The snack is a light meal before the main meal or dinner. Originally, it was to whet the appetite, but over time it has remained a time to sit around a table with others to talk while eating appetizers. Antipasto, apéritif, imbiss, boca, botana, tapa, mezze, picada… There are many different names for it in different cultures.
We find different types of snacks and establishments offer ready-to-eat commercial options, but not all of them are healthy and leave much to be desired in terms of nutritional quality. Dried fruits and nuts, for example, would be a good nutritious and quick choice, but we would like to propose some healthy and delicious alternatives. The fact that it is homemade, prioritizes fresh foods and avoids ultra-processed snacks.
10 HEALTHY SNACK IDEAS
1. Spiced chickpeas
Preheat the oven to 200ºC and prepare a tray with greaseproof paper. In a bowl mix a jar of drained chickpeas and add the juice of half a lemon, a teaspoon of garlic powder, cumin, turmeric, a tablespoon and a half of sweet paprika, salt and a little pepper. Stir well, but be careful not to break the legume. Pour into the pan and bake for approximately 35 minutes until crispy. Let them cool before eating.
2. Baked potatoes
Wash the skin of the potatoes, dry them, cut them into pieces of the same size and bake them in the oven at 180ºC with olive oil, salt, pepper, thyme, rosemary, oregano and garlic powder. The time varies depending on the oven, but usually about 45 minutes. You will know they are ready when they are tender when pierced. You can serve them with a homemade tomato or pesto sauce, but they are already delicious.
3. Pickles and olives
Olives and pickles are convenient snacks because they are ready to eat and very versatile. Olives have many cardiovascular, antioxidant and digestive properties and contain minerals. It is advisable to choose options without fillers and that are as natural as possible. Los pepinillos y las cebolletas también contienen una infinidad de vitaminas y minerales, además son alimentos probióticos, que son las bacterias más beneficiosas para nuestro intestino.
4. Vegetable pâtés
Pâtés are easy to make, you can use a healthy protein source as a base and make many different combinations with fresh vegetables, to accompany them with vegetable sticks and raw vegetables or a slice of good bread. Hummus of different legumes or guacamole are the classics. Another classic is the Muhammara, which is prepared by crushing roasted red bell pepper, garlic, walnuts, dried tomato, tahini, olive oil, a few drops of lemon, salt, pepper and sweet paprika.
These appetizers can be found canned, but you can also prepare them at home, marinating the fish well cleaned with good olive oil, garlic, parsley, salt and vinegar or lemon. Oily fish provides protein, good quality fats, minerals and vitamins. If you prefer canned fish, always choose options with extra virgin olive oil.
6. Stuffed eggs
Cook the eggs and once they are cold, remove the shell, cut the shell in half and separate the whites from the yolk. You can fill them with different ingredients. We suggest mixing the egg yolk with avocado, olive oil, a few drops of lemon, salt and pepper, beating with the help of a blender or a fork. Fill the eggs. You can add some black olives on top.
7. Sautéed edamame
First, cook the edamame in their pods with water and salt. When they are cooked and well dried, sauté them with garlic for a few minutes and, finally, add lemon juice and tamari sauce. You can also add a final touch of hot or sweet paprika. This legume is high in vegetable protein and fiber, making it a very nutritious and healthy snack. It is also very low in fat.
8. Caprese tomatoes
One of the freshest and easiest appetizers to prepare. The flavor will vary depending on the raw material. Choose good red tomatoes, large, ripe, fleshy and fresh. The basil should be in fresh leaves and the buffalo mozzarella. Wash and slice both ingredients. On top of each tomato, add a piece of cheese and some basil leaves. Now it only remains to add salt, pepper, virgin olive oil and Modena vinegar.
9. Fruit and vegetable chips
Wash and dry fruits and vegetables such as carrot, apple, pear, banana and zucchini. Leave the skin on all except the banana. Preheat the oven to 60ºC with heat up, down and, if it has the fan function, turn it on. Cut the fruits and vegetables into very thin slices with a knife or mandolin and place them on a tray with baking paper. Place the tray in the oven and cook for a couple of hours until the ingredients are crispy and have lost all the water. Let cool and ready to eat.
10. Stuffed celery
Remove the end of the celery stalk, the white part. Also the leaves. Clean the vegetable by scraping them a little to remove some strands. In a bowl, mix cream cheese with green olives, roasted red bell pepper and onion, all chopped. Add parsley and a few drops of Tabasco. Apply this filling to the celery stalks and consume this appetizer well chilled.