Have you been stress-eating or skipping meals during exam season? A healthy snack that contains protein and/or healthy fats, along with complex carbohydrates (like grains and fruits and veggies) can help manage your appetite and make you feel less hungry between meals. Snacking can be a part of balanced eating. Here are some recommendations that can help you make it through the tough time:
Egg Salad Toast
Start by making the egg salad by mashing up 1-2 hard-boiled eggs with a fork. Mix the well-mashed eggs with mayonnaise, celery and green onion. Sprinkle it with salt and pepper to taste. Toast your slice of bread and spread the egg mixture on top. Boom! An easy recipe for a quick pick-me-up snack.
Mini Chicken Wrap
Season the chicken breast with your favourite spices, salt and pepper to taste. Pan fry the chicken with a bit of oil for 5 to 6 minutes per side or until cooked through. Take a small or half of a large whole wheat tortilla, then layer some toppings like cheese, spinach, lettuce, tomato, cooked mushrooms, black beans and/or cucumbers. Top it up with pan-fried chicken breasts and dressing. Tightly wrap and serve. There you go, a solid and filling snack.
For the chicken, you can cook it from scratch, use already cooked rotisserie chicken or leftover chicken. Shredding the chicken after it is cooked can also allow improve the texture and flavours of the wrap. You can even substitute the chicken with any choice of protein: turkey, tofu, beans, chickpeas.
Homemade salad dressings are super easy to make. Try this avocado-based dressing: mix oil, lemon juice, chives, parsley, vinegar, pepper, garlic, salt and avocado together and blend until smooth.
Hummus with Veggies
In a food processor, combine tahini and lemon juice and process for a minute, scrape the sides and bottom of the bowl, then process for 30 seconds more. Add olive oil, minced garlic, cumin, and a pinch of salt. Process for another minute or until well blended. Open, drain, and rinse the chickpeas. Add chickpeas to the food processor and process until thick and smooth (1 to 2 minutes). Remember to scrape the sides and bottom of the bowl in between processing. Slowly add 2 to 3 tablespoons of water until you reach the perfect consistency.
Serve hummus with a drizzle of olive oil and a dash of paprika, and eat along with carrots, celery, cucumber slices, bell pepper, radishes or any vegetable you enjoy eating. Homemade hummus can be refrigerated for up to a week. Another option is purchasing hummus from the store, which can be great if you do not have the time to make hummus from scratch.
Fruity Yogurt Bowl
Pair plain Greek yogurt with bite-sized pieces of fresh or frozen fruit: bananas, pineapple, kiwis, strawberries, raspberries, blueberries, blackberries, mango, you name it! You may also add optional dried fruits on top like raisins, cranberries, currants, coconut, cherries or dates. Adding roasted nuts, seeds and/or granola can add a nice crunch, texture, flavour and additional nutrition. Lastly, you may also drizzle a spoonful of your favourite nut butter on top to add a creaminess to the bowl.
Strawberry Banana Smoothie
Whip up a smoothie with Greek yogurt, fresh or frozen strawberries, a banana and your milk of preference. Place all the ingredients in a blender, blend until smooth and enjoy!
There you have it, five easy options to keep your stomach satisfied during exam season. Give these snacks or variations of them a try to boost your energy and support yourself the best you can during this time.