healthy_foodWhen it comes to healthy eating and weight loss, one of the trickest times of day is often snack time. We all know how important regular snacking is when it comes to losing weight and while there are a whole range of quick, light options, it can sometimes be difficult to find something slightly more substantial and filling that is also weight loss friendly.
Fruit, yoghurt and trail mix are all delicious, healthy options that will tide you over when hunger pangs strike but sometimes you need something that will help fill your tummy between meals, especially if you’re on the go and expending lots of energy or have to wait for a late lunch or dinner.
The problem is, a lot of those types of snacks are calorie rich and often full of salt or sugar. A snack should be just that; something small and with roughly 1/4 of the calories of a main meal. Eating a whole bunch of calories at morning or afternoon tea time can hinder your weight loss as they’ll end up pushing your total calories for the day up into the stratosphere.
The option? Homemade, veggie based snacks that include a hit of protein and get their flavour from herbs and spices as opposed to salt and sugar. These delish pumpkin and spinach bites fit the bill perfectly. Not only do they provide a two of your five a day servings of veggies, they also register a decent hit of protein from the almond meal used in the batter.
Almond meal, available from the health food aisle in your supermarket, is a fantastic flour alternative as it is rich in protein (from the ground almonds) and healthy fats. These bites also contain metabolism boosting spices like turmeric and cumin which not only taste great but keep your fat burning on track.

  • 4 cups butternut pumpkin, cut into chunks
  • 1/2 cup baby spinach leaves, rinsed and torn into pieces
  • 1/2 cup almond meal
  • 1 tbsp olive oil
  • 1 tbsp sesame seeds
  • 1 tbsp chia seeds (optional)
  • 1 tbsp parmesan, grated
  • 1/2 tsp ground cumin
  • 1/2 tsp turmeric
  • Preheat oven to 180C
  • Drizzle pumpkin with 1/2 tbsp of olive oil and place in the oven to roast for 45 minutes or until soft
  • Heat remaining olive oil in a large frypan
  • When hot, add baby spinach leaves
  • Cook, stirring frequently, until spinach has wilted
  • When pumpkin is cooked through, remove from oven (leave oven ON) and mash with a fork or use a food processor to blend until smooth
  • In a large mixing bowl or food processor, combine almond meal, sesame seeds, parmesan and chia (if using)
  • Add mashed pumpkin and spinach
  • Stir in spices
  • Roll mixture into small balls (should make approx 12)
  • Place on a baking tray lined with baking paper and pop into the oven for approx 15 minutes or until golden and cooked through

Makes 12 balls – Cal per ball – 115
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