Why is Snacking Important
Snacking is an effective way to keep your tummy full without having to gorge on a lot of calories. Absence of a snack can keep you hungry and make you have lots of calories later in the evening. A healthy snack can also keep your vitals in check and provide you with the energy for the remainder of the day. It will prevent you from staying hungry, but it is essential to choose from some healthy options.
How to Choose Your Snacks?
Your Choice Must be Nutritious
A snack can help you keep the hunger away, but it is equally important to have a nutritious option. You must choose a vegetable-based snack because of a lower fat content and a higher fibre and minerals content. You can also choose to include some milk-based protein in the snack like cheese, khoya, etc. as it will help in getting the requisite amount of protein in your diet.
The Size of the Portion
When you are having a snack, you must always look out for the portion you are having. Having a snack is all about keeping your stomach full until the next meal. If you have too much of snacks in the afternoon, your stomach could still be full even till dinnertime. As a result, you may not have a full dinner, thereby leading to lesser intake of the required nutrients to keep fit. While it would be unreasonable to measure your intake, you must be restrain yourself from overeating.
Intake of Calories
It is essential to have snacks in smaller portions only to keep your stomach full. Snacks that are rich in fibre are necessary to restrict the intake of calories. It is in your best interest to avoid processed snacks, and it is even better to have home-cooked food instead of chocolates and chips. Packaged snacks have an excess of refined sugar, carbs and salt. Having these in high amounts can make you seriously ill. You must also avoid having carbonated beverages during snacks time.
You must not wait too long in the afternoon to have your snack. If you wait too long, your hunger will increase and make you eat more than what you require. It could also lead to having unhealthy food which can make you sick. It is vital to have a fixed time when you will have your snack every day. If you make it a regular habit, you will have a natural tendency to stick to that time.
Few Healthy Monsoon Snacks
Moong Dal Pakodi
Fried food may not be suitable for your health, but the monsoons are the ideal time to indulge in some pakodas. There are several recipes, but we chose the moong dal pakoda as it has a great flavour and is tastier too. You can use refined oil to stay healthy. It is also a welcome change from the patties and besan pakodas you normally have.
- Moong dal – 1 cup
- Onion – 1, finely chopped
- Garam masala – 1 tsp
- Cumin – 1 tsp
- Ginger – 1 tbsp, finely grated
- Coriander – 1 tsp, finely chopped
- Asafoetida (Hing) – as needed
- Red chilli powder – ½ tsp (optional)
- Green chilli – 1, chopped (optional)
How to Make:
- Wash the dal and soak it in a bowl of water for around 3 hours.
- Grind the dal with the rest of the ingredients like ginger paste, onion, hing, chilli powder, green chilli, cumin and garam masala.
- Add chopped coriander to the batter and mix it. Make the batter light and soft and add water if needed.
- Heat the oil in the frying pan. When it is hot, take a spoon of the batter and fry it in the oil till it turns golden brown.
- Fry the pakodas and ensure that they are crispy on the outside but soft inside.
Most of you would love to have some sweet corn. It tastes better when you have it in your favourite bhel. There are several recipes of the corn bhel. Some are simple, but we have included this recipe as this is healthy.
- Corn kernels – 1½ cup
- Papdi – 5
- Sev – 2½ cups
- Chaat masala – 1 tsp
- Cucumber – 1, finely chopped
- Coriander leaves – ½ cup
- Potato – 1½, finely chopped
- Tomato – 1½, finely chopped
- Onion – 3, finely chopped
- Sweet tamarind sauce – 2 tsp
- Green chutney – 2 tsp
How to Make:
- Boil the potatoes, peel them, cut them into small pieces and keep them aside.
- Boil the corn kernels along with some water for around 10 minutes. Check if the corn is soft and then drain the water and keep the corn aside.
- Chop the cucumber, onion and tomatoes and keep them aside. Chop the coriander leaves too.
- Crush the papdi and place it in a bowl. Mix the chopped vegetables in the bowl. Take the corn and add it too along with the sweet tamarind sauce, green chutney and chaat masala.
- Mix the ingredients well and serve.
Broccoli Cheese Soup
It is heavenly to have soup when it is raining. Soups can also have an added romantic charm. We have chosen this recipe due to its unique flavour and it is healthy too.
- Broccoli florets – 1 cup
- Milk – 2 cups
- Fresh cream – 2 tbsp
- Butter – 3 tbsp
- Flour – 2 tbsp
- Onions – ¼ cup, finely chopped
- Nutmeg (jaiphal) powder – as needed
How to Make:
- Heat 1 tbsp butter in a pan and add the chopped onions. Saute on a medium flame for a few minutes.
- Next, add the broccoli florets and saute again for 2 minutes.
- Add around 2 cups of water and cook well on a medium flame while ensuring the broccoli is cooked well.
- Keep it aside to cool. Once cooled, pour it into a mixer and blend well.
- Take some more butter along with the flour and whisk for some time. Ensure that the flour does not get discoloured.
- Add the broccoli puree, nutmeg powder, pepper and some salt as needed and mix well. Let it simmer for a few minutes.
- Add the fresh cream and mix well.
Chilli Cheese Toast
The monsoons are the ideal time to have something crunchy. And it could be a bit spicy too. A spicy cheese toast could be a perfect afternoon snack with the patter of rain in the background.
- Whole wheat bread – 6-7 slices
- Ginger – ½ tsp, grated
- Green chilli – 1, finely chopped
- Grated cheese – ½ cup
- Salted butter – as required
- Black pepper – as required
- Salt – if required
How to Make:
- Grate the cheese and add the ginger and chopped chillies. Then add the salt and pepper.
- Slice the edges of the bread and cut into triangular slices.
- Bake the bread in a preheated oven to around 200°C for 5 minutes. It must be slightly toasted.
- Then remove the bread from the oven and spread the butter over it.
- Next spread the cheese mixture evenly over it.
- Bake it again for around 10 minutes till the cheese melts, and the bread is crispy. Ensure that the bread is not burnt.
- Serve with some sauces of your choice.
Matar ka Halwa
The weekends in a rainy season can be boring as it is challenging to go out anywhere. It serves best if you could make something new for your family. A halwa can rev up your spirits, and if it is matar ka halwa it can be a healthy option too.
- Green peas – 1 cup, boiled and coarsely ground
- Besan – 2 tbsp
- Green cardamom powder – ½ tsp
- Khoya – ½ cup, grated
- Green pea shells (tender) – 7-8
- Cashew nuts – 1 tbsp, finely broken
- Almonds – 1 tbsp, finely broken
- Pistachios – 1 tbsp, finely broken
- Sugar – 1 cup
- Ghee – 1 tbsp
How to Make:
- Take a non-stick pan and make a sugar syrup with a cup of water.
- Remove the pea shells, grind them and add to the sugar syrup.
- Heat the ghee in another pan and add the nuts to it. Saute the pan for 1-2 minutes.
- Add the besan to it and saute for another minute.
- Next, add the green peas and saute for around 5 minutes.
- Add the cardamom powder and mix. Finally, add the grated khoya and saute for a minute.
- Add the sugar syrup and the pea shells while mixing well and then cook for around 3 minutes.
- Transfer into a bowl and serve.
The monsoons are the ideal time to have pakodas and vadas. These are possibly tailor-made to be made during monsoons. The kalmi vada is popular in Western India and has a lot of proteins too.
- Chana Dal – 1 bowl
- Potatoes – 2
- Eno – 1 tsp
- Green chilli – 1 (or, as needed)
- Ginger – 1 small piece, grated
How to Make:
- Soak the chana dal in water for around 2-3 hours.
- Remove the water and put the dal along with the ginger and green chilli in a mixer to blend well.
- Grate the potatoes and add it to the blended dal along with salt for taste.
- Add the Eno to this batter and mix well.
- Heat water in a big vessel that will be used for steaming.
- Grease a wide vessel and transfer the batter to this vessel.
- Steam it for around 20 minutes on a medium flame.
- Cool it and cut into pieces before serving.
Oven Baked Sweet Potato Fries
You would have had the sweet potato strips at parties and weddings as starters. So, why not make them as an afternoon snack in the rainy season. They are also a healthier alternative to the usual potato fries. You may use the flavours according to your choice too.
- Sweet potatoes – 4, peeled and cut into wedges
- Corn flour – 1½ tbsp
- Rock salt – as needed
- Red chilli powder – 1 tsp (or, as needed)
- Garlic – 5 cloves, grated or finely minced
- Olive Oil – 3 tbsp
How to Make:
- First, preheat the oven to 230°C.
- Grease 2 baking sheets with butter.
- Take a bowl and mix the garlic, oil, salt and chilli powder.
- Pour some of the oil and the mixture over the sweet potato wedges.
- Coat the wedges with some cornflour.
- Place the coated potato wedges on the baking sheets and bake for around 20 minutes.
Kachoris are best snack to be had on a rainy afternoon. Understandably, deep-fried kachoris are best avoided, but you can have baked kachoris. Trading the deep-fried ones with the baked ones will remove the guilt from your mind.
- Flour – 250 grams
- Urad dal powder – 50 grams
- Sugar – 2 tsp
- Fennel powder – 4 tsp
- Red chilli powder – 3 tsp
- Hing – ¼ tsp
- Dhaniya powder – 6 tsp
- Yeast – 1 tsp
How to Make:
- Soak the urad dal in water and let it stand for half an hour.
- To it, add the red chilli powder, dhania powder, fennel powder, hing and salt and make it soft.
- Put the flour in a bowl and add the sugar and yeast along with some water. Knead it well and leave it aside for an hour.
- Add oil to the dough and make patties with the urad dal filling inside.
- Roll it to appropriate size with a rolling pin.
- Bake them in a preheated oven at 160°C till they have a golden brown colour.
You may have some problems with your stomach in the monsoons, and it is essential to have something healthy in the monsoons. Having poha pakoda is an ideal snack with your afternoon tea. Making it is easy too as it requires minimal ingredients.
- Poha – 1¼ cup
- Mashed potatoes – ½ cup
- Chilli powder – 1 tsp
- Cumin seeds – ½ tsp
- Green chillies – 1 tsp, finely chopped
- Coriander – 2 tbsp, chopped
- Sugar – ½ tsp
- Lemon juice – ½ tsp
How to Make:
- Clean and wash the poha in water and sieve it off.
- Take the poha in a bowl and mix with all the ingredients.
- Make balls out of the mixture.
- Heat the oil in a pan and deep fry the pakodas till they turn golden brown.
- Use an absorbent paper to drain the oil.
- Serve with a variety of chutneys.
Always Opt for Homemade Healthy Snacks
You should always prefer simple homemade healthy snacks for your family as compared to those available in grocery stores. This is because they are healthier and more nutritious. We hope this BP Guide would have helped you decide which healthy snacks your are ready to try out this rainy season and delight your loved ones. Stay connected with us for more such engaging content.