Are you tempted by the office biscuit jar at 3pm? The right snacks keep you energised at work — so when hunger strikes, be prepared with healthy bites your colleagues will envy.
Spiced fruit slices
Preheat oven to 100°C. Cut 2 apples and 2 pears into 1/4–1/2cm slices and place on lined baking trays. Sprinkle with lemon juice, mixed spice and cinnamon. Cook the fruit slices for 3–4 hours, turning every hour, until they are dried out. Cool; store slices in a sealed container.
Blitz 1 cup dried apricots, 1 cup dried figs and 1 cup raw almonds in a food processor until they form a sticky mixture. Stir in 2 tablespoons chia seeds. Wet hands; roll mixture into 18 balls. Store in a sealed container in the fridge until ready to eat.
Per ball: 424kJ (101cal), 2.6g protein, 4.4g fat, 0.3g sat fat, 11.3g carbs, 10.7g sugar, 3.6g fibre, 9mg sodium
Popcorn and nut trail mix
Preheat oven to 190°C and line two trays with baking paper. Toss 4 cups plain popcorn with 1 cup mixed unsalted nuts and 2 teaspoons smoked paprika. Transfer to baking trays and spray with olive oil. Bake for 15 minutes, or until golden. Cool; store in jars.
Per 1/2 cup: 604kJ (145cal), 3.8g protein, 12.2g fat, 1.3g sat fat, 4.4g carbs, 0.8g sugar, 2.0g fibre, 2mg sodium
Blueberry jar smoothie
Fill a clean, small lidded jar with 200ml reduced-fat milk or almond milk, 1/2 cup blueberries, 2 teaspoons maple syrup and 2 teaspoons chopped almonds. Store jar in the fridge; shake to mix before serving.
Preheat oven to 190°C. Line a baking tray with baking paper. Thinly slice a large sweet potato and a parsnip. Place on tray and spray with olive oil. Cook for 1 hour, turning halfway, until golden and crisp. Cool; store in a sealed container.
Preheat the oven to 200°C. Toss 2 cups drained canned chickpeas in ground cumin. Spray chickpeas with olive oil and roast until they are golden. Cool; mix with 1 cup golden sultanas. Store in sealed jars.
Blitz 1 cup flaked almonds, 2 cups dried dates, 3 tablespoons cocoa powder and 2 tablespoons maple syrup in a food processor until they form a sticky mixture. Spoon into a slice tin lined with baking paper. Smooth surface with a dampened knife. Freeze brownie slice for at least 3 hours, or overnight. Cut into 20 squares.
Per square: 392kJ (94cal), 1.8g protein, 3.6g fat, 0.3g sat fat, 12.9g carbs, 12.4g sugar, 2.4g fibre, 5mg sodium
Crunchy spiced cauli and broccoli
Preheat oven to 200°C. Thinly slice 4 cups of cauliflower and broccoli florets and arrange on a lined tray. Spray with olive oil; sprinkle with turmeric and ground coriander. Toss. Cook for 25 minutes, or until crisp. Add 1/4 cup pumpkin seeds for final 5 minutes. Cool; store in a sealed container.
Preheat oven to 190°C. Slice 3 large eggplants; spray with olive oil and and roast until very soft. Blitz eggplant in a food processor with 1 1/2 tablespoons tahini, 2 crushed garlic cloves, a pinch of ground cumin and a squeeze of lemon. Chill; serve with vegie sticks and wholegrain crackers.
Makes 3 cups
Per 1/4 cup: 83kJ (20cal), 0.9g protein, 0.8g fat, 0.1g sat fat, 1.2g carbs, 1.5g sugar, 1.6g fibre, 4mg sodium
Apricot and nut strawberry bites
Mix 1 cup reduced-fat ricotta with 4 chopped dried apricots, 3 tablespoons almond meal, a pinch of ground ginger and a drizzle of honey or maple syrup. Cut 10 large strawberries in half. Top each half with ricotta mixture. Chill strawberries until ready to serve.