Let’s face it – in this fast-paced lifestyle that most of us have grown used to, it can be difficult to find the time to stay healthy. Why waste time designing your own delicious granola bars when you can pick up a pre-packaged brownie from the local store or pay for something from a vending machine?
When you’re working the 9-5 and looking after a family at the same time, it seems as though there aren’t enough hours in the day to stop and think about your own needs. However, the truth is that prepackaged snacks come brimming with sodium, fat, and various other ingredients that are bad for your nutritional balance. On top of that – they’re taking extra cash out of your bank account that you could be spending on something better.
Rather than wasting your cash on unhealthy snacks because they’re just “there”, I’m going to help out by giving you some of my favorite healthy snack recipes that you can use the next time you feel the need to nibble at work.
1. Home-Made Granola Bars
Let’s start with something simple!
Who doesn’t love a delicious, chewy granola bar packed full of their favorite ingredients? The oats that you’ll roll into your granola have plenty of soluble fiber included, which will help to lower your LDL cholesterol, while wheatgerm provides a great source of vitamin E. Try to throw in a few dried fruits here and there to add some extra vitamins and minerals into the mix, and tip in your favorite nuts, such as a Naked Medley, or California Medley for some texture.
If you’re feeling particularly indulgent, and want to make sure that you avoid the pastries at your local café, try adding a handful of dark chocolate chips to the mix. These are less unhealthy than milk chocolate chunks, and they’re sure to satisfy your sweet tooth.
2. Go Nuts
If you’re craving something salty and crunchy, stay away from the chips and turn your attention elsewhere! When seasoned with delicious spices like cumin and cinnamon, a handful of California Almonds, or a Wholesome Medley can satisfy all your taste bud tingles – without the unhealthy extras. Nuts are a fantastic source of polyunsaturated and monounsaturated fats, and the seasonings also help to add extra antioxidants to the mix that will protect your cells from the damage caused by free radicals.
Just remember that nuts can be high in calories, so it’s important to measure your portions carefully into Tupperware containers before you take them with you to work. With something this more-ish, self-control is crucial.
3. One Tough Cookie
Feel like a delicious cookie to offer comfort after a particularly difficult sales call? Why not have your own pre-baked options sitting in your desk drawer? When you bake your cookies yourself, you get to control exactly what goes into them, picking oats and whole wheat flour over standard processed foods.
There are plenty of great recipes out there, but a popular option has to be the healthy oatmeal raisin cookie – which substitutes butter with light corn oil to reduce saturated fat content. Also, your handful of raisins will help to give you an extra dose of fiber in your day.
4. Whole Wheat Pita Chips
If you’re looking for a healthy alternative to pretzels and chips, why not make your very own cheesy snacks to munch and crunch on your lunch break? An ideal option for those who enjoy the taste of whole wheat and parmesan cheese, baked pita crisps are full of flavor.
What’s more, when you use whole grain pitas, you get a great dose of monounsaturated fats, while the parmesan offers a useful dose of calcium. Feel free to add a sprinkling of your favorite seasonings, such as red pepper and cumin. You can also keep a Greek yogurt dip in the fridge to help up your protein and calcium intake, while chasing off hunger pangs.
5. Quick Banana Bread
Made with delicious fresh banana and whole grains, quick bread can be a great source of carbs and fiber without being too high in fat. If you’re looking for something comforting and filling, this is a wonderful way to chase away your cravings for muffins and cakes.
Bananas will give your bread a rich sweet taste, alongside a healthy dose of potassium to help reduce your blood pressure, while the wholegrains are brimming with phytochemicals that lower your risk of heart disease, and cancer.