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
*Available in LloydsPharmacy Stores