We’ve talked a lot about Arabic food lately. Arabic meals and Arabic sweets in the Middle East are a league of their own. But just as important are quick, healthy snacks that are cheap and convenient. In fact, Arabs have been eating many of the snacks mentioned below for centuries in many of the Arabic speaking countries. They are famous for both their delicious tastes as well as their nutritional benefits.
There’s nary a seed nor nut that Arabs won’t roast and salt as a snack. Whether it’s the seeds of watermelons, sunflowers and pumpkins, or peanuts, cashews or pistachios, there’s a chance they will have them in their house. You will find Arabs cracking them between their teeth at outdoor sporting events or at home in front of the TV.
You’ll find cheese, bread and olives to be a staple in nearly every Arab house. This is mainly because these three are cheap and plentiful throughout the Arab world. In addition, you can even find them in main dishes. Most importantly, however, the blend of these three ingredients together make a perfectly flavorful and healthy snack.
Perhaps the most popular of all Middle Eastern snacks, the chickpea-based Kdaameh originated in Lebanon. Ever since, moms all over the Middle East have been encouraging their children to eat. In fact, this quite cheap and affordable snack has become so popular that you can now even find it in American supermarkets.
It’s not officially spring in the Middle East until you see people eating loz akhdar (green almonds). If you’ve never eaten them, loz akhdar are fuzzy light-green orbs filled with soft jelly-like skinless almonds. They’re crunchy and kind of tart with subtle floral and grassy flavor that makes them taste like spring. If you can find them fresh, eat them whole with a dash of salt.
You know it’s the summer wedding season when you see people eating mlabas meaning “coated” or “covered”. It’s actually a pretty good name considering these are actually sugar covered almonds in various pastel colors. You’ll see plenty of these on hand at weddings in the Middle East. They are thought to increase feelings of love between newlyweds and they’re often given as gifts for the wedding guests.
Dates are highly-prized throughout the Middle East for the abundance of health benefits. They’re a great way to increase fiber, improve digestion, and prevent constipation with almost 7 grams of fiber in a 3.5-ounce serving. You’ll find them in almost every Arab supermarket at an affordable price.
Amardeen is simply dried fruit leather made from apricots. It’s a tasty and fun snack that can be store-bought or made at home. Originally from Lebanon, amardeen is now all over the world.
Halvah is loved by Arabs and non-Arabs alike for its delicious and rich taste. Made from sugar, syrup, egg whites, and sesame seeds, this delicious snack is quite inexpensive and is ubiquitous in supermarkets all over the Arab world. You can purchase it plain, with pistachios, chocolate flavored and even sugarless. Often eaten at breakfast, who’s to say you can’t enjoy its rich and delicious goodness all throughout the day?
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