Obesity is a serious issue affecting millions of people around the world. In 2013, 42 million children below five years old were either overweight or obese, while in 2014, more than 1.9 billion adults were overweight.
Obesity or overweight is due to any or combination of the following factors:
- Existing Medical Conditions
- Certain Medications
- Family Lifestyle
- Lack of Exercise
- Poor Diet
Thankfully, going beyond the recommended body mass index, or the index of weight-for-height, is preventable. However, the continuous rise of fast food chains and easy accessibility of processed, junk, and sugary foods makes it hard to stick on a healthy, nutritious diet.
The good news is, you can make your own snacks filled with nutritious ingredients that are not too heavy on the tummy. Don’t worry, you don’t have to be a kitchen expert or gourmet chef to make these organic snacks.
Here are eight snacks that give your health and body a boost:
1. Make Your Own Chia Crackers for a Healthier Snack Time
When it comes to easy-to-prepare, open-to-creativity snacks, crackers will be on top of the list. It can adapt to any ingredients you have in the kitchen and a good last minute addition during parties and simple get-together with friends.
Crackers are made of flour, fat, and liquid. However, most packaged crackers sold in the market contain hydrogenated fats, a key ingredient that keeps crackers able to stay in the shelf for years. In case the idea does not appeal to you, try this simple cracker recipe with healthy ingredients: Triticale and Chia Crackers.
Triticale is a whole grain hybrid made by crossing rye and wheat. It has higher protein and fiber content than either wheat or rye. On the other hand, chia seeds are excellent source of omega 3 fatty acids and contain essential minerals and fiber.
You will need:
- Two cups triticale flour, which you can get in local natural food stores or online
- One teaspoon baking powder
- One-third cup chia seeds, found in grocery and natural food stores
- One teaspoon sea salt
- One teaspoon ground black pepper
- Four teaspoons olive oil
- Three-fourths and one cup lukewarm water
To do the triticale – chia crackers:
- Combine triticale flour, baking powder, chia seeds, salt, and pepper in a large bowl.
- Add a three-fourth cup of water and olive oil into the mixture.
- Mix all ingredients until dough is smooth.
- Knead a few times then let it sit for 10 minutes.
- Using a rolling pin, roll the dough as thin as possible.
- Prick the dough all over using a fork and cut the dough according to your desired size using a pizza cutter.
- In a preheated oven, bake for 20 minutes or until crackers are golden brown. Cut in your desired size.
Make sure to store the crackers in a tightly-sealed container.
2. Pump Up Your Energy with No-Bake Raw Hemp and Chia Seed Bars
Chia seeds are among the healthiest foods on the planet. They have easily digestible proteins and come with antioxidant and anti-inflammatory benefits. When paired with raw hemp, you are surely in for a healthy treat. This is because hemp seeds are a natural appetite suppressant and help reduce blood cholesterol.
If you want to load up on fiber, healthy fats, calcium, and protein but want to make sure that what you eat is gluten-free, then try this no-bake recipe for energy bars.
You will need:
- Three and a half cups of organic quick rolled oats
- One-half cup organic hemp seeds
- One-half cup organic chia seeds
- Three-fourth cup fresh almonds
- One-fourth cup freshly ground flaxseeds
- One-half cup each of raw honey, organic applesauce, and coconut oil
- Three-fourth cups almond butter
- One and one-half teaspoon vanilla extract
Here is the recipe for hemp and chia bars:
- Start by putting the flaxseeds in a coffee grinder until they turn into powder form and set aside.
- Grind the almonds until they form tiny pieces and set aside.
- In a large bowl, combine oats, hemp seeds, chia seeds, almonds and flaxseeds.
- In a separate bowl, mix all the wet ingredients: honey, applesauce, almond butter, coconut oil and vanilla extract.
- Add the wet mixture into the chia seeds mixture and stir until well combined.
- Spread the mixture in a baking dish and press the mixture firmly.
- Place in a freezer until the mixture is firm. Cut in squares.
You can get the ingredients in local natural food stores, supermarkets, or legitimate sites online.
3. Make Your Own No-Bake Energy Bites with Chia and Chocolate Chips
If you are looking for the best healthy snack perfect for breakfast or afternoon teas, then try this no-bake recipe, which gives your energy an instant boost.
On your trip to the grocery or natural food stores, make sure to get the following ingredients for this easy-to-do energy bites:
- One cup old-fashioned oats
- Two-third cups toasted coconut flakes
- One-half cup each of peanut butter, ground flaxseeds and chocolate chips
- One-third cup honey or agave nectar
- One tablespoon chia seeds
- One teaspoon vanilla extract
After preparing the ingredients, mix everything in a large bowl until thoroughly mixed. Cover and place it in the freezer for 30 minutes. Once chilled enough, roll the mixture into balls or whatever shape you like. Keep it in an airtight container in the refrigerator for up to one week.
4. Crunchy Homemade Granola for Your Fiber, Vitamin and Mineral Fix
Granola bars are among the favorite food items in many American households. They offer a quick breakfast fix, especially if you are running late for work. It also works best during breaks with a cup of coffee, on the other hand. However, you can’t be not sure of the ingredients in those granola bars sold in the supermarkets.
You can make your own natural granola bars without compromising quality and sacrificing the health benefits. Try this crunchy granola bars that will surely give you the satisfying crunch, nutty sweetness, and flavorful chewiness.
You will need:
- One tablespoon coconut oil
- One-half cup each of raisins, chopped pecans and chopped walnuts
- One cup each of brown rice syrup, almonds and shredded unsweetened coconut
- Three-fourth cups rolled oats
- One and one-half cup rice cereal
- One-fourth cup each of natural cane sugar, dried currants and chopped dried apples
- One-half teaspoon sea salt
- Two tablespoons ground espresso
- One teaspoon pure vanilla extract
- One-third cup chocolate chips
To make your own granola bars:
- Place pecans, walnuts, almonds and coconut oil in a cookie sheet and toast for seven to 10 minutes. Transfer to a mixing bowl and set aside.
- In a saucepan, combine vanilla, brown rice syrup, sugar, sea salt, and espresso grounds and bring to a boil while stirring constantly.
- Add sugar, dried apples, golden raisins, chocolate chips and rice cereal to the toasted nuts and coconut.
- Pour the hot syrup over the dry mixture. Combine evenly.
- Pour the mixture in a cookie sheet or brownie pan, and flatten it.
- Bake for 10 to 20 minutes in a pre-heated, 350-degree oven.
It’s up to you on how big or small you want your granola bars to be. Just don’t forget to shop for these ingredients in natural food stores and supermarkets so you are sure that you get the most out of your granola bars. You can also personalize and add your favorites in the recipe such as oats and chia seeds.
5. Make Way for a Healthy Parfait
Let’s say you are not a fan of granola bars or other energy bars to give your energy and health a boost. That’s okay. You can go for a parfait to ensure that your body gets enough calcium, vitamins and protein.
There are various ways to make your own parfaits. You can toss your favorite fruits and seeds in a mason jar, layer it with Greek yogurt for added health benefits, leave it in the freezer overnight and you are good to go the following day.
Here are parfait ideas perfect for on-the-go individuals like you:
- In a mason jar, layer one cup of sliced fresh berries, Greek yogurt and granola, in that particular order.
- Combine one cup of Greek yogurt with a tablespoon of raw honey.
- Layer cherries and yogurt in the parfait glass or Mason jar. You can also try roasting cherries by placing it in a baking sheet and bake them for 20 minutes.
- In a small bowl, mix a tablespoon of raw honey, two cups of Greek yogurt, and lime zest. In a glass, pour cooked quinoa, yogurt mixture, and your choice of fruits. Repeat the layering then sprinkle more fruits on top.
In case you are running late, just grab a glass of parfait and you are sure to feel energetic all during the day.
6. Have a Healthy Snack Time with Homemade Apple and Banana Chips
Admit it. You tend to grab chips, cookies or chocolate bars during coffee breaks, snack time, or while watching TV. After all, these foods are the perfect snacking companion; however, this could take a toll, not just on your weight, but also on your health.
It’s time for you to make your own chips the healthy way. You will need:
- Two apples
- Two bananas
- Three tablespoons fresh lemon juice
- Non-stick cooking spray
To make your own fruit chips:
- For the apple chips, slice the apples very thinly.
- Place the sliced apples on a baking pan. You can also sprinkle cinnamon on the apples for added flavor.
- For the banana chips, peel the bananas and slice them about one-eighth-inch thick.
- Dip each sliced banana in the lemon juice before placing it in the baking pan.
- Bake the chips for two hours while constantly flipping them.
Who says fruit chips never tasted this good?
7. Almond Milk: A Non-Dairy Milk Option You Can Make at Home
Almond milk is among the best choices if you are looking for a dairy-free milk substitute. It is great with weight management, keeps your bones strong, ensures proper digestion and keeps your heart healthy. However, almond milk available in supermarkets contains preservatives and additives, which explains the longer shelf life.
You can make your own almond milk at home easily and inexpensively, too. All you need are:
- Two cups of raw, organic almonds, which you can buy in supermarkets and natural food stores
- Four cups of filtered water
- Two tablespoons raw honey, optional
To make your homemade almond milk:
- Soak almonds in water for at least 12 hours.
- Once ready, drain the almonds from the water.
- Put one cup of almonds and two cups of water in a blender.
- Blend until the almonds become tiny pieces. Do the same for the next batch.
- Strain the mixture in a large pan using cheesecloth or strainer. Make sure to remove as much liquid as you can.
- Transfer the almond milk into a container and refrigerate.
- You can also add honey into the mixture before refrigerating it.
Take note that homemade almond milk is only good for two days, so make sure you finish it within the timeframe.
8. Enjoy a Healthier Down Time with Homemade Popcorn Recipe
Movie nights will never be complete without popcorn. It may be tempting to buy flavored popcorn, but considering the amount of salt, sugar and preservatives in it, you can’t help but think twice.
You should try this recipe instead. When you go to the supermarket, make sure to add the following ingredients to your shopping list:
- One-half cup unpopped popcorn kernels
- One-half teaspoon salt
- One tablespoon melted butter
- Brown paper bag
Before you play your chosen movie:
- Place the popcorn kernels inside the brown paper bag and fold the top of the brown bag several times.
- Place the bag in the microwave and set the timer for two to three minutes. You will hear the popcorn popping, so when it stops, remove the bag promptly.
- Pour the popcorn in a large bowl and sprinkle it with salt and melted butter. Toss to coat.
You can put your own twist by adding cinnamon, brown sugar, peanuts, sea salt or melted chocolate.
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