Afternoon snack time comes around and every day we find ourselves with the predicament of trying to sidestep the dreaded office fundraiser chocolate box and try to convince ourselves to stick with the celery sticks and hummus instead. But let’s be honest, vegetables cut into “fun size” and homemade bean dip can start to grate on your already-monotonous work routine. Clients ask me all the time for snack ideas on how to satisfy the afternoon sweet tooth munchies, without labour-intensive prep time or weird ingredients. This is one of my go-to snacks for afternoon tea time. I like to have 2 bliss balls with a cup of herbal tea or chai tea with almond milk.
A few Saturdays ago I got together with my mum and sister, and we put our heads together to come up with something that so many of us often struggle to find. The perfect afternoon snack.
This was our checklist:
- satisfy chocolate craving
- protein loaded
- low sugar
- high fibre
I’m happy to say we ticked all of these and created the perfect protein bar from the very heart of my mum’s kitchen. We could hardly wait for the bar to cool so we could taste test it. When we did, we all nodded in agreement that this was the best we’ve tasted. Heck, even the boys that were watching rugby upstairs gave it the tick of approval. If I can get my husband to say “that doesn’t taste healthy at all” – it is probably the best complement he can give to my healthy creations!
Makes 12 slices
½ cup almond meal
⅓ cup protein powder (Sunwarrior Brown Rice Protein)
2 ripe bananas
¼ cup shredded coconut
¼ cup chia seeds
¼ cup hemp seeds (or pepitas/sunflower)
3 tablespoons cacao powder 3 tablespoons almond butter (or nut butter of choice)
1 teaspoon vanilla paste
15 drops liquid stevia
2 tablespoons raw honey
Preheat oven to 175 degrees Celsius. Combine all ingredients in a high power blender. Blend until well combined. Line a bread pan-sized baking tin with baking paper and press mixture firmly into the tin. Bake for 15 – 20 minutes. Remove from oven and let cool completely before slicing. Makes 12 slices.
Nutrition Info per slice:
470 kJ or 112 kcal
6 grams protein
9 grams carbohydrate
4 grams fibre
It is delicious with a dollop of yoghurt and some warmed berries!
I want to clear up the confusion between macaroons and macarons. Macarons is a sweet meringue-based confection made with eggs, icing sugar, granulated sugar, almond meals, and food colouring/flavour. It is usually filled with a ganache or buttercream. The macaroon is a type of light, baked confection, that can look like a small cake or meringue-like cookie. Here is an illustration provided by blogilates
It is this innocent-looking delightful treat on the high tea tiers that makes us second guess the healthy eating vow we murmur to ourselves as the tea is being poured into our fine china cup.
Not Your Typical Dietitian has developed the “Not Your Typical Macaroon” and gave it a healthy twist, without refined sugar and butter. I am not saying that this treat is that healthy that you can now gorge yourself on them, but they’re definitely a better option than the macarons you’ll find staring back at you through the glass casing at the patisserie. And they have real fresh strawberries in them!
Makes ~20 macaroons
1 ½ cups almond flour
2 ½ cups organic shredded coconut
3 tablespoons raw honey
3 tablespoons cold pressed coconut oil
2 teaspoons natural vanilla extract
1 punnet fresh strawberries (250g) (finely chopped)
Pinch sea salt
Combine dry ingredients. Warm coconut oil and honey in a bowl suspended in hot water until runny, then add vanilla. Combine with dry ingredients. Once well combined, carefully mix through the strawberries. Use your hands to form into macaroon shapes and place on baking paper. Chill in fridge for around 1 hour or until firm. Keep refrigerated in an airtight container. Will keep for 1 week.
IMPORTANT: You probably noticed that these babies don’t require any baking. However, if you would like to bake these for a crunchy outer casing and soft chewy centre, then you can bake them at a very low temperature (140 or 150 degrees Celsius) for around 40 to 50 minutes. The key is not letting them brown too much – so keep an eye on them!
What is better than a milkshake?
A milkshake that is GOOD for you of course!
My husband has a thing for dairy. He especially LOVES ice cream and milkshakes. Being married to a dietitian though, he doesn’t get much approval for it and has to deal with sideways glances from me when he arrives home with a tub of ice cream. It probably has more to do with the fact that now I’ll have to exercise self control because I know it is sitting in the freezer waiting for me. So I’ve had to come up with another plan to satisfy both of our sweet & creamy tooth cravings. And this one does a fine job at that.
– 1 tsp chia seeds
– 1 tsp cinnamon
– 1 tbs vanilla protein powder – optional (I like Sunwarrior vanilla protein powder)
– 10 almonds
– 1 tsp almond butter
– 1/2 a tsp vanilla bean paste
– Half a frozen banana
– 1 cup almond milk (I like Australia’s Own Almond Milk)
– Slivered almonds
– Agave syrup
1. Blend together chia seeds, cinnamon, protein powder and almonds to make a powder.
2. Add almond butter, vanilla paste, banana and almond and blend until smooth and creamy.
3. Top with slivered almonds, cinnamon and a dash of agave syrup if you feel the need for some sweetness