We’re halfway through February, a month in which resolve is weakened and resolutions are abandoned. Even if you started the year with the best eating habits in place, bad weather, a chocolate-focused holiday, and life have a way of derailing these best laid meal plans.
If you need help getting back on track — or simply need inspiration for healthful snacks — the nice people at Martha Stewart have a handy formula for crafting the perfect little snack: “Pair a fruit or vegetable with a protein, then add a dash of exciting flavour.”
If you think about it, you’ll realise this is why classic snacks like ants on a log and hummus and carrots are so successful — protein helps you feel full, and the plant part helps you feel good. I would, however, like to stress the importance of fat.
The addition of a (healthy) fat (obviously) makes the snack tastier, but it also makes it taste complete. Fat marries protein and plant into a cohesive bite, and helps you feel not just full, but satisfied.
Martha and friends have several suggestions for such a combination (and you should bop on over to her site to read them), but I have taken the liberty of coming up with some of my own (because that’s my job):
- Cottage cheese + halved cherry tomatoes + a drizzle of olive oil + everything bagel seasoning
- Hard boiled egg + a swipe of butter + pickled cauliflower
- Blanched asparagus wrapped in turkey + pesto for dipping
- Pear slices + marscapone cheese + crunchy granola
- Cucumber slices + hummus + feta + za’atar
- Plain yogurt + roasted vegetables + chilli crisp + spiced and toasted nuts
- Apple slices + ricotta + honey + candied pecans
…and so on and so forth.
In addition to the protein + plant + fat + flavour format, consider the texture of your snack while building it. A little bit of crunch can go a long way, and keep your mouth interested, even if the snack you’re eating is “for your health.”