As far as food goes my motto tends to be ‘everything in moderation’. The Christmas treats started early this year, though, and by Boxing Day evening I was feeling ridiculously unhealthy. My New Year resolutions always include something about eating better and being more active (you know, the type of resolution that’s a distant memory by the end of January…), but I’m feeling determined right now so i’m going to share my healthy snack ideas with you here.
Fruit and vegetables are obviously good choices but I never really fancy eating them in the cold, dark winter months. Malt loaf can be a good substitute for cake – its low fat and has a low glycaemic index (GI) so will keep you feeling full for longer. The same goes for fruit loaf and tea cakes (though they feel a bit less of a treat for me). Then there are rice cakes and popcorn but neither of them really scratch the itch when I’m looking for something yummy to graze on.
So these are the snacks we’ve tried at home over the last week, and my verdict..
Petty much any fruit or root vegetable can be dried out on a low heat (100°C) in your oven for three hours. I picked apples and bananas because they were going past their best in the fruit bowl, having been passed over in favour of chocolate and Christmas biscuits for slightly too long. Helpfully these are soft enough to slice thinly without a mandolin (which I haven’t got), although I used our vegetable peeler to slice the apple and I think you could use it for vegetables too.
These crisps are really easy to make – thinly slice your choice of fruit or veg, mix in a bowl or shake in a freezer bag with any extra flavourings (I didn’t bother but cinnamon would have gone well with the apple and paprika would give root vegetables a tasty kick). Banana needs some lemon juice drizzled over it to stop it turning brown during cooking. Then spread them out on a baking tray lined with greaseproof paper, leaving enough space for air to flow between each slice and cook in the bottom of your oven for 3 hours, turning them over half way through. Once cooked spread them on a cooling tray to cool then eat straight away or store in an airtight container. They will go soft after a day or so.
I’ll be honest with you – my banana crisps weren’t very crispy 😕. They are meant to be soft when they come out of the oven but harden up as they cool. Mine stayed chewy, I’m fairly sure it was because my banana was over-ripe. The kids still enjoyed them, though – they ate all the banana and apple in one sitting. The apple was a huge hit and we’ll definitely make these again. I’m going to try some vegetable crisps at some point too.
Yep, a healthy version of mousse that still feels like a treat. Just mix 3 heaped tbsp (100g) low fat Greek yoghurt with a low sugar instant drinking chocolate (the amount you need will vary depending on the brand, check the instructions for making it up as a drink and use half the amount).
It can be eaten straight away but will thicken slightly if you pop it back in the fridge for half an hour. There are a lot of different flavours of instant drinking chocolate around so you won’t get bored with this one.
I’ve been making this as a quick pudding for years and think it’s great. The kids weren’t that fussed on it, though, as the sharpness of the Greek yoghurt can come through. Also, if you fancy turning the mousse into a treat try adding a drop of Baileys 😊.
All of my family enjoy snacking on nuts, but they are quite high in fat. A few weeks ago I found roasted chickpeas and roasted edamame beans (soy beans) at my local nearby supermarket – the same crunch as nuts but with fewer calories, more fibre and vitamin B6, which helps you sleep. We all enjoyed the shop bought ones so I thought I’d try making my own.
Drain and rinse a tin of chickpeas, then blot them well with kitchen roll and remove any skin that comes away (it’ll burn in the oven if you cook them). Mix them with 1 tsp oil and anything else you want to add (I added 1tsp paprika and 1/2 tsp each of cumin and ginger), then spread on a baking tray and cook at 200°C for 30 minutes.
This is another snack that I’ll be making again at some point, maybe with salt and vinegar or cayenne pepper.
I hope you’ve found these ideas helpful. Are there any good snacks that I’ve missed? Let me know in the comments and help keep me healthy in 2018 😃.
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