This week, I want to celebrate the healthy homemade snack. We all know that snacking on naughty treats can have the ability to tip an otherwise balanced diet in the wrong direction. It's easily done – the odd biscuit here, a packet of crisps or a sugar-loaded drink there – all readily available to fill that mid-afternoon lull. As delicious as these treats might be, that doesn't mean they should be enjoyed every day. With just a little forethought and preparation, you can make your own snacks that allow you far more control over what you put into your body. This could simply be a handful of nuts or dried fruit sealed in a little jar to take to work; it could be a piece of fresh fruit or even a boiled egg.
Or, you could take 10 minutes to whip up a nutritious hummus – I've made many different versions of hummus over the years, and I find that once you've mastered the basics, it's up to you how you flavour it. This one has charred peppers for added sweetness and a little cayenne to give it a kick – I urge you to try it, it's delicious. Chickpeas form the base of hummus and this mighty legume is high in protein, fibre and more than 10 different micronutrients, including a hefty amount of the mineral copper, which keeps our hair and skin healthy. It's super nutritious.
When it comes to drinks, I've always thought it counterproductive to drink your calories – replacing a sugary fizzy drink with a delicious glass of fruit-flavoured water or tea makes far more sense. This recipe uses leftover pineapple peel, turmeric and ginger for a soothing, slightly spiced brew that will perk you up to no end.
1 pineapple (skin only)
1-inch piece of fresh turmeric or 1 teaspoon ground turmeric
2-inch piece of ginger
1 orange, zested
Liquid honey, to taste
Chop the pineapple skin, peel and finely grate the fresh turmeric (if using), then slice the ginger.
Place it all into a pan with the orange zest, cover with 5 cups of water and bring to a boil over a medium heat.
Remove from heat, allow to infuse for 3 minutes, then strain.
Sweeten with a little honey, to taste, then serve.