The Taste Of The Mediterranean

Creating a life that is positively good for you...

STEP 5

FABULOUS FAST FOODS
Healthy snacking in between meals

Most of us snack in between meals. Indeed there is something to be said for “grazing” on healthy foods within calorie limits. Children in particular are not designed to have three full meals a day, which is why kids in particular are susceptible to snacking on unhealthy foods in between meals.

There are wonderful possibilities for snacking healthily, as a way to access the wonderful nutrients that confer wellbeing. It is important to have easy access to “ready made fast foods” either stored in a fridge, or in small decorative bowls in the kitchen or living areas. Availability, convenience and flavour are the secret.

Nuts about nuts

Nuts© 2010 Adam Poole

(Though not if you are allergic to nuts)

Nuts are a rich source of protein which satisfies appetite. A bowl of unsalted mixed nuts is a delight to be grabbed in passing.

Nature has blessed us with a rich variety of nuts, and their consumption is associated with lower rates of heart disease. The MUFAs in nuts lower cholesterol and the omega 3 PUFAs in certain types also contributes to health. People eat fewer nuts in Western Europe perhaps because of concerns about fat content, but it should be remembered that as long as the calories are burned up (see chapter 10) and obesity is avoided, the fats in nuts are good fats that protect the heart.

Peoples in the Mediterranean eat twice the quantity of nuts in comparison with those living in Western Europe, and this may be another factor which makes the Mediterranean diet the healthiest in the World.

Nuts also contain vitamin E and antioxidants which may play a part in cancer and heart disease protection.

Brazil nuts are one of the richest known sources of selenium, a trace element that may play a specific role in prevention of breast cancer.

As we will see in the next chapter, salt is not necessary as a flavour enhancer, so unsalted nuts are by far the most tasty and healthy option.

A Bowl of Cherry Tomatoes

Tomatoes are a tasty snack. Always have a bowl of cherry tomatoes in the kitchen readily available. Tomatoes contain not only vitamin C, but also the substance lycopene. It has been suggested that lycopenes play a role in prevention of cancer of the prostate.

Cherry tomatoes are a rich source of this substance, and can be consumed in a mouthful!

A Bowl of Fruit

We have already seen how a bowl of fruit readily available can provide a healthy snack, and how a grabbed handful of delicious dried fruits can give your morning an antioxidant boost.

A Bowl of Seeds

See step 7.

A Bowl of Dates

Dates are said by some to be quite simply the most concentrated package of antioxidants on the planet!

Raw Vegetables

Perhaps the most tasty way to snack on raw vegetables is to have a bag of fresh peeled carrots in the fridge. If a more substantial and filling snack is needed then simply dip the vegetable in olive oil

Olives

Olives

© 2010 Adam Poole

Olives are best stored in a bottle of extravirgin olive oil or simply in the fridge. The olives stored in brine tend to lose their flavour and become too salty. Most supermarkets sell jars of olives stored in oil or from the delicatessen. These need to be stored in the fridge and consumed within a few days (no problem!). The “olive bar” generally contains a wide range of different varieties, often with peppers, lemon, or stuffed with a garlic clove.

Become an olive “buff”! There are so many different types and flavours – Kalamata, gaidourolia, megaritiki, kothreiki, karydolia, throumba to name but a few.

Olives can be consumed as an aperetif, in salads, in main meals, or in passing!

Olives contain the goodness of olive oil and can be consumed as an ideal snack.

Olive paste

Olive pastes have been consumed in the Mediterranean for thousands of years. Crushed olives mixed with lemon, herbs, garlic, or tomato. Spread on toast or bread they can be used as an appetizer or snack. Many are now available in supermarkets, and usually combined with fruits or herbs that are packed with goodness.

STEP 5; The Bottom Line - Pick great tasting, antioxidant snacks. Buy them, Bowl them, Believe in them.