Healthy Snack Ideas

The key to sticking to any healthy, low calorie diet is substitution. Holding on to frequent regular meals, including small snacks, and indulging your taste buds to prevent cravings while being conscious of the calorie count and the right proportions can be quite a daunting task. Substituting high calorie foods for similar tasting but healthy ones may need some thinking through but is certainly achievable. Here are 10 healthy snack items, take offs on regular foods but with an interesting twist. More importantly, these are healthy snack ideas that will keep off your hunger pangs while maintaining their taste and satiety. These will certainly make you feel good about being on a diet.

  • Oats Dosa – Trying to cut down on your rice intake but unable to give up your love of dosa? Fret not. Mix up oats and sooji rava 1:1 and soak them in sour curds for about 30 min. Add some salt, roughly crushed peppercorn, chopped green chillies, and chopped coriander leaves. Shake the batter and make healthy, tasty dosa. If you’re looking at low calorie food as well, use a non-stick tawa and skip the oil.
  • Corn Bhel – This one is for all the chaat and bhel lovers who tell themselves chaats are really quite healthy, thanks to the low calorie chutneys and curds. If you’re the type not to ignore the presence of fried sev, papadi, or tikias in your chaat, switch to corn bhel. You’ve forever enjoyed your boiled corn with butter, now time to switch to a quick fix bhel. Add chopped onions, spring onion, tomatoes, coriander leaves, and cucumber to boiled corn. Toss in some chaat masala, salt, and any herbs you like. Mix and match and build yourself a healthy snack.
  • Millet Porridge – Let me guess…. You’re a 4 pm chai and samosa person looking to break the habit. You need something that sustains you through those long hours between an early lunch and late dinner? You find your energy levels on the fall even as sunset approaches? Millet or ragi porridge might be just the right thing to pep you up. And it is the simplest to make too. Add about 3 tablespoons ragi or millet flour to warm water and set on the flame. Within a few minutes, the mixture will turn thick and glossy. Add up a cup of milk and a teaspoon of honey and gorge.
  • Melons And Roasted Nuts Salad – Let’s face it, the reasons you aren’t able to stick to your diet plan are simple – you have a sweet tooth, and you love the crunch of fried foods. You’d like to try salads but the chopping puts you off. So here’s a salad that doesn’t involve much chopping up, and fixes your sweet and crunch cravings, apart from offering you great choice. Pick up any melon – musk melon, tree melon (papaya), cantaloupe, or watermelon. Cut the flush into largish chunks. Toss a handful of your favorite nuts (almonds, pistachio, walnuts, cashew) into a pan and dry roast. Put the two together. Add salt and chaat masala if you like or skip this step. You’re ready to battle your snack pangs with a delightful, healthy salad.
  • Fruit Flavoured Yoghurt – We all know what it is like to love our chocolates and desserts. There is something about the heavy decadent cheesecake or the divine ice cream that speaks to our souls. Very often, sweets become part of our sociocultural fiber. Here’s something that will fill in for your high calorie dessert but go easy on the waistline. Fruit flavoured yoghurt – home set. Store bought is good to go too but is usually made with full cream milk, failing our health test. So set some curd with fruit puree and enjoy guilt free desserts.
  • Baked Methi Muthiyas – Love traditional snacks and farsaan but worried that the fried snacks are starting to show on your waistline and hips? Here’s an authentic recipe with a slight twist to make it healthy. Start to make your methi muthiyas the regular way. Add chopped methi leaves with besan and wheat flour, salt, garam masala, turmeric powder, ginger green chillie paste, and a dash of lemon juice. Now instead of frying them brush them with 1 teaspoon of oil and bake them at 200°C for about 7-8 minutes. Better yet, air fry them and indulge.
  • Soya Veggie Wrap – Love rolls, wraps and frankies? But here’s the thing – most wraps and frankies are deceptive. The wheat bread wrap encases the most sinful tikkas, pieces of egg, meat or paneer done up in rich sauces. Rolls are themselves fried in oil. Wonderful as it sounds, are your health alarms up yet?  Here’s one that does not drip oil but is tasty, and satisfies your pangs for a hearty wrap. Top up an assortment of boiled vegetables with green chutney and wrap it up in a phulka or a toasted tortilla and satisfy your hunger pangs with a healthy snack.
  • Rava Idli – Steamed idlis are among the healthiest hunger crushers. But you hate the bland taste of idli and the coconut chutney is definitely high on calories. Here’s a tasty healthy alternative. Try rava idli. Soak roasted and grated carrots, broken cashew, chopped green chilli, and coriander in sour curd. After about 15 minutes add a sachet of Eno or fruit salt and steam in idli molds. Gorge on these with a side of tomato chutney and coriander – mint chutney to get the perfect healthy snack.
  • Rajma Dhokla – Are you a dhokla lover? To add a power punch to your dhoklas, make them with rajma. Clean and soak rajma overnight. Blend in a mixer with spinach (palak) and coriander leaves and some ginger and green chillies. Add salt, sugar, and Eno (fruit salt) and immediately steam in lightly greased thalis or non-stick molds like regular dhoklas. Top with low calorie paneer or cottage cheese (made with skimmed milk) for added flavour. This is also the ideal snack for diabetics.
  • Mixed Sprouts Chaat – Hate cooking and spending time in the kitchen? Here’s a dish that can be fixed in a jiffy without lighting the stove. Sprouts are among the world’s healthiest foods. Rich in vitamins, minerals, protien, and antioxidants, whole moong, chick peas, matki, green and brown chana are all excellent foods that can be consumed without cooking. Soak the beans for 4 hours and tie them up in a moist cloth overnight. As they start to germinate add chopped tomatoes, coriander, and green chilies. Add sea salt and chaat masala and you have a healthy tasty snack.