Nutritious snacks (+ recipes)
As I write this, the number of Instagram posts hashtagged #food number 187,416,418 and, of the estimated 300,000 million bloggers in the world, it seems to me that the majority are writing in the food space.
From all corners of the world people are sharing pictures of the food they're eating and cooking. Our exposure to foreign food is greater than it has ever been, as it is to every subset of the food culture - whether vegan, paleo or those whose eating is influenced by religious, spiritual or philosophical beliefs, like the Jians, who won't eat anything that grows under the ground.
Then there are the diets and dieters - not just weight-loss diets, but food-combining diets, blood group diets, 5-2 diets. As writer John Lanchester once wrote in The New Yorker: "The superficiality of food fashions and trends touches on something deep: our ability to choose who we want to be."
Since my late-20s, my philosophy around food and cooking has been based on an idea of healthy eating that's not dogmatic or restrictive. I want to feel healthy and strong but I'm interested in doing this in a way that celebrates variety and tastes delicious. I'm not interested in fads, per se, but I do love learning new things and discovering how to use new ingredients. Michael Pollan's famous quote: "Eat food, not too much, mostly plants" is a useful mantra to live by, as is the advice about not eating anything your grandmother would not recognise as food. As my husband Ted says: "Eat fresh food, not barcodes."
These days, food is so readily available anywhere and everywhere that we eat at the gas station, in the car and as we walk down the street. It's become a habit of our day-to-day living, rather than something we stop to enjoy. The mindlessness of this constant gratification via consuming industrialised food is, I'm sure, what's largely responsible for making the western world fat.
Yes, collectively we are now fat, and often dangerously obese. This doesn't just happen. We eat our way to this state of being, and never faster than when we don't even notice what we're eating. Snacking is now ingrained in our psyche and so much of our snack food is nothingness - just a bunch of sugar, fat and lots of chemicals.
I know I'm going to want to grab a quick snack now and then, so I like to stock my pantry and fridge with power snacks such as the following recipes. No empty calories here, these snacks pack all the good taste as well as the goodness.
This is such an easy quick whizz-together and it will keep in the fridge for 4-5 days. Use as you might any other hummus - with crackers or vegetable bites. It's great as a snack, party dip or lunchbox filler. Get the recipe
Okay, so kale chips aren't potato chips but they do make a tasty snack - the trick is not to cook them at too high a temperature, so they crisp up before they get brown. You can also dry them in a dehydrator. Get the recipe
These make a fantastic snack or lunchbox filler for a sweet tooth - without any added sugar. These are great to have on hand in the freezer for healthy, anytime snacking.
If made with wheat-free rolled oats they are suitable for people avoiding wheat, but as oats contain a different form of gluten they may not be suitable for coeliacs. Get the recipe
BePure Live Well Festival
For more light and tasty spring recipes join me at the BePure Live Well Festival at The Cloud, Auckland waterfront, on October 15 and 16.
On the Saturday at 2.45pm I'll be demonstrating quick and easy recipes that'll help you get more fresh seasonal vegetables into your day, and on the Sunday morning I'll be signing books and launching my new summer annual.
For more great Annabel Langbein recipes see her new winter annual Annabel Langbein A Free Range Life: Share the Love (Annabel Langbein Media, $24.95) or visit annabel-langbein.com.