Five best snacks to eat at your desk
Do you get struck by the mid-morning munchies, continually feel the 3pm sugar craving that inevitably brings you to the vending machine for a sweet treat to perk you up? Okay, it’s no bad thing to grab a sweet treat now and again, but if you are looking to shave your daily calorie count in a bid to shape up, ditching those sugary or fatty or snacks will definitely help.
We’ve come up with five snacks that can be enjoyed at your desk so, even if you swap one vending machine visit per week with one of the following you’ll be on your way to a healthier diet.
Simple to make and low in fat but full of fibre, roasted chickpeas are a surprisingly flavoursome snack which make a healthy alternative to salted nuts or fries. Lightly toss some chickpeas in olive oil and garam masala then roast for approximately 30 minutes. Chickpeas are naturally low in saturated fat and are a source of protein. Their buttery, nutty taste makes a satisfying healthy snack and as they have a low glycaemic index they will maintain your blood sugar levels.
Portion size: 85g of roasted chickpeas = 161 calories
Almonds and apricots
Almonds are high in protein and fibre, as well as being low-GI, a good source of magnesium, and rich in vitamin E (an antioxidant). Dried apricots, on the other hand, are rich in carotenes – which may lower the risk of cancers of the throat and lungs – and provide you with potassium, iron, calcium, silicon, phosphorus, and vitamin C. Interestingly, dried apricots have a far greater nutritional value than fresh ones because the nutrient content is so concentrated. Gram for gram, dried apricots have twelve times the iron, seven times the fibre and five times the vitamin A of fresh ones. The best way to eat this snack is to impale the almonds in the apricots.
Portion size: six to eight apricots plus 20 -25 almonds = approximately 250 calories
Mango is a delicious, fleshy fruit that will satisfy your sweet tooth when you’re craving sugar. It is high in fibre which contributes to a healthy digestive system as well as keeping you feeling fuller. They are also packed with vitamins A and C as well as being a source of beta carotene and potassium. A quick and easy snack to have on the go, you could slice a mango into bite size chunks or incorporate it into a smoothie. Their sticky sweetness will banish cravings and save you reaching for chocolate or cakes.
Portion size: 200g mango = 115 calories.
Banana, mango and pineapple power smoothie
Smoothies are a real filler and can also be enjoyed on the sly if your place of work has a no eating at the desk policy. Granted, you can’t just set up your blender next to the photocopier, but you can easily make up a batch for brekkie, save and chill the rest for later. We recommend a banana, mango and pineapple power smoothie, it provide a hefty portion of beta-carotene, folic acid, fibre, vitamins B, C and E and essential minerals. The skimmed milk also adds protein and calcium.
For two servings you’ll need the flesh of one ripe mango, chopped ½ fresh pineapple, peeled, cored and chopped, one small banana or ½ large banana, chopped, juice of ½-1 lime (according to taste), 150ml skimmed milk and eight ice cubes. Simply crush the ice cubes in the blender and then add the rest of the ingredients – then blend until smooth.
Portion size: One serving of smoothie = approximately 177 calories.
Samosas can be a low fat snack option when prepared in a healthier way. Filled with peas, onions and tomatoes they are also a great way to get one or even two portions of much needed vegetables. They can be cooked and left to cool so they’re great for keeping in a lunch box for a snack on the go. Mix spinach, spring onions, cherry tomatoes and garam masala with pepper. Lay out a sheet of filo pastry and cut it lengthways into three long strips. Brush roughly with oil and spoon the mix on top of each strip and fold each over into a triangle and bake for 20 minutes.
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