If you're anything like HuffPost UK Lifestyle, mid-afternoon is the time of day to get your serious snack on.
At approximately 3pm our tummies start rumbling and before long we're stood bleary-eyed in front of the vending machine bingeing on crisps, chocolate and God only knows how many calories.
But listen up dear reader, for you may be pleased to know that snacking doesn't always have to be shameful.
By simply planning ahead you can ensure that when those food cravings start, a healthy snack will be on hand to save the day.
HuffPost Canada Healthy Living have pulled together 10 tasty snacks to suppress your hunger, while leaving you guilt-free.
From fruit and seeds to salad in a jar, a little preparation can do wonders for your health and your waistline. What healthy foods do you like to tuck into? Let us know in the comments below.
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Roasted Chickpeas: There are as many ways to prepare roasted chickpeas as there are herbs and spices. Try making them with spices that you love from a favourite dish or cuisine, like curry powder for an Indian flavour or cumin and chili powder to for a Mexican variation. The recipe is simple: toss a can of chickpeas with a bit of oil and your chosen spices, and bake your chickpeas at 400C until they're golden and crunchy.
Salad In A Jar: Salads can be both nutritious and versatile, because they’re endlessly customisable, but they can be messy and difficult to transport. Also, mixing in your dressing in advance can make your greens soggy, but carrying it on the side can lead to a work bag full of Catalina. The solution? Salad in a jar! This was all over Pinterest a few months ago, and for good reason: by layering the salad ingredients, with dressing at the bottom and greens at the top, they all stay fresh until you dump them in a bowl.
Hummus And Carrot Sticks: Hummus is made with chickpeas, which are full of protein and fibre and a good source of iron. Good thing it's also delicious. There are many ways to get hummus into your mouth, but we recommend freshly cut carrot sticks or bagged baby carrots—they've got a satisfying crunch and are a great way to get some vitamin A in your diet. If you're feeling adventurous, try making your own hummus at home.
Fresh Fruit: Fresh fruits are nature's first convenience food — bananas and oranges even come with their own biodegradable packaging. It's hard to mess up this one, but we recommend choosing fruits that are in season locally. That way your already healthy snack will also be cost conscious and at its peak of flavour and freshness.
Green Smoothies: You can really customise a daily smoothie to fit whatever nutritional needs you to need to address. Add hemp seeds or ground flax for a dose of healthy omega fats. Get some potassium and fibre by throwing a banana into the blender. Add protein with a powder supplement or soy milk. Our favourite smoothie booster is a handful of healthy fresh greens, like spinach. It's a great way to get the benefits of these healthy vegetables. Oh She Glows has a selection of recipes for "green monster" smoothies that are so delicious that you'll never guess they're great for you.
Kale Chips: Kale is having its moment in the nutritional sun right now. This hot leafy green has become increasingly popular not just for its great taste but also because of its abundance of fibre and iron, among other key nutrients. Kale's great in salads, but you can also make it into chips by baking it in the oven, adding your favourite seasonings to replicate the taste of your favourite fried snacks without all the fat and calories. We suggest tossing the shredded kale with apple cider vinegar and sea salt.
Ants On A Log: Ants on a log — celery stalks filled with peanut butter and topped off with raisins — might remind you of snack time in kindergarten, but did you know that celery is a source of potassium? The peanut butter gives you a kick of protein while the raisins throw some fibre into the mix. You can make this one a little more grown up by trying a different nut butter, like cashew, or by substituting dried cranberries for raisins. Personally, we think that the classic version is yummy, too.
Veggies And Dip: Think of what you'd love to see on a crudite plate, and get it on the go. Broccoli, peppers, carrots, celery, and cauliflower are all great options for snacking. They take a while to eat so you won't rush past your full point, and munching on them throughout the day can help you reach your recommended servings of fruits and vegetables. Baba ganoush, made with eggplants, is a great dip option.
Edamame: Steamed and salted edamame pods are to the Japanese what peanuts and popcorn are to North Americans — they're a standard bar snack across the Pacific. They're a lot healthier than our favourites, because edamame are fresh green soybeans, which means that they're full of protein. They're delicious with just a sprinkle of sea salt.
Pumpkin Seeds: It's a shame that a pumpkin’s seeds usually get thrown away when we carve out our jack-o’lanterns at Halloween, because they're very nutritious. Pumpkin seeds are full of antioxidants, and they're a great source of immune-boosting zinc. Like chickpeas, you can toss them with spices and a bit of oil and roast them, but they're also delicious raw. If you can find them, get your seeds unshelled to get your full boost of zinc. The shells are edible.Suggest a correction