Given there is an urge to munch constantly, especially when in the company of others or to relieve stress, unchecked and unhealthy snacking takes a toll on many people's overall health. However, if you are fond of snacking, you don’t need to forgo it, you just need to be smart about your food choices.

If you are wondering how does one find the perfect snack that is healthy but also tasty and can help satiate food cravings or what is the right combination of protein, fats and carbohydrates to fuel one’s day, one way of ensuring that you are on top of your diet plan is by indulging a healthy, timely snack to fuel your body with energy and essential nutrients. Check out these easy recipes of Almond and Peach Relish or Almond and Makhana Kheer to enjoy as healthy snacking options and thank us later.

1. Almond and Peach Relish

Almond and Peach Relish (Chef Manish Mehrotra)
Almond and Peach Relish (Chef Manish Mehrotra)

Ingredients:

Almonds whole – 400 g

Peach – 350 g

Sugar – 150 g

Cinnamon – 1 no.

Star anise – 1 no.

Fresh red chili – 1 no.

Balsamic Vinegar – 50 ml

Method:

In a clean bowl, soak whole almonds in hot water and keep it for 15mins.Then remove the skin. On a clean chopping board cut peach in dices and keep it aside. Take fresh red chili, slit it and remove the seeds and keep it aside.

In a pan, put grain sugar and caramelize it add whole skinless almonds in it. When it is done add diced peach, cinnamon stick, star anise and slit chili in it and cook further. Add Balsamic vinegar in it and let it reduce.

Add the blanched and peeled almonds and let it simmer for 20 minutes. Keep stirring during this time. Remove star anise and cinnamon stick and serve it with crostini, crisp bread, nachos or even toasted bread and enjoy as a beautiful relish.

Tip: After cooling down the relish store in a cool and dry container, store in a refrigerator. It could be used for even a month.

2. Almond and Makhana Kheer

Almond and Makhana Kheer (Chef Manish Mehrotra)
Almond and Makhana Kheer (Chef Manish Mehrotra)

Ingredients:

Full cream milk 2 cups

Sugar 4 tbsp

Saffron strands a pinch

Green cardamom powder ½ tsp

Almond slivers ½ cup

Makhana (fox nuts) 1 cup

Ghee 2 tbsp

Method:

Heat ghee in a heavy bottomed pan, roast makhana and almond sliver till they are golden. Heat milk and saffron strands in a heavy bottomed pan and bring it to a boil; keep stirring the milk, so that it does not sticks at the bottom.

Add the sugar to the milk and mix well. Add the whole makhana to the milk. Add the almond slivers to the mixture. Keep cooking the mixture till the makhana becomes softs and milk thickens a bit.

Serve the kheer hot or chilled. Top it with roasted almond sliver and chopped roasted makhana.

(Recipes: Chef Manish Mehrotra)

Benefits:

Almonds are packed with healthy fats, fiber, protein, magnesium and vitamin E and not only reduce hunger while promoting weight loss but also lower blood sugar levels and cholesterol levels along with reducing blood pressure. According to a study published in The American Journal of Clinical Nutrition, eating almonds in place of typical snacks may reduce the drop in heart rate variability (HRV) that occurs during mental stress, thereby improving cardiac function.

Peaches are packed with nutrients and antioxidants and aid digestion. They are easy to add to the diet given they are widely available and help reduce allergy symptoms, protect the body’s skin, improves heart health and even prevents certain types of cancer.

Makhanas, also known as fox nuts, come packed with rich nutritional and medicinal properties. They are rich in antioxidants which help neutralise damaging free radicals and by neutralising free radicals, makhanas help reduce damage at the cellular level.

They control acidic conditions of the body such as gastritis, bleeding disorders, heavy menstrual cycles and nasal bleeds, contribute to the health of the kidneys and the heart, make for a nutritious snack for lactating mothers when lightly sautéed in ghee and improve vitality and fertility. They contain magnesium, phosphorus, potassium, iron and zinc and are good for skin repair and regeneration and are great for the blood and plasma.