With all this talk I've been doing over at The Cook's Sponge about eating less sugar, I've been thinking for a long time that we need to put together a list of savoury snack options. It's great to find some sweet alternatives to sugar, but really, it would be good if we ate a little less sweet sometimes. I've always thought that the key to eating less unhealthy food is to find some appealing healthy options.
So, with a huge amount of help from Hannah and Ngaire, and a nod to Lara, Raewyn, Amanda, Rochelle and Nick, I have compiled a list. Most of these contributors are mothers, and I suspect their expertise comes from feeding their young children, but this list is intended to inspire healthy grown up eating as well (even if it doesn't all appeal). If you have any further ideas, mention them in the comments and I will incorporate them in to the list.
A few further points:
- Obviously fruit is a great option, as long as you're not eating bucketloads of it every day, it's just that we're looking for savoury snacks here. Though a few useful fruit ideas do sneak in at the end of the list.
- If you are looking here for snacks to give other people's children, remember to check for allergies first.
- Grown ups partial to a late night snack, remember crackers/cheese/chutney/pate can be very grown up, and the options are endless, so treat yourself to your favourites. If you're in NZ, I can't recommend more highly 180 Degree crackers as a starting point, they are fantastic.
- The sole aim here has been to find fructose-free snacks. You may feel some items are less healthy than others, but getting less fructose in your diet is a great start when it comes to your health.
- Making things look a little different can really help small children to eat. Baby carrots may be a nice change from ordinary carrot sticks, and I find cutting cheese in to sticks or grating it can be more successful than a normal slice.
- It's a long list. I think I'll look at it each week before I go to the supermarket and decide to try a couple of different things each week as a good place to start.
cheese toast sticks with marmite (or tomato sauce) baked in the oven
herbed labna* (yoghurt cheese) on crackers
puffed pastry pinwheels
tortillas cut in to circles and done in a muffin pan
hard boiled eggs
pasta pieces for little ones to nibble on
anything chopped and put on a toothpick for little ones!
use cucumber instead of a cracker and add toppings
seeds and nuts toasted with balsamic vinegar
chickpeas roasted with herbs
celeriac or kale or kumara chips*
frozen mint peas
fruit smoothies using coconut cream
frozen berries thinned with coconut milk (or without, for a sorbet)
smoothies using bananas, frozen berries and milk
natural yoghurt with frozen berries
Dips and spreads for crackers and vege sticks and sandwiches (as appropriate):
*Kumara chips - use a mandolin for slicing kumara thinly, soak for 10 minutes in cold water and pat dry, bake on baking paper and add sea salt.
*Annabel Langbein's Labna - 2 cups thick unsweetened yoghurt, 1/4 cup chopped herbs, 1 spring onion (optional), finely grated rind 1/2 lemon, salt and pepper. Line sieve with clean muslin or a new dishcloth and place over a bowl. Mix all ingredients and season. Pour into sieve and chill for 24 hours. Discard liquid collected in the bowl. Store in fridge.
So. What have we missed?!
Post Script: Ideas in the comments below have been incorporated in to the list above.
See comments from 'not a wild hera' and Nadine for further hummus ideas and links to breakfast cookies and salmon cakes.