Making Room for Healthy Snacks
There are times when you just want a quick nibble of something, rather than a full-blown meal. But often, our craving for a quick fix can lead us into temptation. We go for the sweet options of chocolates and sugar loaded confectionery to quell those hunger pangs. But with a bit of thought, we can make some different choices. Healthy snacks don’t have to equal ‘bad for you.’ Try these ideas:
NUTS AND SEEDS
Dieticians are raving about the nutritional qualities of nuts and seeds. Full of nutrients, nuts and seeds give us a boost of energy when we need it. They contain the important ‘plant proteins’ currently raved about by vegans and nutritional specialists as helpful in beating cancer and heart disease. Nuts and seeds are mineral rich and full of healthy fats, also good for bones, for boosting the immune system and for energy.
It’s easy to incorporate nuts and seeds in your day time snacking. If you work, just take a few mixed nuts and seeds in a little air tight snap lid box to tuck in your pocket or handbag. When the snack attack hits, pop that lid and munch away.
Goes without saying that fresh fruit is way better for you than nabbing some commercially made, sugar-loaded bar or biscuit. Bananas, give you long lasting energy to fill that gap from breakfast to lunch very nicely. Apples satisfy the need for crunch and give a little sweet hit too. Irish apples are in season now and superb for popping into lunch boxes for adults and kids.
Luxury is often a requirement from a snack food. But needing luxury in food doesn’t mean you have to tuck into that big cream cake you saw in the baker’s window this morning on your way to work. At Glenilen Farmhouse in Co. Cork, and Killowen Yogurts in Co. Wexford, healthy farm produced yogurts are given the luxury treatment.
Fresh seasonal fruit purees are layered in little pots then topped with creamy farm fresh natural yogurt, a superb combo. The yogurt pots made by both these award winning dairy specialists, start with the the sweet milk of farm’s own dairy herd. A spoonful combines rich velvety smooth yogurt with vibrantly flavoured fresh fruit puree, in a the perfect taste sensation. Digging your spoon into one of these is to create a ‘drift away’ moment in a mundane day. Luxury comes from unexpected places!
We may do our best to be holier-than-thou when it comes to eating healthily and watching our snack intake. But there are often times when only a food that feels like a treat will satisfy that snack craving. That’s absolutely fine, once you choose the right food.
Good Food Ireland members Foods of Athenry focus on providing homemade snacks and bars for specialist dietary requirements and those who want to be careful about what they are eating. According to Siobhan Lawless, the head baker and co- owner with husband Paul Lawless at Foods of Athenry, people are now choosing to eat clean baking as a choice, rather than because they have to. Probably because the delicious Foods of Athenry baked products come very close to feeling ‘naughty’ when you eat them, but have all the right qualities to be totally nice! Try the Irish Oat and Granola Bar made with real butter, dried fruits chocolate chips, seeds and coconut.
Highly recommended for sporty types who need an energy boost, or for anyone who spends their day rushing around the place and gets to a point where flagging energy hits. Gluten, wheat, egg and alcohol free and suitable for vegetarians. The Mega Munchy Muesli is a single serving bar packed with jumbo oats, nuts, pumpkin and sunflower seeds, raisins, cranberries and almonds. A perfect gluten, wheat, egg and refined sugar free treat to enjoy with your morning coffee. Check out the full range of Foods of Athenry home baking online.