Healthy Snack Hacks

Snacking doesn’t have to be the undoing of a healthy diet. In fact, allowing yourself a small, nutritious snack between meals can help balance out your blood sugar levels and keep you satisfied, making you less prone to overeating at mealtimes. The key? Having a few good recipes up your sleeve so you’re less likely to reach for something processed or off-the-shelf.

Smoothies are a well-trodden stone on the wellbeing path, and for good reason - they can easily be packed with vegetables and blended with other delicious ingredients - and don’t require much preparation or clean up. Alternatively, you can make energy bites like the ones below for a hit of protein, slow-burning carbohydrates and healthy fats. 

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Snack hack 1: The plant power smoothie

Smoothies may just be the king (or queen) of easy nutrition. They take mere moments to whip up, taste delicious and can easily be packed with nourishing fruits and vegetables. Adding protein powder to your smoothies is optional, but when chosen wisely can help slow the release of the carbohydrates and deliver sustained energy as well as assist with exercise recovery.

Serves one.

Ingredients

¾ cup coconut water
1 scoop vegan vanilla protein (optional)
½ cup plain coconut yoghurt
½ very ripe banana, frozen
½ cup white seedless grapes, frozen
½ cup chopped cucumber
handful (approx. ½ cup chopped) baby spinach
small handful of mint leaves
1 tsp chia seeds

Method

Blend all your ingredients in a high-powered blender, then pour into a glass and enjoy!

Snack hack 2: Choc-hazelnut energy bites

If sweet treats are your thing, these delicious little nuggets of chocolate goodness will make healthy snacking a breeze. Take a couple to work and store them in the fridge so you’ve got a nutritious option on hand for when cravings strike.

Makes 12 serves.

Ingredients

1 cup (approx. 150g) raw hazelnuts
½ cup (approx. 75g) pitted dates
½ cup (approx. 50g) whole rolled oats
½ cup almond butter
2 tbsp unsweetened cocoa powder
1 tsp vanilla extract
pinch sea salt
3-4 tbsp water
extra crushed nuts, to roll (optional)

Method

1. Start by pre-heating your oven to 180℃. Spread hazelnuts on a baking tray and roast for 10-15 minutes. Remove from the oven, then once cool, rub them between your hands to remove some of the skin. It’s not vital you get it all off - and in fact, it’s near impossible - but the more you can remove, the better the flavour will be.
2. Place the hazelnuts, dates, oats, almond butter, cocoa powder, vanilla extract and sea salt into a food processor. Process until crumbly, but still moist enough to bind. You may need to add a few tablespoons of water as it is being processed. Add a little to start and slowly increase the amount until you’ve got the desired consistency. It should stick together when pressed in your hands.
3. Roll into 12 evenly sized balls. It may be easier with damp hands. Roll in crushed nuts if you wish, or mix it up by rolling in cacao nibs, shredded coconut or even just a little extra cocoa powder. Alternatively, they’re great just as they are.

Refrigerate for at least half an hour prior to serving to help them firm up a little.

Happy snacking!

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