Having a treat at work is a delicious way to take a break, step away from your desk and refuel. You're working hard and you deserve a tasty snack (plus, treats are hard to resist).
But if you're after something a little healthier than a Texas-sized muffin or brownie, making your own snacks to bring along is a great idea.
These four treats from 'donna hay fresh and light magazine' are a healthy alternative to your common chocolate bars and cakes, and they're super easy to make. Make them on a weekend and you have a whole week's worth of treats for when you get snacky.
Choc-nut and chia seed slice
This slice is full of nuts and seeds, making it a filling snack packed with healthy fats. If you're a sweet tooth, you'll be happy to know this slice includes dark chocolate and honey, so you get the best of both worlds, really.
- 2 cups (320g) brazil nuts, roughly chopped
- 1 cup puffed millet
- ½ cup (80g) pepitas (pumpkin seeds)
- ¼ cup (50g) black chia seeds
- 50g 70 percent dark chocolate, roughly chopped
- ¼ cup (90g) honey
- 2 teaspoons vanilla bean paste
1. Preheat oven to 160°C (325°F). Place the nuts, millet, pepitas, chia, chocolate, honey and vanilla in a large bowl and mix well to combine.
2. Press the mixture into a 20cm square cake tin lined with non-stick baking paper. Cook for 30-35 minutes or until golden. Refrigerate until completely cooled. Slice into 2.5cm x 5cm logs to serve.
Tip: This slice will keep refrigerated in an airtight container for up to one week.
Matcha almond and hazelnut bliss balls
Matcha is all the rage right now, and with pretty good reason. The powder is said to have powerful antioxidant properties and adds an earthy green tea flavour when added to drinks and desserts. These work desk-friendly bliss balls are loaded with matcha, as well as heart healthy nuts.
Makes 16 balls.
- ½ cup (80g) almonds
- ½ cup (70g) hazelnuts
- ¼ cup (20g) shredded coconut
- 1 tablespoon vanilla extract
- 2 tablespoons matcha powder, plus extra for dusting
- 16 fresh dates, pitted
Place the almonds, hazelnuts, coconut, vanilla and matcha in a food processor and process until roughly chopped. Add the dates and process until the mixture comes together. Roll tablespoonfuls of the mixture into balls. Dust with extra matcha to serve.
Tip: The bliss balls will keep in an airtight container in the refrigerator for up to two weeks.
Zucchini, ricotta, pistachio and chia cake
Pistachios and honey is a perfect union, with orange zest and vanilla adding another level of depth and flavour. It's even got zucchini in it, so you're practically eating some of your daily veggie requirements as well. Simply cut a slice (or three) to bring to work and toast it briefly so it's nice and warm.
- 4 eggs
- ½ cup (90g) rapadura sugar or brown sugar
- 3 small zucchini (courgette) (300g)
- 1 cup (150g) buckwheat flour
- 1 cup (120g) almond meal (ground almonds)
- 250g ricotta
- ¼ cup (60ml) grapeseed oil
- 1 tablespoon finely grated orange rind
- 2 tablespoons white chia seeds
- 1 tablespoons vanilla extract
- 1 teaspoon baking powder
- ⅓ cup (45g) pistachios, roughly chopped
- ¼ cup (90g) honey
1. Preheat oven to 160°C (325°F). Place the eggs and sugar in the bowl of an electric mixer and whisk for eight minutes or until light, fluffy and tripled in size.
2. Grate the zucchini (you should have 1 ⅔ cups). Place the zucchini, flour, almond meal, ricotta, oil, orange rind, chia, vanilla and baking powder in a large bowl and stir to combine. Gently fold in the egg mixture in two batches.
3. Pour into a lightly greased 26cm x 8cm loaf tin lined with non-stick baking paper. Cook for 60–65 minutes or until cooked when tested with a skewer. Set aside to cool in the tin. Top with the pistachios and drizzle with honey to serve.
Raw date cacao and matcha chocolate bars
Similar to the bliss balls, these chocolate bars are packed with nuts and matcha powder, as well as antioxidant-rich cacao powder. One of these bars goes a long way in terms of energy and they keep for a long time, too.
Makes 20 bars.
- 20 fresh dates (350g), pitted
- 1 cup (160g) almonds
- 1 cup (150g) cashews
- 2 tablespoons coconut oil
- ½ cup (50g) cacao powder
- ¼ cup (20g) matcha powder, plus extra for dusting
- 2 tablespoons black chia seeds
- ½ cup (50g) LSA (linseed, sunflower and almond meal)
1. Place the dates, almonds, cashews and coconut oil in a food processor and process until the mixture comes together. Add the cacao, matcha, chia seeds and LSA, and process until the mixture sticks together.
2. Press the mixture into a 20cm x 20cm lightly greased square cake tin lined with non-stick baking paper. Refrigerate for two hours or until firm. Remove from the tin, dust with matcha and cut into 2cm x 10cm bars to serve.
Tip: The bars will keep in an airtight container in the refrigerator for up to two weeks.
Recipes and images from donna hay 'fresh and light' issue four.