It’s unlikely that the kids will ever need any extra energy but grown-ups sometimes require a little reviver to help us keep up with whatever the day throws at us. From grab-and-go snacks to recipes for yummy treats, here are six tasty and healthy ideas for an energy boost when you need it. Some are twists on good old fashioned pick-me-ups and others you might not have heard of.
Carob is a caffeine-free alternative to chocolate that isn’t bitter and is high in carbohydrate to provide slow-release energy over a period of time. It’s also high in Vitamin E to prevent coughs and Gallic Acid, which is a bit of a miracle nutrient as its anti pretty much everything – anti-allergic, antibacterial, antioxidant, antiviral and antiseptic. Follow this mix and match recipe to make carob balls exactly how you like them. I’m pretty sure the kids won’t be able to keep their hands off them either.
There’s nothing like a good cup of Joe to perk us up. Coffee is the most well-known pick-me-up as it gives an instant dose of energy to help us get on with our day; be it finishing that bit of work that needs all your focus, giving you a lift after an early morning with the kids or helping you perform better when exercising. An espresso is simple or you might indulge in a latte but if you have time then try one of these non-alcoholic coffee cocktails. Mixing coffee with soft drinks tastes surprisingly good and will give you a real kick in the right direction, so add your favourite – cola, iced tea or orange.
This spicy tea is brimming with health benefits, and is available in pod form to save you the hassle. Common chai spices such as cardamom, cinnamon and ginger contain antioxidants that boost our immune systems. As well as the caffeine in the tea, the spices boost the metabolism and act as natural stimulants that last longer so you don’t get that mid-morning snoozy feeling or post lunch lull. It also helps us feel more full and less tempted to pick up unhealthy snacks.
There’s a reason why you see tennis players eating bananas in match breaks. The combination of natural sugars and soluble fibre for easy digestion provides stable energy. There are so many other reasons to eat bananas too, the main one being their high level of potassium. Potassium helps with heart function, low blood pressure and is beneficial for your kidneys and bones. If you don’t like bananas on their own, use them as the base of a smoothie where the other ingredients do the talking. This banana and strawberry smoothie recipe is a classic.
Mixing cereal with fruit gives you a double dose of fibre, and things that are high in fibre are generally low in fat to help maintain a healthy weight. If you bored of your usual breakfast then bake up some of these delicious fruit, nut and honey bars, in which you can use oats, puffed rice or wheat flakes. Or just eat them any time of day!
If you just want a quick fix – and one you can share with the kids – then spread some peanut butter on your toast. The healthy fats in it (more unsaturated than saturated) give you plenty of calories for energy throughout the day and it’s protein rich, making you feel fuller for longer.