a little when people moan about how expensive it is to eat healthily, because really if you plan ahead and meal-prep in advance, it really isn’t. Look at eggs for example, they’re super cheap! Hard boil a couple of those when you’re cooking your dinner, and you won’t even notice the effort involved (well, there really isn’t any when you’re just throwing some eggs into some boiling water, let’s be honest!) And there you have it, a healthy and filling snack to fill that gap between breakfast and lunch or lunch and dinner. Enjoy…