I know that around this time of year most people vow to eat healthier. To cut the sugar, avoid the pizza and skip the extra snack between meals. But sometimes after trying your hardest to make the ‘right’ choices, you’re still left with a little craving.
Whether your weakness is crisps, chocolate or something else all together; I know it can be really hard to resist and head straight for your favourite comfort food. But, you should never cut out snacks completely! What you really need is to find something else that satisfies your craving and keeps you going until your next meal.
I love snacking as much as the next gal, but instead I choose delicious homemade snacks that I’ve made. I know exactly what’s in them, and it gets away from any hidden nasties or extra rubbish that really isn’t needed. It’s so easy to buy something in the shops, especially if you think that it’s healthy. But, unfortunately that’s not always the case. Spoiler alert, shop bought granola bars aren’t actually a healthy choice! They’re pumped full of sugar, sweeteners and other preservatives. So, they may be a better option than your favourite bar of chocolate, but it’s still not great.
Instead, try your hand at making your snacks from scratch. So many recipes are quick and easy to do and are a way better option. No, it doesn’t have to be complicated or involve crazy, expensive ‘healthy’ food. Sure, I love chia seeds but that doesn’t mean that you have to use them in everything if you don’t want to. There are always alternative ingredients and changing a recipe to suit your tastes may take time, but is always worth it in the end!
So here’s my round up of some of my favourite snacks. All homemade, easy, quick and convenient. But, please remember, it’s ok to have your old favourites every now and again. Healthy eating is all about moderation!
I am completely, 100% hummus obsessed. Yep, I’m a complete hummus addict. With crackers, carrot sticks, on rice cakes or even on the side of a salad. It makes an absolutely amazing snack. Full of chickpeas to help add a little protein to your mid meal munch as well as helping to fill in that little hunger hole. Surprisingly, it’s really easy to make as well. I’ve got so many recipes for this on my blog; there’s a basic plain version, a tahini free version, or if you fancy something a little more flavourful then I also have a carrot or beetroot recipe (which is personally my fave.). I’d normally enjoy this dip with around 2-3 ‘Ryvita’ style crackers / rice cakes or about 1-2 carrots cut into batons, or equivalent vegetable sticks.
These are the perfect way to help to satisfy that chocolate craving. Made with oats, a little butter and full of delicious chocolate chunks. These are quick and really easy (not to mention cheap) to make. Think of them as a healthier chocolate biscuit! If you keep the chocolate slightly chunky, then you’ll get a little chunk of chocolate in each bite – it’s the perfect way to satisfy any cravings. One snack bite is perfect between meals, or if you want you can always have it directly after your meal as a little pudding style treat.
Yep another snack bite, but I can’t help it, they’re just super delicious and completely perfect. Amazing on the go, they last up to a week in the fridge and are the perfect size for a light snack. These are one of my favourite flavours. Sweet from the dates with a perfect crunch courtesy of the buckwheat, with a little coconut twist. They’re allergy free and completely vegan making them a great bite for anyone.
4. Chia Pudding
This is just the best. If you’ve never tried this before then you have to. Right now! It’s so easy to make and the flavour is just the best! Chia seeds are full of protein and Omega-3, and although they may look pretty insignificant, they are a superfood all on their own. They swell to about 3x their original size when soaked in water and become soft, creamy and delicious! One of the best things about this is just how customisable they are. Plain or flavoured, I’ve experimented a lot. There’s plain, strawberry, chocolate, blueberry, mango, moringa powder or even a blue tea version. You can eat them on their own or enjoy with some yogurt and fruit.
5. Banana Bread
Number 5 is my favourite tea time treat… Banana Bread. This is so good that I’ll even have it for pudding sometimes! This is completely gluten free, vegan, packed full of amazing food and is so simple and easy to make that I’m pretty sure anyone can do it. It is honestly the best. It’s made with a base of coconut oil, buckwheat flour and banana, lightly spiced and with a few added extras. It’s light and moist and tastes delicious with a slather of butter or even a dollop of coconut yogurt on top.
Full of delicious summer flavours made up of apricot, mango coconut and a little bit of lime, these will make your taste buds dance. Packed with oats for some slow release these will help to power you through the morning or afternoon and will definitely get you out of that slump. Because they’re made from dried fruit they can be quite sweet making them the perfect way to chase away any sweet tooth craving that you might be having.
What if I told you that I made a cookie that you can even have for breakfast? Yep, it’s the perfect way to help you start your day or even help you to fuel up between meals. Oozing with orange juice, dried apricots, cranberries, dates and my favourite oats and buckwheat. These ones may be a little more time consuming (just because you need to soak the fruit). But, the actual hands on time is quite short and they really are so worth it. I know that these are called festive cookie bites, but they’re perfect all year round and make a great snack anytime of the day.
8. Oaty Bites
These were my first original creation, and honestly I haven’t had them in a while. Something which will have to sorted out straight away! They’re great for using up those mushy bananas that you forgot about – the ones growing brown spots next to the fruit bowl – and are so, so, so easy to make! The beauty with these is that you only need to keep the base the same. You can add whatever seeds, fruit or nuts that you want, it really is so customisable. I personally love adding a load of stuff to these. You can pretty much eat 2 – 3 of these at a time if you really want, they are so scrumptious that you’ll be wanting more. As anything if you are watching your portion sizes, then just make sure that you don’t make them too big so that you’re eating a good sized snack.
9. Yummy bread
Named so by the incredibe Bo when he was about 4 years. Seriously, that boy would hardly eat anything, so it was amazing convincing him to try a bite and then demand more ‘yummy bread’. In reality, it’s a delicious fruit tea loaf full of flavour and made with wholemeal spelt flour. Spelt flour has so many benefits, and being wholemeal it’s a lot less processed and more fibrous than white flour. Spelt has a slightly nuttier taste, but you really don’t notice any difference at it in terms of taste. This one is slightly longer to make as you need to soak the fruit in the tea overnight, but the best things really do come to those who wait, and this is a prime example. With a slather of butter, you can get away with two slices for the perfect snack. Here’s a top tip: if you butter your slices in the morning and wrap them in foil then they’ll last all day long without getting gooey and soggy.
Here we are, the end of the list. My final snack for you. This one is something that I never realised how much I needed, until I made it. That is homemade sunflower seed butter. I know what you’re thinking, that that sounds really weird. What even is sunflower seed butter. Basically, it’s nut free peanut butter. It looks like peanut butter, smells like peanut butter and even tastes like it (so I’ve been told). I have a nut allergy so had to find an alternative, and this is where it led me.
My seed butter has only one ingredient; sunflower seeds. And although it might be a longer process, I think that having 1 ingredient as opposed to 10 is completely worth it. If you love nut butters then it’s the exact same process but with your nut of choice. Slightly roast your seeds and blend, honestly it’s that simple. About 2 teaspoons, or roughly 20 grams, is the perfect snack size to dip a sweet, juicy apple into. The flavoursare the perfect pair with the sweet apple complimenting the seed butter taste. Remember that this is considered a ‘fat’, but it is a healthy fat. Fats are something that we need in our diets and really shouldn’t be omitted completely.
There You Have It
There you have it, my round up of some of my favourite snacks that are on the blog so far. I found this so hard and there were so many good recipes that I couldn’t fit on the list, but feel free to browse the blog and find any others that you enjoy. Snacking is a great way to maintain your metabolism and make sure that it’s running at optimal level all day. That’s why it’s so important to fuel your body with the right food. I’ve tried to add some food here that is super quick and easy to make for those of you who really don’t have a lot of time to make anything. But there are also some snacks (such as the yummy bread) which take a little more time, although the actual hands on time is quite short. Remember, you can sometimes have a few crisps or a chocolate bar if that’s what your bodies really craving. Everything in moderation is the key to success!
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