Mood-boosting snacks and energy-packed nibbles can be a real lifesaver when dealing with babies, young children and all the chaos they can bring.
If you look in the cupboard for a fast pick me up and can’t find anything to give you a good dose of energy, you may feel your mood zapped at great speed. Avoid quick sugar highs and bags of empty calories, and try these great energy-boosting snacks for size.
This collection of easy recipes has been put together to provide sustained energy and great taste. Lots of them are easy to transport making them ideal to pop in your handbag or nappy changing bag.
Edamame Beans for Energy
These juicy, fat beans are packed with energy and protein to give you a boost. When you’re rushing about in a whirlwind of things to do and places to go, it’s no surprise that your mood can dip and your energy can disappear in flash. Try these easy energy snacks to keep you going.
This recipe is easy to make and great to store in the fridge. It also makes great finger food if your small one could do with a boost too.
250g Edamame Beans (frozen)
1 tbsp Nutritional Yeast
1 tsp Paprika
½ tsp Garlic Salt
2 tsp Olive Oil
In a small bowl, mix the nutritional yeast, paprika, garlic salt and olive oil. Add the edamame beans and give it a good stir to coat evenly.
Tip onto a lined baking sheet and spread out evenly. Roast in the oven for 15 minutes at 200°C. Cool and devour a handful when you need some proper fuel.
Nutrition (Per Small Handful)
Calories – 82
Carbohydrate – 7.7g
Protein – 7.1g
Fat – 2.4g
Big Bean Boost
This is the easiest and tastiest thing to spread on a toasted muffin, melt on a crumpet or as a dip with raw vegetables or breadsticks. A huge hit of protein for some energy and fab standby fridge fodder for a fuel pitstop.
150g Edamame Beans (frozen)
½ tsp Garlic Salt
2 tbsp Whipped Cream Cheese
Approx 10 Fresh Mint Leaves
2 Spring Onions
¼ Cup of Water
Boil the beans until they are soft and cooked through. Leave to cool. When at room temperature, transfer to a small food processor with the other ingredients and blend until smooth. You can leave it a little chunky if preferred. The amount of water you add can also be adjusted to create a thicker or thinner consistency of your choice.
Store in an airtight container in the fridge and dip into over 3-4 days.
Nutrition (Per Large Heaped Teaspoon)
Calories – 15
Protein – 15.3g
Fat – 4.1g
Selenium for a Mood Boost
There are a number of ingredients we can add to our diet that contain happy, mood-boosting “selenium”. It’s a trace mineral that’s vital to our mental health and found in our bodies in small amounts.
If you’re a little low on this nutrient, sources include fish, animal protein and whole grains. This recipe uses Brazil nuts which are not only delicious but a great source of happy selenium!
Energy Brazil Power Balls
Pop these in your handbag, in your car, or keep some by your bed if you like! Anytime you need a pick me up, munch on one of these. They’re better than a quick sugar high and much less expensive than shop-bought versions.
1 cup of Porridge Oats
10 Brazil Nuts
1 tbsp Ground Almonds
2 tbsp Flaxseed
1 tbsp Coconut Oil (melted)
2 tbsp Maple Syrup
1 tsp Chocolate Chips
1 tbsp Protein Powder
1 tsp Vanilla Extract
1 tbsp Brazil Nut Butter (use smooth Almond Butter if you can’t find this)
Whizz the Brazil nuts in a food processor until finely chopped. Add all of the other ingredients and mix until well combined.
Squeeze into 9 balls and store in an airtight container. Eat within 4-5 days.
Nutrition (Per Ball)
Calories – 103
Protein – 4.4g
Carbohydrate – 9.4g
Fat – 6.8g
Rye and Brazil Nut Crackers
Rye also packs a good dose of selenium and protein to help produce a good mood. These crackers are full of fibre to help fill you up between meals, and they’re great for on the go.
160g Plain Flour
50g Rye Flour
75g Brazil Nuts
1 tsp Sea Salt
2 tsp Dried Oregano
4 tbsp Olive Oil
1 tbsp Butter (any kind)
1 tbsp Milk (any kind)
Whizz the Brazil nuts up in a food processor until fine. Add all of the other ingredients and combine well. On a sheet of baking paper, tip the mixture out and flatten it down.
Cover with cling film and roll with a rolling pin until even and about ½ cm in thickness. Cut into 15 large disks.
Bake in a pre-heated oven at 180°C, for 25 minutes. Store in an airtight container for up to a week.
Nutrition (Per Cracker)
Calories – 144
Protein – 2.6g
Carbohydrate – 12.3g
Fat – 8.9g
Chocolate for Quashing Cravings
Many of us feel guilty about eating it, but why? Chocolate can give you a great energy boost and satisfy sweet cravings. Why not pack it up with some really good stuff? These recipes give you a cocoa fix and will keep you feeling good for longer.
These crisp, chocolate shards have been jazzed up with goji berries and seeds. Enhancing the chocolate with protein and Omega 3 will help boost your energy for a more slow release energy hit. This is less sweet than normal chocolate and contains no refined sugar.
100g Chocolate Liquor Drops (available from health shops)
50g Cocoa Butter Drops (available from health shops)
3 tbsp Agave Syrup
1 tbsp Goji Berries
1 tbsp Sunflower Seeds
1 tbsp Pumpkin Seeds
1 tbsp Sesame Seeds
Melt the chocolate liquor drops and cocoa butter drops together in a glass bowl, placed over a saucepan of barely simmering water. When melted, stir in the agave syrup and leave to cool and thicken up a little.
On baking paper on a baking sheet, pour the chocolate mixture out into one large shape. Evenly sprinkle over the all the seeds and goji berries.
Place in the freezer and freezer for at least an hour. Snap into 12 shards and store in the fridge.
Nutrition (Per Shard)
Calories – 101
Carbohydrate – 4.6g
Protein – 1.4g
Fat – 9.3g
This one is a little indulgent but full of energy. It can be eaten straight from the freezer and will give you a good mood hit that lasts longer than other sweet fixes, with no refined sugar. I like to think of it as a cuddle on the tongue!
1 tbsp Flax Seeds
1 tbsp Almond Butter (smooth)
1 tbsp Peanut Butter (smooth)
1 tbsp Coconut Oil
20g Chopped Dates
1 tbsp Maple Syrup
2 tsp Instant Coffee Granules
1 tbsp Ground Almonds
This recipe is so easy to put together and can be made in minutes if you have a food processor. Whizz all of the ingredients together in the processor and place on a sheet of baking paper.
Roll out using the paper (it will be quite sticky) to form a log shape. Lay on a sheet of foil and roll round to form a sausage shape.
Place in the freezer for at least 2 hours. Remove and slice the sausage shape into disks.
Transfer to a plastic container and store in the freezer, ready for those moments when you need a surefire shot of emergency energy!
Nutrition (Per Disk)
Calories – 89
Carbohydrate – 3.7g
Protein – 2.6g
Fat – 7.3g
These days there are so many snacks on offer everywhere you go, but not all of them will give you the best nutritional hit. These tips can help you get through the day making the right choices and with enough energy to cope with the daily stresses of family life.
- Keep snacks handy to maintain fuel levels. This will prevent you making less, nutritious choices when you’re tired or hungry.
- If you do succumb to a shop snack, look for more healthy choices of nibbles, like this super sustainable fruit jerky!
- You don’t have to eat a whole batch of snacks in one go! Many baked recipes can be frozen so you can just help yourself as and when you need some.
- If you’re not a fan of making a mess in the kitchen, there are a number of energy bar recipes that are “no cook”. Why not get the kids to help out making them?
- Remember that drinks are just as important as food. Dehydration can also lead to low energy and moods, but it’s easy to beat by simply reaching for a glass of water or juice.