Beef Jerky – are you man enough?
A request for ‘man snacks’ came recently from one of the alpha males in my extended family. I laughed initially at the thought of snacks being gender aligned, until I took myself and my husband as an example:
Snacks for me: – Fresh fruit, dates, dried apricots, dark chocolate, home made oat cookies, bliss balls.
Snacks for hubby: – Crisps, nuts, meat sandwich. Sometimes all three combined.
I see a theme here. Unsurprisingly this topic has already been extensively researched. A well referenced article in the Guardian concludes that there is little science to explain why men should eat in a different way to women, but it’s a cultural thing. Men eat steak to show they are men. Women eat chocolate because we have learnt that it’s a forbidden treat just for us.
Whether it’s culture or innate the fact remains that men generally prefer savoury foods. This clashes with many sports nutrition products. Sports shakes, gels, bars, drinks are all generally sweet. There’s also the problem with healthy snacks, if you’re not after something sweet but you need a snack vegetable crudites may not cut it for you, and will certainly not enhance sports performance.
So I offer you my top 3 savoury man snacks. High in protein, nutrients and healthy fats these snacks will keep you full and help you sidestep the mid-afternoon empty calorie hiccup. If you’re trying to build muscle at the gym a high protein snack will help contribute to your 5-6 /d protein based meals or snacks. Your body cannot utilise more than 20g protein in one sitting so spacing it through the day helps encourage muscle growth during the recovery phase post resistance training (research).
- Jerky: Lean seasoned ready to eat meat. Good for kit bag post workout or briefcase post long day at the office. Pretty much the ideal high protein snack if you’re careful about which you buy if going for shop-bought. Check the labels and choose the ones that have less salt and sugar and are actual meat slices rather than reconstituted meat. Preferably make you own form the recipe below, or if beef’s not your thing substitute in turkey, pork or salmon. One 30g portion provides Calories: 89 kcal Protein: 12 g
- Almonds: Almonds are high in fibre, high in satiating healthy mono-unsaturated fats and low in calories relative to other nuts. Studies have shown that eating a handful of almonds daily leads to less calories consumed overall and enhanced weight loss and fat loss when compared to diets higher in carbohydrates without almonds (summary of research on livestrong.com). One handful (22 nuts) provides Calories: 164 kcal Protein: 6g
- Vegetable crisps with humous: If you don’t own a mandolin buy one now! Homemade veggie crisps are a healthy & delicious alternative to potato crisps (chips). Eat with humous for the protein and healthy fats to make it a satiating snack. Experiment with different veggies – personal favourites here are beetroot, parsnip and butternut squash. Coat with favourite seasonings – I love smoked paprika or garlic salt. Thinly slice, spritz with olive oil, sprinkle with seasoning and pop in the oven for 15min at 180degreesC. Leave in the oven for an extra hour with the heat off checking every now and then to see if crisp.
- 500g lean beef steak eg sirloin
- 70ml sweet cider (or unsweetened apple juice)
- 1tbsp balsamic vinegar
- 1tbsp fish sauce
- 1tsp dijon mustard
- 1tbsp honey
- 1tsp liquid smoke
- a good few grinds of a black pepper mill
- 1tsp smoked paprika
- 1tbsp garlic powder
- 1tsp onion powder
- 1tsp salt
- 1tbsp sesame oil
- 1tsp crushed red chilli
- Cut away all visible fat from the steaks
- Put in the freezer for 60min to firm up and make slicing thinly easier
- Cut into 6mm thick strips. Cut at an angle to the grain of the meat.
- Put into a zip lock bag and add all remaining ingredients. Mix well.
- Leave in fridge to marinate for 24hrs.
- Lay marinated steak slices directly onto your oven rack. If they fall through use a cooling rack on top of the oven racks.
- Lay an oven tray or a sheet of foil over the base of your oven to catch drips.
- Dry out in oven at 70degreesC with door wedged open with a wooden spoon. Leave in oven for 3hours, then turn over and leave for another 3hrs.
- The jerky is ready when you can tear a piece of meat off but it doesn't snap (which means its overdone).
- If you don't eat beef try pork, turkey or salmon.
- Liquid smoke can be hard to come by in shops but is easy to order online. The recipe works well without it too.
Front of Pack Nutrition Labelling:
|Nutrient||per 100g||%RI||per 30g serving||%RI|