In today’s world, there is no shortage of snacks available in the marketplace. For any craving one might have - for something salty, sweet, or crunchy - there are snacks available to satisfy them all. However, most of these snacks are also unhealthy. This is due to the fact that most of them are manufactured in large factories using refinery methods wherein a lot of nutrients tend to get removed from the products as they go through each subsequent phase of production. Additionally, almost all of these snacks contain preservatives of some kind - these are usually artificial chemicals added to the products to ensure that they have a long shelf life and retain the added flavoring, which is also usually artificial. While such products can be convenient for on-the-go snacking, they are not ideal for daily consumption, especially from a health standpoint.
Healthy snacks are extremely easy to make at home and can be a very nutritious addition to one’s daily diet. When talking about ‘healthy snacks’, most people tend to think about bland snacks made using raw vegetables. This is not necessarily true - one can make extremely delicious homemade snacks using the right ingredients, and these can satisfy all types of snack cravings. Here is a list of some such healthy homemade snacks:
Toor Dal Dumplings
These steamed toor dal dumplings are a traditional breakfast or snack recipe from Karnataka. They are a healthy and gluten-free food usually served with a side of coconut chutney. The preparation is similar to masala vada. Toor dal is a great source of protein, and ingredients such as ginger, chilies, and coriander leaves add a hint of freshness to the dumplings, making them the perfect healthy snack. Here is the recipe for toor dal dumplings:
- 1 cup of toor dal
- ⅓ cup freshly grated coconut
- 4 green chilies
- 1-inch ginger, chopped
- 3 tbsp coriander leaves, finely chopped
- 2 sprigs of curry leaves, chopped
- Black salt to taste
- Oil to grease the plate
- Rinse the toor dal and soak it in water for at least 3 hours.
- Drain the dal and leave it in the strainer for a few minutes. The toor dal mustn’t have any water in it.
- Add the dal, ginger, and green chilly to a mixer or a food processor. Pulse it a few times to get a coarse mixture. Do not make it a puree. Transfer the coarsely grounded dal into a big bowl.
- Add the remaining ingredients such as onion, curry leaves, coriander leaves, and salt and mix everything well.
- Take a small portion of the lentil mixture and make an oval-shaped dumpling. Grease the idli stand and place the dumplings in it.
- Steam the dumplings for at least 11- 12 minutes.
- Wait for ten minutes before you open the steamer.
- Serve the dumpling hot with chutney!
Coconut Chia Pancakes
Chia seeds are valued for their nutritional properties. They are known for their high content of omega 3 fatty acids, fiber, and numerous vitamins and minerals. This easy recipe for coconut chia pancakes is an ideal snack and also a new way to add chia and protein to your diet. Here is the recipe for coconut chia pancakes:
- ¼ cup Buckwheat flour
- 2 tbsp of grated coconut
- 2 tbsp of vanilla essence
- ½ tsp baking powder
- 1 pinch of black salt
- 1 tbsp chia seeds
- 1 egg
- 1 tsp coconut oil
- 4 tbsp of almond milk
- Mix all the dry ingredients in a bowl. Then add in wet ingredients and stir them together. Ensure the ingredients are well incorporated in the batter to make smooth pancakes.
- Heat a pan and grease with coconut oil. Pour 2 tablespoons of batter to form each pancake.
- Cook for a few minutes. Once it starts to bubble on top, flip and cook for an additional minute or two.
- Take off the pan and layer the pancakes on a plate. Top with butter or maple syrup if desired and enjoy!
QUINOA PANEER PATTIES
These quinoa paneer patties are healthy inside out with a combination of high protein, fiber and calcium. Quinoa is the only grain that is a complete protein and is gluten-free too. These patties are easy to make and store, and are a delicious snack for a rainy day! Here is the recipe for quinoa paneer patties:
- ½ cup of quinoa
- 1 cup of water
- 1 tbsp of ghee
- 1 grated carrot
- 1 stalk celery, thinly sliced
- 100g paneer, grated
- 1 tbsp of garam masala
- 3 green chilies, chopped
- ⅓ cup of minced fresh parsley
- 3 tbsp of olive oil
- 2 tbsp of flour
- Salt and pepper to taste
- Wash the quinoa thoroughly, add water and bring to a boil. Simmer on low for 20 minutes, then cool.
- Heat the olive oil in a skillet. Add carrot and celery and sauté over low heat until tender.
- Mix the sautéed vegetables, quinoa, paneer, parsley with the garam masala and flour. Season with salt and pepper.
- Shape the mixture into patties and grill them in a griddle pan in ghee/olive oil on both sides until they are brown.
- Serve hot with a side of tomato sauce or mint chutney!
Vegetable Cutlets with Herbs
Urad dal is a staple ingredient in every home and is easy to cook without fermentation. Aside from being a great source of protein, it also has a lot of fiber which aids in digestion. This recipe uses the natural nutty flavor or urad dal to its best. It's the perfect healthy snack to satisfy any salty, crunchy, or savory cravings one might have. Here is the recipe for vegetable cutlets:
- 1/2 cup of urad dal
- 1/4 cup grated coconut
- 1/4 cup chopped cabbage
- 2 tbsp finely chopped coriander
- 1/2 tsp chili powder
- Black salt to taste
- Oil for greasing and cooking
- Wash the urad dal well and soak it in a bowl for 2 hours.
- Mix the urad dal in a half cup of water in a mixer and blend it well until smooth.
- Transfer it into another bowl and mix all the remaining ingredients. Blend it all well.
- Grease the pan and keep it on a medium flame with little oil.
- Shape the urad dal mixture into whatever shape of cutlet you like and place it on the hot pan. Cook both sides with the help of a fork until it turns golden brown.
- Serve it hot with mint chutney or tomato sauce!
Snacks are undeniably a crucial part of our daily diet. They can also contribute to our daily nutrition and provide enough fuel in between meals for our daily activities. Although there are tons of readymade healthy snacks out there, nothing can beat a quick and fresh D.I.Y. snack from your own kitchen. These snack recipes are healthy and absolutely delicious. The nutritional value of most of these ingredients makes them a healthy addition to our daily diets. Additionally, unlike store-bought snacks, these recipes give us the liberty to customize the flavor based on our liking, to make them all the more delicious. So next time you are craving a snack, try any of these recipes for a quick refuel in the middle of your day!