Six of the best healthy snacks from Yorkshire

Getting fit starts with eating healthy

Getting fit starts with eating healthy - Credit: Getty Images/Purestock

If your last two weeks have been anything like mine, you’ll have had a fantastic Christmas, but your waistline will have expanded by about three inches, writes Tony Greenway.

All right then. Six inches. Think about it: turkey, roast spuds, beer, wine, Christmas pud, Christmas cake, mince pies, wine, crisps, beer, nuts, sweets, candied fruits, wine, industrial-size tins of Quality Street and wine. And beer. It’s all got to go somewhere.

Don’t feel too guilty though, because if you are going to binge, Christmas is the time of year to do it. It’s almost like a free pass. There’s too much temptation about.

But binges cost — and now, as that woman in the leg-warmers from Fame used to say, ‘here’s where you start payin’.

So as it’s New Year, it’s time to start thinking healthy thoughts and eating food that’s actually good for you. You’ll feel so much better when you do. (And, no, kebabs don’t count as ‘healthy’, even though the kebab shop serves them with lettuce.)

You can still snack in front of the telly — but instead of scoffing down jumbo bags of tortilla chips, try tucking into some seeds instead. And when you fancy some nuts to nibble, don’t go for the dry roasted or ready salted varieties, gorgeous though they are. Have a handful of Brazils, which contain the antioxidant micromineral selenium.

The good news is that there are lots of things to eat — and places to go in Yorkshire — to help with those snack cravings. Here are some of our (healthy) favourites...

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Dragon Bars, Harrogate

This was originally one for the kids, recently developed and launched by Kate Rial from Harrogate-based Dragon Foods. The bars have been designed to feed young appetites before or after school, at lunchtime or before sports clubs — but in a healthy way and without a sugar crash. Basically, this is a snack which gives ’em a boost, and includes healthy sustaining protein from chia seeds and quinoa. Yet Kate tells me that more and more adults have been getting a taste for them too. Originally in blackcurrant flavour, Kate says that strawberry and banana Dragon Bars should be available by the time you read this.

01423 857821

Nichols Vegetarian Delicatessen, Chapel Allerton, Leeds

A simply excellent (and quite new) vegetarian cafe and deli in swish Chapel Allerton, Leeds, serving, among other things, salad boxes and snacks to takeaway, such as frittata, falafel, basil or smoked tofu and feta cheese. It also produces gorgeous sarnies (spicy feta with olives and salad leaves, plus cheddar, homemade chilli jam and salad leaves, for example).

0113 345 0404

Mullaco, Batley

A truly international supplier, established since 1973, specialising in Asian foods from India, Pakistan, the Middle East, Bosnia and South Africa. This is a great place to find nuts (almonds, cashews, pistachios), dried fruits and dates.

01924 474488

Shipley Health Store

The good people at Shipley Health Store tell me that, after Christmas, customers come in looking for all manner of snacks to help them climb back onto the healthy wagon. These include muesli, fruit, nuts, cereals and seeds, including sunflower seeds, pumpkin seeds, linseed and flax. Shipley Health Store sells all of these and more, including flax powder that you can sprinkle onto porridge and into yoghurts.

01274 809079

Millies, Leeds

Geoff Millington, owner of Millies, the independent food shop in Leeds specialising in fresh and organic produce, has been selling nuts for 32 years. ‘It’s funny,’ he says. ‘Five or six years ago, people thought that nuts were fattening and unhealthy because they’re full of oil. Well, these days, customers are better informed because of TV programmes like You Are What You Eat.’ Nuts, says Geoff, do have a high fat content, but it’s a healthy fat. ‘Like walnuts,’ he says, ‘which lower cholesterol.’ Good to snack on then. If you want to be a bit naughty, you can get yoghurt and chocolate covered nuts and raisins from Millies too — plus lots of fab locally sourced food. A great place to browse.

0113 242 9217

Tullivers, York

After the Christmas binge, says Tullivers, the products most customers want to buy are seeds, most of which are full of omegas. You can eat them straight from the bag, or put them in your muesli, cereal, yoghurt or even bread. A good place to get healthy eating advice too.

01904 636437

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