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Abby Ixer’s Nutritious Food: Healthier Snack Ideas

Published on: 2 May, 2015
Updated on: 13 Jun, 2015
Dietician Abby Ixer.

Dietician Abby Ixer.

Abby Ixer is a registered dietician with a passion for food and nutrition. She moved to Guildford four years ago and is currently working in the area of health promotion, delivering healthy lifestyle programmes and giving dietary advice to groups around west London. This month she looks at healthier snack ideas.

As a dietitian, a common question that clients ask me is: “Which snacks are the healthiest?”

There are so many snack foods on the market it can be difficult to know which ones are a good choice. Some of our favourite so called “healthy” snacks are highly processed and can contain hidden sugars. So why not ditch the packaged foods and give these more natural alternatives a try?

Fruit: try different fruits each week to add variety.
Handful of unsalted mixed nuts.
Dried apple rings: slice apple thinly and bake in the oven on a low heat until dried.
Oat cakes: toppings could include banana, low fat cream cheese, strawberries, peanut butter, low fat cheese spread.
Fat free Greek yoghurt: create your own fruit sauce by mashing up berries.
Plain popcorn: sprinkle with cinnamon or nutmeg for a naturally sweet flavour without the added sugar.
Roasted chick peas: sprinkle with spices such as chilli or cumin and roast in the oven for a crunchy snack with lots of protein.
Hummous with toasted pitta bread.

Oat cookies with bananas.

Oat cookies with bananas.

The recipe below is a great way to use up over-ripe bananas that you might have lying around.

They are super healthy as they contain no added sugar and the oats provide a slow release of energy, so can help keep you fuller for longer.

The bananas give natural sweetness, so no sugar is needed.

You can adapt this recipe to include any dried or fresh fruit and nuts that you prefer (blueberries and blackberries work really well when they are in season).

2 large ripe bananas.
1 cup oats (approximately 250g).
60g dried fruit (sultanas, apricots, raisins).
60g chopped mixed nuts.
½ teaspoon cinnamon.

Makes approximately eight cookies.
Peel the bananas and mash in a bowl until smooth.
Add all other ingredients to the bowl and mix well.
Lightly grease a baking tray and drop one tablespoon of the mixture on to the tray and flatten a little to create a ‘cookie’ shape. Repeat until all the mixture has been used.
Bake in a preheated oven at 180°C for 20-30 minutes.
Leave to cool before removing from the tray. The cookies will harden as they cool, making it easier to remove without sticking.

Don’t forget to grab your fruit and vegetables from the market in North Street, Guildford, every Friday and Saturday.

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