Since I became more conscious about upping my fruit and veg intake and reducing processed foods I find snacking one of the hardest things to contend with. Have you ever hit a motorway service station with hunger pangs? I tell you now you’d be hard pushed to hunt down an apple in amongst all those bags of Doritos and wine gums. The lure of the family size bag of Sensations can be tricky to fight!
Today we share Family Health Coach Bronwyn Hudson’s favourite snacks for times when you need a nibble without the guilt (or the subsequent sugar dip). Rather than snap umpteen images of different tidbits Bron packed together these super cute and handy snack boxes packed full of protein and healthy fats so we could illustrate four ideas on one image. We’re not suggesting you go all out and devour ALL these treats for elevenses. I’d probably only have two of these twelve ideas in one day if I was feeling peckish. Of course everyone’s different though.
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Snack Box One
- Pop in a serving of trail mix. Any nuts and seeds work work for this. Bron sometimes adds dried fruit (less than 1/4 of the amount of nuts and seeds) such as freeze-dried berries, chopped sulphur-free apricots, raisins, cranberries, or perhaps even some dark chocolate chopped up. Finally throw in some coconut flakes or desiccated coconut and a generous sprinkling of cinnamon and mix it all around. Keep in a jar in the cupboard ready to go whenever you need it. Serve yourself around a quarter of a cup.
- Try a few cubes of Coconut Ice. We featured a naughtier version of this on RMS last year. Bronwyn’s is a healthier option using freeze dried strawberries.
- Dollop in a portion of chia pudding. I’d be the first to admit, this really doesn’t look very pretty but I tried making one for the first time last week and it was seriously delicious. Even if I do say so myself. There are a million and one recipes out there on the internet. Basically it’s a cup of milk ( I used almond), 1/4 cup of chia seeds, 1 teaspoon of cacao and a small drizzle of honey combined together in a jar and left in the fridge overnight. Bronwyn recommends mixing a couple of times before heading to bed to remove any clumps.
- Pile in the blueberries. Low in calories and high in nutrients, a handful of the antioxidant packed berries can make a great snack.
Snack Box Two
- Veggie sticks are always a good option to combine with a dip. You could dunk carrot, cucumber, celery or pepper in to any of the dips we recently featured on the site.
- There’s not really any other way to describe these sweet treats, other than ‘balls’. Bronwyn has loads of recipes on her site for easy no-cook gluten-free, dairy-free and refined sugar-free bites. Take a look at the nut-free version, the energy bliss balls, the walnut and cacao brain balls and a whole platter of truffles. The lemon ones are divine!
- If you can remember to pop an egg on the hob when you’re making dinner then you have a protein packed snack for the next day.
Snack Box Three
- Whip up a batch of roasted chickpeas when you have the oven on for a dinner and you’ll have several days of crunchy snacks. You can find the recipe over on Fuel For Family.
- Slice up an avocado and sprinkle a few seeds on top for an extra nutritious crunch. Over on Kitchn there are some useful tips for working out if your avocado is ripe enough for eating.
- A few green beans or cherry tomatoes are also really portable.
- If you are out and about and need a packaged treat then you could try the Nakd range. They’re available in Waitrose and most other supermarkets but can be tricky to track down as they’re often away from the usual snack and cereal bars.
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Bronwyn’s Notes On Portion Size
- With nuts and seeds I definitely recommend limiting the serving size across the day to 1/4 to 1/3 of a cup per day (including nut/seed butters, bliss balls, trail mix etc). Like David Wolfe says “if you eat too many nuts, you will go nuts, eat too many bananas and you will go bananas”. Nuts and seeds contain many valuable nutrients, but they also contain anti-nutrients and are high calorie-density.
- Only snack if you are actually hungry! Sip a drink of water first as often thirst is mistaken as hunger.
- People often overlook vegetables in favour of fruit as a snack, but many vegetables are just as portable as fruit, delicious, and don’t have the same effect on blood sugar levels.
- Bliss balls are usually high in sugar due to the dried fruit component, so limit those to one a day. I keep mine in the freezer so they are not staring me in the face when I open the fridge (and I love the chewy texture they have when eaten straight from the freezer).
- Planning your snacks the day before and pre-packing them means you are deciding your portion size with a rational brain, rather than a ‘I could eat my arm right now’ one.
What snacks are you munching on? Any favourites you’d like to recommend?