In an attempt to stay on the healthy straight and narrow we put January approved snacks to test
In need of a nibble without a big slice of guilt to go with it? Same here, but when you’re in the mid-afternoon sugar slump it’s much more tempting to reach for the KitKat Chunky rather than the kale chips. However as we’re all trying to be that little bit more healthy this January, rather than having to abstain from snacking altogether we thought it was high time we rounded up a selection of super healthy snacks to help us kick the cravings and keep our hunger pangs at bay. But can a snack be nutritious and delicious?
Nairns Muesli Breaks Oatcakes
Available to buy in store at Sainsbury’s
Feedback “I have to confess, I’m not much of a healthy snacker. Running straight for the comforting bosom of a giant Cadbury’s bar whenever I feel down, I find most healthy breakfast bars and cakes dry and tasteless. That said, I’ve fallen a little bit in love with these Muesli Breaks Oatcakes from Nairns, which are delicious and taste nothing like what I was expecting.
“Being very thin, they pack a tasty crunch (I love a crunchy biscuit) and are super crispy. They are stuffed full of healthy ingredients like oats, currants, sunflower and pumpkin seeds and are also very high in fibre. The sugar they contain - Demerara - is a partially refined sugar which is much healthier than the white stuff and has a delicious, natural caramel-like flavour. They might not be the healthiest snack in the world, but are great for the occasional treat or as a way for those who can’t face diets or detoxes to make healthy swaps without compromising on taste.
“They come in pairs in a handy little packet, and are perfect for popping into your bag for breakfast, work or healthy snacking on the go. Consider me truly converted.”
COYO Coconut Yoghurt
Feedback “Yoghurt isn’t my go-to snack even in the most normal of circumstances, so I was a bit hesitant to try the coconut milk variety. COYO is a dairy-free, gluten-free alternative to the standard cow’s or goat’s milk fare and it comes in variety of flavours - like chocolate, vanilla, and mango. (However, for my first foray into coconut milk yoghurt, my co-workers advised me to try the vanilla offering, as it tastes the most similar to the supermarket-brand types I’ve eaten in the past.)
“The consistency is very different to standard yoghurt, and as someone who struggles quite a bit with food texture, it did take some getting used to. It’s a lot smoother and not as thick as regular yoghurt, so it feels a bit soupy initially. However, it helped that it smelled incredible and that the coconut reminded me of a tropical holiday.
“The vanilla pods used to flavour the yoghurt initially looked a bit strange floating around in my dish, but they were admittedly quite tasty. While I finished the entire cup, the consistency did really throw me off. As someone who is not dairy or gluten-free, I think I will stick to my dairy-full options, but for those struggling with food allergies or sensitivities, this is a fabulous alternative.”
Bounce Energy Balls
Feedback "Speaking truthfully: I’m a snacker, a bad snacker. I’ll graze, munch and nibble on anything I can get my hands on between meals, which more often than not tends to be things covered in chocolate. Given that I have a serious case of the sweet tooth I was surprisingly impressed by how much these Bounce protein balls did the job in satisfying my sensational sugar cravings.
“High in fructose, fibre, vitamin E and manganese these balls are designed to nourish and sustain you with slower-releasing energy to keep your levels up between meals. While they mean well, they certainly don’t look particularly appetising and come as slightly misshaped and odd coloured blobs. However, appearances can be deceiving as they’re in fact a tantalising mix of sweet and salty flavours with a gorgeously thick texture and crunchy, nutty bite. Even though they appear relatively small, they’re densely packed with protein goodness and after having one mid-morning my hunger really was locked up until lunch. They come in a variety of flavours but my favourite was the Peanut ball purely because it tasted like a spoonful of peanut butter.
“Yes, they’re no choccy biscuit but they’re tasty, nutritious and totally satisfying - a perfect healthy alternative.”
9bar Breakfast Bars
Price £14.40 for a pack of 16 (90p each)
Feedback “I am a serial snacker. Whether it’s one or two (okay, a few) biscuits with my morning tea or a packet of crisps after lunch, I always find myself mindlessly reaching for unhealthy nibbles to aid me through the day. In a bid to keep these cravings at bay, I’ve attempted to eat my way through many energy bars and healthy treats, only to be left feeling unsatisfied and still rather peckish.
“9bar Breakfast Bars seemed like the answer to my problems. Described as a moist and chewy wholefood morning energy bar, these are gluten-free and wheat-free snacks that pack a boost of energy for the start of your day. Each guilt-free bar consists of mixed wholesome seeds to provide nutrients, vitamins and essential fatty acids, like Omega-3, to every chewy bite. This includes pumpkin seeds to kick start your metabolism, sunflower seeds to maintain energy, and hemp seed which helps to battle oxidative stress and provides essential amino acids.
“Available in a variety of flavours (I recommend the Almond and Raspberry one), they are extremely tasty, unlike most healthy snacks out there, and started my mornings off on a good note. However, I disappointingly still found myself not fully satisfied as I would follow it up with my usual porridge or a snack. While these are good for a quick tasty and healthy bite, they are by no means a solution to a filling breakfast.”
Nosh Detox Fit Kit
Feedback “Following a particularly arduous gym session, I find it incredibly hard not to combine my celebratory pat on the back with a muffin or some other baked good to make the satisfaction all the more sweeter. After all, it’s more or less cancelled out, right? Wrong Ayesha, hence the saying ‘You are what you eat’ and my resultant muffin top. However, thanks to this great new Fit Kit from Nosh Detox, my pre and post workout menu looks a lot different now. Plus, my nearby bakery has now lost one of its most loyal customers.
“Filling, tasty and most importantly healthy, the box contains everything you need for your workout. There’s a Nosh Power Snack which acts as a great replacement for a pack of M&Ms, containing a delicious mix of raw cacao, pumpkin and chia seeds, coconut flakes, goji berries and almonds. My cake craving has also been supremely curbed too, thanks to the NOSH Raw Bar – a combination of dates, seeds, cranberries, cashews, raisins and raw honey for a quick energy boost and I’ve also found myself swapping my crisps for the rather moorish coconut flakes instead. Topped off with the healthiest of Raw Smoothies, I can safely say that I’ve finally found a snack box that doesn’t look out of place in my gym bag at last.”
Feedback “Dairy and gluten free, each Chia Pod contains one full serving of sun ripened chia seeds mixed with fruit and coconut milk. With chia seeds being the highest plant based source of omega-3, dietary fibre, protein and antioxidants, they certainly make for a super energy-boosting, nutritious wholefood snack. While the appearance of the chia pudding itself isn't hugely appealing (a fellow glossy remarked that it looked like frogspawn) it certainly makes up for this in the taste stakes. Plus, not only does it deliver 100% of your daily omega-3 and 25 per cent of your daily fibre requirements, it also keeps hunger at bay for hours - which is no mean feat. A snack worthy of its superfood title.”
Clearspring 100% Fruit Puree Drinks
Feedback “I immediately thought of Frubes/ children's lunchboxes when I was given this portable fruit pouch, and while it would make an excellent addition to any child's snack pack, I rather love it too. Organic with no added sugar or nasties, it's reassuringly wholesome while still being tasty. By itself it's unlikely to quell serious hunger cravings, but combined with natural yoghurt or nuts it makes a lovely dessert or speedy breakfast. I can also imagine it mixes quite nicely with Prosecco, Bellini style. Don't judge me.”
Popchips Barbeque Popped Potato Chips
Feedback “There’s rarely going to be anything of particular nutritional value when it comes to crisps, but there is a slightly healthier alternative to curb your craving instead: a packet of Pop Chips.
“Usually a little dubious of low fat crisps purely because of their lack of taste, I found these surprisingly flavoursome. The best in my opinion are the Barbeque ones - they were so deliciously moreish that they were gone before I knew it. A great substitute for a packet of Walkers that leaves you fully satisfied (with minimal guilt), I’ll certainly be working my way through a few more on days when I’m eating well and even on days when perhaps I’m not.”
Feedback “These new dessert pots from Pudology are my kind of snack. Made using coconut milk, they’re dairy and gluten-free and are the perfect low-fat indulgent treat when you can’t shake that sugar craving. Rich, creamy and full of flavour they come in four delectable flavours including the original Chocolate Pud, Strawberry Pud, Lemond Pud and my personal favourite, the Banoffee Pud.
“Having never tried any dairy-free desserts before I was surprisingly shocked at how little I could tell the difference between these perfect little pots and full dairy products - they were just as decadent and delicious.
“Their one downfall is that they do contain sugar, so they’re definitely not the healthiest snack on the block. However, when you’re craving your afternoon bar of choccy or something sweet and indulgent on a friday night they’re the perfect substitution - I’m stocking up.”
Clearspring Instant Miso Soup
Feedback "When it comes to soup I’m definitely more of a chunky kind of girl, so the thought of adding nothing but hot water to a dry soup square did not fill me with much promise. Once added the compacted soup powder dissolves, turning the whole thing into a liquid which looks like what can only be described as weak tea with the occasional floating onion.
"Surprisingly, it’s doesn’t taste as watery as it looks and actually has quite a bit of flavour - perhaps a little too much! It probably depends on your taste buds, but I found the high salt content meant it tasted a little like microwaved seawater.
"The consistency is a lot better than I was expecting though, and it definitely tastes a lot better than it looks. Although the flavour is quite strong, the aftertaste is fairly pleasant and it would definitely serve well as a mid-afternoon pick me up. It’s more interesting and adventurous than a cereal bar or oat cracker, maybe it’s just more of an acquired taste!"