I’m always looking for fresh ideas for lunches that are tasty and healthy but also quick. This idea is inspired by my mum who in the days we had a family hotel used to make a starter with warm avocado in lovely white shell dishes. It was delicious and I now have the dishes as a little bonus 🙂
Avocados are highly nutritous and a great source of monounsaturated fats (heart healthy), potassium, fibre and carotenoids. Although high in calories these are all good calories.
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!
I’m constantly on the look out for quick, easy, healthy snacks. Life with a toddler and baby with 2 businesses to run means I’m constantly on the go running from the kids to a Pilates class to cooking dinner or to a clinic. So with some baking time on my hands the toddler and I experimented with oats, fruit, peanut butter and seeds to make an easy to eat, healthy, nutritious snack. These are wheat free, dairy free and gluten free if you use gluten free oats.
This was a lot of fun for the toddler, she did later get her hands stuck in and loved squidging it all. Perfect for textures, messy play and all round fun for her. I’ve found these great for eating between Pilates classes or for grabbing as a snack between meals when I’m feeding the baby.
Perfect for a post-exercise snack due to the protein content and great for mums on the run!
Oaty Peanut Balls
Great for healthy snacking on the run, for post-workouts and for toddlers/children.
Smoothies. We all love them. The problem is they are expensive and not always 100% great for you. Why buy them when you can make them? If you need a quick snack, an instant pick me up or breakfast in a rush try this baby out for size. It’s my go to favourite.
I started making this smoothie when I was about 15 and worked in a beach cafe. I’d get there for early opening and just couldn’t fit breakfast in before work (outrageous), so I used to whizz this beauty up as soon as I’d opened up for the day. At that point the recipe was literally: natural yoghurt, 1 banana, cinnamon and honey. It’s aged with me over the years, I reckon I’ve aged pretty well as has my smoothie 🙂
Bananas contain potassium, maganese, vitmains B6 and C. They have been shown to have a high satiety index, so help you feel full up and contain carbohydrate to boost your energy.
Blueberries are true superstars. Packed with anthocyanins which are antioxidants, fighting disease, inflammation and reducing cholesterol.
The oats bring the glycemic index of this smoothie down, so helping you absorb the natural sugar slower and helping you stay fuller for longer.
1 handful blueberries
100ml natural yoghurt
2 tbsp porridge oats
splash of milk
1 tsp cinnamon
Ice if you want it.
Simple whizz it all up in a blender and pour into a glass. Delicious.
Freelance Dietitian specialising in helping those with Eating Disorders and a Media Spokesperson for the profession.