Choosing the right snacks – the nutritious kind - can help you feel full for longer and reduce the amount of calories you consume in a day. Luckily, there are a wide variety of delicious, low-calorie snacks to keep you on track with your wellness goals. Here are 10 of our favourites:
Veggies with hummus dip
Eating more veggies can benefit your health in a number of ways, so it’s always a good idea to incorporate them as snacks. Pretty soon, you might even find yourself wanting more! Pairing low-calorie, fibre-rich veggies like broccoli, cucumber, celery or bell peppers with protein-rich hummus makes a satisfying snack that will keep you feeling full in between meals. It’s also a great starter to put out if you have guests over for dinner.
Cucumber and smoked salmon bites
Another great starter that also works well as a snack to keep you fuelled between meals. Cut 1.5cm slices of cucumber and top with a small smear of low fat cream cheese and a sliver of smoked salmon. Squeeze some lemon juice over, add salt and pepper and serve or eat immediately. Salmon is an excellent source of protein, omega-3 fats, and vitamin D, so it’s also good for you. Bonus tip – you can use cucumber slices instead of crackers any time you would normally use crackers, for instance with hummus, pate and so on.
If you crave potato crisps, this is a great substitute! Preheat your oven to 135℃. Rinse and dry one head of kale, remove the ribs and cut into 5- 6cm pieces. Toss with a small amount (1 - 2 tbsp) of olive oil and salt, and arrange on a baking sheet. Baking for about 15 minutes, turning leaves halfway through.
Toasted pumpkin seeds
Pumpkin seeds are rich in nutrients, including protein, magnesium, zinc, potassium, copper, and manganese, making them a great on-the-go snack! To make, simply toss raw pumpkin seeds in salt, pepper, and a small amount of coconut or olive oil, then bake at 150℃ for 40–50 minutes, stirring occasionally, or until golden brown. A 16g serving delivers around 70 calories – leave out the oil to cut this down a bit more.
Apple slices with natural peanut butter
Apples are a good choice on their own, but pairing them with peanut butter makes the snack all the more filling and delicious. Peanut butter is packed with protein, but make sure you choose a natural brand that has no added sugar. A small apple with a tablespoon of peanut butter is the perfect serving size.
One large boiled egg has around 78 calories, yet it’s packed with vitamin B12, vitamin A, selenium, phosphorus, healthy fats, and more than 6g of protein. They are easy to make in advance, super filling and great with celery sticks. Our tip for the perfect soft boiled egg- put the eggs in already boiling water for 7 minutes exactly!
Chickpeas are high in protein and fibre, which can help you to feel fuller for longer! 28g of roasted chickpeas contains 6g of protein and 5g of fibre, for just 120 calories. Rinse and drain a can of chickpeas and then toss with a small amount of coconut or olive oil, salt, and pepper and chilli flakes if you like a bit of heat. Then roast at 220℃ for 30–40 minutes, until golden and crispy and store in an airtight container.
Another great substitute for crisps, coconut chips are crispy, delicious and lower in calories. Preheat your oven to 180℃ and line a baking tray with baking paper. Then arrange your large coconut flakes on the baking tray and sprinkle with a little salt before placing in the oven for around 15 minutes. It’s important that you take them out and toss them every few minutes to cook them evenly. If waiting for the oven to heat up is not appealing, you can also “roast” these in a non-stick pan on medium heat - just keep your eye on it and continuously toss to avoid burning one side.
Greek yoghurt with berries
Greek yoghurt is packed with protein and vital nutrients like calcium, magnesium, and potassium. Meanwhile, berries are loaded with fibre and antioxidants. Top your unsweetened Greek yoghurt with your choice of berries is a delicious, healthy way to keep hunger at bay while nourishing your body at the same time.
Homemade trail mix
Making your own trail mix might not be quite as convenient as buying it in packets, but it’s certainly more cost-effective and you can choose exactly what goes into it. Start with your choice of raw, unsalted seeds and nuts. You can either keep them raw or roast them in the oven until golden. Then add coconut flakes (raw or self-roasted), dried fruit and perhaps even small amounts of raw dark chocolate nibs. Place all in a bowl and toss through a tiny bit of your choice of spices (e.g., cinnamon, salt and nutmeg). If possible, find sun dried fruit that isn’t coated in sugar– and make sure you have more nuts and seeds than fruit and chocolate.
Homemade energy balls
Another one you can make yourself really easily. These energy balls are packed with nutritious ingredients and will keep you full between meals. Simply pulse in a food processor: 1/4 cup of cashews, 3/4 cup of almonds, 1 1/2 cup of dates, 1/3 cup of shredded unsweetened coconut, 1/3 cup of raw natural oats, 1 tablespoon of coconut oil and 1/4 cup (16 grams) of cocoa powder. If you love peanut butter, you can add a tablespoon to the mixture too. Once blitzed, roll into balls (about the size of a date) and store in the fridge for a convenient, wholesome snack.
Snacking on foods that are high in vitamins and minerals, protein and fibre, can improve your health and help you stay on track with your weight loss efforts. Try out a few of the delicious options above to start getting the between-meals energy you need. Best of all, you can make many of these options in advance and portion and store them!