If you're following the Operation Transformation meal plan, you can find your breakfast, lunch and snack recipes here. Please try and vary your menu to avoid getting bored with the same meals all the time and to ensure you have a balanced diet. 

Below are the OT-approved snacks for women (they're the exact same as the men's snacks apart from some of the portion sizes). Enjoy!

Oaty Banana Bread Buns 

Makes 16 (1 bun per serving and each bun contains approx 100 kcal)

The Ingredients

  • 110g butter (at room temperature)
  • 80g golden caster sugar 
  • 3 large eggs
  • 1/2 tsp vanilla extract (2.5g)
  • 240g self-raising flour
  • 2 tsp baking powder (1 tsp)
  • 4 ripe bananas (over-ripe is also fine to use)
  • 90g porridge oats

The Method

  1. Preheat the oven to 180C / 350F / gas mark 4. Line bun tins with 16 paper cases.
  2. Put the butter and sugar in a bowl and beat well. The easiest way to do this is with a hand-held electric beater but a wooden spoon and some elbow grease also works. The mixture should become a little lighter in colour.
  3. Add two of the eggs along with the vanilla extract and half of the flour and beat well to combine. Add the remaining egg and the rest of the flour with the baking powder. Mix until everything is just combined – overbeating will make the buns less light, so easy does it. 
  4. Peel the bananas and mash the flesh in a bowl, then carefully fold into the bun mixture with the oats. Using two large spoons, divide among the paper cases. Place in the oven and bake for 22-25 minutes until cooked through. To test, insert a skewer or toothpick into the centre of a bun and it should come out clean. The buns will also smell cooked and be springy to the touch.
  5. Remove the buns from the oven and after 5 minutes transfer them to a wire or grill rack and leave to cool completely before serving. 

Prepare Ahead
These buns will keep in an airtight container for up to 3 days or can be frozen in freezer bags for up to 1 month and defrosted as needed.

Weekend Snack 
For a chocolate version, take out 25g of the flour and replace it with 25g of unsweetened cocoa powder. 

Oaty Banana Bread Buns 
Oaty Banana Bread Buns 

Apple & Nuts

Serves 1 (contains approx 100 kcal)

The Ingredients

  • 1 apple (80g)
  • 6 whole almonds (not skinned) or pecan or walnuts

The Method

  1. Using a sharp knife, cut the apple into quarters and remove the core, then cut into slices. Serve on a plate with the nuts.

Prepare Ahead
Bring the apple in a Tupperware container with the nuts and cut up to eat, if desired.

apple and nuts
Apple & Nuts

Crackers & Peanut Butter

Serves 1 (contains approx 100 kcal)

The Ingredients
1 tsp natural peanut butter (5g - preferably crunchy with no added sugar & salt – check the label the sugar should be no more than 5g per 100g)
2 wholemeal crackers (such as Ryvita or similar)

The Method
Spread half the peanut butter on each cracker and arrange on a plate to serve.

Prepare Ahead
Bring crackers in Tupperware container with small pot of the peanut butter alongside with a knife.

crackers
Crackers & Peanut Butter

Baked Berry Square 

Makes 12 slices (1 slice per serving and each slice contains approx 100 kcal)

The Ingredients

  • 235g porridge oats
  • 40g brown sugar (preferably light or dark muscovado) 
  • 15g ground flaxseed (you will find this in the health food section of most large supermarkets or chemists)
  • 1 ½ tsp baking powder (7.5g)
  • 1 ½ ground cinnamon (7.5g)
  • ¼ tsp salt (1.25g)
  • 2 eggs
  • 130g apple & pear compote (such as Clotilde - this comes in lots of different varieties all are good and a nice way to be able to change up this recipe)
  • 240ml low fat milk (1.5% fat)
  • 1 tsp vanilla extract (5g)
  • 100g blueberries

The Method

  1. Preheat the oven to 170C / 325F / gas mark 3. Line a 22.5cm x 32.5cm non-stick baking tin with parchment paper.
  2. Place the oats in a large bowl with the sugar, flaxseed, baking powder, cinnamon and salt. Using a wooden spoon, stir until evenly mixed. 
  3. Put the eggs, apple compote, vanilla extract and milk in a jug and beat with a fork to combine.
  4. Make a well in the centre of the oat mixture and then pour in the egg mixture. Then using as few stirs as possible mix everything together. The more you mix it the tougher the mixture will become. Finally, fold in the blueberries.
  5. Place in the oven and bake for 25-30 minutes until all the liquid is absorbed and the oats are tender and lightly golden. To test, insert a skewer or toothpick into the centre of a square and it should come out clean. The square will also smell cooked and be springy to the touch. Leave to cool completely in the tin and then cut into 12 even-sized squares to serve.

Prepare Ahead
This can be kept wrapped in the parchment paper and another layer of tin foil for up to 2 days or it can be frozen in slices in a suitable airtight container for up to 1 month.

berry square
Baked Berry Square 

Smashed Avocado Crackers

Serves 1 (contains approx 100 kcal)

The Ingredients

  • ¼ ripe avocado (50g)
  • ½ lime
  • 1 wholemeal cracker (such as Ryvita or similar)
  • handful of alfalfa sprouts or cress (optional)
  • sea salt and freshly ground black pepper

The Method

  1. Scoop the flesh out of the avocado into a bowl and roughly smash with a fork. Season lightly with salt, if using and add a good grinding of black pepper and a squeeze of lime juice. 
  2. Spoon the smashed avocado on to the cracker and top with the alfalfa sprouts or cress, if using, then arrange on a plate to serve.

Prepare Ahead
Bring avocado, lime with a sachet of salt and pepper and cracker in an airtight container with knife and fork to make up when ready to eat.

avocado
Smashed Avocado Crackers

Peanut Butter & Banana Crackers

Serves 1 (contains approx 100 kcal)

The Ingredients

  • 1 tsp natural peanut butter (5g - preferably crunchy with no added sugar & salt - check the label the sugar should be no more than 5g per 100g)
  • 1 wholemeal cracker (such as Ryvita or similar)
  • 1/3 banana (30g)

The Method

  1. Spread half the peanut butter on each cracker and put on a plate.
  2. Peel the banana and cut into slices and arrange on the peanut butter to serve.

Prepare Ahead

Bring crackers and banana in Tupperware container with small pot of the peanut butter alongside with a plastic knife.

Crackers & Peanut Butter
Peanut Butter & Banana Crackers

Fruit Cup

Serves 1 (contains approx 100 kcal)

The Ingredients

  • 70g melon (use any variety such as Cantaloupe)
  • 70g grapes (red or green or use a mixture)
  • juice of 1 lime
  • 40g natural yoghurt (3% fat)
  • 1-2 fresh mint leaves (to taste)

The Method

  1. Remove the seeds from the melon with a teaspoon. Using a sharp knife mark the flesh into small cubes, then carefully cut off the skin into a bowl. Cut each grape in half and add them with the lime juice, gently mixing to combine. 
  2. Spoon into a glass serving dish and add the yoghurt, then tear over enough of the mint leaves to your taste before serving.
  3. Prepare Ahead
  4. Bring the prepared melon and grapes in an airtight container with the mint leaves sitting on top and a lime already halved to squeeze over before serving. Put the yoghurt in a little pot tucked inside and have a spoon to eat with. 
Fruit Cup
Fruit Cup

Hummus with Veggies

Serves 1 (contains approx 100 kcal)

The Ingredients

  • 100g carrots (or use packet of baby)
  • 2 celery sticks
  • 1 tbsp reduced-fat hummus (15g)

The Method

  1. Peel the carrots and then using a sharp knife, cut into even-sized batons or if using baby ones just give a light scrub under cold running water. Trim down the celery sticks and cut into similar sized batons. 
  2. Arrange the prepared vegetables on a plate with a small pot of the hummus alongside to serve.

Prepare Ahead
Prep vegetables and put in an airtight container with a small pot of the hummus tucked in alongside.

HummusWithVeggies
Hummus with veggies

Watch Operation Transformation every Wednesday on RTÉ One.