If you want to keep your energy levels nicely balanced throughout the day, you need to eat snacks. Not just any old snack though! Opt for one of our nutritionist-approved versions instead and stick to these 3 simple snacking guidelines:
1) Ideally you should eat a meal or snack every 2-3 hours throughout the day. Be guided by your own appetite, but you should aim for around 3 meals and 3 snacks daily.
2) Avoid leaning on caffeine when hunger strikes as this can temporarily curb your appetite but seriously disrupts your energy levels. Refined and processed snacks such as sweets, crisps and chocolate are best avoided too.
3) Make complex snacks by combining carbohydrate (wholegrains, fruit, vegetables) with protein (nuts, seeds, beans, lentils, eggs, dairy, meat, fish) and healthy fat (nuts, seeds & their oils, oily fish, olives, avocado) to make nutritious and filling snacks.
Nutritionist approved snacks:
• Boiled egg, spinach & avocado
• Handful of plain nuts & dried fruit / fresh fruit
• Falafel & raw pepper sticks
• Cucumber & sliced cheese
• Oatcakes with nut butter, sliced banana & ground seeds /houmous & pumpkin seeds / mashed avocado & cream cheese
• Berries & live yoghurt
• UltraMeal – Powder formula that mixes up into a nutritious, filling shake. My favourite is banana flavour, blended with water or almond milk.
• Superfood protein balls
• Chia seed pudding pots (see recipe below)
• Chickpea champion bars (see recipe below)
Chia seed pudding pots
You will need:
¼ cup chia seeds plus another 3 tablespoons
2 cups water or your favourite milk (almond, soy etc) or for a thicker pudding replace 1 cup of milk with yoghurt
1. Place all the ingredients into a bowl
2. Stir, stir, stir, then arrange in glass pots. Sit in the fridge for a few hours or overnight.
3. Add your topping just before serving.
(NB. You can add maple syrup and / or vanilla extract to taste at the mixing stage or before serving)
Blueberries, raspberries, banana and shredded coconut
Blood orange segments and pistachio
Mixed berry and lemon zest
Diced mango, toasted coconut and raw cacao nibs
Banana & cinnamon
Blueberries, toasted almond and maple syrup
Chickpea champion bars
You will need:
2 cups old fashioned or quick-cooking rolled oats
1 ¼ cups nuts, seeds, or a combination
1 cup dried fruit, chopped (eg. raisins, dried apricots, apples, cherries)
3 tablespoons flaxseed meal
½ cup milk – you can use dairy or non-dairy versions such as soya or almond milk
1 cup canned chickpeas, rinsed and drained
½ cup natural, unsweetened nut or seed butter (eg. peanut, cashew, sunflower seed, hazelnut)
½ cup packed pitted, soft dates
¼ cup agave nectar, honey, or pure maple syrup
1 teaspoon ground cinnamon
¼ tsp fine sea salt
1. Line a 9 x 13 inch baking pan with foil or parchment paper and rub a small amount of olive oil onto the paper to cover.
2. Preheat oven to 350F.
3. Spread the oats and the nuts or seeds on a large rimmed baking sheet. Bake in the preheated oven for 6 – 8 minutes, shaking halfway through, until golden and fragrant; transfer to the bowl of a food processor and let cool.
4. Process the oats mixture, using on/off pulses, until the nuts and seeds are coarsely chopped; transfer to a large bowl. Mix in the dried fruit.
5. Meanwhile combine the flaxseed meal and warm milk in a small bowl until blended. Let stand for 5 minutes before using.
6. Place the chickpeas, nut or seed butter, dates, agave nectar, cinnamon, salt and flax mixture in the food processor (no need to clean bowl); process until the mixture is smooth.
7. Add the chickpea mixture to the oats mixture, mixing with a spatula until coated.
8. Transfer the mixture to the prepared pan. Place a large piece of parchment paper or wax paper on top of the bar mixture and use it to spread and flatten the mixture evenly in the pan. Discard the paper or plastic.
9. Bake in the preheated oven for 15-18 minutes or until the edges are golden brown and the top appears somewhat dry. Transfer to a wire rack and cool completely.
10. Using the liner, lift the mixture from the pan and transfer to a cutting board. Cut into 20 bars.