Sam Bloom Nutrition | Snacks To Ease Cravings
In our second instalment of our series with nutritionist Sam Bloom, we explore tasty ways to satisfy cravings whilst keeping ingredients whole, low on sugar and good for us. Read on for Sam's delicious recipes.
The Bliss Point
Some days have us all feeling tired, sluggish, and lacking energy. This is when nutrient-poor comfort food beckons!
The reason for this is what's known as the Bliss Point: the trifecta of salty, sweet, and rich. When we eat these types of foods, our brain responds with a boost of endorphins, which our brain remembers and makes us want to do it again and again. It feels great at the time but the sugar crash is something we all know is not as enjoyable…
I have found that introducing some accessible healthy habits keeps me from reaching for these foods. Exercise, calling friends, reading, walking, and even consciously spending less time on social media helps to minimise my cravings as usually these cravings are brought on by boredom or procrastination.
It’s a good idea to check in with yourself when reaching for the fridge door or cupboard and ask yourself: am I actually hungry or could it be some other emotion?
Food manufacturers know our brain chemistry is responsive to the Bliss Point. That’s why they spend millions creating tempting foods with this balance - because they just want to keep us spending and eating! I recommend sticking to natural and unprocessed foods or grabbing a piece of fruit or a juicy date to ease those cravings. Here are some examples of my favourite sweet but nutritious snacks to make and store for when the sweet tooth begins its siren call. As with anything, moderation is key.
Satisfying Healthy Snacks
There are delicious recipes that will beat cravings without the prosessed sugar crash! Rich and wholesome, these snacks will satisfy in an instant so less really can mean more...
Energising Carrot Cake Balls
My super easy grab-and-go Carrot Cake Balls to keep you energised through the week.
1 1/2 cups medjool dates
1/2 cup grated carrots
3/4 cup walnuts
1 tbsp chia seeds
1/3 cup shredded
1 tsp cinnamon
1/4 tsp nutmeg
A pinch of salt
Put everything into a food processor.
Once well blended, roll into balls and coat with more shredded unsweetened coconut.
Refrigerate for up to a week for little moments of joy
Raw Hazelnut Sandwich
Make these nutty cookies instead of reaching for a pack of Oreos. They are the perfect indulgent dupe with an equally decadent creamy filling.
For the cookies:
1 ½ cups raw almonds or toasted, skinned hazelnuts
1 ½ cups pitted dates
¼ cup raw cacao powder
½ tsp pure vanilla extract
¼ tsp sea salt
For the frosting:
225g almond milk cream
cheese (available in most
health shops) or regular cream
5 Tbsp pure maple syrup
½ tsp pure vanilla extract
Short on time or want a protein boost? Spread your favourite nut butter as an alternative for the frosting filling.
To make the cookies, place all cookie ingredients into a food processor and process until the mixture comes together.
To make the frosting, add all ingredients to a stand mixer fitted with the paddle attachment and whip until smooth, about 4-5 minutes. Or whip by hand.
To assemble, roll the cookies between two pieces of parchment paper to ¼-inch thickness or until desired thickness is reached. Using a round cookie cutter (I used a 1 ¾-inch round), cut rounds and place on a sheet or platter and place in the refrigerator to chill for 20-30 minutes. You can repeat with any remaining scraps, continuing to roll and cut rounds until all of the dough is used up.
Once the cookies have chilled, remove from the fridge and place a dollop of frosting in the centre of one cookie round (about ½ tablespoon) and place the other cookie on top, pushing down evenly until the frosting begins to seep out all sides. Using a clean finger, wipe off the excess frosting around the perimeter and place the finished cookie back in the fridge while you make the others.
Keep cookies in the refrigerator in an airtight container where they will last for up to one week
Powerful Green Smoothie
A smoothie that fills you up so you won't be reaching for sugary snacks later! This powerful green smoothie is high in calcium, manganese, magnesium, phosphorus, and vitamins A, C, and E. Tip: Adding additional protein options will keep you feeling fuller for longer.
In a blender combine:
250 ml unsweetened almond
1 ripe banana
125g chopped mango ( can be
1-2 large handfuls of baby
1 tbsp. pumpkin seeds
30g hemp or flax seeds
* optional protein boost: approx. 30g of your favourite protein powder + 60ml water or add some of your favourite nut butter.
The mix of natural sugars, vitamins, and minerals from the banana + mango + spinach combo really help to perk you up while the healthy fats and protein from the pumpkin seeds and hemp hearts keep you feeling satisfied.