Like you, I’m a busy mum. Thankfully, I always begin my day with breakfast. But sometimes, when I am in the middle of a home-based project that is in full swing, I forget to eat.
Or else, I only remember to eat when I’m so hungry I’m about to fall over. In these moments, I often rely upon a midday (or early afternoon) bowl of porridge. It’s my fall-back friend.
The only way I can manage this (somewhat) bad habit is to have a list of ready-to-eat ideas on my fridge. This list is my friend. I often have a quick look at the list upon waking, and can mentally prepare for an 11am snack break which helps get me through to ‘lunch’, no matter what time is eventuates. Sometimes, I’ll have something from this ‘snack’ list for lunch too.
Here are the 21 things on my list
of easy-to-prepare healthy snacks at present:
- Fresh fruit chopped into small pieces (think watermelon cubes, banana slices, peach slices, apple quarters, blueberries or strawberries, or kiwi fruit, served with a small dipping bowl of free-nut (sesame seed) butter for dipping.
- A handful of macadamia nuts
- Falafel balls (I make a whole heap and freeze them, then take out a few from the freezer in the early morning) and a dipping bowl of hommus or garlic yoghurt dip.
- 3 slices of swiss cheese- my favourite! And a few slices of ham with this if I have it in my fridge.
- Sliced tomatoes and a hommus spread on rice crackers with salt and pepper
- Greek yoghurt with some frozen blueberries (or fresh) mixed in, topped with a shop-bought museli or granola mix (I’m careful to check the ingredients list as I like to buy one that is sugar free. Most of the time I will buy this from a health food shop, but if I can’t find one without almonds-they give me an itchy throat- I’ll make my own oaty-seed-nut mix if need be.)
- A small bowl of olives (salty yumminess!), feta cheese squares or bocconcini (small mozzarella) balls, cherry tomatoes, and slices of cucumber
- Carrot, capsicum, and cucumber sticks with a bowl of dip- hommus, tzatziki, or basil pesto.
- A small tin of water-packed tuna (plain) mixed with some japanese mayonnaise
- Fried rice. I make an extra cup or two of brown or white rice when I’m cooking dinner, then I make this up in the morning first thing. I whisk up two eggs and make an omelette in the base of a frypan (low heat is the key), then cut it into small pieces and set it aside. Then I throw in small cubes of bacon or ham, tiny squares of carrot, capsicum, zucchini, onion and corn (or whatever I have handy) and stir for 3 minutes. Then I add the cold rice, the egg omelette pieces, and flavour it with a dribble of soy sauce or my preferred japanese sauce- ponzu (sweet soy, available in japanese grocers.)
- If I’m after something sweet, I might search my fridge hoping to find these yummy fruit balls! Process 1 cup of macadamia or cashew nuts, 2 tablespoons raw cacao powder, 1 cup of pitted dates, a small handful of dried apricots, a tablespoon of sultanas, a tablespoon of pumpkin seeds, a teaspoon of vanilla essence, 1/2 cup dessicated coconut, and 2 tablespoons of water/juice. Roll mixture into small balls and coat in more coconut to stop them from sticking. Place in an airtight container and store in fridge for up to a week. (See photo above!)
- Make a smoothie- another sweet treat that I can easily whip up before the brain fuzz hits. In your food processor, or thermomix, whiz one banana, a handful of blueberries, two chunks of ice, a tablespoon of maple syrup, a massive dollop of natural yoghurt or jalna vanilla yoghurt, a tablespoon of flax (linseed) seeds and a tablespoon of sunflower seeds, and a tablespoon of flax seed oil. Serve immediately.
- A cup of miso soup. I fall back on convenience here and use those small pre-packs from the supermarket (asian foods section) which include miso paste, nori strips, and dried shallots, but you could just boil up miso paste and a cup of water and add your own fresh ingredients too.
- Oven-baked nori sheets. My friend uses a pastry brush to coat nori (seaweed) paper with an extremely light coating of olive oil and a fine sprinkle of sea salt, then bakes them in the oven for 15 minutes on medium heat. When they are ready, she cuts them into small squares as a handy savoury treat.
- Sliced boiled egg, sliced apple, a few grapes and feta cheese in a dish.
- Raw snow peas and a dip of mashed up avocado with salsa.
- Leftover barbeque chicken pieces with a green salad of cos lettuce, cucumber, celery, baby spinach leaves and corn.
- I adore fresh smoked salmon and can eat a 50 gram pack at any time.
- Quick pizza breads- I slather tomato paste onto a square of turkish bread and add whatever pizza toppings I have handy: corn, capsicum, olives, pineapple, ham, grated cheese, salami, pesto, chicken pieces, mayonnaise swirl,
- I love a cob of corn or two with a drizzle of butter. Always reminds me of the big recycled oil drums filled with cobs of corn being cooked on the side of the road and sold to passersby in Africa.
- My favourite thermomix salad- a small beetroot, one green apple, one small carrot, one tablespoon of olive oil, and a small amount of coriander- whizzed up small. Yum!
Do you have a lunch inspiration (or healthy snack) list on your fridge too? What is on it?
(And if not, what would your list include?)