Snacking without guilt

Everyone knows it; having cravings between meals and feeling like snacking on something. But before you reach for a high-calorie bar or that bag of crisps, look at the alternatives. There are plenty to give in to your snack cravings without guilt.

Edamame beans

You've probably eaten or seen these beans before. These green beans (the pods of the soybean plant) are very healthy snacks! In fact, they are packed with protein, minerals (calcium, iron, magnesium, phosphorus) and unsaturated fats. They are quick to prepare and available from the freezer in large bags at almost every toko. You cook the frozen beans in boiling water and then sprinkle with a little coarse sea salt, ground chilli flakes for some spice or drizzle with soy sauce. Don't eat the whole bean but pull the pea out of the pod with your teeth.

Popcorn

Popcorn is made from maize. Because maize is high in starch, it puffs at high temperatures. Mexicans were already popping it with hot stones thousands of years ago. It is now a well-known snack, especially among moviegoers. So is it healthy? Popcorn contains a high glycaemic index, but on the other hand it is high in fibre. An even healthier ingredient is polyphenol; an antioxidant. How 'healthy' it is mainly depends on how the popcorn is prepared. The healthiest popcorn is best made by yourself. To do so, use coconut oil instead of butter. Heat a little in a large pan and shake it until all the corn is popped. You can then add a little salt or other powdered spices. And try not to fill up on the popcorn, as too much is never healthy.

Carrots with homemade hummus dip

A real 'raw' snack but a tasty one! Let's start with the carrot: a vitamin bomb with vitamins A, B and C, potassium and lots of fibre. It also contains beta-carotene, which is converted into vitamin A in your body. Hummus is chickpea puree and is high in protein, which keeps you feeling satiated for longer. You make it in no time with pre-cooked chickpeas from a glass jar and a food processor or hand blender to puree. A basic hummus consists of about 200 grams of soaked chickpeas, a clove of garlic, two tablespoons of tahini (sesame seed paste), freshly squeezed lemon juice, possibly a dash of olive oil and a pinch of salt and pepper. You can add all kinds of fresh herbs to this base, but also roasted paprika, pumpkin or beetroot, for example. And dip away!

Toasted almonds

Almost all nuts are healthy as long as you eat them in moderation, but almonds score high. They contain lots of vitamin E, healthy fatty acids and are rich in fibre. As a snack, you often see them roasted or roasted. When roasting, you don't use oil, so preferably choose that. You can roast raw almonds yourself in an oven or pan. This way, you have control over how much salt is added, which you don't have with ready-roasted almonds. Although, of course, you can also buy them unsalted. However, toasting them yourself is not a difficult job, and if you have roasted a large portion in one go, you can go for a while as you will have them in stock.

This is how you roast them yourself

Preheat the oven to 175 degrees. Place baking paper on a baking tray and spread the almonds on the tray in a single layer. Place the tray in the oven. Toss the almonds after 4 minutes so that they also toast evenly. Put them in the oven for another 4 minutes and take them out to cool. It is best to store them in a tin. You can add salt or dried herbs to taste. Rosemary is a herb that goes well with almonds.

Date power balls

These power balls (or bliss balls as they are also called) are really filling, satisfying your snack cravings quickly. You can buy them ready-made or make them yourself (having a food processor is essential). This easy recipe from Personal Foodcoaching is very suitable! There are still lots of variations to make such as with peanut butter or oatmeal.

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