Are You a Super Snacker?
No I don’t mean THAT kind of super snacker. Snacks in and of themselves are not bad. As my readers know, I don’t believe in the bad food label. There are healthier choices and less healthy choices. This guy has definitely made some unhealthy choices. I want to look at a few healthy snack ideas for you to consider when the cravings come calling.
What kind of snacker are you?
I find snackers fall in 2 groups, sweet and savoury. That is – those who like chocolate, candy, ice cream etc. Those are the sweets people. I am in the second group – the savoury. We prefer chips, nuts or almost anything salty and crunchy.
Imagine you can choose between two snacks. They can be crunchy or sweet but both are tasty. One of them will make you stronger, happier and fuel your brain power. The other will make you weaker, slower and more reduce your immunity.
Which Snack Would You Choose?
Store-bought and packaged snacks, chips, crisps, cookies and candy are snacks that sap your power despite our thinking they boost energy with a “sugar high”. It can be hard not to choose them. They are fun, and hit the taste sensors! But they are often full of sugar and chemicals that cause havoc in your body and destroy your health.
The good news is that snacks can be fun and tasty too while still being healthy. Even better, they are full of vitamins and other great things you need for a strong body and mind that ages gracefully.
Fruit is the ideal snack. Firstly, it tastes great! Also, there are so many different fruits to choose from: Apples, grapes, cantaloupe, raspberries… There are even fruits you’ve probably never heard of or tried, like star fruit, dragon fruit and jack fruit.
This is star fruit. It is a bit tart and very juicy.
And this is dragon fruit. It’s flesh is kind of like a really big kiwi.
There is one you may have seen in supermarkets that looks like a coconut on steroids with all kinds of pointy bumps.This is called durian and is for the adventurous only. It looks and smells and kind of tasty like smelly feet. Kind of like the Limburger cheese of fruit.
When you eat fruit for a snack, you can count on it giving you energy. This is because fruit is made of natural sugars. Natural sugar isn’t like the chemically laden bad sugar that can give you cavities. Fruit’s sugar is like nature’s energy reserve created specifically for your body.
Fruit is also full of vitamins such as:
- Vitamin C (boosts your immunity)
- Vitamin A (increases eyesight and skin health)
If you aren’t crazy about the fruit you’ve tasted so far, head to the farmers market and try some new fruit that is in season, or you can buy frozen fruit which is almost as good.
How is that possible? Well fruit that is picked to be frozen is picked when it is fully ripe and has had a chance to gather all the nutrients. Fruit picked that has to be shipped 100’s of miles is picked before it is ripe and does not have all it’s nutrients. It doesn’t ripen on that journey, it just changes colour.
One of my favourite snacks is pairing fruit with a little cheese.
Veggies can be hard to love because on their own they can seem bland and tasteless. But did you know that there are more than 400 different kinds of vegetables? Surely you can find a handful you like in all of those!
The veggie on the left is one of my absolute favourites. It is Jicama (pronounced HICK-a-ma) It tastes very much like peas or peapods and is really sweet and juicy.
Veggies are the goldmine for nutrition and make for some pretty delicious snacks.
Here are a couple of good things veggies have plenty of.
- Protein is what your body is made of—your muscles and your hair. You need it to grow. And you can get it by eating veggies, like beans and broccoli.
- Fiber keeps everything inside your digestion in check and your body working like it should. It also helps you to feel full. Veggies are chock full of it.
This doesn’t have to be complicated
We tend to gravitate to what’s easiest. Most fruit and veggies are just pick up, quick wash, and eat. It just takes a few minutes to put together a really healthy snack.
Supermarkets sell baby carrots in bags or even in snack packs, though those are usually combined with high fat dips. Don’t like the baby carrots? Cut up carrots and celery. Celery also goes great with a little nut butter.
Did you know you can make fries with sweet potato?
Here’s a recipe you might want to try.
Sweet Potato Chips
- 1 large sweet potato (yam)
- 2 teaspoons olive oil
- 1/4 teaspoon salt or other spices if you are watching your salt intake
Preheat oven to 350 degrees F (180 degrees C). Wash the sweet potato slice it as thinly as possible, or cut into french fry type pieces. Try to keep all your slices the same thickness so they’ll bake evenly. Soak them in water for about 10 minutes.
Pat your slices dry and put them in a bowl with the olive oil. Toss them with a fork until they’re coated.
Line a baking sheet with parchment paper and put a cooling rack on top of it. Lay your sweet potato slices on the cooling rack and sprinkle them with salt. Put the whole tray in the oven.
Bake for 40 minutes to an hour until the chips curl up a bit and just turn brown a little. Enjoy!
So, the next time you need a snack, remember to reach for something that doesn’t come from a package and see how you feel after eating it!
Remember, if it comes from a plant, eat it. If it made in a plant, don’t.
Until next time, have a healthy and happy day!