Dannii Martin shares healthy recipes and exercise tips at Hungry Health Happy.
Snacking can be most people’s downfall, as it’s so easy to ‘just grab something’ and before you know it you’ve snacked your way through an entire meal’s worth of calories. This can be especially true when you’re watching sports. Usually, you’re so intent on the game or on your WhatsApp messages, you’re just reaching for the snack table and not even thinking about what, or how much, you’re eating.
When you consider that the average sharing bag of crisps holds almost 1200 calories, and a pepperoni pizza about 1700 calories, it’s easy to rack up the intake without realising.
If friends are coming round to watch the game, then put together a table of healthy and delicious snacks for everyone to pick at. If you’re going round someone else’s house, offer to take something and include your own healthy snack, so you know there is something good there for you to eat.
Here are some quick recipes for satisfying healthy snacks.
Creamy Tuna-Stuffed Cucumber – Serves 2:
- 1 cucumber, cut into 1-inch slices
- 1 tin of tuna in spring water
- 6 tbsp low-fat Greek yoghurt
- 3 tbsp fresh chives, finely chopped
- A pinch of sea salt and black pepper
- Drain the tuna and put into a bowl with the Greek yoghurt, chives and salt and pepper.
- Using a teaspoon, scoop a little of the cucumber out of each slice to form a cup.
- Fill the cucumber cups with the tuna mixture.
Choco Peanut Butter Yoghurt Dip – Serves 4:
- 170g fat-free Greek yoghurt
- 1tbsp peanut butter with no added sugar (I use homemade, but if you buy in the shops look for no added sugar)
- 1 tbsp dark chocolate chips
- Mix together the ingredients in a bowl and then dip fruit into it.
‘Homemade’ Tortilla Chips with Guacamole and Salsa – Serves 4:
- 4 tortillas
- 1 avocado
- 1 bunch fresh coriander
- Juice of 2 limes
- 1 fresh chilli, chopped (or less, depending on your tolerance)
- 1 tin of tomatoes
- Half a red onion, chopped
- Sliced jalapeno peppers to taste
- Heat the oven to 190C. Cut 4 tortillas into triangles and bake in the oven for 12 minutes.
- For the guacamole, blend the avocado with some of the coriander, half the lime juice and chilli to taste.
- For the salsa, blend the tin of tomatoes with the chopped red onion, jalapenos, the rest of the lime juice and coriander to taste.
Roasted Red Pepper Hummus with Cucumber and Carrot Sticks – Serves 4:
- 1 tin of chickpeas
- 1 tbsp of tahini
- 2 roasted red peppers (cut them in half, deseed, and grill at 450C for about 25 minutes, until skin is wrinkled. Put them in a paper bag and then peel off the skin)
- 2 garlic cloves
- Juice of 1 lemon
- Salt and pepper to taste
- 1 cucumber and 4 carrots cut in to sticks
- Blend all the ingredients except the salt and pepper, the cucumber and the carrots.
- Season the hummus with salt and pepper, and serve with the batons of cucumber and carrot.
Roasted Chickpeas – Serves 4:
- 1 tin of chickpeas
- 1 tbsp olive oil
- Paprika and garlic powder to taste
- Drain and rinse the chickpeas and mix with the olive oil, paprika and garlic powder to taste.
- Bake at 200C for 30 minutes until crispy.
Banana Slices Topped with Peanut Butter – Serves 1:
- 1 banana
- 1 tbsp homemade or no-added-sugar peanut butter
- Slice the banana into 1-inch slices and then divide the peanut butter among the banana slices.
Rice Cakes with Yoghurt and Cucumber – Serves 1:
- 2 rice cakes
- 2 tbsp low-fat Greek yoghurt
- 8 cucumber slices
- Spread a tablespoon of the yoghurt on each rice cakes and top with 4 cucumber slices.
As long as you’re choosing healthy snacks, there’s nothing wrong with grabbing something quick. It keeps you full until your next meal, so you don’t just opt for something convenient and unhealthy because you’re starving by the time dinner comes round.
Snacking can also help to keep your sugar levels steady, so that you don’t have an energy crash. Try to choose nutrient-dense snacks and watch your portion sizes – a healthy snack size is usually around 150-200 calories.
But don’t just think about healthy food; think about healthy drinks too.
There’s nothing wrong with enjoying a beer or two while watching the game, but make sure there’s plenty of water available too. I like to put out jugs of flavoured water to make it look more enticing. My favourite combination is mint and lime water; it’s the perfect refreshing drink on a hot day.