Snacking has caused much controversy over the years, but lets face it – we all love to snack! To swiftly clear things up, that’s perfectly okay, as long as you’re snacking right. Ideally we should be eating every 3-4 hours in order to keep blood sugar levels high and avoid that energy slump we all know too well, but the key to staying snack savvy is to find the snacking style that works best for you.
Ensuring your snacks are raw is a great way of packing in your daily dose of RAWsomeness, whilst not compromising on great taste. By adding in a raw bar or two (my NS snacks!), some crudités and a dip, or even simply a couple of pieces of fruit every day can positively impact your skin, mood, digestion and so much more… the list of benefits really is endless! So as we come towards the end of this wonderful week, without further ado, here are my top tips on how to stay snack happy, RAWsome style.
It’s universally understood that ‘if you fail to prepare, you are preparing to fail’ and this couldn’t ring truer when talking snacks! If you haven’t got any food on you, it’s highly likely that 3pm will chime and the temptation to buy something you weren’t intending on purchasing will inevitably overwhelm you, leaving you mindlessly munching on something you had no intention of eating. If you’re a rawbie (unofficial way of addressing a raw-newbie), bars are a fantastic way to combat this. If you’re someone with a little more time on your hands, making a homemade batch is a brilliant, cost-effective way of prepping for sudden snacking moments (I love these ones), however if time is of the essence and well, the latest Bake Off episode is on the agenda (we all love tuning in after a long day to talk ‘layers’ and ‘soggy bottoms’ with Mary Berry after all), Naturally Sassy snack bites are perfect for ensuring you have a sustained amount of energy throughout a long day – I may be biased, but they certainly work for me!
Know Your Products
If lunch box making is not a part of your morning agenda, when practicing snacking on the go RAWesome style, it’s integral that you know your products. In London, places like Wholefoods and Planet Organic are great for this, however if you’re not conveniently located next to a health store do not despair; fortunately a lot of mainstream supermarkets like Waitrose and Tesco are now stocking raw bars, balls and trail mixes as well as an abundance of fresh fruit and veg to snack on – Tesco even stock pre-spiralized courgette and cauliflower rice (yes, totally awesome)! Knowing your stores is one thing, but knowing what exactly is in your product is even more important. At times it can be tricky to decipher what’s healthy and what isn’t (cereal bars for example can be misleading) due to clever marketing. Always try to ensure you stick to ingredients you know (and throughout RAWesome week, ingredients that are raw obvs!).
Stocking your kitchen with ingredients has never been more key than during this week of RAWesome! Not only is this an extremely environmentally friendly method and one that’ll end up cheaper in the long run, but using tupperware to take snacks with you throughout your working day also opens the door to so many raw snacking possibilities that cling film just can’t handle! Some of my favourite tupperware fillers that also happen to be totally delicious are fruit salads, perhaps sprinkled with some desiccated coconut and cinnamon, chopped veggies and peanut butter (sounds weird, tastes amazing!) and medjool dates stuffed with almond butter – 100% yum.
Juice is something that never seems to go out fashion in the health food world, and all for good reason (as you may have guessed, we’re not talking Tropicana here either!) Juices are such a brilliant way of instantly nourishing your body and getting a fantastic amount of goodness into your system super efficiently. I love using beetroot for a perfect punch of vibrancy or stripping things back to basics and going for a full-proof glass of green goodness. Juices can go a little funny after a day, but making a quick one in the morning (or popping to your local juice bar) and taking it with you to work to sip throughout the morning is a great raw snack option. Experiment with different veggies and fruits to discover your favourite combos, it’s so much fun watching the colours come through into one vibrant glass of RAWesomeness!
A common misconception is that raw food has to be boring and repetitive, and well I suppose if you stick to the same things day in day out then like anything, it can be. This is why it’s absolutely vital to let those creative juices flow and mix things up a little! There are endless opportunities for interesting snacking combos in the raw department, however some of my absolute faves for when I’m feeling particularly RAWesome have got to be my Raw Gingerbread Slices, creamy homemade Vegan Yoghurt and wonderfully energising green smoothies. You can change up the flavours in all of these to suit your mood, so like many homemade treats, you have the license to create something that really works for you.
Know Your Nuts
Nuts, seeds and dried fruits are some of the easiest to access raw snacks around. They are available pretty much everywhere these days so all that’s required on your part is to pop to the supermarket and your afternoon snack is officially sorted. Alternatively, you can buy in bulk from places like Amazon to save money and time (plus you’ll have lots left over to make raw desserts!) Don’t think these kinds of foods have to be boring – they’re far from it! Who wouldn’t want some gooey dates paired with crunchy caramelly pecans as a mid-morning pick me up? To mix things up a little further, try making your own trail mix from your favourite nuts, seeds and dried fruits, varying your combinations from week to week. I’m a huge lover of dates but dried figs, apricots (unsulphered are ideal) and cranberries are brilliant for curbing those stubborn sugar cravings.
Feature Some Fruit
A simple snack, simplest of them all in fact and often overlooked, is fresh fruit! With the notion that ‘an apple a day keeps the doctor away’, very much instilled into our subconscious from a young age, upon reflection our ancestors could have been onto something! (we’ll just bump up the quantity maybe). Some of the most delicious foods on the planet (and possibly the fastest food going) fruit really does make for the ultimate easy raw snack idea. Apples, peaches and bananas (to name a few) are available pretty much everywhere, so if you’re out and about aim to hunt out a market for the best deals and juiciest fruits. It’s still perfectly fine to stock up in supermarkets though, however just a word of advice, when buying seasonally prices will be cut down and you will be left with better tasting fruit too. If you’re feeling adventurous, fill a little Tupperware pot with almond butter to dip your fruit in to – trust me, after one crunch you’ll never look back!
Instagram and Pinterest are great platforms for discovering snackspiration (is that a thing?), so whether you’re after something as simple as a new juice combo or something a little more extravagant (raw cheesecake slice, anyone?!), there is an abundance of ingenious ideas all over these sites. Pinterest also provides a perfect platform for hunting down ways to make simple changes to your snacks when referring to raw. One of my favourites found on Pinterest is a simple hummus ingredient swap; try substituting chickpeas for courgettes in your classic hummus recipe to create a raw recreation of a snacking staple.
It may sound obvious, but remembering to carry a water bottle with you to sip throughout the day is extremely important when staying healthy and trying to snack raw. Remaining hydrated will help to keep any cravings at bay and stop your from overeating. I would recommend investing in a glass BPA-free bottle so to retain all the goodness, but if plain water doesn’t always float your boat, it’s easy to keep things interesting by adding sliced fruits and veggies to give your water a wonderfully refreshing twist. Other than a familiar option of lemons and limes, other ways I like to jazz up my water is by adding cucumber, mint leaves and/or frozen berries.
Don’t be fooled
Those ‘2 for 1’ cupcakes may look appetizing, but they’ll only lead to an energy slump later in the day that will lead to you craving even more sugar. I can’t emphasise how much better you’ll feel in yourself if you opt for a pot of juicy mango or one of my raw chocolate brownies instead! Something which is never on my agenda though is fizzy drinks; they may seem appetizing when an overwhelming bout of thirst comes on, but most of them actually do the opposite to quenching your thirst; you’re more than likely to end up thirstier than you initially were following a cheeky can of the fizz!
I really hope these tips are useful to all you savvy (and sassy) snackers, and encourage you to rethink the way you snack – RAW style. For me, raw snacking is the way forward and there are so many delicious options that are always waiting to be tried! Make sure you share your raw creations on Instagram with the hashtag #RAWsomeWeek so I can check them all out and get totally inspired.