It is a bliss welcoming monsoon after a scorching summer. Because of the change in season, we naturally crave for hot sips and crunchies. Our taste buds yearn for a cup of masala chai and mouth-watering fried snacks. I agree it is tough to resist the spell binding aromas of deep-fried treats and other food cravings, but certain healthy foods too can be as relishing if you can think of interesting ways to making them.
So pick from these ten lip-smacking ideas to satisfy your monsoon cravings sans the calories –
1. Roasted Soy Almonds: Toss 1 cup of raw almonds with 2 ½ teaspoons of tamari. Roast on an oiled baking sheet at 180o C, stirring occasionally until golden brown for 10-15 minutes. These snacks are easy to make and keep handy. Moreover, they are super high in proteins and healthy fats. Plus, if lightly seasoned, they can satisfy cravings for saltiness and crunch.
2. Sea Salt Popcorn with Super Seeds: Toss 2 cups of air-popped popcorn with ½ teaspoon extra virgin olive oil. Sprinkle ½ teaspoon sea salt and 1 tablespoon toasted sun flower seeds and toss again. This wholesome snack is great for those on the go and won’t get bad after being in your bag all day.
3. Chilli Spread Pumpkin Seeds: Toss 1 cup pumpkin seeds with 2 teaspoons olive oil, ½ teaspoon chilli powder and ¼ teaspoon sea salt. Toast at 180oC, stirring occasionally until crisp, about 8-10 minutes. This popular late night munchy is a rich source of tryptophan, an amino acid that your body converts into serotonin which in turn is converted into melatonin – the sleep hormone.
4. Apple Sandwiches: Trim one cored apple and cut into thick rounds. Spread half the slices with 1 tablespoon peanut butter, and then sandwich them with the remaining slices. Sprinkle some powdered cinnamon on top and enjoy. This is a light snack yet very satiating. Remember, what you snack may affect your weight, more than how much or how often you nibble.
5. Sweet Potato Strips: Slice 1 sweet potato lengthwise into thin strips. Toss with 2 teaspoons olive oil. Roast on an oiled, nonstick baking sheet at 150oC until crisp and golden brown, for 20 minutes. Season with sea salt (store leftovers in an airtight container up to three days).
6. Cheesy Celery Sticks: Mix ¼ cup Greek yoghurt or hung curd with 2 tablespoons crumbled blue cheese. Spread this dip onto celery sticks. It makes for a protein pumped anytime snack.
7. Tomato Pizzas: Cut into half 3 mid-sized tomatoes and sprinkle with 1 tablespoon grated Parmesan cheese. Bake until golden, for 1-2 minutes. Drizzle with ½ teaspoon Balsamic vinegar and scatter 1 teaspoon sliced basil on top. Skip the regular pizza with this healthy option because the right amount of small bites can slim you down and power you up.
8. Cheese and Walnut Stuffed Dates: Divide 1 tablespoon goat cheese among four pitted dates. Top them with four toasted walnuts. Delicious and nutritious!
9. Grilled Fruit Salad on Skewers: Take plums, peaches, apples and pineapples, cut into cubes, and toss them with a squeeze of lemon. Insert the pieces in skewers, and grill them for about 10 minutes. Serve hot. Not all treats need to be deep fried or sugar dipped to taste good.
10. Air-Fried Pistachios: A crispy snack that’s easy to do. Just air fry ½ cup pistachios with sea salt and sit back with a cup of your favorite herbal tea and experience bliss.
With these ideas for delicious snacks, monsoon should be a celebration without compromising on health or taste.