Healthy Snacking: The Ultimate Guide
Here at Pollen+Grace, we are true advocates of snack time, and no afternoon is complete without a little sweet treat. We’re also firm believers that 3pm should be recognised as official afternoon snack time, in the same way that we acknowledge breakfast, lunch and dinner. And as September gets into full swing, and we try to settle back into the routine of working hours, we understand that it’s difficult to keep making healthy snack choices and not just grab for the nearest option (and seriously why do so many people have birthday’s in September - there seems to be a constant flow of birthday cake in the office around this time of the year).
Healthy snacking is not only so much better for your overall health though, but it will also keep those hunger pangs at bay and actually satisfy your cravings rather than just accentuate them further, or have you looking for something else half an hour later. Healthy snacks don’t always have to be time consuming either, and although we love to have a stash of healthy, pre-prepared snacks ready, it’s also possible to grab a healthy option on the go. Below are a few of our 3pm faves, separated into protein, fat and carb focused to ensure you get just the hit you need.
Getting in a dose of protein in your snack is great to way to satisfy and ward off hunger pangs as studies prove that eating protein increases the production of hunger-fighting hormones. It’s also a great option pre or post-workout to help your body recover.
- Crispy cakes made with puffed quinoa - simply mix puffed quinoa with coconut oil & almond butter, then freeze for 20mins
- Cakes and cookies baked with buckwheat, amaranth or quinoa flour
- Hard boiled eggs
- Hummus with carrot, celery or courgette sticks - make your own hummus by simply blending chickpeas, lemon juice, tahini and olive oil
- Chickpeas rolled in herbs and spices and roasted in the oven for 10-15minutes, until crunchy
- Egg muffin cups - just eggs and fresh veggies mixed together and baked in a muffin tray for 20 minutes!
- Edamame beans
Eating a high-fat option is guaranteed to keep you full for much longer and also helps absorb fat-soluble vitamins from previous meals and. Fat is a vital ingredient to a healthy, balanced diet despite previously getting a bad reputation and a lot of recent research has proven that so long as we are choosing healthy mono unsaturated fats they are an essential part of a healthy diet.
- Chia seed pudding - add chia seeds to coconut milk along with any flavours & a dash of honey and leave to set for a few hours
- Nut butter with apple or banana - slice the apple or banana & smother in your fave nut butter - add extra nuts of dried fruit as a topping too if you want
- Paleo granola - cover a mixture of nuts and coconut with coconut oil and honey and bake in the oven for 20 minutes, or until golden
- Avocado - smother mashed avocado on rice cakes and top with sliced tomato
- Cakes and cookies baked with almond or coconut flour
- Bliss balls and raw bars - packed full of good fats from nuts and coconut!
Carbs tend to have quite a bad reputation but they’re really not that bad! We’re not fans of the processed, manufactured types, but high carb fruits and veg or natural grains such as oats and quinoa are a great addition to any diet. Restricting carbs can lead to low energy levels and lethargy, so a high-carb option is a great choice when you’re feeling a bit sleepy and need a boost to power through those last few hours in the afternoon.
- Overnight oats - making porridge for breakfast? Add another few tablespoons of oats to a container at the same time with almond milk and by 3pm you’ll have overnight oats, just add berries and enjoy
- Banana - enjoy alone of with nut butter for a high-carb pick me up
- Berries - enjoy with coconut yoghurt for the perfect treat
- Figs - check out our seasonal ingredient post this week for many ideas!
- Roasted chestnuts - roast your own by scarring the skins and roasting in a baking tray for 25-30 minutes
- Sweet potato crisps - make your own by cutting sweet potato into thin slivers, tossing in a little olive oil and baking for 2 hours