6 Healthy Snacks that are not heavy on your stomach, wallet, or health

In between the rush of our everyday lives, it is not always easy to find something healthy to eat as a morning or afternoon snack, or to put in the kids’ lunchbox.

However, there are healthier options, with less salt, sugar or fat than traditional snacks.

Here you have 6 healthy snack recipes – perfect for every season, from Winter to Summer. You just need to prepare them beforehand. Another good news is that you can actually make a bunch and store them in the fridge or in an air-tight container.

To keep up with your nutrition and avoid getting hungry during the day, start by adding one to two fruits to your lunchbox, or to your children’s. Remember, it is advised to eat 3 to 5 portions of fruit daily. Then, add one to two portions of these healthy snacks:

Crunchy chickpeas
  • Crunchy Chickpeas

Chickpeas are a very healthy protein-rich legume, that can be turned into a healthy snack very easily. Instead of nibbling on salted peanuts or other dried nuts, enjoy this tasty crunchy chickpea treat.

Ingredients

  • One big tin of cooked chickpeas
  • Pepper, sweet paprika, garlic and chilli powder to taste

Steps

  1. Preheat the oven to 180°C;
  2. Drain your chickpeas;
  3. In a bowl, mix all the spices. Add the chickpeas and mix with a spoon to get it evenly coated;
  4. Spread in an oven tray lined with baking paper;
  5. Bake for at least 20 minutes, shaking the tray every 5 minutes to avoid the chickpeas sticking or burning;
  6. Keep in an air-tight jar or box.

Did you know that…

Unsalted and unsweetened dry nuts are a great snack option for those who are not overweight?

Oats and banana biscuits

Oats ‘n’ Banana Biscuits

To make these biscuits you will only need two ingredients – and they are enjoyed guilt-free. And kids love them!

Ingredients

  • 3 ripe bananas
  • 2 cups of rolled oats

Steps

  1. Mash the bananas with a fork into a bowl;
  2. Add the oats and mix until you have a rough batter;
  3. Place a spoonful of batter on an oven tray lined with baking paper, and gently mould it with your hands to make it into a “cookie” shape. Repeat until you use all the batter, leaving 1 to 2 cm distance between the biscuits;
  4. Bake for 15 minutes at 180°C;
  5. Once fully cooked, remove the biscuits from the paper and store in an air-tight jar.
Guacamole
  • Guacamole

This Mexican delicacy is an all-time success all over the world. Apart from tasty, guacamole is vitamin- and nutrient-rich. Add some carrot, cucumber or celery sticks and there you have one of the world’s most popular healthy snacks.

Ingredients

  • 3 avocadoes
  • 2 standard red tomatoes
  • 1 red onion
  • 1 chilli (optional)
  • Half a lime, juiced
  • ½ tsp salt
  • Pepper to taste
  • Fresh coriander to taste

Steps

  1. Open the avocadoes in half, lengthwise, remove the core and spoon out the flesh. Dice and mash with a fork;
  2. Chop the tomatoes into small cubes into a bowl and add the mashed avocadoes;
  3. Finely chop the red onion and add to the tomatoes and avocadoes bowl;
  4. If you are fond of heat, finely chop a chilli pepper and add it to the mix – this is an optional step;
  5. Drizzle the lime juice and sprinkle the salt and pepper. Mix well until you get a green paste with small tomato and onion pieces;
  6. Sprinkle with finely chopped coriander and serve chilled, with some carrot, cucumber, or celery sticks.
Hummus
  • Hummus

Hummus comes from the Middle East and is one of the many typical and popular dips from this area – and we understand the popularity, it is delicious! Hummus and veggie sticks are healthy snacks that both adults and children tend to love. See for yourself:

Ingredients

  • One big tin of cooked chickpeas
  • 2 garlic cloves (medium)
  • 2 tsp tahini (sesame paste)
  • 1 lemon, juiced
  • 2 tbsp extra-virgin olive oil
  • Pepper and sweet paprika powder to taste

Steps

  1. Drain the chickpeas, keeping some of the water;
  2. Put the chickpeas in a blender and add garlic, tahini, lemon juice, olive oil and pepper, and blend until you get a homogeneous paste. If the paste is too thick, add some tablespoons of the chickpea water until thinner;
  3. Transfer to a bowl and decorate with a bit of olive oil, sweet paprika and some parsley leaves. Serve with veggie sticks.
Rocha Pear Cinnamon chips

Rocha Pear Cinnamon Chips

Rocha pear is a variety of pear grown in Portugal that has made its way through Europe – and for a simple reason, when just-ripe, these pears are crunchy and juicy; when fully-ripe they’re soft and sweet. In any case, Rocha pears are delicious. If you cannot find Rocha pears, any firm pears will do. To make chips out of this fruit you will only need two simple ingredients:

Ingredients

  • Rocha pear, just ripe
  • Cinnamon to taste

Steps

  1. Preheat the oven at 100°C (or low temperature);
  2. Cut the pears in half-a-centimetre-thick slices with the peel on;
  3. Sprinkle the cinnamon generously;
  4. Lay the pear slices side by side without overlapping on an oven tray lined with baking paper;
  5. Bake for at least two hours or until the slices look dried. Turn the slices after one hour into baking.
  6. Take the tray out of the oven and let cool completely. Store in an air-tight container.
Banana chips

Oven-Baked Banana Chips

Sometimes you get the munchies for something crispy, and almost always the cravings lead you to that crisp pack in the cupboard. But before you reach for the crisps, check if you have some unripe bananas – if yes, then you have the perfect opportunity to make some healthy snacks that can be used in your breakfast granola or as a snack in between meals.

Ingredients

  • Unripe bananas
  • Lemon juice to taste
  • Cinnamon or saffron powder to taste

Steps

  1. Preheat the oven to 120°C (or low temperature);
  2. Cut the peeled bananas into half-a-centimetre-thick slices;
  3. Place the slices in an oven tray lined with baking paper, making sure they are not overlapping. Glaze the slices with lemon juice with the help of a kitchen brush;
  4. Bake for two hours in low heat – you might need to use an additional hour, depending on how green the bananas are;
  5. Unstick the slices from the baking paper and turn them with a spatula regularly throughout the baking (three to four times);
  6. As soon as the slices seem dehydrated, take the tray out of the oven – sprinkle with cinnamon or saffron, but this step is optional – and let cool for 5 minutes. Store in an air-tight container.

As a friendly reminder, you should use small quantities of salt (max. 5g/day) and should avoid adding sugar to your recipes. Herbs and spices are a great salt substitutes. Take a look at the Mediterranean Diet pyramid and be inspired by some flavourful recipes without salt.