[By Gloria Ngu]
As exams loom up on the horizon, you start pulling all-nighters and cramming fourteen weeks’ worth of information into your brains. Halfway through your lecture slides, your stomach starts growling.
Instead of reaching for that bag of chips, why not take a short break from studying and prepare your own easy-to-make healthy snack?
‘Healthy snack,’ scoffed a friend. ‘Oxymoron much.’
No, it is not an oxymoron, and we’ll prove ourselves with these five recipes!
For Part I of Healthy Snacks, all recipes include cooking (using the stove or oven). If you don’t have a stove or oven or just should not be allowed into kitchens, Healthy Snacks Part II (No Cook) will be up soon!
Baked instead of fried, and using the way more nutritious carrots, these baked chips are a great alternative to French fries or potato chips. The only seasoning used here is sea salt, but if you would like to add extra flavour to your chips, add cinnamon for more sweetness or smoked paprika, cayenne or black pepper to spice them up.
Preparation time: 15 minutes Cook time: 20 minutes Yield: 1 serving
You will need:
2 large carrots (or 3 medium)
½ tsp olive oil (or melted coconut oil)
⅛ tsp sea salt
1. Preheat the oven to 175°C.
2. Wash and peel the carrots. Using a mandoline slicer or a knife, tilt the carrot and slice diagonally to make oval-shaped pieces. If you like your chips crunchy, make sure to slice the carrot real thin! If chewy chips are your thing, go ahead and cut thicker pieces.
3. Place the carrot slices in a bowl and toss with olive oil, sea salt and any other spices you would like to add.
4. Lay the carrot slices in a single layer on a tray lined with parchment paper or a silicone baking mat.
5. Bake for 10 minutes, then flip over and bake for another 10 minutes. Watch the chips closely in the last 10 minutes as the thinner slices might start to brown. Pull those out to avoid burning. The carrot slices are cooked when they are dry and crisp. Serve hot!
If you’d rather sweet potatoes instead of carrots, check out some other recipes here!
[ Recipe adapted from Pop Sugar ]
Steamed Broccoli with Miso Peanut Butter Sauce
Broccoli packs a load of vitamin C and vitamin K along with other minerals and nutrients. What makes this vegetable so special is that it has anti-cancer properties. While you could just steam it and munch on it, add this simple miso peanut butter dip for some zing.
Preparation time: 10 minutes Cook time: 5 minutes Yield: 1 serving
You will need:
1 head broccoli
Miso Peanut Butter Sauce
1 tbsp light miso
1 tbsp peanut butter
1 tbsp sesame oil
1 tsp rice vinegar
1 tsp mirin
1-2 tbsp water, to thin sauce
For steaming broccoli
1. Cut stem of broccoli from broccoli crown. Gently separate broccoli crown into florets. Trim off end of broccoli stem and peel skin. Slice into ½ inch pieces. Steam for 5-6 minutes, till just tender.
For Miso Peanut Butter Sauce
1. Mix together the ingredients for the sauce until well blended. Thin sauce with water if desired.
Serve hot. The sauce can be made in bulk and kept in the fridge for future use.
[ Recipe adapted from Jeanette’s Healthy Living ]
Full of protein and fibre, chickpeas are an all-time favourite in my house. Normally we eat them plain, but this recipe provides four flavour ideas along with the master recipe for roasting.
Preparation time: 10 minutes Cook time: 45-60 minutes Yield: 4-6 servings
You will need:
2 cans chickpeas (garbanzo beans) or about 4 cups cooked chickpeas from dried beans (find out how to cook chickpeas here)
2 tbsp olive oil
seasonings of your choice (view suggestions below)
1. Preheat oven to 200°C.
2. Prepare the chickpeas for roasting by draining and rinsing them, then letting them dry on a towel until most of the excess moisture is absorbed.
3. Spread the chickpeas on a baking tray lined with parchment paper or a silicone baking mat. Roast them in the oven for 45 – 60 minutes or until the chickpeas are crunchy throughout (just test one― if it is still soft in the middle and there’s no crunch, continue baking).
4. Remove the chickpeas. While hot, toss with olive oil and seasonings. Serve hot or at room temperature.
If not consumed immediately, the chickpeas can be kept in an airtight container for up to four days.
Seasoning Suggestions (add more or less if you like, these are just guidelines)
1. Sesame Soy
1 teaspoon sesame oil, 1 teaspoon garlic powder, 1/2 teaspoon sea salt, 1 tablespoon sesame seeds
2. Honey Cinnamon
1 teaspoon cinnamon, a pinch nutmeg, 1/4 teaspoon sea salt, 2 tablespoons honey (you can throw these back in the oven for 10-15 minutes to carmelize if you like)
3. Garlic Parmesan
1/4 cup grated parmesan cheese, 1 teaspoon garlic powder or 2 cloves, fresh minced garlic, 1/4 teaspoon fresh cracked pepper, 1/2 teaspoon sea salt
4. Smoky Spice Blend
1/2 teaspoon ancho chili powder, 1/2 teaspoon smoked paprika, 1/2 teaspoon garlic powder, 1/2 teaspoon cumin, 1/4 teaspoon fresh cracked pepper, 1/2 teaspoon sea salt, pinch cayenne (optional)
[ Recipe adapted from Modern Parents Messy Kids ]
Mini Avocado Hummus Quesadillas
These mini treats are just the right size to chew on and (if taken in reasonable amounts) won’t mess with your appetite for dinner.
Preparation time: 10 minutes Cook time: 8 minutes Yield: 12 mini quesadillas
You will need:
4 whole wheat tortillas
¼ cup hummus
¼ tsp ground cumin
1 tbsp minced cilantro
½ California avocado, cut into 12 slices
1 ½ oz. (about 40 – 45 g) crumbled queso fresco (for a vegan substitute, click here)
1. Using a 2 1/2-inch circle cookie cutter (or a glass with a 3 1/2-inch circumference and a small knife), cut 3 circles from each tortilla.
2. In a small bowl, stir together the hummus, cumin and cilantro.
3. Spread 1 teaspoon of the hummus mixture on each tortilla circle. Divide the avocado slices and queso fresco evenly between the quesadillas, arranging them on one half of the tortilla circles.
4. Heat a large skillet over medium heat. Place several quesadillas in the pan and cook until the tortillas are golden brown, around 2 to 3 minutes per side.
5. Repeat with the remaining quesadillas. Serve hot.
[ Recipe adapted from Cookin Canuck ]
Chocolate Avocado Pudding
After all those savoury snacks, it’s about time we introduced a dessert: chocolate avocado pudding. The avocado is uncannily detectable in this pudding, depending on the ripeness of the fruit, but if you are not a fan of avocados, the taste can be managed with sweetener and cocoa or chocolate.
Preparation time: 10 minutes Yield: 2 – 4 servings
You will need:
4 ripe avocados
¼ cup light coconut milk
4 tbsp unsweetened dark cocoa powder
3 tbsp honey
2 oz (about 55 – 60 g) dark chocolate (72% or higher), melted
2 teaspoons vanilla extract
⅛ teaspoon salt
whipped cream or coconut whipped cream
1. Remove avocados from the skin (and pit) and place in a food processor. Blend until combined and creamy.
2. Add in all remaining ingredients, blending until pureed, scraping down the sides when needed to combine. Taste and season/sweeten additionally if desired.
3. Blend for a good 1-2 minutes until completely creamy, then serve with desired toppings.
If you like your dessert chilled like me, put it in the fridge for half an hour or so, and it’d be perfect for a hot study afternoon.
[ Recipe adapted from How Sweet It Is ]
Have any healthy snack recipes? Share them with us!