Editor’s note: This is a guest post from Jules Clancy of Stonesoup.
Reading Get Started: From Overweight to Healthy recently on Zen Habits, I couldn’t agree more with Leo’s advice.
Eat move veggies, drink more water, move more and get rid of the junk. All great ideas.
It also got me thinking. For me at least, the most difficult part of healthy eating is when it comes to snacks.
It would be nice to think we’re all going to start reaching for a raw carrot or celery stick when hunger strikes between meals. But it can be difficult to go from junk to super healthy in one step.
So here are a few ideas to help you snack more healthfully.
As with all things, remember that even healthy snacks aren’t going to be good for you in large quantities, so moderation is key.
10 Healthy Snack Ideas
1. nori sheets
Head to your local Japanese or Asian grocery store and grab some nori. Yes, the seaweed stuff used in sushi rolls is delicious fresh from the pack. Although it is quite drying so you will need some water with it.
My go-to snack, especially when I’m traveling. Almonds, brazil nuts, macadamias, pistachios: there’s so much variety to explore. Nuts are portable, delicious and packed with minerals. Look for dry roasted, preferably unsalted. And remember nuts like almonds with their skins on have more fiber than those without.
3. kale chips
There are a heap of different commercial kale chips on the market these days. While delicious, they tend to be expensive, so you could have a go at making your own. Just toss some kale (or other leafy greens) in a little oil, layer on a baking sheet and bake for 5-10 minutes until crisp.
Based mostly on tomato and chilli, a good salsa can be a great way to boost your veggie intake.
5. nut butters
Look for unsweetened nut butters such as almond or cashew butter at your local health food store, or try making your own. Pop a handful of nuts in your food processor and whizz until it forms a nut butter, adding a little oil to help if it looks too dry.
The Italians know a thing or two about healthy snacking. Olives, marinated veg like eggplant, artichokes or peppers all make wonderful quick snacks. You can even throw in a little proscuitto (but don’t tell Leo).
Similar to antipasto, these Lebanese small plates are a great thing to have in the fridge. Hummus is probably the most famous but there’s also babaganoush, tatziki and beetroot drips to make your carrot and celery sticks more appealing.
8. boiled eggs
While not for the vegans, eggs are a wonderful source of protein. Boil up a whole batch at once then keep them in the fridge to peel and eat with a little salt and pepper as needed.
9. roast chickpeas
I just adore chickpeas (garbanzo beans) in all their forms. And have recently started roasting them and tossing with a little spice to serve as a snack. So. Good. [recipe below]
10. dark chocolate
When only something sweet will do, dark chocolate is your best bet. At least you’ll also be getting some antioxidants. Look for good quality brands that tell you the % cocoa solids. The higher the cocoa, the less sugar.
makes about 1 1/4 cups
By all means cook the chickpeas from scratch if you prefer, but I find canned chickpeas work really well, without the effort.
Feel free to play around with the spicing. If you can’t find smoked paprika, a little cayenne pepper or chilli powder would be lovely. Or keep it simple with just some sea salt and black pepper.
If you have any leftovers, allow them to cool completely before storing in an airtight container. Will keep for a week or so but I like them best while they’re still warm.
1 can chickpeas (14oz / 400g), well drained
2-3 tablespoons olive oil
1 teaspoon smoked paprika, optional
1. Preheat your oven to 400F (200C).
2. Place chickpeas in a roasting pan or oven proof dish, drizzle with olive oil and bake for 10 minutes.
3. Stir the chickpeas and sprinkle over the paprika. Bake for another few minutes until the chickpeas are golden and crisp on the outside.
4. Season generously with pepper and sea salt and serve warm or at room temperature.
Jules is a qualified food scientist and the creator of the Stonesoup Virtual Cookery School. Pickup more delicious, healthy 5 ingredients recipes at her blog – Stonesoup.