As the new year comes in, we’re embracing new mindsets, goals, and trends. The latest one on the horizon is ‘rat snacking’, a term that certainly raises a few eyebrows but seems to be all that anyone is talking about…
If you’re wondering what ‘rat snacking’ is, then you’re not the only one. A term that has planted its seeds late last year, has started 2024 with a bang. Say goodbye to Instagram-worthy meals, rat snacking is all about celebrating the weird and wonderful combinations that oddly hit just the spot.
Popularised on TikTok, this trend is all about combining the most unconventional foods for a light snack craving. Similar to how rats scrounge together whatever food they can find, people mimic this behaviour by throwing together whatever they can find in their kitchen. Think apples and cheese, crisps and nuts etc.
Dr Emily, Science Manager and Nutritionist at Yakult had this to say about ‘rat snacking’:
“‘Rat snacking’ is all about having fun with your snacks and trying unique flavour combinations. When creating your ‘rat snack’, you’re not just satisfying your immediate cravings; you’re embracing a personalised approach to food that goes beyond the conventional checklist of food groups.
“While the term ‘rat snack’ might evoke randomness, there’s an art to it. Some combinations may lean towards being nutrient-poor, but there’s an opportunity for easy, healthy options. For instance, having grapes with nuts or strawberries with cheese can not only satiate your cravings but also contributes to your gut health as well as overall nutritional wellbeing.
“There is often the misconception that snacking is bad for you, but this isn’t necessarily the case. For many of us, with our busy lives and being on the go, we rely on snacking. Snacks can offer a great opportunity to add nutrient-dense foods into our diet – quickly and easily.”
Rat Snacking: Our Top Picks
Just as Dr Emily suggests, rat snacks do not have to involve high-processed, unbalanced food combinations, there are plenty of unconventional food pairings that are healthy and definitely worth a try. The key to this trend is to prioritise what’s already available in your household.
For some light inspiration, we’re bringing to your attention a few rat snack options that are sure to hit the spot!
Cauliflower / Cheese / Chilli Sauce
This one might be the most popular rat snack out there and it requires little to no effort to make and tastes surprisingly delicious. Simply slice up your cauliflower, throw on some shredded or thinly sliced cheese of your liking, drizzle it with chilli sauce, stick it into an air fryer or an oven for a couple of minutes and enjoy!
Pickle Cheese Wrap
This one requires only two ingredients: a jar of pickles and some thinly sliced cheese. Simply place one slice of cheese in a pan and the pickle in the middle. Wait for the cheese to fry before gently folding it around the pickle. Thank us later!
Apple / Peanut Butter
Combine the crisp sweetness of apples with the rich creaminess of peanut butter! Garb your favourite apples, give them a wash under cool water, pat them dry, slice them up, take a generous dollop of peanut butter and spread it onto each apple slice for an easy rat snack!
Ice cream / Olive Oil / Salt
If you haven’t tried this before, you might think it’s outrageous, however, plenty of people swear by this rat snack. Grab some leftover ice cream from the freezer, ideally vanilla flavoured, pour some extra virgin olive oil over it and sprinkle with sea salt flakes. Next time you have guests around, impress them with this unique and elegant dessert.
Avocado / Chocolate
No, this one will not go on your toast, although feel free to try that too! Avocado is known for its creamy, buttery texture and when paired with chocolate, it works wonderfully well. Start with a ripe avocado, slice it up, use a fork to mash it all up and sprinkle some chunks of dark chocolate in it. Dark chocolate’s richness complements avocado’s subtle sweetness, creating a harmonious flavour profile.
Strawberries / Balsamic Vinegar
Combine the sweet juiciness of strawberries with the rich tang of balsamic vinegar. Simply drizzle the balsamic over the strawberries and feel the sweetness of them come to life. This will make for a delightful summer snack, full of antioxidants.