By Yael Brender
When you’re studying, you get the munchies. It’s unavoidable. Learn how your snacking habits can actually help you work harder and study better with these ten easy nibbles.
And yes, there are no-carb options here.
Place a tortilla on a flat surface, spread peanut butter evenly, place a whole banana near the tortilla edge and roll it up. Slice it into smaller rounds for a bite-sized snack, and you can microwave them between two moist pieces of paper if the tortillas have been in the fridge. Bananas are great energy boosters too.
2. Hummus and Veggies
Make your own hummus by combining a can of rinsed and drained chickpeas, a clove of garlic, ¼ cup olive oil, 2 tbsp fresh lemon juice, 2 tbsp tahini, salt and ¼ teaspoon chilli powder in the blender. Dip carrot sticks, celery sticks and cherry tomatoes into the hummus – and you’ll know there’s no nasties in this because you’ve made it yourself.
3. Apple Sandwiches
Core and slice an apple into rings, spread with almond butter and then top with another ring. Keep going until you’ve eaten the whole apple – apples decrease white fat and glucose intolerance, and almonds are an excellent source of fibre and protein.
4. Frozen Yoghurt Covered Blueberries
Wash a punnet of fresh blueberries and then use a toothpick to dip each one into Greek yoghurt. Place in a baking sheet-lined container in a freezer and leave for at least an hour, after which time you can toss them into a ziplock bag and store for weeks. It’s low-cal and fibre-filled, guaranteed to get you on track.
5. Roasted Chickpeas
One of the more versatile snacks on our list, you can flavour differently according to your mood. Preheat the oven to 375 degrees, roast and drain the chickpeas, let them dry and then spread on a baking sheet. Roast in the oven for up to an hour or until crunchy – this is the perfect time to sample one – and then tip them all into a bowl and flavour with the seasoning of your choice. We recommend sesame soy (sesame oil, garlic power, sea salt and sesame seeds), honey cinnamon (cinnamon, nutmeg, salt and honey), cheesy garlic (Parmesan, garlic powder, salt and pepper) or smoky spice (Chile powder, paprika, garlic, cumin, salt and pepper). Chickpeas contain barely any fat, but have protein and iron to help you concentrate – and you can eat them any way you want.
6. Chocolate Avocado Pudding
When life hands you avocado, make pudding. Pit, skin and blend four avocadoes until they’re buttery and delicious. Add 4 tbsp cocoa power, 3 tbsp honey, 2 oz dark chocolate, 2 teaspoons vanilla extract and just a pinch of salt to the avocado mixture and combine for at least a minute until completely creamy. Avocado contains a ton of fibre and oleic acid, which activates the part of your brain that makes you feel full. And you can stash the pudding in the fridge in an airtight container for twenty-four hours.
7. Toasted Pumpkin Seeds
Don’t throw out the seeds when you’re making your pumpkin soup, stash them and use them as a study snack. You’ll get protein, magnesium, zinc and Vitamin B-complex – plus it’s super easy to make them taste great. Combine ½ teaspoon garlic powder, ½ teaspoon salt, ¼ teaspoon cayenne powder and ½ ounce olive oil and use the mixture to coat the seeds. Spread them out evenly on a baking sheet for twenty minutes, tossing halfway through. They’re rich in healthy fats, antioxidants, and fibres, but make sure you let them cool before you dig in.
8. Spicy Popcorn
If you’re taking a study break, what could be better than snuggling up with a bowl of popcorn? Pour 2 tbsp canola oil into the bottom of a large pot, toss in the popcorn kernels and cook covered on medium high heat. When you hear them stop popping, remove from heat, transfer to a large bowl, melt fat-free butter over the popcorn and stir in a pinch of sriracha for that kick to wake you up. You can add a dash of salt, too, and finish the bowl awake and ready to get back to the books. It’ll help kill your munchies later in the study session, too.
9. Power Bowl
Chia is the new superfood extraordinaire, and it will power you up like nothing else. Throw ¼ cup Chia seeds into 2 cups of Greek yoghurt and refrigerate so that the Chia seeds expand. Toss on ½ cup of strawberry kefir, 1 tbsp honey, ¼ cup Chia seeds and your favourite fruits, nuts and grains – we recommend bananas, blackberries and walnuts, but it’s up to you to make it your own. You can store it in the refrigerator for a couple of days, so if you’ve got a marathon study weekend planned, this is the snack for you.
10. Cheese Cucumber Sandwiches
If you like cheese and crackers, then try this green twist on the classic munchable. Pair slices of low-fat cheese (Kraft makes a two per cent) with slices of seedless cucumber, and the water will balance out the richness of the salt and fat in the cheese. And it has fewer calories. And you won’t have to wipe those pesky cracker crumbs off your desk. It’s a win-win-win.
By Bondi Beauty Intern Yael Brender
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