What’s your go to snack when you feel tired in the afternoon? Broccoli? Carrots? Cauliflower?
I’d be surprised if you munched on veggies in the afternoon because most of us crave something more… fun. Whether it’s a pack of crisps, your favourite chocolate bar or a coffee top up, we want something that feels like a treat.
And I confess. Even as a health coach, a few months ago my go to snack was a chocolate muffin. I loved the taste so much I’d devour an entire pack as though they’d go off today.
But sadly the satisfaction didn’t last for long. No matter what type of chocolate muffin I ate, it took only a matter of hours for me to feel sluggish, and a matter days to break out all over my T-Zone.
This made me wonder, why do we keep craving something that makes us feel worse? Is it because we have no will power? Or because the taste of crisps, coffee or muffins are so good we can’t possibly replace it for a healthier alternative?
Well, turns out it’s not because of any of those reasons.
The reason I crave fun and sugary snacks in the afternoon is because I’ve been unintentionally trained to look forward to eating unhealthy snacks. And perhaps you have too.
For example, when I was a child, teachers would reward students with a chocolate bar if you gave them the right answer. My parents would treat me to lunch at Burger King, McDonalds or KFC after a sports game. At work, I’d get an e-mail calling me to come down for tea at 3pm and all of my colleagues would rush downstairs to get their hands on the free candy offered to us.
Though the intentions were good and were done only once a week if not once a month, it subconsciously wired me to reward myself in a similar way. After all, I hadn’t experienced anything else. Because my teachers, parents and community never rewarded me with plant based foods, it never crossed my mind that this was a legitimate, fun and delicious way to snack.
As soon as I noticed this pattern in my behaviour I decided to trade my chocolate muffins for a snack filled with ingredients I always have in my fridge – carrots, tomatoes and spinach.
At first I thought this would be boring… but in reality it was a match made in heaven…
It turned into a Mini Carrot & Tomato Pizza that genuinely tastes good for the following reasons:
- Cooked carrots are sweet and melt in your mouth like butter when cooked well
- Tomatoes give the carrots a juicy, virgin oily flavour
- Flatbread gives the recipe some crunch.
This discovery beats any packet of crisps or muffins I’ve ever bought. And has inspired me to explore a whole new world of appetisers and snacks.
You can try the simple recipe yourself below.
Mini Carrot and Tomato Pizza Snack Recipe
Cook time: 5 mins / Prep Time: 5 mins / Total time: 10 mins / Yields: 2 portions / Serving Size: 1 person
- A tablespoon of coconut oil
- 4 pieces of Flatbread
- A handful of spinach
- A handful of cherry tomatoes
- 1 carrot
- Begin by cutting the carrot into slim slices
- Heat frying pan and place coconut oil in the pan. Throw in sliced up carrots
- Let it simmer until the carrots soften. While it cooks, chop the cherry tomatoes into 4s. Then add the chopped up tomatoes to the frying pan
- Prepare the flatbread by adding a layer of spinach. When the carrots and tomatoes are soft but not brown, add them on top of the flatbread and spinach
P.S. You can take this snack to work. Pre-cook your carrot and tomato mixture, place it in a small container and bring this with you to work, along with a bit spinach and flatbread.