Anyone reaching for the snack cupboard approximately every five minutes? Yep, me too!
And unfortunately the stuff you can grab and go in our house, hasn’t exactly been the most nutritious. I’ve found myself feeling really lethargic with all the added sugar I’ve been consuming – and it’s been detrimental for the budget too, as I’m wiping the cupboard clean within a few days rather than making it last the week.
So I went on the hunt for accessible (you know, stuff you can order online or buy in your local supermarket while the country is in lockdown), delicious and good-for-me snacks to stock my kitchen with…
Peter’s Yard Crispbreads – a delicious high in fibre baked flatbread that makes for the ideal mid-afternoon snack. I like to enjoy these either on their own, dipped in hummus or by plonking on a few a few grilled cherry tomatoes, sprinkling on some salt and finishing with a drizzle of olive oil and balsamic. And there you have, homemade bruschetta! Ta-dah! The three flavours – sea salt, smoked chilli and seeded – are all vegan and extremely moreish!
Creative Nature Gnawbles – these light & crunchy bites are free-from the top 14 allergens and are basically the vegan answer to mini Malteasers that I’ve been searching for since I gave up dairy five years ago. Flavours include cheeky choc hazelnot (it’s nut free, despite the name), brilliant cacao orange, mylk chocolate and salted caramel. The latter is probably my favourite (if I HAD to choose) but they’re all absolutely delicious and make for a fabulous evening treat! Plus the packaging is 100% recyclable too, which makes for a winning snack all round.
Urban Fruit Snacks – these gluten-free and high fibre snacks are made entirely from fruit and are a great easy-to-grab option. Plus if you – like me – love snacking on fruit but find you run out so quickly, these are a great store cupboard staple that have a far longer use-by date. The ‘gently baked’ range includes gently baked strawberries, cherries, mango and raspberries, while the ‘oat bites’ offer tempting combinations of crunchy oats with ginger & pecan; mango, pineapple & coconut; and cocoa & hazelnut.
Fullgreen Vegi Rices – okay bare with me here, rice might not sound like a snack – and admittedly, this option will take a little more prep, but it’s filling and delicious so totally worth it. The Vegi rices are made from locally grown farm vegetables that are considered too ‘ugly’ to make it to supermarket shelves, there’s no additives or preservatives, just pure veg – so a great way to boost our fibre intake. You can microwave the sachets and then pop them in a wok with an egg and soy sauce – for an egg fried rice alternative. Or with the sweet potato rice, you can bake it into brownies! You can even use the cauliflower as a foundation for a pizza base. Or you can create a salad – just add leaves, pomegranate seeds, avocado, cucumber and hummus!
Plant Pops – these inventive snacks are 100% vegan and gluten free – and contain no artificial ingredients. The crunchy balls are actually made from popped lotus seeds, which have a texture similar to puffed wheat but look and feel like popcorn! Flavours include Himalayan Salt, Peanut Butter and Smoked Chilli. Yum!
Squirrel Sisters – I’ve been a fan of Squirrel Sister snacks for quite some time now, but the exciting news is – they have two fabulous brand new flavours, Peanut Caramel and Peanut Raspberry! There are no syrups or sugar alternatives added, just delicious whole foods combined to make a sweet snack!
Nims Fruit Crisps – Air dried rather than fried, these super simple one ingredient snacks are perfect if you love fruits and veggies, but want something crunchy and ‘crisp-like’ to snack on!
Aqua Libra – technically not a snack, but it made the list because its the perfect WFH accompaniment – these infused sparkling waters are refreshing and crisp, with no sweeteners, artificial flavours or sugar. My favourite flavour is lime, mint and cucumber which is oh so lovely enjoyed in the garden, with your laptop and a few ice cubes!
I appreciate finances are tight at the moment and everyone, everywhere is knuckling down and avoiding any unnecessary purchases. So if ordering new snacks online isn’t an option for you, don’t worry – give these a try!
Cucumber and carrot batons
I’ve taken to buying two cucumbers (45p each from Aldi) and a bag of carrots on our shopping day (Monday), cutting them all up into batons and popping them in a tuppaware container in the fridge. At the start of the day, I get out of the tuppaware and leave it on my desk so that I have something to reach and eat if I feel like it. It might sound really overly simple, but often it’s all in the preparation. If your cucumber is still in its wrapping in the fridge, you’re less likely to see it as a grab and go snack.
Apples, Dates & Almond Butter
Slice up those apples and pit those dates and again, pop them in a container for easy ‘grab and go’ use. When snack o’clock arrives, smear it with almond butter, sprinkle some cinnamon on top and you’re good to go. Other toppings to try could include desiccated coconut, dark chocolate chips (Aldi have a great selection in their baking section) or poppy seeds!
Baked Corn & Pea Snacks
Now there are recipes for baked corn snacks online, but I haven’t been brave enough to tackle them yet. I had a bad experience making homemade popcorn once and it’s scarred me. Always use a lid people! But Aldi has a great selection of baked corn and pea snacks (the wasabi peas are David’s favourite), which are a fabulous alternative to snacking on nuts, if you’re like me and not a fan (or allergic).
It’s all about moderation and snacking throughout the day is a good way to keep your energy levels up, but take stock of whether you’re eating because you’re bored (or anxious) or actually hungry. I frequently get into the habit of eating just because the kitchen is only a few steps away, meaning I end up over-eating – and I don’t feel better for it. My key tip is to make sure you prioritise fibre heavy snacks over anything else. They fill you up and help keep your gut happy as Larry!