As busy working adults try to maintain an active lifestyle while balancing the daily demands of work, we usually ourselves time-starved. One of the first things to go is our commitment to eating clean. When hunger strikes, especially in the middle of the day (or night), it’s easy to reach for packets of cookies, cakes and chips, or to head for a quick bubble tea.
We bear good news: Snacking doesn’t have to be a bad, fat-laden activity. More companies are catering to those looking for the wholesome and nutritious, and are turning out nutritious tea-break options. These specially curated snacks and drinks even make good breakfast or meal replacements. And the best part is, you can order these snacks online and have them delivered to your doorstep. Snack well, and live better, my friends.
1. Renew – www.renew.sg
A pretty new player in the local gourmet snack scene, Renew offers a variety of healthy but deliciously flavoured handcrafted snacks (lavender and pistachio or coffee and cashew nut butters, anyone?), comprising mainly of nuts, seeds, and dried fruits.
Some of my favourites are Briyani (lightly baked cashew nuts with spices and blackcurrant), Sunrise (matcha honey sliced almonds and macadamia nuts with chocolate drops), and Gusto (honeyed cinnamon pecans and dried cranberries).
Choose from 100g and 300g packs in your desired flavours or customise your own snacks based on your preferences. You can also opt for the subscription boxes (4 x 30g pack) to be surprised with freshly-baked flavours such as watermelon and pear crisps. These boxes make good gifts and party favours.
The company’s gourmet nut butters are suitable for vegans and diabetics. I like to spread them on toast, add them to my smoothies, and just eat a spoonful straight from the jar.
2. BoxGreen – www.boxgreen.co
This local company got its start in 2014, and now offers over 50 flavours of snacks to choose from. Working with an in-house nutritionist, BoxGreen focuses on natural and tasty snacks that are uber-nutritious. Boxgreen makes it easy to watch your portions, since its snacks come in portion-controlled packaging (meaning, single serves).
I was intrigued by the creative flavours inspired by our local desserts, such as Cheng Tng (dried longan, goji berries and lotus seeds) and Almond Longan Jelly (baked almonds and dried longan). I’m also a fan of the Quinoa Cocoa Cookie (about 30% less calories and sugar as compared to a regular chocolate cookie), Shitake Mushroom Crisps (they don’t sound appealing but they are really yummy), and Soya Crips (as addictive as potato chips but healthier).
If you can’t decide on what to order, a good way to start is the box bundle that has 12 small packs of snacks in 4 different varieties based on named categories such as Lim Kopi, Source Of Protein and Source Of Fiber. I have my eyes set on Vegan Box, Low Calorie Box, and Superfood Box.
3. Simply Active – www.simplyactive.com.sg
It was first a distributor for sports nutrition products, but this company has now expanded its range to include snacks and drinks to support a healthy and active lifestyle.
Pure Exercise Recovery Cocoa & Honey is a premium and natural post-exercise drink made with raw organic cacao powder, milk protein and New Zealand honey powder. Each serving contains 15g of protein to help with tissue building and repair, while providing essential minerals such as potassium, magnesium and calcium. At 300 calories per serve, it makes a delicious meal replacement, or can serve as a delicious low-fat chocolate drink during tea-time.
BKST Vegan Chocolate Bar is great for those who want dairy-free alternatives for chocolate. Delicious and made with high percentage of cocoa solids and organic coconut sugar, these bars are free from soy, gluten, preservatives and artificial ingredients. Available in 4 amazing flavours – Coconut Chip, Dark Cocoa, Maca Espresso and Mint Slice.
Then there’s the Teapigs matcha (powdered green tea) offerings that you just can’t miss. Matcha gives you 137 times more antioxidants than regular brewed green tea, and can help you stay mentally alert. It aids in detoxification, boosts metabolism and keeps skin healthy. The Teapigs single-serve sachets come in tea time-friendly flavours like Matcha Chai Latte, Matcha Turmeric Latte and Matcha Cocoa Latte, which can be added to any hot milk of your choice.
4. Oatberry – www.oatberry.com
If you love digging into a granola bowl at any time of the day, you will be thrilled with Oatberry’s range of granolas. I usually shun commercial brands at the supermarket because they have a long list of ingredients and names that I can’t recognise, along with loads of sugar and artificial flavourings. Oatberry stands out with its homemade approach with simple recipes that are vegan (dairy- and egg-free). They’re also gluten-free, soy-free, and nut-free (except for the Maple Pecan flavour).
I tried the Double Chocolate, Original, Cinnamon Apple and Maple Pecan, and they were all so delicious that I ate them at breakfast with soy milk, but also tried them as snacks during tea breaks. I used them as toppings on my vegan ice cream for an after-dinner treat, too. You bet I will be ordering the Dark Chocolate (with less sugar) and Mocha Chip next, because I haven’t tried them all!
5. The Fitness Grocer – www.thefitnessgrocer.com
Cookies, muffins and chips… You had us at “hello”. This online shop targets active individuals with little time to meal-prep or eat, and helps them meet their protein goals while still teasing their palates. Justine’s Complete Protein Cookie from New Zealand is a soft baked low-carb, high-protein cookie. Depending on the flavour, each cookie contains a minimum of 15g of protein but less than 3g of carbs. This makes a good post-training snack and comes in 5 flavours – Peanut Butter Choc Chip, Raspberry with White Choc, Choc Chip, Double Choc Dream, and Choc Fudge.
If you prefer snacking on chips, then Quest Protein Chips will be up your alley. With 21g of protein in a single serve, and only 2-3g of carbs and 4g of fats, this definitely trumps the regular potato chip. BBQ, cheddar and sour cream, and sour cream and onion are all flavours on offer.
Give me a whole food, you say. Reach for the Organic Tigernuts. This little-known tuber is actually not a nut, and has been around for many centuries. High in fibre, magnesium, protein, iron and vitamins, it is a truly healthy snack that is vegan, gluten-free and allergen-free. You can snack on it right out of the bag or soak them for a few hours to rehydrate and activate them for a fuller flavour.
6. Boundless – www.weareboundless.co.uk
Speaking of activated nuts, check out this flavourful offering. These are not the usual raw or roasted nuts and seeds you find at the stores. Instead, these are soaked in water before being baked. Soaking activates the nuts by removing the protective enzymes and phytic acid, removing the bitter taste and creating a fuller flavour, which enables better absorption and digestion.
Available in packs of 30g — that convenient handy size that is a single recommended portion — contains less than 180 calories but is high in protein (from 4.8 to 8.4g per serving, depending on the flavour). Available in Orange, Ginger & Maple, Cayenne & Rosemary, and Tamari & Aleppo.
7. Tapped – www.tappedtrees.com
Not all water is created equal and the new kid on the block is birch water. It may be foreign to us but the Finnish birch forests have been tapped for their sap in the springtime for the past few centuries. This very slightly sweet natural water is loaded with vitamins, proteins, amino acids and minerals, and offers lots of health benefits. It’s a natural detox drink that’s low in calories — it ranges from 8 calories for the unflavoured version to 38 calories for the flavoured ones. Way better than a sugary soda or juice.
Tapped offers these waters in 4 varieties – 100% organic Birch Water, Elderflower, Bilberry & Lingonberry, and Apple & Root Ginger. Be inventive and turn yours into an ice lolly, or use them in shakes and smoothies!