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Question #11: Please suggest some healthy, spicy and savoury snacks.

Sustainable Health

The concept of a ‘healthy’ dish is quite ambiguous, with some people vilifying fats and believing low fat foods to be healthy, and others blaming carbs for their woes and believing low carb foods to be healthy. Similarly, what’s healthy for a diabetic may not be so for someone who’s hypertensive and so on for other health disorders.

I suggest starting with non-starchy vegetables like radish, carrots, cauliflower and the like and working your way forward. A snack is something we eat between the main meals of the day and ideally, should adhere to the same food rules we apply to the main meals. Therefore because it is a snack, it doesn’t have to be unhealthy, starchy or deep fried or even quick!

You can spend time on preparing a healthy, tasty and nutritious snack for yourself or your family. Think of the flavours infused by the presence of lemon and garlic and olive oil and freshly crushed black pepper. Add some coriander to the mix, remembering to use the roots where the flavour is concentrated. Add some pounded nuts for crunch and perhaps a handful of seeds alongside something soft. While it certainly doesn’t conform to the usual notions of a snack, the platter of blanched cauliflower florets, drizzled with olive oil and lemon juice, flavoured with toasted garlic and coriander, then sprinkled over with some sea salt and flax seeds will certainly taste delicious. Want spice? Use a bit of hot sauce or add chopped green chilies to the lot.

So here are a few tips and tricks:

  • Hung curd is a great base for creamy dips
  • Lemon and other tangy flavours will cause the other flavours in your food to become more prominent.
  • Think of vegetables as your go-to food for snacking. Most will fill you up, in addition to doing good for your body by the introduction of dietary fibre, vitamins and minerals.
  • Use nuts for snacking, but no more than a handful a day.
  • Use leaves such as spinach, cabbage and lettuce to make flour-less wraps.
  • Olive oil is healthy, but it’s also 100% fat – go easy with it.
  • If you like snacking on cheese, try stronger and higher quality cheese, while avoiding processed cheese, including cubes and slices. You will likely eat less and enjoy yourself more.
  • Some schools of thought believe a greater amount of fat is absorbed into the body when it is accompanied by carbs – bread pakodas for instance. If you must snack on a carb that needs frying, try baking it instead. If you are baking it, remember, it remains a carb and you can’t eat as much as you want, just because you’re baking it.
  • Pour oil on to a hot pan and not a cold one. It’ll spread faster and easier and may prevent you from adding additional oil.
  • Always measure the oil you’re using.

These pointers may help save a few hundred calories a day, which is great for weight loss!

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