As the weather is well and truly cold, you may find your appetite going into overdrive. Plan ahead with these healthy snacks so you’ll have something to grab when you’re hungry instead of chips, chocolate or unhealthy takeaway.

Seasonal Fruits & Vegetables Seasonal food is having a moment. As we become more aware of the importance of eating local, support local farms by eating foods that are traditionally available instead of imported. Plus, seasonal food is often easier on your wallet.

  • On-the-go: If you’ve got school, work or traveling to do, apples and mandarins are probably the most “travel friendly”. Great portable veg that are in prime season include snow peas, carrots and celery. If the idea of plain carrots is unappetising, try bringing a small tub of Asian-style dressing as a healthy and tasty dip.

  • At Home: Keep pears and grapefruit for that afternoon pick-me-up. Try cooking a batch of mini quiches or gluten-free muffins at the beginning of the week so you’ll have an easy, protein-filled way to nourish yourself and beat cravings.

Roasted Snacks The oven is a great way to make all sorts of savory, healthy snacks. Roasting brings out fantastic flavors and textures, while requiring less oil than other cooking techniques.

  • Pumpkin Seeds: If you’ve bought pumpkin for soup, don’t throw away the seeds! Instead, toss them in olive oil and your choice of spices: salt and pepper, curry powder or lemon pepper are all delicious. Spread them on a baking sheet at 180°C and roast for 30 minutes or until puffy and golden-coloured. The roasted seeds make a fantastic vitamin-packed snack you can keep in your bag while you’re out and about.

  • Spiced chickpeas: Roasted chickpeas may sound strange, but they’re a convenient snack and a great substitute if you’re craving salty crisps. Simply drain a can of chickpeas, rinse and toss with a spice mixture, as much as you would with pumpkin seeds. For the best tasting results, enliven the bland flavor of the chickpeas with curry or another bold combination like cumin-ginger. Roast at 180°C for 30 minutes or until the edges of the peas start to caramelise.     

  • Sweet Potato Bites: Sweet potatoes are another great winter staple. Roasting provides a delicious depth of flavour and texture and can make a great healthy snack if you’re at home watching the telly. Dice into cubes or cut into chip-shapes, toss in olive oil and the seasoning of your choice and roast at 180°C for an hour or until the sweet potatoes start to darken. You’ll get a vitamin-packed alternative to salty, fatty foods, as well as plenty of fibre to keep you full. 

Traditional Treats

  • Anzac biscuits: You don’t have to go to Gallipoli to enjoy this staple. This traditional veteran’s biscuit not only lasts for a long time after being baked, but is actually packed with healthy whole grains to keep you energised if you’re on the go. Ahead of your busy week, take some time to try this easy, cost-effective homemade recipe.  

  • Avo on Toast: Even if you only have five minutes before you need to dash out the door, this snack is a great choice. Mash half an avocado and mix with lemon juice, salt and black pepper to taste. Slice a thick piece of sturdy sourdough bread for the toast so that you stay full for longer. Don’t forget to leave the pit in the other half to help it keep in the refrigerator for next time!

    With one of these healthy options, junk food really shouldn’t be an option. Treat your body right and you’ll not only feel better, but you’ll likely look better, sleep better and be on more of an even emotional keel than those who elect to ‘treat’ their bodies.

 Author: Natalie Millis

Author: Natalie Millis