5 HEALTHY + PORTABLE SNACK IDEAS

Because this is my last week of recipes I’m a little spoilt for choice as regards what to share next. I couldn’t, and didn’t want to choose, so I’m sharing a medley of my favourite snacks, from simplest to some more interesting options.  There are five in total which I hope will provide something for everyone’s tastes. All are dairy, grain and gluten-free, some are entirely ‘plant-based’. The common denominator is that they are all made from very simple whole-foods.  If you’re having guests you could make a ‘snack platter’…..otherwise just prepare them all as you wish and squirrel them away in your car / handbag / desk drawer / goodie-drawer for those afternoons when you just need a little nibble!

CRUNCHY APPLE WITH CREAMY PB + CINNAMON  (serves 1)

  • 1 apple
  • 1-2 tbsp Meridian peanut or almond butter*
  • A good pinch of ground cinnamon

Instructions: I hardly need to provide instruction but here goes! Slice the apple, dip or spread with peanut butter and sprinkle over the cinnamon. Simple.

Good For: Peanut butter provides protein. Apple provides pectin (fibre) for gut health and cinnamon can help to balance blood sugar.

HARD BOILED EGGS, SUMAC + AVOCADO (serves 1)

  • 2 eggs, hard boiled
  • 1/3 tsp sumac (a citrus spice made from red berries of the sumac shrub)
  • 1 small (or 1/2 medium) avocado
  • Pinch of sea salt

Instructions: Boil eggs in a pan of water for 5-7 minutes. Allow to cool before peeling off the shell. Store in a small lunch box or lunch bag. To serve slice open, sprinkle with sumac. Half the avocado, sprinkle with sea salt and pile scoops onto your egg.

Good For: Low carbohydrate (sugar) option. High protein + fat keeps you full. Egg provides essential minerals and amino acids. Avocado is rich in fibre, folate, potassium and vitamin E.

TAMARI ROAST NUTS + SEEDS (makes 10-12 1oz servings)

  • 5 cups of mixed raw nuts (brazil, pecan, almond, walnut, macadamia)
  • 1/4 cup of seeds (sunflower / pumpkin)
  • 1 tbsp Optima raw virgin coconut oil*
  • 1 tbsp tamari (gluten free, GMO-free soy sauce)

Instructions: Preheat oven to 180C. Melt the coconut oil with the tamari in a saucepan over a medium heat. Dump in the nuts and seeds and combine well. Spread onto a roasting tray and place in the oven for 10 minutes. Leave to cool and crisp before decanting into a glass airtight jar.

Good For: Nuts and seeds are some of the most nutrient dense foods in existence. Low carbohydrate but high in essential fats, protein and antioxidant nutrients Vitamin E, selenium and zinc. Consuming a handful of nuts daily is associated with lower body fat and BMI.

DARK CHOCOLATE + CHILLI MANGO (makes 4-6 servings)

  • 50g 85% cacao dark chocolate, melted
  • 100g organic dried mango (no added sugars, sulphites, preservatives)
  • 1 tsp dried red chilli flakes
  • A pinch of sea salt flakes

Instructions: Dip the mango into the melted dark chocolate (half-way) and set each piece onto a tray lined with greaseproof paper. Sprinkle the chocolate end with chilli flakes and sea salt and allow to set. Transfer to a jar.

Good For:  A quick energy boost. Mango (especially dried variety) is higher in simple sugars that your body can absorb and utilise quickly. Good for athletes pre- and post-training (if post training, add a hard boiled egg or a protein shake to optimise tissue repair and muscle growth).

CHOCOLATE NUT + GOJI BERRY BRITTLE (makes about 10-12 cupped handfuls)

  • 100g mixed nuts
  • 1 heaping handful of Nua naturals goji berries*
  • 1 handful Nua naturals cacao nibs* (optional)
  • 80g dark chocolate (85% cacao content or above)
  • Pinch of sea salt flakes
  • 1 Tbsp Nua naturals raw cacao powder*

Instructions: Bring a saucepan of water to the boil, reduce the heat and place a pyrex bowl on top. Break the dark chocolate into chunks and melt. When the chocolate is melted tip the nuts, gogi berries, cacao nibs and sea salt into the bowl with the chocolate and mix well to combine. Spread onto a baking tray lined with greaseproof paper and refrigerate for 30 minutes until almost set. Remove from the fridge and dust with cacao powder. Place back in the fridge for 10 minutes. Break up the chunks of brittle and transfer to a large glass container. Store in the fridge.

Good For: Premenstrual symptoms such as low mood, anxiety and sugar or chocolate cravings. Cacao is a natural mood elevator and is an excellent source of iron, magnesium, zinc and B vitamins which are all particularly important for menstrual health. Nuts provide satiating essential fats, antioxidant vitamin E and selenium and zinc which are essential for male and female reproductive health.

PAMELA RYAN | NUTRITIONIST | CORPORATE NUTRITION + YOGA

Website: www.thehealthonist.com

Instagram: @the_healthonist

*Available in LloydsPharmacy Stores

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ROAST BEETROOT (NEON PINK) HUMMUS -SNACK

This neon pink hummus gives that same cheerful boost a bright new lipstick gives you (sorry guys…I cant think of a male equivalent!).

Chickpeas are a wonderfully cheap and versatile legume. Legumes are rich in protein, fibre and folic acid and are ranked 4th place in the top 10 most most nutrient dense foods.  Hummus is a great snack as its healthy fats keep you satisfied between meals. Meridian Light Tahini (sesame seed butter) is a rich source of lignans, a cancer-fighting phytonutrient and is also delicious on its own spread on some sliced apple.

The vibrant colour of this recipe is provided by beetroot – an athlete’s secret weapon!  If you’re a regular exerciser, especially if you partake in endurance sports (marathons and triathlons), beetroot should absolutely be a regular part of your diet.  Nitrates in beetroot boost energy and performance by helping to oxygenate the blood, whilst anti-inflammatory compounds facilitate post-exercise muscle recovery.

You don’t have to roast the beets before hand – you could lightly steam them or use raw beets if you want.  As a snack I’m serving this hummus on a slice of toasted rye bread (I use Biona 100% Rye bread) with a few slivers of avocado and a sprinkle if Nua Naturals hulled hemp seeds.

(makes about 6 servings)

Ingredients

  • 2 medium-sized beetroot, peeled.
  • 1 can chickpeas, drained
  • 2 cloves of garlic, peeled
  • Juice of half a lemon
  • 1 Tbsp Meridian Light Tahini*
  • 3 Tbsp extra virgin olive oil
  • 1 tsp ground cumin
  • 1/2 tsp sea salt
  • Extra olive oil for serving
  • Nua naturals hemp seeds for garnish (optional)*

To roast the beetroot:

Preheat oven to 220 celsius. Individually wrap the beetroot in aluminium foil and place onto the oven rack. Roast for about 50 minutes. Remove and allow to cool fully before preparing the hummus.

Prepare the hummus:

In a food processor pulse the beetroot a few times on its own before adding the chickpeas, garlic, lemon juice, and tahini.  Pulse a few more times and then slowly add the olive oil whilst continuing to blend. Season and pulse again one last time until smooth. Transfer to a bowl, drizzle over some olive oil and a sprinkling of hulled hemp seeds. Store in an airtight container in the fridge for up to a week.

NUTRITION INFORMATION BEETROOT HUMMUS PER 1/6th of recipe
Calories Fat Protein Carbs Sugar Fibre
143 10g 4.1g 13.6g 3.3g 4g
A source of protein, fiber, folic acid, manganese, potassium and essential fatty acids. 

PAMELA RYAN | NUTRITIONIST | CORPORATE NUTRITION + YOGA

Website: www.thehealthonist.com

Instagram: @the_healthonist

*Ingredients available in LloydsPharmacy Stores

Healthy Recipes from LloydsPharmacy Colleagues

We are delighted to be back with you, sharing our very own healthy and tasty recipes. LloydsPharmacy employees are busy helping hundreds of our customers to lose weight with our free Change your Health Direction programme. And we’re having great fun coming up with new recipes that are suitable for anyone trying to lose weight. All of our colleague recipes are available at any LloydsPharmacy branch. Or check back through our blog for all of our recipe posts.

This week, we’re talking about snacks! Snacking is so important but can be difficult to get used to. It seems wrong to eat all the time when you’re trying to lose weight. But it’s important you eat every three hours to prevent becoming too hungry and to keep your energy levels balanced all day. Because what happens when you’re really hungry? You usually go for something sugary, right? So, we’ve shared some amazing healthy snack ideas that have come from our own colleagues. Each is only 150-200 calories and is balanced with carbs and proteins. Let us know what you think!

Best of luck to everyone still sticking with the resolutions!

Naomi…


Healthy Flapjacks

This tasty treat idea comes from our purchasing executive, Ciara Morgan. SheCiara Flapjacks tells us:

‘These flapjacks are both my children’s favourite snacks. I made this recipe up from a culmination of recipes I tried over the years and these are by far the biggest hit. They are particularly great for my 6 year old and I on the drive to crèche before breakfast, and my 11 month old snacks on them through the day. No refined sugar or flour and not a morsel of butter in sight. I make these every Sunday for the week and they last until they’re all eaten on Friday.’

Makes about 20 flapjacks

Ingredients:

  • 4 bananas
  • 2 grated Carrots
  • 2 tbsp. of maple syrup
  • Handful of mixed dried fruit
  • 4 cups of oats
  • Chia seed, flaxseed or mixed seeds can also be added; just substitute a half cup of oats with half a cup of any of them.

Method:

  1. Preheat the oven to 180 degrees Celsius.
  2. Chop the bananas and put the grated carrot and maple syrup into a food processor together, mix until almost liquid.
  3. Put the mixed fruit and oats into a bowl and add the wet ingredients, mix thoroughly.
  4. Line a baking dish with parchment paper and pack the ingredients in really tightly. Smooth it all out and place in the oven for up to 30 minutes. The top should feel slightly hard coming out. Take it out of the dish after a few minutes and cool on a wire rack.
  5. Cut them into small squares (about 20) and store in an airtight container in the fridge. I have always eaten these within 6 days so can only guarantee freshness for 6 days.
  6. Enjoy!

Breakfast BiscuitsAvril Cookies

Biscuits for breakfast?! Why not! These quick and easy bickies make a super grab-and-go breakfast or a filling afternoon snack with a cuppa. The addition of hemp seeds provides protein to ensure that blood sugars remain stable. Another great recipe from Avril Reilly, pharmacist and weight-loss coach in LloydsPharmacy, Governey Square, Carlow.

Makes about 6 cookies

Ingredients:

  • 1 ripe banana
  • ½ cup jumbo porridge oats
  • ¼ cup Nua Naturals hemp seeds
  • ½ tsp ground ginger (optional)

Method:

  • Mash the banana very well with a fork. Place the dry ingredients into a bowl and add the mashed banana. Mix very well.
  • Use approximately one tablespoon of mixture per biscuit and place on a baking tray lined with parchment paper.
  • Bake in a pre-heated oven at 180 degrees for approximately 10-15 minutes until golden brown.
  • Allow to cool for an hour. If there are any left, store in an air-tight container J

 

Cheesy Egg MuffinsNicky Egg Muffins

We just love this idea from Nicky Roche, manager and weight loss coach in LloydsPharmacy Kilkenny. Healthy, portable little egg muffins that you can enjoy without worry at just under 100 calories each. They are great for breakfast, snacks, light dinner, or school lunches. They are soft, chewy and dense. The vegetables add texture and fibre so you feel fuller longer. You can make them in advance and keep for up to a week in the fridge. And try them with different vegetables for variety – a great way to get kids to eat their greens!

Makes 12 muffins

Ingredients:

  • 4 medium carrots trimmed and grated, about 1 ½ cups
  • ½ cup diced orange bell pepper
  • ½ cup frozen peas (no need to thaw)
  • ½ cup frozen corn (again no need to thaw)
  • 8 large eggs
  • Salt and pepper to taste
  • About 12 teaspoons of grated cheddar cheese

Method:

  • Preheat oven to 190 Celsius. To avoid having to use oil to grease the muffin tray, use a silicon tray.
  • In a large bowl combine the carrots, peas, corn and peppers. You can use any of your favourite veggies, and instead of the carrots you could grate left over potatoes or sweet potatoes.
  • Loosely pile the veggie mix into each muffin cavity to about ¾ full.
  • In a measuring jug lightly beat your eggs and salt and pepper with a fork.
  • Pour the egg into each cavity, to cover the veggie mix to just below the rim.
  • Top each muffin with a teaspoon of grated cheese.
  • Bake in the oven for about 18 – 20 minutes, or until muffins have set. They will rise when in the oven, but will sink back down as they cool. Leave in the tray while cooling on a wire rack.
  • Muffins will keep in an airtight container in the fridge for up to a week.

 

Healthy Banana & Walnut MuffinsNaomi Banana Muffins

Sometimes you just need something sweet! These muffins can be a treat, a snack or perhaps breakfast. They come in at just under 200 calories each and taste like way more. This recipe comes from our Health Strategy Manager, Naomi O’Farrell.

Makes 12 muffins using a regular muffin tray

Ingredients:

  • 1½ cups whole-wheat spelt flour
  • 1 teaspoon baking soda
  • ½ teaspoon salt
  • ½ teaspoon baking powder
  • 2 medium eggs
  • 2 tbs melted coconut oil
  • ⅓ cup pure maple syrup
  • 3 small very ripe bananas
  • ½ cup chopped walnuts

Method:

  • Turn your oven on to 180°
  • Line a 12-hole muffin tray with bun cases
  • Whisk together the flour, baking soda, baking powder and salt. Make a well and drop in the eggs, oil and syrup. Blend with a fork until fully mixed
  • Mash the bananas and fold them into the batter with the walnuts
  • Divide the mixture evenly into the muffin cases (one dessert spoon per case)
  • Bake for 20-22 minutes until a cocktail stick comes out clean.

 

Easy Energy BallsAvril Balls

Snacking can be tricky. You should eat every 3 hours or so; if you don’t and wait until you’re hungry, you’re more likely to choose something bad! Having healthy snacks to hand ensure you avoid eating the wrong things and keep your energy levels steady all day. Nua Naturals is a great range of products available at LloydsPharmacy. This recipe comes from Avril Reilly, pharmacist and weight-loss coach in LloydsPharmacy, Governey Square, Carlow. One of these is a perfect snack and the rest will keep for a week once stored in an airtight container in the refrigerator.

Serves 1

Ingredients:

  • 60g Nua Naturals Goji berries
  • 40g Nua Naturals Hemp seeds
  • 140g pumpkin or sesame seeds
  • 260g pitted dates
  • 30g raisins (or use extra goji berries instead)
  • 2 tbsp Chia Bia Milled chia seeds
  • 2 tbsp Nua Naturals Agave Nectar (optional)

Method:

  • Mix the pumpkin or sesame seeds, goji berries and raisins using a food processor. Remove and transfer to a mixing bowl.
  • Process the dates separately, until they form a sticky mass and then add to the mixing bowl.
  • Add the hemp seeds and milled chia seeds and mix everything together really well. The easiest way to get a good mix is to use your hands! Add a little agave nectar to bring the mixture together, if needed.
  • Roll the mixture into small balls or press into a lined baking tray and cut into bars once set fully (leave in the refrigerator for a few hours before cutting).