A lot of people feel this afternoon low. This moment, where dinner seems centuries away and you barely remember what you had for lunch. Where craving and hunger become one and where you really really think that you NEED that snack, right now.
I noticed that Americans are snackers. Snackaholics if you will :) You guys love your energy bars, little popcorn bags and nut pouches, that you often consume between meals, all throughout the day. In France, we have a more 'established' snack hour which is called 'le goûter', meaning 'the taste'. It usually happens at 4 or 5pm and usually consists of a sweet or savory 'snack' which can be a piece of fruit and a cookie or a little pot of apple sauce and maybe a small pastry. It's almost like a mini 4th meal and what I like about it, is that it's almost like a national daily tradition. This means that people make an effort to take a break, for 10-15 minutes. Get up, stretch their legs, move away from their work and computer screen and make it a point to focus and enjoy their snack.
I think it's great to snack and make sure your blood sugar level and energy stay up all day. The essential part to snacking is however to be conscious about it. It means that you should take a break, evaluate if you are hungry or need energy or if you are just bored. Sometimes dehydration plays a role too, so it's essential to drink enough water throughout the way. Most essentially, it's so important to pick the right snacks that are actually health supportive and will provide you with that needed energy. Check out my top 5 below:
1. Fresh fruit
Fruit is always, always a good choice. Bananas are great as they are high in starch which will give you lots of energy. Berries have a low glycemic index, which prevents you from experiencing a blood sugar roller coaster. Citrus fruit is high in vitamin C and will wake you up. But honestly, there is NO bad fruit. Just grab your favorites that are in season and mix it up so you stay entertained ;)
2. Dried fruit
I love dried pineapple pieces, mangoes and figs. Dates are my favorite though. I like a little hand full of dried fruit when I feel like I need energy or have to focus but feel a little tired. Keep in mind that dried fruit is more calorie dense so you might not wanna eat a whole pound of dates in one sitting. By the way, my favorite is to cut open a medjool date, take out the pit and fill it with some peanut butter.
3. Raw chocolate
I used to really dislike chocolate. I thought it just tasted like sugar and I always felt sick after it. Since becoming vegan, I have discovered the world of raw vegan chocolate which has totally changed my life. I love to go with the ones that contain nuts or fruit essences and I usually make sure they are sweetened with coconut sugar (lower glycemic index!!). My current favorite brand is 'Conscious Chocolate', a UK based business. I love their 'Nutty One' and the 'Cranberry Kiss' and you can order all flavors online!
Beans are wonderful providers of protein and are high in fiber as well. I like to have them as a snack, either roasted or as a drip. You can easily drain some chickpeas, add some paprika, salt and pepper and roast them for 10-15 min at 400°. Or you can use black beans or cannellini beans and just blend them with some tahini. They make a perfectly balances snack with some raw veggies or crackers (I love Marry's!). They will for sure fulfill your savory craving.
5. Baked Root Veggie Chips
While on the topic on savory snacks, baked root veggies make an amazing snack. They are high in starch and hence good for energy while also providing tons of fiber and just a really wholesome snack. In order to make them, you can simply thinly slice (best with a mandolin) sweet potatoes, carrots and other root veggies and toss them with a little bit of oil. Add some spices and herbs and place on parchment paper in the oven for 20 minutes at 375°. Make sure you don't lay them on top of each other, other wise they won't crisp up.
Jenné & Isabelle
We're both passionate vegan foodies with backgrounds in nutrition. We decided to bridge our skills to create Buddhalicious; a program that guides members to find balance, excitement, and flavor on their plates, and in their lives.