Afternoon Snacks

When I get home from school or work, I often get hungry or my sweet tooth kicks in. To stop this I try to make a quick snack that keeps me full until dinner but easy enough to make so that I won’t lay my hands on the cookie jar.

First off we have Fruit, an average apple contains fiber and phytonutrients that helps to regulate one’s blood sugar. Most fruits contain large portions of antioxidants, vitamins and fibers which keeps you full and energized for hours. We are told to eat 5-9 servings of fruit each day, so start eating!

Nuts are rich in omega-3 fatty acids, protein and fiber. The fats in nuts are good fats that our bodies need so start consuming more of them! Don’t settle for one particular nut, you should be eating almonds, cashews, pistachios etc. because a mix of different nuts is the best way to consume it according to a 2004 review in the Harvard Medical School Family Health Guide. Mixed nuts, ideally raw and unsalted, provide the best variety of nutrients and antioxidants

Popcorn are a delicious snack that most people enjoy. It contains whole grain and antioxidants, it’s cheap and it’s easy to prepare. The best way to eat popcorn is to pop whole popcorn kernels, in the microwave or on your stove. Don’t add any extra fats or sugary seasoning. Grass-fed organic butter and a pinch of salt is the best way to go.

Hummus & crackers go hand in hand. Hummus is rich in protein and iron. It makes for an incredibly yummy taste together with a multi-seed cracker. This will fill you up real good and takes about 20 sec to fix. If you have a bit more time on your hands, peel a carrot, a cucumber or take out some celery to go with it.

Peanut and almond butter contains protein, antioxidants, magnesium, iron and healthy fats. When buying these you want to make sure it’s pure and natural with no additives, so look for the words raw and organic. I love to spread some raw peanut butter on a slice of apple, it keeps me full and soothes my sweet tooth. You can also make your own peanut or almond butter at home, you just put the desired amount of that nut in a food processor and using the highest setting, let the nuts get processed adding minimal amounts of water so that a paste forms.

 

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Kale Chips- a healthy afternoon snack

Pretty much everyone love snacks, especially a salty one. When it comes to snacks, it can be sometimes a bit of a struggle to choose a healthy one. I know that when I start eating potato chips, I can’t stop until the bowl is empty. I wanted to find out if there was a more healthy way to snack and then kale chips popped into my mind.

Here’s how I made mine. This is what you need:

  • 1 bunch kale
  • 1 tablespoon of olive oil

Put the oven on 350°F, then line baking paper on top of a baking plate. Take a leaf of kale and cut the stem off. Try to make the leaves as even as possible in size. Wash the leaves thoroughly and dry them completely with a dishcloth or paper towels. Place all the leaves in a bowl and add the oil. Make sure to cover the leaves completely and place them on top of your baking plate. Then you will season your chips with whatever you like, it could be salt, garlic salt, cheese flavored spice etc.

The chips are done in about 15 min, but half way through you have to turn the chips upside down, so that both sides get crispy. Keep an eye on them because they turn brown pretty easily and you want to take them out just before that. The edges should turn brown but not burnt.

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This took about an hour to finish and to be honest it was kind of a hassle. I think that once you’ve tried this a couple of times it’s going to go by more smoothly but for this first time, it was a struggle. I tried a couple of different seasonings on my chips but the one I enjoyed the most was the dill and onion powder together. I enjoyed eating them, especially when I remembered that I’m indulging in a salty snack that’s good for me.

 

Homemade Granola

Nowadays, there’s a lot of different brands for cereal and granola in our grocery stores but no one wants to stand and read the label for every one of them, to come to realize that most of them contain more sugar per serving size than a candy bar. I usually read all the labels on things I buy, and when I tried to find my match of cereal, I found out that most of them are packed with sugar. I don’t want to start my day by eating a bowl of empty calories so I decided to try making my own granola. I’ve always enjoyed eating greek yoghurt with berries and top it off with some crunchy granola, but I have never made my own before. You can eat this granola as a snack, just like it is, or with some milk or yoghurt and fruit.

I looked up the basics for making homemade granola but gave it my own touch. Here’s the way I made mine, but you can easily put whatever you feel like in it.

  • 2 cups of oats
  • two handfuls of hazelnuts
  • two handfuls of seed mix
  • one handful of raisins
  • one handful of roasted coconut chips
  • 2 tablespoons of honey
  • 1/2 teaspoon of vanilla extract
  • A pinch of cinnamon

Start by spreading the oats on a baking plate with baking paper underneath. Put the oven on 300°F, then put your plate of oats in the oven for 8 min. Chop up your nuts and sprinkle on top of the oats, the seed mix and coconut chips as well. Put the honey in a cup and microwave for 10 sec, then pour in the vanilla extract and cinnamon, then blend and pour it over the oats and nuts. Make sure to cover all of the oats and nuts, and then put it in the oven again until the oats turn golden, about 10-15 min (keep an eye on them so they won’t get burned). Take out the plate and let it cool, then add your raisins or other types of dried fruit. Then you’re ready to indulge in your healthy homemade granola.

How to read a nutrition label

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Here’s a picture of a nutrition label for the well- known dish, Mac & Cheese. We have all seen one of these labels before, when we’re buying our groceries but do we really know what all of it means? What does all these words stand for and why do I want them inside my body, or not inside my body? I want you guys to learn how to read a nutrition label and how to use that knowledge towards buying healthier products in your grocery stores. This picture only shows the basics but to learn more you should click on this link, and when you’re there you’ll want to click on one of the words on the label and a definition will pop up. This is a great source called American Institute for Cancer Research where they talk a lot about cancer but they also bring up a lot of good advice on how to be healthy, and what kind of nutrients our bodies need.