Are you stuck in a snack rut?
Do you feel like your current go to snack is getting a bit old and you’re stuck for ideas for snack alternatives? Fear not, I’ve got you covered.
To snack or not to snack?
Sometimes there can be confusion around whether you 'should' or 'shouldn't' snack. There's no simple answer to this question as it depends on a variety of factors. If you are trying to keep your blood sugar levels steady and avoid that roller coaster ride then you may want to avoid snacks. Especially if you're not hungry.
Every time you eat your blood sugar levels will rise; it is your body's normal response. So, if you are not hungry between meals then there is no reason to snack. This avoids the rise and fall of your blood sugar levels and it allows your digestive system to 'rest and digest’.
If you find you are getting hungry between meals, then you may want to consider if you are including enough protein and healthy fats in your main meals. The key is to avoid getting ravenously hungry. If you are hungry and you don't eat this may lead to feelings of extreme hunger, low energy and a drive to eat something quick and easy such as biscuits or cakes. This may then lead to that roller coaster ride with your blood sugar levels.
So, the key is to make sure you are eating enough protein and healthy fat with your main meals and to listen to your body. If you are not hungry then you don't need to snack, but if you are hungry then have something to eat. Make sure what you eat is going to be filling and satisfying to help stablise your blood sugar levels. This may help to avoid the cycle of the highs and lows with your blood sugar levels and fluctuating energy levels.
If you feel you need a snack in between your main meals here are some ideas that you could try. All recipes serving sizes are for one person, unless otherwise stated.
2 tbsp of houmous and vegetable sticks of your choice
Half an avocado on a rice cake with a handful of nuts or seeds
Two squares of dark chocolate with a small handful of unsalted mixed nuts (avoid roasted nuts)
An apple served with a tablespoon of nut butter
Celery stick and peanut butter
100g of Greek yoghurt served with mixed seeds
Full fat yoghurt with berries and a scoop of protein powder
100g of cottage cheese served on oat cakes
Date stuffed with nut butter and topped with a pecan nut or walnut
If you have some time to prepare some snacks ahead of time, why don’t you give these recipes a go?
Seasoned roasted chickpeas
Prep: 5 minutes
Cook time: 35 minuets
Makes 4 servings
1 x 400g can chickpeas, drained
1tsp olive oil
2 tsp smoked paprika
2 tsp ground cumin
2 tsp ground coriander
1 tsp of salt
Heat oven to 200C/180C fan/gas 4.
Add the chickpeas into a bowl and mix well with the oil, spices and salt.
Next, spread the chickpeas out onto a baking tray and cook for 35 minutes. Halfway through cooking move the chickpeas around so they are evenly cooked and crunchy.
Once cooked, leave to cool, then store in an airtight container.
Prep time: 5 minutes
Serves: 1 person
250mls of coconut water
½ a courgette
120g of frozen berries
½ an avocado
1 tbsp of chia seeds
3 tbsp of protein powder
Place all of the ingredients in a blender and blend until smooth. Pour into a glass and enjoy.
Prep time: 5 minutes
Cook time: 25 minutes
1 cup of ground flaxseeds
1 tsp of extra virgin olive oil
½ tsp of mixed Italian herbs
½ tsp of salt
¼ tsp of ground black pepper
1/3 cup of water
Preheat the oven to 180 degrees
Mix all of the ingredients together in a bowl and allow to stand for two minutes.
Roll the mixture into a ball. If it feels really sticky dust your hands with some more of the ground flaxseed.
Roll the ball out in a rectangle between two sheets of grease proof paper until it is about 3mm thick.
Cut the rectangle into 4cm-by-4cm squares and place on a baking tray. If there is any mixture leftover keep rolling it out until you have used it all up.
Place the baking tray in the oven and cook for about 20 minutes or until the crackers are golden.
Allow to cool and serve with mashed avocado, hommous, salsa, kimchi or bean dip. The crackers can be stored in an airtight container for up to two weeks.
Dark chocolate bark
Prep time: 5 minutes
Makes 10 servings
1 bar of 85% dark chocolate
10 tbsp of mixed seeds (I used flaxseeds, pumpkin seeds, sunflower seeds and chia seeds)
Break up the chocolate bar into lots of little pieces and add to a microwave proof bowl.
Heat in the microwave for 1 minute at a time until all the chocolate has melted. It is really important to do this slowly as the chocolate may burn.
Stir in the mixed seeds until they are well combined.
Pour the mixture into a large dish and spread out evenly. You want it to be about 4mm thick.
Place in the fridge to chill until it has hardened.
Once the chocolate is hard, take it out of the fridge and break it up into pieces.
The chocolate bark can be stored in an airtight container, in the fridge for up to two weeks.
Makes 12 balls
15 minute to make plus chill time
250g nut butter (I used peanut butter)
100g chopped dates
50g pumpkin seeds
50g chia seeds
50g of protein powder (I used one from puriton)
Add all of the ingredients to a food processor and blend until everything is well combined and resembles a cookie dough like texture.
Scoop out about 1 tbsp of the mixture and roll into balls and place on a plate until all of the mixture is used up. If the mixture feels too sticky to roll you can put the dough in the fridge for half an hour to firm it up before rolling into balls.
These can be stored in the fridge for up to 2 weeks or in the freezer for up to one month.
I hope you enjoy these recipes, please let me know what you think in the comments section below. Happy snacking!