You can eat three nutritious meals a day but if you’re snacking on a ton of junk food in between, it’s probably not going to do you any good. Healthy snacks can be just as delicious as your favourite junk food alternatives, whilst keeping you on track towards your health and fitness goals. Be careful not to fall into the trap of foods that claim to be ‘healthy’ but actually contain a ton of hidden calories and sugar, it’s important to read nutrition labels to ensure you know what’s going into your body.
1. Hummus and carrots or cucumber
Vegetables are pretty self explanatory: they’re great for you. However veggies on their own as a snack are kind of boring, dipping them in hummus suddenly makes them ridiculously delicious. Hummus is really versatile too, you can pick up loads of flavours ready-made (such as pesto or caramelised onion) or you can have a go at making it yourself! It’s pretty simple and cheap to make and there are tons of recipe variations online to try out. Give it a go!
2. Nut butter on a rice cake
So simple, so delicious. Simply spread your favourite nut butter on a rice cake, top with extras like honey, banana or dark chocolate chips to jazz it up a bit. This is not only a great source of protein but it’s low in carbs too, making it a perfect post-workout snack if you fancy a quick sweet treat.
Probably the most obvious healthy snack, when trying to eat healthily sticking to natural, whole foods in a failsafe way to stay on track. Fruit is a great option for a snack, especially if you have a sweet tooth that needs constant satisfying! Try getting outside your comfort zone and trying some new fruits, instead of the usual apples and bananas try out some cherries, pomegranate or kiwi’s: this will help you stay on track by keeping your snacks interesting to ensure you don’t get bored of eating the same things, variety in any diet is important.
4. Smoothie or protein shake
I love a good smoothie as a healthy snack in summer, blend up your favourite fruits with ice and some water, milk or juice. Smoothies can be so versatile: my favourites are a berry smoothie (packet of frozen berries and a splash of milk, so simple!) or a banana peanut butter smoothie: sounds great, right? Just blend a banana, ice, peanut butter, a drop of vanilla extract and a splash of milk. For a post-workout snack, add a scoop of your favourite protein powder, the more natural the ingredients, the better!
5. Healthy caramel shortbread
I love creating healthy and natural versions of my favourite sweet treats, caramel shortbread has to be the closest dupe I’ve come across so far. Start by blending 1 ½ tbsp pure maple syrup, 30g coconut oil and 175g ground almonds in a food processor and pressing into a lined cake tin, freeze for 20 mins. Next, pulse 70g coconut oil, 280g dates (soaked in water for a minimum of 15 minutes) and 25g natural peanut butter and pour the mixture on top of the base and pop in the freezer for 15 mins. While you wait, melt 100g 90% dark chocolate, then pour over the caramel layer and return to the freezer for 15-30 mins. Once solid, chop onto portions.
Healthy snacks don’t have to be boring, don’t restrict yourselves between meals if you’re feeling peckish, just make healthier choices! There are so many other great healthy snacks out there too, if you have any ideas or personal favourites please share them in the comments below.
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