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"HEALTHY SNACKS - IDEAS FOR QUICK AND EASY TREATS": DE MODE GLOBAL

ORIGINALLY PUBLISHED IN DE MODE | FOOD

Article Published on: 18TH MAY 2024 | www.demodemagazine.com


Healthy snacks are essential for maintaining energy levels and overall well-being, especially when you have a busy lifestyle. Quick and easy treats that are nutritious can help curb hunger, prevent overeating during meals, and provide essential nutrients. Here are three healthy snack ideas that are not only delicious but also simple to prepare: Greek yogurt parfait, hummus and vegetable sticks, and energy bites.


1. Greek Yogurt Parfait

Ingredients:
  • 1 cup plain Greek yogurt

  • 1/2 cup fresh berries (blueberries, strawberries, raspberries)

  • 1/4 cup granola

  • 1 tablespoon honey or maple syrup (optional)

  • 1 tablespoon chia seeds or flaxseeds

  • 1 tablespoon nuts or seeds (almonds, walnuts, pumpkin seeds)

Instructions:
  1. Layer the Yogurt: Start by spooning half of the Greek yogurt into a bowl or a glass jar.

  2. Add the Berries: Top the yogurt with a layer of fresh berries. Use a mix of your favorite berries for a variety of flavors and nutrients.

  3. Sprinkle Granola: Add a layer of granola for a satisfying crunch. Choose a low-sugar, high-fiber granola for added health benefits.

  4. Sweeten if Desired: Drizzle a small amount of honey or maple syrup over the granola if you prefer a sweeter taste.

  5. Add Seeds and Nuts: Sprinkle chia seeds or flaxseeds, and your choice of nuts or seeds, over the top for extra protein and healthy fats.

  6. Repeat Layers: Repeat the layers with the remaining yogurt, berries, granola, and seeds.

  7. Serve: Enjoy your parfait immediately, or cover and refrigerate it for up to a few hours for a refreshing treat later.

Nutritional Benefits:

  • Greek Yogurt: High in protein, calcium, and probiotics, which support gut health and strengthen bones.

  • Berries: Rich in antioxidants, vitamins, and fiber, helping to fight inflammation and support heart health.

  • Granola: Provides whole grains and fiber, promoting digestive health and sustained energy.

  • Nuts and Seeds: Source of healthy fats, protein, and omega-3 fatty acids, beneficial for brain health and reducing inflammation.

Photo by Anastasia Belousova | Source: www.pexels.com

2. Hummus and Vegetable Sticks

Ingredients:
  • 1 cup hummus (store-bought or homemade)

  • 1 carrot, peeled and cut into sticks

  • 1 cucumber, sliced into sticks

  • 1 bell pepper, cut into strips

  • 1 stalk celery, cut into sticks

  • Cherry tomatoes (optional)

Instructions:
  1. Prepare Vegetables: Wash and cut the vegetables into sticks or strips for easy dipping. Arrange them on a plate or in a container.

  2. Serve Hummus: Place the hummus in a small bowl or ramekin. If using store-bought hummus, transfer it to the serving dish.

  3. Arrange and Serve: Arrange the vegetable sticks around the hummus and serve immediately. For a more portable snack, pack the vegetables and hummus separately in containers.

Nutritional Benefits:

  • Hummus: Made from chickpeas, it’s a great source of plant-based protein, fiber, and healthy fats. It also provides important vitamins and minerals like iron, magnesium, and folate.

  • Carrots: High in beta-carotene, fiber, and antioxidants, supporting eye health and immune function.

  • Cucumbers: Hydrating and low in calories, they are rich in vitamins K and C.

  • Bell Peppers: Packed with vitamin C, antioxidants, and fiber, promoting skin health and a strong immune system.

  • Celery: Low in calories and high in water content, it’s great for hydration and digestive health.

Photo by Roberto Shumski | Source: www.pexels.com

3. Energy Bites

Ingredients:
  • 1 cup rolled oats

  • 1/2 cup natural peanut butter or almond butter

  • 1/4 cup honey or maple syrup

  • 1/4 cup ground flaxseeds

  • 1/4 cup dark chocolate chips or dried fruit

  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract

  • 1/4 teaspoon cinnamon (optional)

Instructions:
  1. Mix Ingredients: In a large bowl, combine the oats, peanut butter, honey, ground flaxseeds, chocolate chips (or dried fruit), vanilla extract, and cinnamon. Mix well until all ingredients are thoroughly combined.

  2. Chill the Mixture: Cover the bowl and refrigerate for 20-30 minutes. This makes the mixture easier to handle and roll into balls.

  3. Form Energy Bites: Using your hands, roll the mixture into small balls, about 1 inch in diameter. If the mixture is too sticky, wet your hands slightly to make rolling easier.

  4. Store and Serve: Place the energy bites in an airtight container. Store in the refrigerator for up to a week or in the freezer for longer shelf life. Enjoy as a quick snack anytime.

Nutritional Benefits:

  • Oats: Whole grains high in fiber and complex carbohydrates, providing sustained energy and supporting heart health.

  • Nut Butter: Rich in healthy fats, protein, and essential nutrients like vitamin E and magnesium.

  • Flaxseeds: Excellent source of omega-3 fatty acids, fiber, and lignans, which have antioxidant properties.

  • Dark Chocolate: Contains antioxidants and can improve heart health when consumed in moderation.

  • Honey/Maple Syrup: Natural sweeteners with beneficial antioxidants and nutrients.

Photo by Towfiqu barbhuiya | Source: www.pexels.com

Conclusion

Incorporating healthy snacks into your daily routine doesn't have to be complicated or time-consuming. Greek yogurt parfaits, hummus with vegetable sticks, and energy bites are all excellent choices that provide a balance of protein, healthy fats, fiber, and essential vitamins and minerals. These snacks are easy to prepare, delicious, and can be customized to suit your tastes and dietary preferences. By opting for nutritious snacks, you can maintain energy levels, support overall health, and enjoy a variety of flavors and textures throughout the day. Happy snacking!

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