Dark-chocolate

5 Healthy Desk Snacks

Can’t quite keep away from snacking at your desk? Get rid of all the garbage in your drawers, handbag and other compartments and try some of these healthy snacks instead. They are sure to keep you feeling fuller for longer and taste amazing!

RELATED: Healthy Snack Alert – Hummus

Dark chocolate

A few pieces of dark chocolate is the best way to curb those sugary cravings when 3pm hits. Choose anything higher than 85 per cent since it’s healthier for you and isn’t packed with nearly as much sugar. Enjoy a few pieces with your green tea to unwind in the afternoon.

5 Healthy Desk Snacks

Blueberries

Not only are blueberries a healthy snack, they’re also easy to find at all supermarkets! Simply rinse them with water and keep them at your desk the entire day.

5 Healthy Desk Snacks

Edamame beans

Enjoy a handful of crunchy edamame beans the next time you’re feeling peckish. They are packed with fibre, protein and antioxidants, which all contribute to a healthy body in the long-term. Sprinkle with sea salt or even use them in your salad!

5 Healthy Desk Snacks

Unsalted pistachios

Swap the potato chips for a handful of healthy pistachio nuts. Choose the variety which are unsalted since they taste even better raw and roasted. Yum!

5 Healthy Desk Snacks

Dried fruit

Any type of dried fruit including mangoes, pineapple and apple is a great snack to stash on your desk or in your handbag. It doesn’t need refrigerating, tastes amazing any time of the year and is so yummy!

5 Healthy Desk Snacks

What are some of your healthy desk snacks?

Images via Nuts, City Nut and Candy Online, The Kitchn, Gimme Some Oven, Super Food Lab

The Ultimate Chocolate Muffin Dessert

Despite what you might think, dark chocolate does have some health benefits, except when combined with sugar, eggs and white flour we can’t exactly say that it’s ‘healthy’.  So I’m not going to lie, this recipe is definitely NOT healthy but it’s a fabulous treat if you have friends coming over for dinner or you simply need to indulge in some chocolate.  They take less than thirty minutes to make and I can guarantee they won’t disappoint!

RELATED: Find out the health benefits of dark chocolate here

Ingredients

300g of good quality dark chocolate, roughly chopped

125g butter, roughly chopped

1¾ cups self-raising flour

¼ teaspoon baking powder

¼ cup cocoa powder

¼ cup brown sugar, firmly packed

¾ cup milk

2 eggs

3 80g Mars bars, thinly sliced

Method

  1. Preheat oven to 180 degrees Celsius.
  2. Grease a six hole jumbo muffin pan.
  3. Place half of the chocolate into a bowl with the butter and place over a gently simmering saucepan of water without letting the bowl touch the water.
  4. Stir occasionally until melted then set aside to cool.
  5. Sift flour, baking powder and cocoa into a large bowl then add sugar.
  6. In a separate bowl whisk milk and eggs together.
  7. Combine milk and egg mixture with dry ingredients and then add the melted chocolate.
  8. Stir together then divide the mixture between the six muffin pans.
  9. Bake for twenty minutes or until cooked through.
  10. Remove from muffin pans and set aside to cool.
  11. Melt remaining chocolate in a bowl over a gently simmering saucepan of water.
  12. Cool slightly then drizzle some chocolate over the Mars bar slices before piling them on top of the muffins.
  13. Drizzle muffins with the last of the chocolate and serve with a dollop of whipped cream.
  14. ENJOY!

Image via taste.com.au

6 Healthy Late-Night Snacks

Can you count how many times it’s late at night and you’re craving something to eat just, well, because? Eating past 7-8pm is not recommended since the body won’t get enough movement and instead the food is stored as fat. What if you’re really hungry and can’t quite resist a snack? Here are some foods which won’t cause a whole lot of trouble at night, but try to wait an least an hour before hitting the sack!

Blueberries

Blueberries are packed with antioxidants and are full of fibre so enjoy a handful if you’re feeling peckish. Blueberries are also a superfood full of vitamin C and vitamin E, and have a relatively low sugar intake compared to other fruits. Enjoy over a cup of yoghurt if you’re feeling extra hungry.

Veggie sticks

If you’re craving a packet of dry chips late at night, try some chopped carrot pieces instead. The munching will make it seem like you’re eating chips, but with all the added health benefits of this versatile vegetable. Carrots are filled with vitamin A, help to improve vision and contribute to clear skin. Enjoy with some hummus for extra flavour.

Green tea

Most of the time, many people confuse the feeling thirst and hunger. This almost always ends up in eating a big meal when we aren’t even craving it! Green tea is a fantastic option since it will relax your body right before bed, and is packed with L-theanine which is also a natural remedy for anxiety and stress.

Natural popcorn

A handful of air-popped popcorn is sure to do the trick if you’re feeling peckish at night. Don’t even think about adding salt and butter, rather sprinkle a bit of cinnamon to keep it sweet.

Apple

Apples are a great option if you’re craving something sweet at night, since they are low in calories and also have a low GI. They are a naturally sweet fruit, and will surely keep you full and snack-free for the rest of the evening. If you just can’t resist, spread a small amount of peanut-butter for a sweet topping.

Dark chocolate

Unlike milk or white chocolate, remember that darker is better. Aim for dark chocolate which is higher than 70% since anything below that mark contains more added sugar per bar. Dark chocolate is filled with healthy antioxidants, so enjoy a few pieces if you aren’t afraid of the bitter taste.

Image via Stir Food

By Felicia Sapountzis

7 Best Foods for Healthy Skin

Most of us spend a lot of money on skin care products, but you may be ignoring the real secret to healthy skin—what you eat. Some foods are high in nutrients that prevent acne, soften wrinkles and promote clear, younger-looking, radiant skin. Here are seven favourites that can help you glow from within.

Yoghurt

Just one serving each day of this delicious dairy food can make your skin smoother and softer. The secret ingredient is protein, which helps skin become firmer and more resistant to developing lines. The best choice for skin is Greek yoghurt, which can have twice the protein of the regular kind.

Walnuts

Snacking on these tasty nuts can improve your skin’s texture in several ways. Walnuts are rich in omega-3 essential fatty acids that can improve the elasticity of your skin, plus they’re full of the mineral copper, which can boost the production of collagen. Eating walnuts can also reduce skin inflammation for fewer breakouts.

Soy

If you’ve been troubled by brown spots on your skin, try snacking on edamame or adding soy milk to your latte. Soy has proteins and minerals that can reduce hyper-pigmentation of the skin. Consuming soy can also benefit the hair and nails.

Oatmeal

The best oatmeal for healthy skin is the less processed steel-cut variety because it retains more vitamins. Also, it helps to keep your blood sugar stable by taking longer to break down in your body. This is important because spikes in blood sugar can elevate your body’s level of androgens—the hormones that contribute to wrinkles.

Carrots

Carrots are chock-full of vitamin A, which is not only good for your eyesight, it can help clear up breakouts. Vitamin A helps to prevent the overproduction of cells in the outer layer of the skin, where dead cells can combine with sebum to clog your pores. Plus, they can slow the development of skin cancer cells.

Dark chocolate

No, chocolate does not cause breakouts, instead it can actually be good for your skin! But look for chocolate with a higher cocoa content, which means more of the good stuff and less butter and sugar. Dark chocolate is high in antioxidants called flavonols that can reduce skin roughness and help to protect against sun damage. Just don’t use this as an excuse to binge on chocolate —a few squares a day are enough.

Avocado

This delicious fruit is probably the number one food for healthy skin because the avocado is supplied with essential oils and B-complex vitamins that can soothe and nourish your skin. Especially important is vitamin B3, also called niacin, an anti-inflammatory that can soothe irritated, blotchy skin. Just one avocado can supply more than 25% of your daily need.

What’s your favourite food for healthy skin?

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