Do you struggle with a late night love of food? Well, you’re not alone. Midnight snacks (or 9pm nibbles, if you’re an old-granny-tucked-up-in-your-onesie-by-seven like the rest of us) are a vice for just about everybody.
Fortunately for all you foodies out there, there is such a thing as a healthy bedtime snack. And it’s actually a vicious rumour that your metabolism stops at night. Yes, it does slow down – but it doesn’t actually grind to a halt. So a little light treat is totally acceptable.
So what’s your best bet? Are certain foods, like bread and digestive biscuits, just waiting to set you up for a fall? In short, yes. Sugar, spice (and all things nice) are no-nos, so to help you make better bedtime choices, we’ve listed five healthy go-to snacks that won’t undo all your hard healthy-eating efforts.
Girls, if your Netflix-and-chill is more Netflix-and-Chilli-Sensations, check out this list of 5 healthy bedtime snacks that won’t break your healthy streak.
Turkey, Cottage Cheese and Tomato on Wholegrain Crackers
Turkey and cottage cheese both contain a protein called casein. This is a slow-releasing protein that will help you feel fuller throughout the night – and may even make you want to eat less the next day.
By placing your casein-fix on crackers, you’ll be forced to chew a fair bit. This will signal to your brain that you’re getting a decent amount of food and, again, you’ll feel fuller for longer.
As for the tomato, we added in ours because it was fresh and in the fridge. Plus, together these ingredients make for a pretty tasting trio of toppings – try it yourself and see.
Yoghurt-Dipped Frozen Grapes
Sometimes, us girls (and guys!) really do need ice cream. But, if you find yourself frequently reaching for the tub at twilight, try this frozen treat instead.
Simply grab your grapes, dunk in natural or Greek yoghurt and stab with a cocktail stick for easier eating. Then, pop them in the freezer – job done!
Now, we’re not gonna lie. These guys take a little prep work, so you need to pre-empt your night-time hunger-pangs. However – hear us out - it’s well worth it if you’re a late-night fridge-raider. They’re also great for satisfying a sweet tooth, if case you end up on a sugar-hunt after dark.
Bran, brilliant Bran
Flakes. Sticks. Oat. Wheat. Whatever you’re into, make sure it’s of the bran variety.
We all love a late-night bowl of cereal, but it’s important to step away from the Sugar Puffs and choose a healthier option if you’re planning to hit the hay anytime soon. Bran is the outer layer of nearly any cereal grain, packed with macronutrients, fibre, protein and selenium.
It’s actually surprisingly sweet too. Or, you can add a small handful of dried fruit to your bowl to really bring the taste alive. LOL, because loads of people say it tastes like cardboard, but it doesn’t. It’s good. Give bran a chance.
This one’s a good ’un if you love your crisps. Whilst popcorn won’t ever replace the warm space in your heart reserved for Wotsits and Wheat Crunchies, it’s still pretty damn good at satisfying salt-cravings.
Because it’s air-popped and not baked or fried, popcorn is much lower in calories than crisps. Its chemical composition could actually help you sleep better too, because…
Science says; “The slow-digesting carbohydrates in popcorn work to transfer the amino acid tryptophan to your brain, where it's used to fire up the production of the sleep-inducing neurotransmitter serotonin.”
But guys, you gotta put down the Butterkist. So many popcorn brands are loaded with sugars and artificial sweeteners, and the toffee variety is absolutely off-limits. With our range of Bootea Pop! popcorn, you can’t go wrong. Portions are pre-packed in singular bags so there’s no risk of over-indulging, and they’re totally guilt-free too.
Chocolate’s got a bad rep as a naughty treat food (we’re looking at you, Galaxy Cookie Crumble…) but, fortunately for us chocoholics, not all chocolate was created equal.
You’ll know by now that there’s a huge difference between the chocolate that coats a Kit-Kat and the cacao-rich dark chocolate that nutritionists give an approving nod. Organic cacao powder or nibs (the healthy version of a chocolate chip) lacks the high added sugar content of regular choc. It also provides a punch of antioxidant power that can help lower blood pressure, flight inflammation and improve both your insulin sensitivity and your mood.
Want to feel happy and relaxed before bed? Grab a bar of Green and Blacks (or any other organic brand!) and break it up. Melt 150g of chocolatey chunks, then dip some strawberries into the gooey mix. Set on a tray in the fridge for at least an hour. Again, this option takes some prior preparation, but you’ll thank your past-self when it comes to snack time.
If you’re not a fan of strawberries, replace with any mixed summer berry of your choice. The berries will give an extra antioxidant boost – so your guilt-free, late-night light bite will be satisfying your sweet tooth and doing you good.
Got a late night tasty treat that you love, but is not listed here?