• Ilinca Sandu

5 quick and healthy snacks to get you through the day

With online school seeming to be here to stay, and only ten minutes to spare between each class, we all know the familiar feeling of not being able to concentrate on our lesson as we are just so hungry. Another familiar sentiment is wanting to have something to snack on while studying, doing homework or just simply watching Netflix. No shame in that, and for all of these scenarios I have created a list of extremely delicious, quick and actually healthy snacks to satisfy your hunger when you need a little “something” during the day. 


1. Peanut butter energy balls


This snack is creamy, crunchy, nutty, sweet and filling all in one bite. The balls provide you with a boost of energy, due to their high protein content, and are extremely customizable to fit anyone's tastes. I made two different flavour variations, and have included some other mix-in options below. This recipe makes about 10 balls, and they can be stored in your fridge for about a week, to be enjoyed at any time as an instant, healthy snack.

Ingredients:

1 cup of peanut butter

1 ½ cups of oats 


Mix in ideas:

¼ cup of raisins/dried cranberries 

¼ cup of sunflower/pumpkin seeds

¼ cup of flax/chia seeds

¼ cup of almonds/hazelnuts/Brazilian nuts 

¼ cup dark chocolate chips/chunks


1. In a bowl, mix your peanut butter and oats until combined. Add more peanut butter if the mixture is too dry, and more oats if the mixture is too runny. Make sure that it is moldable. 

2. Roughly chop your mix ins, if you are using something like nuts or dark chocolate, if not directly add them in and mix.

3. Form about 1 tablespoon worth of the mixture into balls using your hands, place them in the fridge for at least half an hour if you prefer a firmer texture, and enjoy at any time!


2. Stuffed bell peppers


This is definitely my favorite vegetable snack, as it takes no longer than a minute to prepare and tastes so fresh and crisp. The salty cream cheese compliments the crunchy, sweet bell peppers perfectly, creating a healthy, refreshing and balanced snack, to enjoy whenever you want something savory. The peppers can be topped off with any herbs, seeds or spices of your choice. 

Ingredients:

1 bell pepper

2 cups of cream cheese (this amount will vary depending on the size of your pepper)


Topping ideas:

1 tbsp of green onion

1 tbsp of parsley

1 tsp of ground black pepper

1 tsp of paprika 

1 tbsp of sunflower/pumpkin seeds


1. Cut your bell pepper in half, and scoop out and discard the fleshy center and the seeds.

2. Spoon in and smooth out the cream cheese into the bell pepper halves.

3. Chop us your toppings if necessary, sprinkle them over the stuffed peppers, and enjoy!



3. Yogurt parfait 


A yogurt parfait is a healthy snack that is just as tasty as it is beautiful. This recipe makes a perfect breakfast meal as well (it can be halved for a smaller parfait, if you prefer a lighter snack), and it can easily be turned into a more indulgent dessert by using a chocolate flavoured yogurt or switching the granola for some crushed up cookies. The possibilities are endless with this recipe, as you can use whatever types of fruits, yogurt or granola you prefer. 


Ingredients:

200g of Greek yogurt

½ cup of granola 

½ cup of any fresh or frozen fruit 

1 tsp of honey (optional)

1 tsp of chia seeds (optional)


1. In a tall glass, layer a third of the yogurt, then half of the fruit, then the second third of the yogurt, then the granola, followed by the rest of the yogurt, and finally the rest of the fruit.

2. Drizzle the honey and sprinkle the chia seeds on top if desired, and enjoy!

4. Fruit and veg skewers 


Skewers are the perfect way to plate your snacks in a way that is easy to eat, while you are fully focused on something else. They are not messy at all, and are obviously fully customizable, but I have shared some of my favorite flavours below. From sweet to savory, you can do anything with this type of snack. 


Ingredient ideas:


Sweet:

kiwi

mango

banana

apple

watermelon/melon 

strawberries/blueberries/raspberries

grapes 

tangerine slices

dried dates/figs/prunes

marshmallows/ soft cake  


Savory:

ham/salami/prosciutto slices

cucumbers

bell peppers

cherry tomatoes

olives

cheddar/mozzarella/feta cheese

carrots

cooked pasta


1. Cut your ingredients into cubes, about 1cm by 1cm, if they are not of the appropriate size already.

2. On a skewer, alternate between your chosen ingredients until the skewer is full, and enjoy!

5. Ham roll ups


This fun snack is a clever way of using the classic sandwich ingredients that you probably already have in your fridge. Packed with vitamins and protein, this snack is ideal for when you have no time, as it is done in a matter of seconds. One again, this snack is fully customizable, and only relies on the basic ingredient of sliced ham, but I believe that a mix of cheese and vegetables is the way to go. Any sort of dressing or sauce can also be added for extra flavour. 


Ingredients:

3 slices of ham

any semi-soft, medium-hard or hard cheese (emmenthaler, cheddar, Munster, cașcaval etc.)

any vegetables (cumbers, peppers, carrots, red onion etc.)

lettuce/baby spinach/arugula

any sauce/dressing (mayonnaise, mustard, ketchup etc.) (optional)


1. Chop up your cheese and vegetables into long, thin, even slices.

2. On your slice of ham, place the greens, followed by the sauce (if you are using any), then the slices of cheese and vegetables.

3. Roll up your ham and ensure that nothing is coming out from the sides. Stick a toothpick through the roll up for extra structural integrity, and enjoy!


I hope that these recipes gave you some new ideas for snacks that you will try out yourself. Remember that snacks play a huge role in a healthy diet, as they help maintain your blood sugar levels, replenish you with nutrients, improve your focus and mental clarity and fuel you with energy. Grab a healthy snack whenever you are hungry and enjoy it!

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