By Sherazade Khan
In winter there’s nothing more comforting than cocooning ourselves up in a duvet on a cosy sofa, drinking hot chocolate, and stuffing our faces with warm cookies. But how long can one go on hibernating and consuming all those calories without resembling a disproportionate hippo? That too when getting out of bed to exercise (or simply going to the loo) is next to impossible!
We have a solution for you so you can continue to chomp while watching back to back episodes of your favourite show.
Here are the healthy snacks you can indulge in without packing on the pounds!
Venture out on a cold night and you’re sure to see the moongphalli wala showing off his ware of hot, crispy peanuts, just calling out to you to crack them open. Did you know that peanuts (along with other nuts) apart from raising your body temperature, also raise your metabolic rate?
With virtually no fat, air popped corn (that’s right, hold the butter) is a great snack that can be enjoyed warm and goes splendidly with your favourite movie!
Baked Corn Chips
We’re talking the lightly-seasoned, oven-baked variety that sits atop the snack shelf at your local store, ignored by most because they’re the ‘healthy’ option!
This super food makes a great snack when you tear them into bite sized pieces and pop them in the oven for 10-15 minutes. Tada! You’ve got kale chips to dig into while you’re being a couch potato! For added flavour, spray it with olive oil and sprinkle with salt before baking.
Don’t know where to buy it from? It’s available here.
With very little fat content, Medjool dates have a rich, sweet flavour, and are great for that much-needed energy boost. Not only that, they’re also packed with essential minerals and vitamins along with fibre.
Another dry fruit that has virtually no fat and makes a great snack. From the family of the magnolia plant, the fig is full of antioxidants, minerals, and fibre that contribute to your overall health and wellness.
Instead of picking up packaged roasted nuts, why not make your own? Get a handful of nuts that you like and toast them in the oven (10 minutes at 350 degrees). Add to that some raisins and currants and raw seeds (pumpkin, sunflower etc.). Then toss them into a jar and add some seasoning such as salt, cinnamon, and nutmeg!
These are widely available at most grocery stores and come in a variety of flavours so you can pick up a bunch and toss them in your bag for on-the-go hunger pangs.
The home-made variety available in most grocery stores is the next best option to making your own. Compared to other cheeses, low fat cottage cheese has only 1% fat, very few calories, and is an excellent source of protein. If you don’t like it as is, try slicing it into chunky strips and tossing it onto a skillet till it’s golden on both sides.
Rye-based crisp bread
You must have seen Ryvita on the shelf of your favourite grocery store in the snack or cereal section. The cracker-like snack is low-calorie and high-fibre, which means it will keep you feeling fuller without messing with your calorie intake.
Available at most bakeries and grocery stores, this twice-baked bread is delicious and a healthy alternative to biscuits. Go for the low-sugar or sugar-free whole wheat option for a higher intake of fibre.
Available in fat-free options this rich, creamy variety of yogurt goes perfectly with granola and chopped fruits to make a hearty snack any time of day!
Channas or gram
We’re sure you’ve seen these at your Nani’s if you haven’t munched on them yourself. Their distinct kaala chilka sets them apart from other varieties. These little legumes pack a punch when it comes to energy and have virtually no calories.
They’re great for taking along to work or even just to tone down the grumbling in your stomach. Why, you ask? Oh, only because they’re so highly nutritious, full of antioxidants, beta-carotene, vitamins, minerals and fibre. Need I go on?
This relative of the humble potato has only 0.1% of fat and a whole load of fibre! You’ll see many a thela-wala selling them on the roadside and boy do they make a nice hot snack on a cold winter day. Especially with lemon and their spicy concoction of namak and lal mirch!