This post is sponsored by Be NaturalE
ver since I did the Smaggle Wholesome Habits Challenge earlier this year I’ve had lots of people email me asking for snack ideas.
Snacks can be difficult for a lot of people to get right. If the nearest place to get food near your work is a service station or food truck and you buy your snacks every day, chances are they aren’t going to be very good for you.
I’ve long been a supporter of plant-based snacks and this month I’ve teamed up with Be Natural to bring you some plant based snack ideas.
I bloody love Be Natural. They do brilliant not-full-of-crap muesli bars and cereals and we’ve been buying them for years, so I was stoked when they wanted to work with me. Recently Be Natural have been inspired by the latest research on Blue Zones when they’ve been developing their new products. I hadn’t even heard of the Blue Zones before this campaign but they’re fascinating. Basically the Blue Zones are geographical pockets around the world where people live longer lives through cultural diet and lifestyle practices. There are 5 areas in the world that are considered Blue Zones –
People in this region typically eat lots of goats milk, honey, legumes, wild greens, fish and potatoes. They also have a culture of napping and occasional fasting.
This region consumes lots of rice, garlic, soy, ginger, vegetables and green tea. They’re also known for spending lots of time outdoors and participating in natural exercise.
Sardinians tend to eat whole grain bread, beans, garden vegetables, cheese, small amounts of meat and fruit. They also prioritise time with family and friends.
Loma Linda, California
People in Loma Linda typically consume grains, fruits, avocados, salmon and oatmeal. They also drink lots of water and are very community minded.
Nicoya Peninsula. Costa Rica
Typical food in this region consists of maize, beans, yams, peaches, bananas and corn. They’re also hard workers and they favour light dinners.
The main themes across these Blue Zones are plant based diets, doing daily natural exercise and nurturing strong social networks.
In almost all the Blue Zones, grains (particularly whole grains and legumes) are part of their diet. The Okinawans eat brown rice, the Sardinians eat sourdough breads and barley, the Californians include oats and whole wheat bread and the Nicoyans eat lots of corn and beans. Plus all of these diets include beans, nuts and seeds.
Be Natural are keen to push Australia to adopt more of a Blue Zone lifestyle (which would be totally rad) so to help them out, I’ve put together a list of 9 healthy Blue Zone approved snacks for grown ups!
1. Vegetable sticks with hommus
Vegetable sticks and hommus are one of the best snacks you can have and people often forget about them. Just chop up a carrot, some celery or cucumber and take a portion of hommus to work with you. Perfect.
2. Green smoothie
Eating greens is always the best way to consume them but if you’re super busy, a green smoothie is quick and easy. My favourite recipe is 1 cup of spinach, 1 cup of water, ice, 1/2 frozen banana and and half a green apple. Just blend it up and drink it!
These are a great little snack because the first ingredient is whole grains and not sugar (which is typical of lots of other styles of grain bars). They’re also only 130 calories each which is perfect for people who try to watch their calorie intake.
4. Home made protein balls
If you haven’t tried my 100 calorie protein bliss balls, you totally should. They’re made with dates and natural protein powder and are perfect for an afternoon snack with a cup of tea.
5. Banana smoothie
1 cup of almond milk, a scoop of natural protein powder and half a frozen banana is a mean snack – just blend it together, pop it in a travel mug and have it on your way out the door.
6. Celery and peanut butter
Have you tried this before? It’s honestly one of my most favourite snacks. A few sticks of celery with some peanut butter on them is filling, satisfying and really good for you.
7. Cereal and yoghurt
I love cereal at any time of day but especially in the afternoon if I’m about to go for a big work out. It’s also totally portable – most work places have milk in the fridge so you can just take a small container of cereal with you in your bag. Be Natural has loads of plant based cereals inspired by the grain based diets of the Blue Zones such as Cashew, Almond, Hazelnut and Coconut flakes (with quinoa) and Organic Golden Whole Grain Bites.
I usually have a cooked breakfast or a smoothie in the morning but if I’m in a rush and I need something quick, nothing beats a bowl of cereal. Both these cereals are high in fibre and full of whole grains.
What are your favourite plant based snacks?
P.S Have you signed up for the free Crochet Coach granny square intro lesson?