Snacks are the meals where it happens easiest that we make unhealthy choices. We might give our main meals a thought, and then we think we eat healthy. But snacks somehow do not seem to count. They are the little things we quickly eat in between, and often we are not even aware of them. Just write down every single bit you eat for one day, and you will be surprised how much you really eat and how much unhealthy things you eat. If you really want to eat healthy, you need to think about what you snack too.
Of course, it's easy and quick to grab that chocolate bar or packet of cookies. But they are packed with calories and calories only. Did you know that many healthy snacks do not really take time and effort to prepare? And that they taste just as great? Here are some quick and easy sweet snack recipes that can transform your diet into a complete healthy one:
Mashed Banana with Chocolate and Cinnamon
Mash one large banana, add a teaspoon pure cocoa powder and a teaspoon ground cinnamon and mix well. Bananas are a fruit rather high in calories so it will give you just as much energy as your chocolate bar. And it will provide you with important vitamins too.
Mint Strawberry Yoghurt
Wash and quarter a handful of strawberries and mix them into 125 g plain low-fat yoghurt. Add some fresh or dried mint. This snack is low in fat and does not need sugar as strawberries are naturally sweet. Yoghurt blends you buy often are sweetened and contain colorants and flavors instead of real fruit, so making it yourself is a much healthier option and will only take a few moments of your time. If you like it smooth, you can put the strawberries and yoghurt into your blender for a minute or two.
Vanilla Ice-cream with Raspberry Puree
Mix 250 g fresh raspberries, 2 tablespoons honey and 1 tablespoon lemon juice in your blender until smooth. This will be enough to make a small snack for four. Pour the puree over 2 small scoops low-fat vanilla ice-cream per person. Your kids will love it and you do not have to worry about calories.
Fruit with chocolate sauce
Another recipe your kids will love: Heat up 250 ml low-fat milk until it boils. Mix 1 tablespoon unsweetened cocoa powder and 7 g cornflour with a bit of cold milk until smooth. Add to the hot milk, bring to boil and allow to simmer for a few minutes until the mixture thickens. Pour the sauce over any fruit you like. You can prepare the chocolate sauce in advance and keep it in the fridge until you need it. If you wish to sweeten it, add 1 tablespoon of honey whilst it's still hot.
By now, you should have grasped the idea that even sweet snacking can be healthy. The easiest way to create sweet healthy snacks is to use fruit which is naturally sweet and does not need any added sugar. Fruit gives excellent quick and easy to make snacks when combined with low-fat dairy products like milk or yoghurt. With this kind of snacks, you can enjoy the benefits of healthy snacks providing you not only with energy but also valuable vitamins and other nutrients like calcium. And all this without overloading your system with calories.