So snacking, it’s one of those things I definitely do. I tend to eat my 3 meals and at least 2 snacks a day. Which means my snacks need to be healthy, well most of them! Currently I am breastfeeding which makes me quite hungry at times. It is those moments when I have children clamouring for me, a baby wanting to feed and I know I need to eat that I need a ready to grab and go snack. That moment when it could be biscuits. Although I do eat my share of those too, I’ve recently discovered a wheat free dark chocolate and stem ginger cookie… dangerously nice. So to keep me on the straight and narrow I’ve started making snack boxes. This is something I often recommed to clients and many find them so useful. You can literally make a pile up for the week and take one to work each day, keep them in your bag or just on the worktop if you are at home.
Here are some of my favourite combos:
Here is me trying out Facebook Live and showing off my not so great phone video skills:
Love to hear your healthy snack box combos. Leave me a message/comment so I can steal your ideas too 😉
I tend to buy my nuts and dried fruit in bulk online (it is cheaper per kg but costs a bit up front) and I store a supply in the cupboard and a supply in glass jars on my shelf. Which looks pretty and also means we all see them and are more likely to eat them instead of reaching into the biscuit tin.
“Keep healthy food – In plain sight so it is in your mind to eat it”
A good example of this is my toddler boy who often asks for “prawns” and points at the jars… he means prunes!
This week I was invited to go to the EU Round Table Meeting for the Almond Board of California. Exciting stuff, not just because I like almonds.
Here is some of what I learnt and liked…
Almonds can help keep you satiated and although you may think they are high in calories, studies show that they can help with weight management. When added into the diet in a sensible portion size the research shows that people do not gain weight but adapt their calorie intake at other points in the day.
A year long study showed adding whole almonds to the diet did not lead to weight gain. People ate more healthy fats and some people lost weight.
Almonds can suppress hunger, the desire to eat when not hungry and your meal size. They also increase your resting energy expenditure by 13%, so you burn more calories at rest, which explains some of the reason weight gain is not seen when you eat them regularly.
Due to the cell wall of almonds being difficult to break down whole almonds actually provide about 20% less calories than originally thought. Chewing studies show that the more you chew your almonds the more nutrition you will get from them. Conversely if you do not chew them well you will excrete more fat from them!
So almonds are a healthy food to be snacking on. It may surprise you to know that a portion is 23 almonds, equivalent to a shot glass or enough to cover a 3″ x 3″ square sticky note. I love these portion control tins the Almond Board make. I was given a lovely jar of almonds to take home so I’m certainly going to keep on snacking on them!
A portion controlled tin, perfect for putting your almonds in when on the go.
My Nut Story!
I’ll let you into a little secret… until just a few years ago I would have told you that I didn’t like nuts. It appears that I actually do, but I don’t like certain mixed of finely chopped nuts (e.g. on cakes) or hazelnuts, in fact just the thought of hazelnuts makes me feel queasy. Because of that association in my head I labelled nuts as off the menu. There is so much variety in the world of nuts that I hadn’t yet tried though!
Being around other people who ate a different variety of nuts and travelling exposed me to different flavours. Sri-Lanka is the home of amazing devilled cashews, there is a whole road full of just amazing cashew sellers. A trip to Florida opened my mind to pecans. Gradually I’ve got older and bolder! So almonds are also on my top nut list 🙂 Finally I can say I like most nuts, which makes me happy as they are just such a healthy, filling and nutritious snack. Just be wary of your portion control, keep to 1 handful!
Almonds are a natural source of protein and fibre, containing 15 essential nutrients, including vitamin E and calcium.
Gram for gram, almonds have the most fibre of any tree nut.
A handful of almonds (30g) provides you with approximately 65% of your daily requirement of vitamin E.
A handful of almonds (30g) is a tasty way to keep you feeling full, helping you get through any busy day.
In a recent study, researchers used a more precise method of measuring the calories in almonds and found they have about 20% fewer calories than originally thought (Novotny JA et al. Discrepancy between the Atwater factor predicted and empirically measured energy values of almonds in human diets. American Journal of Clinical Nutrition. Am J Clin Nutr 2012 ajcn.035782; First published online July 3, 2012.doi:10.3945/ajcn.112.035782.)
I’ve been seeing a few recipes for raw brownies floating around and each time I see them thinking…. “I really must try these out”. Last Monday morning was the time, for some reason I woke up full of cooking inspiration and whislt the toddler ate her porridge I knocked these up – they literally took that little time to make.
I was pleasantly suprised with the result and took them round to my friend Steph to try. They really are a chocolate substitute! Very rich, very nutty but gooey and satisfying.
Heathy, Raw, GlutenFree, High Protein No Chocolate Brownies!
Author: Priya Tew, Dietitian UK
2 cup dates
1 cup cashews
1/2 cup almond
1/2 cup cocoa powder (unsweetened)
1 ripe banana
2 tbsp nut butter
1 tbsp cocoa powder
1 tbsp carob powder (use cocoa if wanted)
2 tbsp honey
Soak the dates in warm water for 30 minutes, drain and process with the nuts plus the 1/4 cup cocoa powder.
Press into a greased, lined, small baking tray, I used a small round cake tin.
Mix the remaining ngredients together to make the topping and spoon over the base layer.
Freeze for 30 minutes, cut into small squares (you really don’t need much of this).
I must admit I don’t have that much of a sweet tooth. It’s savoury things that get my tastebuds tingling. However with a glut of carrots eyeing me up from the vegetable rack and a frustrating day, I decided it was time to hit the kitchen and get my “bake on”. Cooking for me is one of my ways of relaxing.
I’ve never made a gluten free carrot cake, so this was a test of my brain cells, pulling apart a few other recipes and adapting things to make a healthier version. I’m all for cake, but I’m not into too much sugar or fat and prefer a moist, light texture. So I went for plenty of carrots and mixed up my flours for texture.
The result was suprisingly good (I really should expect more of my baking and not be so suprised). It’s light, it’s cakey, its moist, it cuts well, it holds together well, it’s tasty and it looks good, I really like the colour. You know what? I think I may be getting the hang of this 😉
If you like your cakes with icing and more sweetness then feel free to knock up a cream cheese frosting to go on this, I didn’t as that’s not my bag.
150g ground almonds
500g grated carrots
80ml rapeseed oil
1 tsp vanilla extract
1 tsp baking powder
1 tsp cinnamon
1 tsp mixed spice
Mix the ground almonds, cormeal and sugar together. Then beat in the eggs and oil.
Add the grated carrot and mix. I then put this in my food processor so the carrot was broked down further.
Add the vanilla extract, baking powder, cinnamon and mixed spice.
Pour into a well greased and lined cake tin.
Bake at Gas Mark 4 for 50-60 minutes.
Enjoy with a cup of tea!
Next time I’d add some raisin into this and perhaps some chopped nuts.
Freelance Dietitian specialising in helping those with Eating Disorders and a Media Spokesperson for the profession.