granola healthy snack bars

How to make healthy snack bars

Love to snack, but want to make sure what you’re nibbling on is as healthy as possible?

There are numerous things you can create in your own kitchen from very few ingredients which can be both delicious and very nutritious.

First of all, what counts as a ‘healthy’ snack?

Healthy doesn’t always have to mean boring when it comes to food. Snacks which are good for you are simply things that don’t contain high amounts of processed sugar, salt or saturated fat, or have a high calorie count1.

Ingredients which are perfect for incorporating into your healthy snacks include:

  • Nuts – these are great sources of protein and fibre, plus they contain plenty of good fats2.

  • Seeds – these are packed with fibre and numerous essential vitamins, minerals and antioxidants3.

  • Fruit (dried or fresh) – fruit is one of the top sources of certain vitamins and minerals needed for vital bodily functions, plus they’re very low in fat4.

  • Popcorn – popcorn is rich fibre, various B vitamins and iron that’s needed to create red blood cells5.

What healthy snacks can I make?

If you love doing some home baking, you’ll find endless recipes online for treats which are not only simple to whip up, but also make good use of nutritious ingredients like those listed above.

Why not try making:

Granola bars

Granola bars are a popular healthy snack as you can pack them with lots of healthy ingredients such as chopped nuts, dried fruit and seeds. Instead of golden syrup, try binding the ingredients together with good quality honey or agave nectar.

Oat cookies

Similar to the above, these are truly tasty snacks for when you’re feeling peckish in between meals. Oats are jam-packed with health benefits, from being a good source of dietary fibre through to keeping you sated for longer6. If you’ve not got a nut allergy, consider swapping out some of the honey or syrup in your chosen recipe for a nut butter.

Banana loaf

If you can’t resist a slice of cake with your afternoon cuppa, a banana loaf is a wholesome option. Use plenty of overripe bananas and sweeten it with some sticky dates instead of sugar. Those who follow a gluten free diet may want to swap out regular flour for something like almond flour, buckwheat flour or brown rice flour7.

Three tips for healthy snacking

1. Limit your portion sizes

Having the occasional treat like chocolate is fine as long as you have it in a small, healthy amount.

2. Don’t shop for snacks when you’re hungry!

Research shows you’re more likely to choose unhealthy snacks.

3. Prep for the future

Make healthy snacks in advance so you can satisfy your cravings with something that’s good for you8. Remember that snacks shouldn’t be eaten as alternatives to healthy, balanced meals. If you’re after more nutritious ways to make healthy snacks, why not take a look at our other recipes?

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Last updated: 7 April 2020

Sources 
  1. https://www.nutrition.org.uk/healthyliving/helpingyoueatwell/snacking.html?limitstart=0
  2. https://www.healthline.com/nutrition/9-healthy-nuts
  3. https://www.healthline.com/nutrition/6-healthiest-seeds
  4. https://www.nhs.uk/live-well/eat-well/why-5-a-day/
  5. https://www.healthline.com/nutrition/popcorn-nutrition-and-health#section2
  6. https://www.healthline.com/nutrition/9-benefits-oats-oatmeal
  7. https://www.healthline.com/nutrition/gluten-free-flours
  8. https://www.nutrition.org.uk/healthyliving/helpingyoueatwell/snacking.html?limitstart=0
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