There are times when you just have this urge of nibbling something crunchy and yummy in order to feel satisfied. Instead of grabbing a pack of chips or some biscuits from the tin, why not feed your body with some healthy tasty snacks which is packed with nutrients? Your body will thank you later.
Shopping at the grocery store or supermarket can be somewhat difficult in Singapore as they are probably not many varieties of healthy or organic snack packs. But nevertheless, there are healthier alternatives besides potato chips or biscuits. If I am doing grocery shopping for healthy snacks/beverages, what would I pick? Read on to find out more.
1. Almond Milk ( An alternative to dairy milk)
My mum would use to tell me how much I hated milk as a kid. But now, as a fully-grown adult, I can’t tell you how much I’m in love with dairy products like milk, cheese and yoghurt. But just a year ago, I was told that I should choose organic milk or full-cream/raw milk over low-fat milk because we should eat food in its most natural state. Low-fat milk are considered processed or chemically-treated food which deemed to be ‘unnatural’ to our bodies.
Then, not too long ago, I was advised to go dairy-free. Even my mum tried to convince me to refrain from eating too much dairy products by using the tactic of bombarding with ‘terrifying messages’ of how milk causes cancer. But I was like, how on earth would milk which is labeled as one of the healthy beverages causes cancer in us? In school, we learnt that milk is good for our bones and teeth. But she’s right. There are several online articles published by scientists and doctors about the reasons why we should avoid consuming milk and one of the main reason was that human aren’t meant to digest calf’s milk in the first place. To find out more, you could read Dr. Mark Hyan’s article on reasons why we should avoid dairy at all costs.
So, I started looking for other milk alternatives in the supermarket. At NTUC or our local major supermarkets, I manage to find almond, soy and rice milk packaged in cartons. At Cold Storage, they also sell hazelnut,quinoa and oat milk which are great alternatives to dairy milk. However, these milk alternatives don’t come as cheap. A carton of almond or hazelnut milk could costs up to five or six dollars. Rice milk is slightly cheaper, costing about four to five dollars per carton. Soy milk or soyabean milk would be the cheapest option among the other alternatives. However, some scientists believe that we should also eliminate soy products from our diet. So I guess that leaves us with milk extracted with nuts and grains.
So far, I’ve only tried almond and soy milk which complements well with oats and cereals for breakfast or snacks. Perhaps I would try hazelnut milk and ricemilk the next time. Almond milk is not thick and creamy like dairy milk but I like the nutty almond fragrance of the milk. I would usually soak rolled oats in almond milk overnight in the fridge so that I could eat it for breakfast in the next morning.
2. Rolled oats
Choose rolled oats over instant oats as it more fibre and added nutrients. You don’t always have to cook rolled oats over the stove or in the microwave. All you need is some hot boiling water and soak the oats in it for about 5 to 10 minutes. It doesn’t take very long to cook the oats and having said that, we don’t even need to buy instant oatmeal just so we could save preparation time.
3. Fruits (Berries)
Fruits make great snacks in between meals to fuel your body with energy. You might get sick of eating apples, oranges, bananas and other tropical fruits sold in Singapore so this is the time to have fun and consume other types of fruits like blueberries, blackberries or Kiwis. But once again, these imported fruits are expensive. For instance, the box of blackberries I bought from the supermarket costs me about five dollars. I felt the pinch in my wallet but I learnt that it’s alright to spend your money’s worth on food that is beneficial for your body. Berries are my current go-to fruit snacks because they are high in anti-oxidants and vitamin C. They are also great weight-loss and satiable fruits for its high water content and fibre which fills you up quickly.
Whenever I crave to munch on something crispy or savoury, I would opt for nuts over chips.My favourite nuts are cashew, pistachio and peanuts. Lately, I’ve been going crazy over cashew. It’s hard but not too tough as compared to almonds. Besides, cashew has this creamy and buttery taste in its flesh which I love. The same goes for pistachios. I think pistachios are one of the most delicious nuts in the world. But do go for roasted or unflavoured nuts because the seasonings added to flavoured nuts are usually high in sodium or sugar.
Packed with unsaturated fats and vitamin E, nuts like almond and walnuts are great for the heart,skin and hair.
And once again, nuts are expensive too as most of these nuts are imported. It does gets on my nerves sometimes when I had to factor in the costs and budget. So I would try to vary the types of nuts I eat. Peanuts are much cheaper whereas nuts like almond,walnuts and pistachio are more pricey. And peanuts make great toppings in salads or desserts. In fact, recently, I learnt that you could make peanut butter with just peanuts and oil using a blender or food processor. I’m probably going to try my hands on whipping up some peanut butter in the kitchen with my newly-bought U-Like blender. Watch out for my upcoming blogposts!
Honestly, I did get sick of eating nuts and fruits as snack for a while so I started researching for healthy snack ideas which doesn’t requires much preparation and cooking. That’s when I discovered that seaweed which provides you with nutrients from the ocean is the next best healthy thing to snack on.
I’ve started to include seaweed as part of my health snack ideas recently after watching videos of health and fitness junkies on YouTube.
Seaweed is a great source of calcium, B vitamin-folate, iron and magnesium.
Initially, there were only a few brands of seaweed in the supermarket like Tao Kae Noi, a Thai brand seaweed which is quite popular among Singaporeans! I always noticed that some Singaporeans would stock up on Tao Kae Noi’s seaweed snacks whenever they make a trip to Malaysia or Thailand. Yes, Tao Kae Noi’s seaweed snacks are tasty and low in calories but they are flavoured with seasonings like salt. Seaweed itself is high in sodium and with the added seasonings, the sodium levels would be skyrocket high.
Fortunately, I discovered there is a Korean brand of roasted seaweed sold in the supermarket. It’s seaweed tasted different from the Japanese Nori seaweed. I felt that the Korean-style seaweed is more tasty and less salty. The ones I’ve bought (below) is slightly seasoned with salt.
Do try out all these healthy snack ideas which will make your calories worth!
Do you have any healthy snack ideas to share?
Do leave them as a comment below as I would like to hear from you!