Healthy snacks really are the cornerstone of the MS diet. We all need a constant supply of tasty, filling and nutritious snacks to get us through the day and keep our tummies from getting starving between meals. For me, snacks are super essential for helping me stay on track with my MS diet. It's just too easy to reach for the wrong food when you are hungry.
Eating consistent, small meals throughout the day revs up our metabolism which gives us more energy and helps us control our weight more effectively. Our bodies like to maintain a balanced state, otherwise known as homeostasis. Keeping blood sugar levels perfectly balanced is of the utmost importance for maintaining energy, a clear mind, a stable mood and the ability to focus. It is also very important for controlling MS symptoms. We need to be grazers - eating little bits throughout the day rather than three huge meals. This is much better for our overall health. Hence we need MS diet snacks!
What to Avoid & Embrace
I'm sure you know all this by now but here is a quick refresher on which ingredients to avoid and embrace. Your snacks should never include any of the following ingredients: refined sugar, wheat & gluten, dairy and saturated fat. This sounds difficult but so many grocery stores and snack shops are offering good quality healthy snacks with none of the above ingredients in them. I love walking into a coffee shop and finding that I can purchase raw kale chips, gluten free crackers and raw nuts! It's definitely getting easier to stick to the MS diet! When I'm out and about I usually take a container of mixed nuts and dried fruit (make sure its preservative free), rice cakes and perhaps some of my raw sun-dried tomato pesto. An apple and banana also do the trick!
Raw Blueberry Bites
So, onto today's recipe. It's a really yummy one that you can make quickly and then store in your fridge for a few days. They are super convenient for filling the gap in your tummy quickly. These raw blueberry bites taste delicious and your body will love their stabilising effect on your blood sugar. Blueberries are the obvious super foods in this recipe and are high in antioxidants such as vitamin K. They also contain vitamin C, and manganese. The blue pigment in blueberries is a type of anthocyanins which are currently under research for their healing role in the human body. Anthocyanins may be responsible for the increase in antioxidant capacity of blood after consumption of foods rich in these pigments. Fantastic for killing off those free radicals.
The cashews and chia seeds also have their own little superfood status and will give you a good portion of protein and good fats. The recipe can be adapted to suit any ingredients you have available, so you could replace the blueberries with raspberries or banana and the medjool dates could be interchanged with apricots or figs. You can pretty much experiment with any ingredients you think would work nicely in them. I hope you find these little bites a helpful addition to your snack repertoire! I enjoy eating mine with a lovely brew of herbal tea. Apple and cinnamon tea to be exact!
1 cup cashews
1 cup rolled oats (gluten-free)
3/4 cup blueberries
8 medjool dates (remove pits)
1/2 tsp vanilla extract
1 tsp lemon zest
1/4 tsp sea salt
2 tsp chia seeds
Place the cashews, rolled oats, vanilla extract and sea salt into a blender. Combine until the mixture is a fine texture.
Add in the blueberries, dates, chia seeds and lemon zest and blend until mixture is well combined.
Roll heaped teaspoons of the mixture into balls and place in a container to be refrigerated.
The balls can be eaten immediately or kept in the fridge for around 4 days or frozen for around a month.