Snacks are munches that we like to have during our breaks. These are the foods that we consume during the intersection of heavy meals and most of them are packed and processed foods. foods are used to satisfy hunger and to be consumed in smaller quantities. There are many popular snacks available in the market.
It can be either fruits, sweets, leftovers, sandwiches, nuts, or other sots of food. These items need to be easy to prepare, satisfying, and portable. It can be of varied types like bedtime snacks, midnight snacks, and late-night snacks. Here is a caution for you! Most of the snack items available in the market are tasty but unhealthy. So choose your snacks carefully as we tend to indulge in the wrong choices in life.
A snack is a small portion of food generally eaten between meals. Snacks come in a variety of forms including packaged snack foods and other processed foods, as well as items made from fresh ingredients at home.
Traditionally, snacks are prepared from ingredients commonly available at home without a great deal of preparation. Often cold cuts, fruits, leftovers, nuts, sandwiches, and sweets are used as snacks. With the spread of convenience stores, packaged snack foods became a significant business.
Snack foods are typically designed to be portable, quick, and satisfying. Processed snack foods, as one form of convenience food, are designed to be less perishable, more durable, and more portable than prepared foods. They often contain substantial amounts of sweeteners, preservatives, and appealing ingredients such as chocolate, peanuts, and specially designed flavors (such as flavored potato chips).
A snack eaten shortly before going to bed or during the night may be called a “bedtime snack”, “late night snack”, or “midnight snack”.
When we mention snacks, we visualize things like chips, burgers, and sorts of fast food that are unhealthy. So snacks have been synonymous with an unhealthy diet. But it is a myth that snacks need to be unhealthy. There are various kinds of snack items that are easy to prepare at home and simultaneously, healthy. I am listing some healthy snacks that one can find at the home refrigerator:
Fresh vegetables and fruits
Whole grain bread, cereals, and crackers
Unsalted butter and nuts
Still, there are lots of ambiguity regarding healthy snacks as the commercial of junk foods clutter our minds. So I am providing you with certain healthy and easy to prepare healthy snacks that you can gorge upon to satisfy your belly in the intermittent period.
Nuts like walnuts, hazelnuts, almonds, pistachios, and cashews are some of the nuts that you can have as snacks. Nuts are a preferable snack item having the perfect balance of protein, healthy fats, and dietary fibers. The nuts are beneficial despite the fat content and higher calories. If you have the nuts moderately, you can lose supplementary fats in the body.
Image Description – Mixed nuts along with berries
Yogurt and mixed berries
Yogurt along with mixed berries is a popular snack item. The yogurt is rich in protein while the berries serve as antioxidants. You can decorate your dish by adding it with some different color berries. The snacks will not only look good but provide a mixture of sweetness and sour flavors.
Apple slices with peanut butter
It is a heavenly dish – apples and peanut butter. The snack item is tasty as well as nutritious. Apple is fiber-based fruit that is healthy. Lather the apple in peanut butter to get a creamy and crispy snack. You can customize the dish by adding little cinnamon to get the desired flavor. Go for peanuts that contain only salt and peanut, or else the added ingredients will hamper the nutrition quotient.
Image Description – Yogurt and mixed berries
Image source: https://www.pexels.com/photo/delicious-dessert-with-berries-in-cafe-5946056/
Fruit and cottage cheese
One cup of cottage cheese will provide the requisite protein, alongside filling your belly. Having fruit along with cheese will be an ideal snack item. It will provide the requisite protein, fat, and fiber components to fill your belly. It is better to have the cheese with tropical fruits like watermelon, papaya, or pineapple.
Image Description – Dark chocolate is a healthy snack item
Image source: https://www.pexels.com/photo/chocolate-bar-on-a-brown-surface-6261692/
Dark chocolate and almonds
The rich chocolate flavor coupled with crunchy nuts is an awesome pair as snacks. The dark chocolates have antioxidants while almonds contain healthy fats. The combination of dark chocolates and almonds provides antioxidants and healthy fats. This snack item is good for our heart, soothes our taste bud, and can be easily carried anywhere we go.
Cucumber slices with hummus
The fresh flavor of cucumber coupled with its crunchy feel aligns well with the rich creaminess of hummus. Sliced cucumber dipped in 2 tablespoons of hummus will keep your belly full for a substantial time. Since it is under 100 calories, there is little scope to gain unnecessary fat.
Popcorn is a healthy but without salt and butter. You can flavor the popcorn with olive oil, nutritional yeast, or cheese to deliver the right sort of taste.
In the United States
In the United States, a popular snack food is the peanut. Peanuts first arrived from South America via slave ships and became incorporated into African-inspired cooking on southern plantations. After the Civil War, the taste for peanuts spread north, where they were incorporated into the culture of baseball games and vaudeville theaters.
Along with popcorn (also of South American origin), snacks bore the stigma of being sold by unhygienic street vendors. The middle-class etiquette of the Victorian era (1837–1901) categorized any food that did not require proper usage of utensils as lower-class.
Pretzels were introduced to North America by the Dutch, via New Amsterdam in the 17th century. In the 1860s, the snack was still associated with immigrants, unhygienic street vendors, and saloons. Due to loss of business during the Prohibition era (1920–1933), pretzels underwent rebranding to make them more appealing to the public.
As packaging revolutionized snack foods, allowing sellers to reduce contamination risk, while making it easy to advertise brands with a logo, pretzels boomed in popularity, bringing many other types of snack foods with it. By the 1950s, snacking had become an all-American pastime, becoming an internationally recognized emblem of middle American life.
In modern times, we live a sedentary lifestyle. So it is better to have healthy snacks rather than unhealthy, commercial snacks available in the market. It is quite easy to source healthy snacks. The healthy snack items are high in nutrition, tasty, satisfying your hunger, and portable.
you can also read about autumn season: Autumn season – Erakina
By Shuvendu Modak