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Healthy snacking: Homemade Ideas That Energize While In Quarantine

Homemade veggie chips or cheese, seed crackers, and colorful hummus are some of the "between-hours" snacks that are nutritional in quality and not empty calories

It is not pecking, it is attending to our body. In terms of nutrition, this confinement has surely brought us more variety , by having more time to think, to devise recipes and to cook, more relaxed meals when sharing them with the family and perhaps, for many of you, also a few extra kilos. 

Why? We have been nervous, sometimes bored, or with great stress due to teleworking !, And all this has led us to fall into the temptation of snacking , of small snacks between meals that were not motivated by hunger or the body's need for a certain nutrient, but simply because of anxiety or habit("It's time for the coffee break"). 

But let's start by clarifying the terms. Although there are numerous studies that link the number of daily intakes with a greater propensity to be overweight or obese (and it seems to indicate that a greater number of meals does not favor weight gain, but rather the contrary), we have to say that for nutritionists normally the number of meals is not what really matters, but the quality and quantity from the same. 

A healthy person, of any age, should eat as her body tells her (she is the best person to do it, if we know how to listen to our body), and not because she exercises. That is, if they are two, three, or five meals a day, it does not have to be relevant to our health if those meals are natural and healthy. 

And on the contrary, the low or non-existent nutritional quality of ultra-processed foods , which are precisely the stars of the usual snack, can make us fat and also suffer from other types of heart disease, diabetes or some types of cancer. 

So what is pecking? For us it would not be to eat out of season, as for many, but to do it when it is not really necessary, and above all, to do it with unhealthy products.

Reconnect with the body
Thus, more important than all this should be to reconnect with our body to meet it’s most basic demands, even if that means breaking with the social paradigms of breakfast, lunch, snack and dinner. And once we have achieved it, learn what is good for us and what is not in each moment. Believe me, vegetables, seeds, animal proteins, unprocessed in general, can be your new favorite food.

Thus, if being at the computer all day, or spending many more hours at home than before makes us automatically think about relieving stress with a snack, we must first stop to think about whether we really are hungry. 

To do this, try to change activity for a few minutes (the best would be physical activity) and check if the sensation passes. If we are still convinced that it is time to eat something, let's do it, but let's do it well.

Now that we precisely have more time to cook we can have a good supply of appetizing and healthy options when that sensation lurks. Here we leave you some very easy to prepare ideas that are also delicious:

Pecking 1: Seed Crackers
If what you need is to give your body an extra energy, what better than seeds. You can use whatever you want, but we offer you half a cup of chia seeds, half of pumpkin seeds and half of sesame seeds. 

Mix them with a beaten egg and half a cup of tapioca flour, add salt and a little water until there is a liquid but consistent mass. Then, you just have to spread it out, as thin as possible, on a baking sheet and cook at 180º for half an hour. It will be crispy and perfect to eat alone or with any vegetable puree or pate (or, why not, natural cocoa cream). 

For a change you can repeat the same formula but this time with sunflower seeds, nuts, and poppy seeds 

Snack 2: Homemade Chips
We can make homemade chips from almost any vegetable, with nothing to envy in terms of flavor (or rather the opposite) to those who sell us with sometimes impossible shapes and textures, which are usually loaded with salt, and although you may not believe it of sugars, and they typically have little of the original ingredient they boast about, be it potato or lentil paste. 

To make them at home it is convenient to have a mandolin with which to cut very thin the vegetables that you want: zucchini, sweet potato, squash Or use whole kale or spinach leaves. We add a few drops of oil and a touch of salt, and again we use the oven to cook them until they are crispy, easier than possible!

But beyond the vegetable, you can also try making cheese chips (the best for this is Parmesan, and make sure it is organic, made with milk from cows that eat grass). The procedure is the same, cut into strips, as thin as possible, and bake. In this case remember to leave enough separation between some pieces and others, because when they melt they expand.

Snack 3: Hummus
The hummus chickpea is the most common, but if you want to avoid is heavy or legumes by bloating, we propose to use beet, which has many vitamins and also with a prebiotic and probiotic effect light. 

You will need one part of quinoa for every four of beets, both previously cooked. Add tahini, lemon juice, cumin and salt and start to beat while adding olive oil in string. You will love it with carrot sticks or pickles.

Do you still believe that industrial snacks are tastier and more appetizing? Surely, if you think about it, there will be many other ideas that you can apply to make this 'compulsive food' much healthier and make you feel better. 

This is also a great opportunity to share the preparations and results with the rest of the family, and instill in the little ones the benefits of home cooking and natural foods.

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