Our body needs high-energy foods for a healthy and long life. Especially people with busy lifestyles and those who do not have time to eat during the day might prefer more fast food and packaged products. This can lead to poor eating habits. These foods that contain ingredients we don’t know have negative affects on our health. Therefore, maintaining a diet made of nutrient-rich foods is very important for keeping our body healthy and fit during the day. Especially children, students, people with busy lifestyles, and the elderly should eat nutrient-dense foods to improve the quality of their life.
In a worldwide study, scientists studied more than a thousand raw foods, assigning their nutritional score and selected the most nutritious foods. Raw almonds are at the top of this list. Raw almonds, which are rich in fatty acids, have beneficial effects both in cardiovascular diseases and in the treatment of diabetes. However, one should note that since it is a high-fat food, excess of it is harmful to the body. Chia, pumpkin seeds, walnuts, carrots, parsley, celery, spinach, tomatoes, zucchini, melons, etc. are among the top 100 nutrient-dense foods. When nutrient-dense foods are consumed together with other foods, their nutritive value increases more. Further, some food may not provide sufficient nutrients when consumed alone. For example, since the vitamin A in the carrot is a fat-soluble vitamin, the carrot should be consumed with a source of fat, not alone. I do not want to continue without giving the following information: No matter how nutrient-dense a food is, its nutritional value tends to reduce when most foods are processed. Therefore, your daily diet should include raw foods.
So, are these foods the only ones with high nutrient density? Of course, not. Foods rich in protein and important fatty acids (omega sources) can increase another food’s value. In addition, green vegetables, which have almost no calories and are rich in fiber and vitamins-minerals, are nutrient-rich foods. On the other hand, legumes, which have a strong nutrient combination, can serve as healthy snacks when boiled or baked.
Now let’s take a look at nutritious and delicious healthy snack recipes:
Nuts and dried fruits rich in protein and omega sources
Ingredients: 5 dates, 5 dried apricots, 5 almonds, 5 walnuts, 100 gr. dark chocolate. 1 teaspoon peanut butter (Optional)
You can eat dried fruits and nuts alone, or you can add 1 teaspoon of unsweetened peanut butter to dried fruits, cover them with dark chocolate melted in a bain-marie and cool them and enjoy!
Dark chocolate: Dark chocolate, which is an antioxidant store, prevents cell damage and inflammation, regulates blood circulation, lowers blood pressure, and is good for stress. You should prefer chocolates with a 70% or higher total cocoa content. Further, studies have proven that the benefit of chocolate for eye health increases with the increase of cocoa ratio.
Ingredients: 15 dates, 1 teaspoon of almonds, 2 tablespoons of cocoa, 1 teaspoon of chia seeds.
First, add almonds to a food processer and blend. Then, add all other ingredients – dates, cocoa and chia seeds, which have been kept in boiling water and removed. Rest the mixture after blending one more time. Then you can decorate it as you wish.
Chia: Apart from being the richest plant omega-3 source, it contains plenty of fiber and minerals. In addition, it should be noted that this food, which also contains vegetable protein, is a source of antioxidants.
Peel 1 cup of boiled chickpeas and mix it with 1 teaspoon of olive oil and your favorite spices. Bake at 180 degrees for 25-30 minutes and enjoy your healthy snack.
Legumes: Legumes are both an alternative to a gluten-free diet and a source of vegetable protein for those who do not like meat. They also increase the secretion of the satiety hormone leptin.
Ingredients: 1 packet of melba toast, 2 tablespoons of condensed yogurt, 1 tablespoon of labneh, 1 teaspoon of honey + 1 teaspoon of honey and cocoa.
Prepare the cream by mixing yoghurt, labneh and 1 teaspoon of honey. Then, add 1 teaspoon of honey to the filter coffee and wet the melba toast. Make two layers of cream and the melba toast on a rectangular tray. Served sprinkled with cocoa.
Ingredients: 2 medium sized zucchinis, half a tea glass of tomato sauce, 3-4 cherry tomatoes, 1 small box of corn, 10 slices of cheddar.
Slice zucchinis into rounds, neither too thin nor thick, and bake them until lightly browned by brushing with oil. Then add tomato sauce flavored with spices, cherry tomatoes, peppers, cheddar, and corn if you wish on the top and bake again. Take them out of oven once the cheddar has melted.
Melba Toast with Peanut Butter
You can prepare a snack that will provide satiety and meet your sweet needs by spreading 1 teaspoon of sugar-free peanut butter and 1 teaspoon of sugar-free jam or fruit puree on a melba toast.
Why is peanut butter so popular?Peanuts, which are high in both energy and protein, rich in fiber and magnesium, are a nutritious and energizing food when consumed properly. You can add it to your desserts, smoothies or consume it plain for breakfast. Another thing to consider is the ingredients. You can prepare it yourself at home, or you should choose butters containing only 100% peanuts.
Ingredients: For the base; 1.5 glasses of oat flour, half a glass of oats, 1 tablespoon of tahini, half a glass of vanilla flavored protein top (preferably regular milk), 1 medium banana. For the inner filling; 4 tablespoons of strained yogurt, 1 tablespoon of honey and any fruit of your choice.
Mix all the base ingredients and then shape it with your fingers or muffin mold. Bake in a preheated oven at 200 degrees for 10-15 minutes. Meanwhile, mix yoghurt, honey, and tiny chopped fruits for the filling. Fill the bowls with the filling and let them rest in the refrigerator for at least one hour.
“An Essential Ingredient – Honey: High quality honey contains flavonoids, organic acids and phenolic compounds, as well as an important source of antioxidants. Natural honey, which is beneficial for many diseases, has also been shown as a cough medicine by the World Health Organization (WHO). In terms of calories, even if it contains as much sugar as a regular sugar, the body’s functioning of these two sugars is different.”
Hazelnut Wafer Bars
Ingredients: Wasa, unsweetened hazelnut butter and dark chocolate (with a 70% or higher total cocoa content)
First, melt dark chocolate in a bain-marie. Then divide Wasa crackers into four and create 3 layered bars. Apply 1 teaspoon of unsweetened hazelnut butter to each layer. And finally, cover them with melted chocolate and refrigerate. You can also add hazelnut particles into the dark chocolate you melt if you wish.