By : Komal Thakur (Pharmacist, Naturopath, Health & Fitness Enthusiast)
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Healthy Snacking-for your tastebuds

 

Whenever I go to a restaurant, I get excited about ordering the starters. It’s these little bites that get you motivated to visit the restaurant, because main course is usually done at home as well. Barely anything exciting about it! I am not considering the Pizzas, Pastas and the burgers so please don’t get offended. The point is who does not like snacking! If I could I would only be snacking, and since this is something that I love, I had to figure out a way to munch without adding any extra unwanted calories. Trust me, its ok to add the calories as long as there is some nutritional value gained, empty calories are not worth it.

 

The general calorie intake depends on age, weight, metabolism and few other factors. However, usual calorie recommendation is 2000 for women and 2500 for men. In some cases, it could be lesser too and in super active individuals with physically demanding jobs, it can be more too. So it’s always best to consult your doctor or a dietician to exactly list out your target calorie consumption. A square meal a day is often the best way to go, a meal that has everything balanced out, you have your carbs from the flat breads or rice, you get your protein and fat from the pulses, you get the vitamins and minerals from the vegetables and finally the protein and probiotics from the curd or yogurt. This could be the perfect Indian Lunch, it’s a no- brainer.

 

If you are a person who likes to try new things and wants to add some healthy snacking, probably even replace your dinner with a light snack, let me list out some easy and importantly, healthy options for you.

 

Peanut butter and banana sandwich: A very generic option, undoubtedly a very healthy one. Peanut butter is full of healthy fat and peanuts have loads of iron, vitamin B6 and also magnesium. Overall a good food for your brain. I advise choosing the sugar free variant always. As for the bread, go for the whole wheat bread if you are not allergic to gluten, otherwise choose a gluten free bread. Stuff the sandwich up with some banana and it’s a whole meal. This can be easily consumed as a mid-meal snack or even for dinner.

 

Popcorn or kettle corn: Typically corn is slightly high in calories, however because of the nutritional value, this is in fact a healthy snack. It’s full of fiber, with a good amount of vitamin B and C . Kettle corn is the sweeter or caramelized form of popcorn. One way to make this healthier is use a little ghee and jaggery for popping it, instead of sugar and oil, and you have made it even more nutrition dense. Next time you order that big tub, don’t feel guilty, unless you add the extra butter and cheese to it!

 

Savory oats pancake: Not just a mid-meal snack, this can easily be your breakfast or dinner. Perfectly gluten free, cholesterol free, guilt free snack.

 

Quick recipe: All you need is oats, carrots, capsicum and onion. Grind the oats into fine powder. Add the chopped vegetables to it. You can also add in a spoonful of the GRD-superior protein powder, sugar free variant to the mix.  Blend it in with water. Add the salt and spice as per your preference. Mix it all very well and cook it like you would cook a normal pancake.

You have covered the protein, fiber, vitamin A, B, C and even iron. A single pancake would contain hardly 60-70 calories.

 

Yogurt dip with GRD diskettes: Dip and chip is the most favorite party snack, and even without a party, it’s pretty popular and addictive. Usually the dips are made by using a lot of packed sauces, cheese, mayonnaise and the likes, but the yogurt dip will bring all the goodness of the yogurt without compromising on the taste.

 

Quick recipe: Take 500 grams of yogurt, you may hang it for 15-20 minutes to drain out any excess water. Add some garlic paste, salt, pepper and oregano to this hung curd, along with half a tea spoon of honey, just to balance out the taste and bring out the flavor notes. You can chill this to perfection and enjoy it with the bread or baked chips. To get the optimum nutrition, you can try this dip with GRD diskettes too. The savory variants like Jeera and Mixed Seasoning will go best with this dip. This is a super protein booster. Can you believe a snack will add to your Immunity, your vitality, energy! Dig into it right away!

 

Watermelon, onion, mint and cheese salad: The recipe is in the name itself. I know it might sound very surprising however the way these flavors combine together is indeed a good surprise. Cheese is of course protein and good fat, not excessively though, you should know where to stop yourself from binging. Watermelon has good amounts of vitamin C hence it’s an instant immunity booster. Onion too is rich in vitamin C and a lot of other essential minerals. Mint again is a rich source of calcium and iron. It is a heavenly combination.

 

Quick recipe: Cut the watermelon into cubes or you can also make watermelon balls, just for the appeal of it. Dice the onion into rings. Take any cheese of your choice, preferably the one which can be cubed. Chop the mint leaves finely to bring out that flavor burst. Add them into the salad bowl, add some salt, a dash of lemon and a dash of honey. It is a great summer salad, can be a mid-meal snack or a completely nutritious early dinner.

 

All the recipes listed are low calorie and nutrition dense. I would not shy away from replacing my dinner with any of these recipes. The key word here would be an “early” dinner. Always try eating dinner preferably by 7:30 pm and latest by 8:00 pm. This just helps your overall health in the long run!

 

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