No doubt you’ve seen the adverts for the Change 4 Life ‘100 calorie snack’ campaign for kids and read about Public Health England’s new 400-600-600 calorie counting daily nutrition aims for adults , but let’s face it, real-life attainment of said goals aren’t as simple as arming yourself with a calculator on your supermarket safari. Simply totting up the numbers doesn’t always make for a healthy snack or meal base (fruit pastilles come in at 13 calories each, so there’s that), and while most of us are aware that a party size chocolate bar probably isn’t the best choice of the low calorie lot, grabbing something that’s nutritious, fits into the advised calorie brackets and is widely available isn’t always a simple exercise. Fruit, vegetables and crudités with a healthy dip and plain yogurt with nuts and a drizzle of honey are all A* ideas, but if you’re partial to a crisp, cracker or crunchy carb based topping vehicle, a new snappy option we’ve been sampling in the office might be right up your alley…
Lentil cakes. We know what you’re thinking. These are going to be ‘holier than thou’ roughage that tastes a bit like doormat. Thankfully, these golden snaps are far from grey and blah- they maintain a satisfying crispiness and have a bit more about them than a cardboard-y cracker. That could be because they’re made with more wholesome, interesting ingredients- namely lentils, chickpeas and sprouting peas alongside rice and corn, along with a tiny bit of salt for flavour.
With 9 per cent pea protein, the cakes are tying into a trend that evidences growing demand for more protein rich snack options- Mintel reports that customer interest in foods with added protein is strong, with 29 per cent of us having chosen a snack or food product boasting higher protein in 2017. 45 per cent of Brits believe that it’s particularly important to up protein levels where you can when exercising, but less processed, more natural alternatives that fit into our lifestyles are favoured over artificial protein additives.
This could partly explain why Kallø’s Lentil Cakes have seen such a fast take up since their January launch (sales growth in general has soared by 35 per cent of late)- they’re based on natural plant-based protein with minimal processing and no preservatives, additives or weirdness (six ingredients, all of which you’d recognise). In the calorie camp, they come in at 30 per cake, but the fact that they contain 2g of protein compared to the average of 0.8g in your average cracker or crispbread means that they’re a better source of slow release energy. In short, you won’t feel the need to eat the whole roll or supplement with an additional snack half an hour later. They’re also suitable for vegans and vegetarians, as well as being gluten and wheat-free, so they cater for a wide scope of dietary requirements. A lunch box no brainer, but how do they taste?
We’ll be honest- you’re not going to be dunking these into your tea, digestive style. They’re best eaten topped with something colourful, sustaining and delicious, and given that they’re low calorie in themselves you’re got lots of room for smorgasbord creativity if you do happen to be attempting to adhere to PHE guidelines (or if your kids are). Keep the protein flow going with hummus, nut butter, ricotta or cream cheese, add in rocket, chicken, peppers and perhaps a handful of berries, although clearly not all at once- you can spin them sweet or savoury according to your mood/ the contents of your fridge. Some of us went super fancy by adding grilled goat’s cheese, pulled pork, prawns, salmon and a dill or chive dip, so again, style it out as you wish, or team with a thick soup or heartier salad for a more substantial lunch situation.
They’re handy and quick to prepare at work, without being soggy and boring like a shop-bought sandwich might be, so that’s a plus, and while they’re not going to turn you into Popeye by themselves from a protein point of view, they’ve got a natural protein boost going for them. Lastly, they bridge the gap between grabbing something to see you through when speed is of the essence and wanting to know exactly what’s in your food and what you’re eating- it’s tricky to adhere to official healthy eating guidelines when you can’t be certain of added ingredients and calorie content. The Lentil Cakes tell it like it is on that front, and exactly how you eat them is up to you. Probs don’t top them with jelly babies though. At least not on the daily.
Kallø Protein Packed Lentil Cakes, £1.89, buy online
This sponsored review was written in partnership with Kallø
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