Festive snacking made healthy, quick & easy

Festive snacking made healthy, quick & easy

At this time of year it’s always great to have some healthy snacks on hand. Here are a couple of ideas that don’t take a lot of work, but deliver on flavour and natural goodness.

1. Stuffed dates

Here are 6 different date-based recipes for quick canapés - they're real crowd pleasers. I like to use Medjool dates. They’re generous in size, soft and easy to stuff. Their caramel-like flavour goes well with sweet & savoury fillings but be sure to remove the date pits before you load them up. 

If your dates are a little firm then you can soak them in boiling water for 3-5 minutes to soften and plump up. Drain well and dry with a kitchen towel before filling.

Sweet & salted (vegan)

Stuff the date with your favourite nut butter, top with an almond and some crunchy sea salt.

Nocciola (vegan)

Stuff the date with chocolate spread and top with toasted chopped hazelnuts.


Stuff the date with a chunk of parmesan wrapped in basil, a crack of black pepper and a drizzle of olive oil. Sounds odd but it really works!


Stuff the date with soft goat cheese, a slice of sun-dried tomato, a pinch of chilli flakes and top with a sprinkle of chopped fresh coriander.

Angels on horseback

Fill the date with mango chutney and wrap in prosciutto ham or bacon. Bake in the oven for 15 minutes at 180°C. Drizzle with some olive oil and serve.

Brie and cranberry

Place a slice of brie and ½ teaspoon of cranberry sauce in each date.

2. Candied Pecans

Quite simply, these are incredible! Perfect to serve with cocktails or toss over salads, or just to snack on by the handful. Sweet, spicy, and salty – these candied pecans are madly addictive! They’re vegan and full of heart-healthy fats. And best of all, they only take 15 minutes to make.

Prep Time: 5 Minutes

Cook Time: 10 Minutes

Total Time: 15 Minutes



  • 100g icing sugar
  • ¾ teaspoon salt
  • ½ teaspoon smoked paprika
  • ¼ teaspoon cayenne pepper
  • 4 teaspoons water
  • 250g pecans



  1. Combine the icing sugar, salt, smoked paprika, cayenne pepper and 4 teaspoons of water in a medium bowl and whisk until combined.
  2. Add the pecans to the sugar mixture and stir until evenly coated.
  3. Place the nuts on a parchment lined baking sheet and spread out in a single layer.
  4. Bake for 10 to 12 minutes at 175°C until the nuts are crusty on top and caramelised on the bottom… aim for a rich brown colour.
  5. Slide the parchment off of the baking sheet onto a countertop — this stops the nuts from overcooking on the hot baking sheet.
  6. When the nuts are completely cool, use your hands to break them apart.
  7. Transfer the nuts to a bowl and serve, or store in a covered container for up to 2 weeks.