09 Oct Healthy Snacks Your Household Will Love
School is back, exams are on and summer holidays are looming. Some households take alot of feeding! Here are some suggestions to ensure that there are always some hearty healthy snacks on hand. Be sure to add these staples to your weekly shopping list!
Whether you live on your own, with a partner or in a larger household with a family – everyone needs food on hand that requires minimum preparation and quickly nourishes and satisfies. While these are not pantry staples as such – in our household they are certainly fridge staples! Naturally by organising your left – overs in air tight containers in the refrigerator you are off to a good start. Here are a couple of other items that I like to keep to hand. You will develop your own ideas once you start buying and storing your food correctly.
A green smoothie will retain its nourishment and enjoyment for 24 hours. It makes for an excellent breakfast on the run, a snack at lunch time when you dont have time to sit and eat or just to have anytime when you are hungry. The benefit of a green smoothie is that it is a great way to get some greens and other nourishment into you. Dont overcomplicate it. Stick to just a few ingredients – but mix it up to what you have on hand or what you like the taste of. It is best to make your smoothie in a powerful blender such as a Vitamix or in a Bullet.
Recommended mixture – combine the following in the order given – 1 litre cold water, 1 bunch organic bok choy, 1 teaspoon turmeric, 1 teaspoon cayenne, 1 tablespoon extra virgin olive oil or flaxseed oil, 1/2 avocado and 1 ripe banana. Store in a jar or bottle in the fridge. Consume over 24 hours.
Keep a supply or organic brown rice in your pantry. It would have to be one of the most delicious and versatile of staples. Once a week I cook up a cup or two so that there is always a healthy snack or the beginning of a simple meal. Cooked in the way given here – it can last 5 – 7 days when stored in an airtight container in the fridge. It can be used in a variety of ways as a snack or for breakfast, lunch or dinner. I love it with steamed vegetables and sometimes some yoghurt. I often keep a jar of cooked broccoli with the rice for an easy snack – see below.
To cook the rice – rinse it well first, place 1 cup into a large saucepan, add 4 cups cold water, season with a tablespoon of salt and cook like pasta for about 20 minutes (it can take up to 40 minutes). Cook until al dente, drain, rinse, drain, spread the rice on a large platter to cool completely. I store it in a screw top jar in the fridge.
Some uses for brown rice – reheat it and add some chopped herbs and salt and pepper and serve with a fried egg for breakfast; Chop up any leftover vegetables from the night before and mix through the rice; Mix with freshly chopped herbs, some tomatoes and cucumber and a vinaigrette for a Brown Rice and Herb Salad; Brown rice sushi – spread some rice on a sheet of nori – add some slices of avocado and cucumber and shake some sesame seeds, roll into a cone and dip in a soy – rice vinegar sauce
I always look for organic broccoli at the farmers market. Be sure to wash broccoli very well. I cook it either in a steamer or some salted water until it is tender. Rinse under cold water to cool and store in a jar or other airtight container in the fridge. If you want your children to eat vegetables – be sure to be generous with the salt in the cooking water. Make a vinaigrette with 1 teaspoon lemon juice to 2 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil. Season with Salt and Pepper.
My daughter Kate was always preparing these wraps for a quick and easy lunch. Slice and salt the cucumbers, sprinkle with sesame seeds, fold in a light wrap or pita bread with or without a spoonful of yoghurt.
Sardines on Toast or Bread and Butter
Certainly anchovies and bread and butter can be pulled from the pantry anytime for a delicious snack. Tinned sardines in tomato are another pantry staple of ours. Not so much to use in a variety of other dishes but for their quick snack potential that suits our palate. If the bread is fresh – you only need bread and butter to layer these on to, otherwise cook some toast. Grind pepper over the sardines and squeeze some lemon juice over. We have often come home thinking there was nothing in the house and scoffed these down with a bottle of cold wine – perfectly delicious.
What is wonderful about tinned sardines and salted anchovies is they can be enjoyed throughout the year. These smaller fish are full of health giving Omega 3 fatty acids and have less mercury and other heavy metals than bigger fish higher up the food chain. If you live in an area that does not have a reliable supply of fresh fish – this is alot better than none at all!
If you and your household enjoy boiled eggs it is very easy to keep a supply of cooked eggs on hand for a quick snack. It is best to boil fresh eggs – no more than a week old, so, another job as soon as you are in from the farmers market.
Hard boiled eggs should be refrigerated within 2 hours of cooking and will keep for up to 7 days.
Either store the cooked eggs in their shell,; peeled and stored in a bowl of water – change the water daily; Shelled and stored in a jar or other airtight container – cover the eggs with damp kitchen towel.
To boil eggs – pour a few cm of water into a saucepan, when it comes to the boil – add the eggs, cover with a tight fitting lid and boil for 6 – 7 minutes.
Boiled eggs are delicious just with salt and pepper, a little cumin is very good otherwise, warm in a little fresh cream and chopped herbs for a more elegant snack.