Wanting to take care of yourself is not surrendering to the cult of celery and other sad foods in flavor or following diets that take away your will to live.
We have spoken with two experts in nutrition, Cande Soulas, Diploma in Human Nutrition and Dietetics (UCM) and founder of Nut & Cook, and Dori López, expert in Diet Therapy and Nutrition Education, to give us healthy, easy and delicious ideas to kill the bug between hours. And they hardly weigh us.
1- Dehydrated fruit
Our mothers told us already. And before our grandmothers. And the grandmothers of the grandmothers. Surely in the Roman Empire there were people giving the tabarra with the “eat fruit.” Yes, the fruit is an excellent option to snack between meals, but sometimes we get bored of nibbling an apple. Good thing we have dehydrated fruits.
“Dehydrated or dried fruits are fruits that have been extracted most of their water content through certain techniques.” The first signs of dehydrated fruit consumption date back to several thousand years ago, in Mesopotamia, where They were already used in a multitude of recipes “, says Dori López, who is committed to this alternative.
In general, all varieties of fruit can be dehydrated, but the most consumed are grapes, dates, plums, figs, apricots, peaches or apples. “With no water, dehydrated fruits greatly reduce their size and become a nutrient-rich snack that contains almost four times more vitamins and minerals than the piece of fresh fruit.” A characteristic common to dehydrated fruits is its high fiber content , which makes it an excellent food to reverse or prevent constipation, promote intestinal function and help lower cholesterol levels.Another fundamental characteristic of these fruits is their high concentration of vitamins, minerals and antioxidant compounds, in general, “adds Dori.
Buying them is an option, the easiest one without a doubt, but it can also be done at home: “Dehydrating fruits in the oven is the easiest way to achieve good results in a short time.” To do this, we put the oven to no more than 55ºC , we place the fruit already washed and cut into very thin chips in a rack and we go around every 20-30 minutes until we see that they are already dry (the process depending on the food will last around 2-4 hours), ” he explains. Is it going to be a messy test in the kitchen?
Dehydrated fruits are a very nutritious snack so it can be part of a good healthy snack, tasty and practical to carry in your bag and consume between meals.
They can also be mixed with other ingredients in breakfasts, in snacks or used in a multitude of recipes, especially in salads or stews. In addition, thanks to the process of dehydration, these fruits can be preserved in perfect condition for much longer than a piece of fresh fruit. Finally, we must not forget that dried fruits can be a good replacement to reduce the use of added sugar in the kitchen, since a puree of dates or raisins, for example, can provide moisture, flavor and a lot of color to a dish without the need to add caloric and little nutritious sweeteners (you already know “who” we are talking about).
2- Homemade hummus
Hummus is a chickpea paste very characteristic of eastern Mediterranean cultures and the exotic food section of Mercadona. Like our traditional potato tortillas, you can version in a thousand ways.
“The most characteristic thing is that it is made from chickpea, a vegetable rich in vegetable proteins , so it is a perfect alternative to the proteins of animal origin that can be included in meals as well as in dinners.” Chickpeas also provide complex carbohydrates and its fat content is very low, on the other hand, its calcium, magnesium, potassium and phosphorus content stand out “, explains Cande Soulas, defender of this snack.
The ingredients of hummus are, in addition to chickpeas, tahini (also called tahini or sesame paste, very rich in calcium, by the way, as Cande explains), lemon juice, cumin, paprika, salt and olive oil.
And the best thing to do is suck ( as our colleagues at Directo al Paladar show us ): you just have to put all the ingredients in a blender and crush everything . “To get it to emulsify well and make it creamier, we advise you to add olive oil little by little.” From this classic hummus, you can make different flavors by adding beets , avocados, piquillo peppers, cooked carrots, curries. .. Let your imagination fly and surely you will create a hummus that will be to suck your fingers! “, Says our expert.
Hummus is perfect for a healthy snack or to complement vegetables or salads for lunch or dinner. In addition, it remains perfectly in the fridge for a week. You can also include it in the breakfast toast, in a small snack-type snack that you take to work or you can even consume it with “crudités”, that is, with raw vegetables cut into sticks: carrot, peppers, cucumber, celery …
“It is an excellent way to opt for a healthy snack , with a variety of nutrients, very satiating and very versatile”, is the final conclusion of this degree in nutrition.
3- Chocolate with more than 80%
Really? Can we eat chocolate without being weighed? According to Dori López, an expert in Diet Therapy and Nutrition Education, YES!
“The benefits of cocoa are also well known since ancient times.” To begin with, chocolate has an interesting nutritional profile, with reasonable amounts of manganese, copper, magnesium, iron and even fiber, antioxidants and polyphenols. It also contains a good mix of monounsaturated fats and saturated . Their contribution of caffeine and theobromine gives stimulant properties, although to a much lesser extent than coffee , “says Dori.
As this specialist in nutrition tells us, a dark chocolate has basically three ingredients: cocoa butter, cocoa powder or cocoa paste and sugar. But many “conventional” tablets that you find in the supermarket do not have more than 30-35% cocoa. They could really be described as chocolate-flavored sugar. “Even when well-known brands talk about dark chocolate, they refer to 50% levels, which is still a treat rather than a food”, he clarifies.
If you are one of those who consider that those percentages of cocoa make the chocolate too bitter, you can try to go up little by little until educating your palate . When choosing a good chocolate, consider the following recommendations: the first criterion is that it contains at least 70% cocoa, but ideally 85% or more ; Secondly, look at the ingredients and make sure that the first one that appears on the list is cocoa (pasta or masa); Finally, sugar should appear in the last places.
Why not make chocolate part of our healthy snacks? We can take a piece of chocolate like that, without more, and enjoy its intense flavor or include it in other simple elaborations such as banana and chocolate lollipops, oatmeal and chocolate bars or homemade sugar-free chocolates or additives. Make this food of the gods a pleasure without giving up pampering your body! It’s also good for your brain.
4- Sweet potato chips
Ok, yes, it’s true. They are not those bag potatoes that you can not stop eating, but with the sweet potato you will not go into trance mode until you devour the last crumb (but you will have the serene elegance of Beyoncé) and it is a source intelligent hydrates
As Cande Soulas tells us, the sweet potato, like the potato, is a tuber: “It is characterized by having a high content of complex carbohydrates that help us to stay satiated for a long time. orange color due to the presence of beta-carotenes, which is the way in which provitamin A is found in this product.Vitamin A is responsible for good visual, bone and skin development.It is also very rich in vitamin C, B6 and B1 and the most outstanding minerals are magnesium, potassium and also iron “.
To make the sweet potato chips we must wash it very well, removing all the earth it may have. Once ready, dry it with a cloth and cut it into very thin slices, as finite as you can (to make chips). We place the chips in a baking dish and with a silicone brush we “paint” them with extra virgin olive oil. “If you want, you can add some very finely chopped garlic to the oil, add a very small amount of oil, put the tray in the oven, and cook the chips for 10-15 minutes, remove and allow to cool. , we place the chips in a grid so they dry very well on all sides and we are more crispy, “explains Cande.
Once we have it done, we can store it in a small container and take it to take it in the middle of the morning or in the snack.
5- Healthy sponge cake
How deceived he had us! Yes, a sponge cake can also be healthy . “The main key is to make the cake with healthy ingredients, in this case, for example, a cake made with oatmeal, banana, eggs, hazelnuts, chocolate (85% cocoa) and cinnamon” are the keys Cande Soulas gives us if we want to enjoy this snack without being weighed.
As this nutrition professional explains, this is a healthy , sweet alternative (this flavor is provided by the banana and also partly by chocolate) and very easy to carry in your purse. “This sponge gives us proteins from eggs and nuts, and oat flakes provide us with carbohydrates, as do bananas, and nuts also provide us with healthy fats along with minerals such as calcium, potassium and phosphorus. “, he tells us.
A perfect alternative for breakfasts, half mornings and snacks, especially for those who can not live without a sweet touch. And really easy to elaborate following recipes like this , for example. In addition, you can cut it into individual portions, wrap them in plastic wrap and freeze them and consume them whenever you want . You can take it out of the freezer and put it directly in the toaster.
Another option that we propose is to try this recipe from Directo al Paladar , with carrot, eggs, walnuts and grated coconut.