Hard-boiled egg When it comes to protein, it’s hard to go past a hard-boiled egg, which gives you 6 grams of protein, plus a broad spectrum of vitamins and minerals.
Mini fritatas Convert your favourite frittata recipe into snack-sized servings with a mini-muffin tray or friand pan. Cut fat by using egg whites only for every second egg (i.e. if your recipe calls for two eggs, use one whole one and one egg white). Choose low calorie fillings – try spinach and low-fat feta, or grilled capsicum and basil.
Soy smoothie Pureeing half of a small banana with 200ml low-fat soy, almond or skinny milk creates a delicious smoothie that’s high in protein but only contains about 100 calories.
Tamari almonds Fourteen tamari-roasted almonds have all the crunch and salty zip you look for in a savoury snack and come in at around 100 calories.
Tinned tuna A single serve of tinned tuna in spring water contains less than 70 calories, plus it’s easy to eat straight from the can or spread on low-calorie crispbread.
Prawns 100g of fresh prawns provide around 100 calories, along with a whopping 23g of protein. Forget creamy tartare sauce – a dash of lemon juice is all you need.
Whey protein This inexpensive powder can be mixed with water, skim or soy milk for an instant protein boost. Its unique nutritional make-up includes several immunologically active compounds (e.g. lactoferrin), but its real advantage in the snacking stakes is that it helps you feel full longer than other protein sources.
Fat-free yoghurt Packed with protein and providing only 50 calories per 100g, yoghurt is very versatile. Use it instead of sour cream to add oomph to chilli, make it the basis for your favourite home-made dip (like the tzatziki recipe in the “Nibbles and Entertaining” section), or to thicken up a smoothie, or spoon over fruit salad.
Low- fat ricotta At only 35 calories per 25g serve, this is an excellent spread for a mid-morning cracker snack. Try it with snipped sun-dried tomatoes on a rice cake. Lowfat cottage cheese, cream cheese and feta are also good low-calorie choices.
Turkey breast Sliced turkey breast is available at most delis, and is an easy, high protein snack weighing in at around 100 calories per 100g.
Smoked salmon Each 60g serve contains 13g of protein, about 95 calories, and around a gram of good-for-you omega-3 fatty acids.
Tofu Nibbling on 50-100g of tofu will set you back less than 100 calories, regardless of whether you prefer the soft or firm variety.
Fill Up with Fibre
Corn on the cob This is low in fat and calories, but provides 2.5g of appetite-satisfying fibre. Small tins of sugar-free corn kernels make a great stand-by snack.
Baked beans A small tin of low-salt baked beans contains a fraction over 100 calories, plus 4g of fibre. Skip the toast if you want to keep the calorie count down.
Pumpernickel For low calorie snacking, it’s best to avoid bread, but pumpernickel is an exception as a thin slice only contains around 50 calories. Topped with a slice of low-fat pastrami and a smear of horseradish, this is a very tasty mid-morning morsel.
Ed amame These are baby soybeans, and you’ll find fresh ones at your local fruit shop or frozen packs at Asian grocery stores. They make an excellent high fibre, high protein snack, and you can consume about half a cupful for less than 100 calories.
Asparagus You’d need to eat about 30 asparagus spears to reach 100 calories. That means you can afford to sprinkle something decadent over the top, like finely grated Parmesan and black pepper.
Wholegrain cereal Choose one that’s low in fat and sugar, and high in fibre, then snack on half the quantity you’d normally have for breakfast (a cupful rather than a bowl). We like the Norganic Crunchola range, which is sweetened with juice instead of sugar and provides nearly 12g of fibre per 100g.
Porridge Rolled oats are one of Mother Nature’s original comfort foods. A small bowl of porridge (made from 25g of rolled oats) provides around 95 calories and 2.5g of fibre. For extra sweetness, add cinnamon goji berries or dates during cooking.
Dried apricots These are very more-ish, but restrict yourself to a dozen at a time if you want to keep your snack under 100 calories.
Pear A medium pear comes in at around 100 calories and provides 5.5g of fibre.
Green beans Grab a handful of raw green beans, top and tail them, and you’ve got a crunchy snack that’s so low-cal you could eat over 50 before you reach 100 calories.
Fruit bars Made from 100% fruit and packing 3.5g of fibre into a 35g bar, the newest generation of fruit bars are much more flavoursome than ones you may have tried in the past. Try Angus Park Fruit Salad bar and Go Natural Fruit Medley bar which are both around 100 calories.
Nibbles and Entertaining
Home-made hummus Make your own hummus by rinsing a tin of chickpeasand tossing them in the food processor with some lemon or orange juice, a swig each of tahini and extra-virgin olive oil, a crushed garlic clove, and enough water to keep the mixture smooth and creamy.
Cannellini bean dip Follow the same process as for hummus, this time whizzing a tin of cannellini beans with some olive oil, garlic, lemon juice and water. Add even more flavour with fresh basil or rosemary.
Low-fat tzatziki Made with low-fat yoghurt, tzatziki is a very virtuous choice. Grate the flesh of a Lebanese cucumber (keeping the skin on, but discarding the seeds), squeeze out as much moisture as you can, and stir through a bowl of skim milk or greek yoghurt. Add finely chopped mint, garlic and dill for a nourishing and virtually fat-free snack that’s only around 100 calories per 100g.
Crunchy crudités The best accompaniment to your home-made dip is a selection of crisp vegetables. Carrots, cucumber and celery are trusty standbys, but for something different, the boat-shape of a small witlof leaf makes the perfect vessel for a healthy dip, and is almost calorie-free.
Don’t undo all that good work by choosing the wrong cracker to scoop your dip up with. Forget the corn chips and instead try one of the new low-calorie wholegrain options, such as Vive Wholemeal Crispbreads at around 26 calories each.
Rice cakes Rice cakes can be as low as 6 calories each, but like other forms of puffed grains, their glycaemic index (GI) is not as good as that of the wholegrain rice they’re made from. Get around this by teaming them with some protein, like a thin swipe of nut butter.
Olives These can really take the edge off a salt craving and only carry about 80 calories per 100g. Rinse off the oil they were marinated in before you eat them.
Rice paper rolls Vegetarian or prawn rice paper rolls are low in fat and will generally be less than 100 calories per serve – but go easy on the dipping sauce, which could be full of sugar.
Tabouleh This is one of the healthiest takeaway foods you’ll find. The calorie content will vary from store to store, but as a guide, the tabouleh from Sumo Salad weighs in at about 100 calories per 100g. Reduce the calories even further by draining the oil off before you eat it.
Sushi Depending on the filling you choose, small sushi rolls can contain as little as 20-30 calories
each. Avoid rolls containing fried chicken or pork, and instead choose vegetarian, raw fish or prawn.
Dumplings Check your local Asian grocery for frozen gow gee-style dumplings in varieties such as prawn, scallop, spinach or mixed vegetables. They’re great to keep in the freezer and steam when you need quick, healthy snacks that come in at under 100 calories each.
Wasabi peas These little green nuggets are so spicy that you probably can’t eat more than a third of a cupful at a time, which equates to about 80 calories.
Miso Sachets of instant miso soup mean you’ll never want for a hot drink to pep you up; and, at around 25 calories per cup, miso is a far healthier option than a full-fat cappuccino.
Sun-dried tomatoes With their strong flavour, a few sun-dried tomatoes go a long way. Drain the oil off and pat dry with a paper towel to absorb any leftover fat; a 25g serve (around eight pieces) will contribute about 50 calories to your daily intake.
Tropical fruit frappe For a tropical delight at around 100 calories per serve, toss a few chunks of pineapple, a quarter of a banana, a splash of your favourite sugar-free juice and a few mint leaves into the blender with a handful of ice cubes.
Prunes These are so sweet you won’t need many to quench your sugar cravings. At around 25 calories each, just two a day should do it.
Lychees Take advantage of lychees when they’re in season, as each one only gives you about six calories.
Baked apple with berries For a divinely guilt-free dessert, remove the core from a small apple before filling the cavity with frozen mixed berries. Cover loosely with foil and bake in a pre-heated 180ºC oven for about 45 minutes.
Biscotti Check out Kez’s gluten-free range, including Almond bread and Cranberry varieties, both around 20 calories per slice.
Banana ‘popsicles’ Frozen bananas(or grapes) are gloriously creamy and an ideal alternative to commercial ice blocks. Peel a batch of bananas, insert popsicle sticks, and whip them into the freezer until the next ice-cream craving hits.
Watermelon granita Pureed with a couple of finely chopped mint leaves, watermelon makes the perfect granita, at just a fraction of the calories of ice cream. Place ²/³ cup of peeled, diced and seeded watermelon in a blender, along with the juice of ½ lemon and about 1 teaspoon of caster sugar dissolved in 20ml of warm water. Process on high speed. Place liquid in a tray and freeze; remove tray every half hour or so and chop with a fork to create the granita texture.
Clever cookies Yes, you can buy low-fat, low-calorie, low-GI biscuits that actually taste good. Check out the Freedom Foods range in the health food section of your supermarket.
Rockmelon and honeydew A cupful of diced rockmelon and/or honeydew melon is refreshingly sweet, but only adds about 100 calories to your daily tally.
Stewed rhubarb Even though it’s cooked with a little sugar, a single serve of stewed rhubarb yields only around 75 calories.
Liquorice This sweet indulgence really hits the spot at only 90 calories per 25g serve.
Cocoa Want a chocolate hit that’s less than 100 calories? Team good quality cocoa powder (not the ones full of artificial sugar and flavours, but the type that you use in baking) with a cup of skim milk.