We’ve all been there - it’s a few hours after breakfast or mid-afternoon and - BAM! - a food craving hits.
Reaching for a sugary treat from the cupboard or something from the vending machine may seem like the easiest option, but don’t let this little snack attack affect your health and fitness goals. Snacks can be filling, delicious, and guess what - healthy!
Instead of an instant sugar hit (and then crashing and burning 30 minutes later), choosing a healthy snack can help keep you energised for longer. It’s also a great way to add some extra nutrients into your body throughout the day.
We all know how much I love meal prep and I assure you it is such a wonderful thing when it comes to creating some healthy snacks in advance to ensure you always have delicious - and nutritious - treats with you on the go. Especially before your workout!
Whether you’re a sweet or savoury kinda girl, I’ve got you covered. Below are some high-energy and healthy snack ideas that will help combat those cravings and are great for when you’re on the go.
Because the most common kinds of popcorn are found already doused in butter and salt at the cinemas, we often don't associate it with health. Popcorn is in fact, a whole grain food full of fibre. Sometimes you just get in those moods where you want something to snack on. With only 31 calories per cup of stove top prepared popcorn, it makes for a great alternative to chips. Studies even show that 15 calories worth of popcorn is as filling as 150 calories worth of potato chips!
I'm sure you've heard about the numerous benefits dark chocolate provides - antioxidants, improved blood flow, lower blood pressure... there's something about dark chocolate that does your body good! To do it one step better, you can get yourself some cacao nibs or cacao-based chocolates that are delicious and contain amazing nutritional benefits.
Quick and super simple to make, chickpeas are a great source of plant-based protein. You can easily make these yourself by sprinkling a layer of chickpeas on a lined baking tray with spices like cumin, salt and paprika, and baking for an hour at 150°C fan-forced.
Be free of the notion that sugar is all bad. Eating a balanced diet with adequate fibre each day will help with digestion, keeping bowel movements regular, less bloating, weight loss and many health reasons. Always keep in mind as well that the more whole the food and less processed it is, the better it is!
HOMEMADE MUESLI BARS
A muesli bar is a great grab-and-go snack and is perfect for mid-morning munchies. Store-bought options usually contain a high amount of sugar, so making your own is a convenient way to keep an eye on unnecessary ingredients. I love to whip up my gluten-free muesli bars from my MACROS recipe book for the kids to snack on. They’re perfect to keep in the cupboard, in your gym, or on your desk. You’ll be amazed at how quick and easy they are to make!
Smoothies make an ideal snack - they’re endlessly customizable, great for on the go, and will give you a boost without making you feel overly full. Packed with goodness and ridiculously tasty, try my Everyday Banana Smoothie that will help keep you energised and satisfied any time of the day.
DATES WITH NUT BUTTER
This flavourful snack is an instant antidote if you have a sweet tooth! Simply cut open your dates, remove the pits, and add a teaspoon of your favourite nut butter. It’s an ideal protein chomp that takes less than 5 minutes to make!
This snack is too good to be true! It’s so flavourful and nutritious that it may cause binge eating, so hold your hand before you indulge too much! To make, simply mix and match your favourite nuts and seeds and toss them in a bowl. You could even add a pinch of sea salt or some chilli flakes for a flavour boost. It will fill your everyday portion of fats by keeping your calories in charge. It also helps in keeping up great heart well-being and supplies your fat and fibre intake.
Protein balls are seriously simple to make - and they taste delicious! They’re such a great snack at any time of day and they’re perfect for a protein boost before you hit the gym. If you’re looking for a protein powder free version, the kids and I can’t get enough of my Salted Date Caramel Balls from My Kids Eat Volume 2. Find the recipe below and try shipping them up yourself!
SALTED DATE CARAMEL BALLS
Prep + Cook Time: 20 Minutes
- 310g Fresh Dates, pitted
- 150g Coconut Oil
- 25g Cacao Powder
- 1 tsp Vanilla Extract
- 2 tbsp Coconut Oil, extra, at room temperature
- 1/2 tsp Sea Salt Flakes
- 50g Coconut Flour
- Place dates in a medium bowl. Cover with boiling water and let stand for 10 minutes to soften. Drain dates and discard water.
- Meanwhile add melted coconut oil with sifted cacao in a small bowl and leave to one side to thicken slightly.
- Process dates, vanilla extract, extra coconut oil and salt until smooth. Transfer mixture to a small bowl, cover and freeze for 30 minutes or until firm.
- Line an oven tray with baking paper.
- Using damp hands roll tablespoons of the date mixture into balls.
- Place flour in a small bowl. Roll the balls in the flour first and then the cacao mixture before placing on a baking tray.
- Sprinkle with extra salt flakes and freeze for 10 minutes or until set.
I’d love to know what your favourite healthy snack for on the go is? Leave a comment below!