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12 May 2012

Healthy Helpers: Energy-Boost Snacks

Food for Life, Love, and Looks (Woman Alive, 1974)Apologies for my absence as of late. St Tropez, Somerset, London and life have been a bit hectic lately! So much traveling has put me off my balance slightly and I'm noticing a huge dive in my blood sugar levels in the late afternoon. So I glibly grab for a glass of rosé and a handful (or three) of pretzels. Fine for the short-term but this can't go on.

Googling my dilemma, I found I should be aiming for more protein in my snacks. Everybody has their own patterns of eating and I fully believe 'diets' and 'eating plans' have to fit in with your own individual patterns otherwise you will be unlikely to succeed. So for me I eat a light breakfast and lunch with a moderate dinner. My downfall is 5pm. I am light-headed, unable to concentrate, grumpy and HUNGRY. So as of Monday I'm stocking my fridge with carrots, beans and wholemeal pita bread. Here are some healthy but tasty energy-boosting recipes to accompany them:

1. Roasted Chickpeas (recipe from Claire Roasted Chickpea Snackers

  • 2 (15oz/425g) cans chickpeas
  • 2 tablespoons olive oil
  • 1 teaspoon Spanish smoked paprika
  • 1 teaspoon ground cumin
  • Pinch cayenne pepper, or to taste
  • Kosher salt
Preheat the oven to 400F/205C.
Rinse and drain the chickpeas and dry by rolling them around in a kitchen towel. Combine the oil, paprika cumin, cayenne and salt in a large bowl. Add chickpeas and toss to coat evenly. Transfer the chickpeas to a parchment-lined baking sheet and spread them out in a single layer. Bake until golden and crispy, 25 to 35 minutes, shaking the tray to toss after 15 minutes. Remove the baking sheet from the oven and transfer the chickpeas to a serving bowl.

2. Smashed Bean Dip  (recipe from BBC Good Food)

  • 400g can cannellini beans , rinsed and drained
  • 400g can chickpeas , rinsed and drained
  • juice 2 lemons , zest 1
  • 2 garlic cloves , crushed
  • 2 tsp ground cumin
  • 100ml Greek yogurt (sometimes I replace this with a small tablespoon of olive oil)

Put half the beans and chickpeas into a food processor with the lemon juice, garlic, cumin and yogurt, then whizz until smooth. Tip in the rest of the beans and pulse once to get a very chunky dip. Stir in the lemon zest and plenty of seasoning, then divide between 4 containers and store in the fridge.

3. Speedy Salsa
Homemade Salsa Ingredients
  • one tin of tomatoes, drained and chopped
  • 1/2 red onion, chopped
  • bunch coriander, chopped
  • juice of one lime
  • 1 chilli, chopped
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 1/2 teaspoon chilli powder (optional, if you like it really spicy!)
  •  Mix all ingredients together and let stand for about half an hour. Serve with wedges of grilled wholemeal pita bread.


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