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Food

13th May 2015

4 super-healthy snacks for on-the-go

Cliodhnaof

If you are sick of the old ham sandwich on the beach, or black bananas at the bottom of the snack bag, we have a few suggestions to liven things up a little.

1. Ham and Cheese Cones

When the sun comes out around here we often just make a mad dash to the beach. If you stop to prepare a proper picnic it could be all over by the time you get there! My favourite sun-dash lunch is made with a pack of sliced meats, such as parma ham and salami; some nice big slices of cheese; a loaf of bread – ciabatta or baguette are good; yesterday’s newspaper and some Sellotape.

Before you leave for the beach, cut a few sheets of newspaper into rectangles and make a cone shape, then stick together with a piece of Sellotape. The following can be done at the beach…

Rip up some of the bread into small chunks and add to the bottom of the newspaper cone.

Lay out the large cheese slices. (I use goats cheese, but some people like the EasiSingles because they can be folded easily.)

Place a few slices of parma ham and salami on top of the cheese, then fold into a rough cone shape and put inside the newspaper cones. Add a few more chunks of bread and top off with another slice or two of meat.

The cones are a novelty for kids and very handy if there are lots of hungry mouths to feed.

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2. Stegosaurus Rolls

I have absolutely no idea where the name for these rolls came from but they are made with butternut hummus, which is a great snack at any time, simply with some bread sticks. You can also wrap it in some Romaine lettuce (robust enough to hold for a few hours) and couscous for a very healthy wrap, or cut up in to circles to enjoy it sushi style. Stegosaurus sushi style.

Lay one piece of the lettuce out, spread liberally with butternut hummus and put a layer of couscous down the middle. Roll it up length ways and cut off the ends to tidy up.

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3. Couscous

Put one part couscous and one part water in a pot, bring to the boil, cover and remove from the heat. Leave it in the pot for five minutes, then cool.

4. Roasted Butternut Hummus

1 medium Butternut squash, peeled and cut into wedges

1 tablespoon of olive oil

1 tablespoon of cream cheese

1 teaspoon of tahini

A pinch of salt and pepper

(You can also add some garlic, lemon juice and cumin to this for the adults.)

  • Drizzle the wedges of squash with oil, salt and pepper, then roast in a preheated oven at 180C until soft – for around 30 minutes.
  • Combine the cooked squash, cream cheese and tahini paste in a food processor and blend to a smooth paste.

4. Fruit Leathers

Fruit leathers are a fruity chew and are very handy for lunch boxes, or snacks at anytime.

There are many different ways to make these but I have found this the easiest. I have used pineapple here as it has good pulp and is sweet enough without adding sugar. You can play around with all kinds of fruit – cooking times may vary slightly.

  • Simply chop up a whole, skinless pineapple with the rough centre removed.
  • Blend in a food processor until smooth, then push through a sieve with the back of a spoon leaving only the very rough fibers behind.
  • At this point I cook it in a pot over a gentle heat to reduce for about 10-15 min, stirring frequently – this cuts down on oven time.
  • Then, line a baking tray with a silicone sheet and spread the reduced pineapple out to a depth of about 1/4 of an inch.
  • Pop in an oven at 70C for about 3-4 hours ( it will depend on your oven) or until you can peel the pineapple off the sheet.
  • Remove from the oven, place a layer of baking parchement on top of the fruit and turn the tray over.
  • Peel away the silicone sheet and you are left with a large sheet of pineapple leather on a large piece of baking parchement.
  • Tidy up the edges with a pair of scissors (rubbing a little oil on the blades of the scissors helps) and then cut strips of the fruit and parchment together.
  • Roll them up with the parchment so they don’t stick. They will keep in an airtight container for up to a week.

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Cliodhna Prendergast of Breaking Eggs is with HerFamily.ie for six weeks so watch this space for her next piece.

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