How often do you get up in the morning, rush around to get ready and run out the door only to realise that you didn’t pack any food? And do you then end up buying your lunch and some not so healthy snacks to go alongside it…? Not only is this NOT money well spent, it’s not great for the waistline either.
It is not that difficult to organise some healthy snacks that involve little preparation, and can either be packed up the night before, or prepared quickly in the morning.
Here are my top 5 healthy, on-the-go snacks
- Nuts and dried fruit:
Involving no preparation but putting them in a container, these two are a winning combination and a healthy and wholesome snack. Nuts are packed with nutrients; they’re a great source of “good” fats, protein, dietary fibre and a range of vitamins and minerals. Dried fruits are an excellent way to curb the sugar cravings, providing natural sugars as opposed to refined, a number of antioxidants, as well as having a low glycemic index (a measure of how fast sugar affects blood glucose levels). I often have almonds, walnuts, dried cranberries and dates. It’s best to eat the nuts in raw form as they retain most of their natural oils and goodness, and as delicious as they are, limit yourself to a small handful of each per day as they are still high in fats and sugar.
More often than not it is already packaged in little tubs for you and is incredibly delicious. You can grab it and run if you’re in a hurry and be sure that you’re securing a healthy dose of calcium and a good hit of protein. There are many varieties to choose from, so where possible select the low fat varieties, as it is a by-product of milk full fat versions can be quite high in saturated fats. I personally love greek yoghurt or good ol’ vanilla, sometimes with the addition of fresh fruit for an extra kick of sweetness and flavour. Additionally you could add it to some museli for a healthy breakfast. Some of my favourite brands of yoghurt are Jalna, Chobani and Soleil and Activia.
Now I’m not talking about those cheap-o ones from the milk bar or supermarket that look like they’ve been on steroids, are dry and not very tasty. Once you’ve tried my recipe you’ll never buy one of those again. Packed with fibre, antioxidants, vitamins and minerals, my wholemeal blueberry and banana muffins make the perfect mid-morning snack!Wholemeal Blueberry and Banana Muffins
Makes 12 – 16Ingredients:
300g wholemeal flour, sifted (keep the bran that remains after sifting)
1½ tsps baking powder
1 tsp bicarbonate of soda
Pinch of salt
100g light brown sugar
285mL of buttermilk (if you don’t have this, 285mL low fat milk with 1½ – 2 tsps of lemon juice will work also)
75mL sunflower oil (or any other light vegetable oil)
1 large egg, lightly beaten
2 large, ripe bananas, mashed
200g blueberries (if you have fresh, great, if not then simply use frozen blueberries)
Demerara sugar, for sprinkling (optional)
Preheat oven to 180°C and line a 12-hole muffin pan with paper cases.
Combine flour, sugar, baking powder, bicarb soda and salt then mix to combine. Make a well in the centre and pour in the buttermilk, oil, banana and blueberries and mix to combine. Spoon into the cases almost to the top and sprinkle over the remaining bran, or alternatively demerara sugar for extra sweetness. Bake for 20 – 25 minutes or until a skewer inserted into the centre comes out clean. Leave to cool slightly in the tin, and then transfer to a wire rack to cool completely.
These have an irresistible nuttiness from the flour and are deliciously sweet and moist from the fruit. They make fantastic lunchbox fillers and are an easy, portable snack.
Sometimes it can be hard to fit in our daily quota of fruit and veg when we’re in a rush and don’t think about what we’re eating. Smoothies are a great way to get a couple of serves of fruit without even thinking about it, and you can have it in the car, at work, or as a post workout treat, just pop it in a portable drink container and you’re good to go!
I have an abnormal obsession with berries and add them to almost everything, so needless to say, one of my favourite smoothies to make is mixed berry. There’s no right or wrong way to make a smoothie but here are some basic quantities I follow when making it.
75 – 100g frozen mixed berries
½ – 1 cup soy milk, or cows milk if you prefer
2 tbs yoghurt (can be flavoured or plain)
1 tsp LSA – Linseed, Sunflower and Almond – this gives an extra fibre and protein boost
Simply blend all ingredients in a liquidiser until smooth. Start with less milk and adjust consistency by adding more. This can be adapted with any fruits you like – try adding banana, honey, fresh fruit juice – whatever takes your fancy!
5. Tuna dip:
Now for something savoury, it may sound a bit different but this delicious dip can be eaten on its own, with some raw vegies cut into strips, or bulk it up by using it as a filling in a wrap for a healthy lunch.
Serves 4 as a snack or 2 as lunch in a wrap
2 x 95g tins of tuna in spring water
1 spring onion, finely chopped
¼ apple, finely chopped (red or green)
1 heaped tsp Dijon mustard
A few drops of tabasco (optional)
2 heaped tbs plain greek yoghurt (or other thick yoghurt)
Flat leaf parsley, chopped
2 tbs walnuts, toasted
1 tsp extra virgin olive oil
Salt and pepper to taste
Raw vegies, cut into sticks – carrot, cucumber, capsicum, celery etc.
Multigrain wrap or mountain bread
It’s as easy as combining all ingredients in a bowl until well mixed and seasoning to taste. If you’re making a wrap, try adding some avocado and spinach then spoon in half the filling, roll up and eat. Delicious!
Tuna is high in omega 3 fatty acids and protein, whilst the yoghurt gives a nice creaminess without the fat content of mayonnaise. The walnuts not only give great crunch but they provide a boost of healthy fats, protein, vitamins and minerals. Combined with the other fresh and healthy ingredients, this makes for a quick, easy and nutrient packed snack or lunch.