How healthy is your snacking habit?
If you’re a serial snacker, chances are you’re not snacking very healthy. Potato Chips, soda, and sweet treats are the three biggest culprits out there that always mysteriously find their way into your stomach — especially when you’re trying to eat healthily.
This is probably because there’s a mass belief that healthy snacks are boring. But, there’s a whole world of healthy snack foods that actually taste good, and healthy vegan snacks don’t have to be boring or bland.
In fact, healthy eating is one of the easiest ways to improve your health, and healthy snacking can help you feel better about what you’re putting in your body.
A Healthy Diet Is a Lifestyle
A healthy diet is rich in fruits, vegetables, whole grains, healthy fats, protein-rich foods, and lots of water. Snacks can help maintain this balance of nutrients while preventing hunger or overeating at mealtime.
Although most people think of unhealthy processed snack food as the only option for snacking on the go, the way you snack affects your overall dieting effort.
Think about it, if you’re trying to eat less meat for your main meals but snack on pork rinds — fried or roasted pig skin — you’re not going to feel very successful. It’s a lot harder for your body to digest animal fat than plant-based foods.
In fact, if you eat a lot of processed snack foods with little to zero fiber and nutritional value, you won’t get enough nutrients and vitamins. And you’re just eating for the sake of eating which is never a good idea if your goal is to be healthy.
Incorporating a healthy diet needs to become a lifestyle. The change from unhealthy foods and snacks needs to be permanent. If you’re going to make a change, it needs to be for the long haul. So, you need to give your body foods that will nourish and energize.
Now, let’s talk about why you’re really reading this article.
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7 Best Vegan and Plant-based Snacks!
The options below will help put an end to your relentless search for the answer to the question, “What are some healthy vegan snacks?”
1. Apple With Nut Butter
I’m sure you know the saying about eating an apple a day. Well, at one point, I found it insanely hard to finish a whole apple. After the first half was consumed, my body changed its mind, and I couldn’t eat another bite, even if I forced myself. It was very strange.
Then, thanks to a random pin on Pinterest, I tried adding some nut butter. Everything changed! I started eating apples like a madman. I still use this trick sometimes, and it’s amazing how much more you can eat when you add some good ole peanut butter or my all-time favorite almond butter.
Peanut or almond nut butter added to your apple takes this simple snack from boring to bursting with flavor.
Go ahead, give it a try. Fair warning, though. You might not go back to eating apples plain.
You can never go wrong with snacking on fruits. They should be the main focus of any healthy diet.
In fact, doctors often tell their patients to eat more fruits and vegetables because they’re packed with vitamins and fiber. Fruits make a perfect snack on the go.
Fruit is particularly good because you can get them anywhere. If you’re out running errands and want something to snack on, stop by the fruit guy and grab something.
If you’re not the apple type, grab some pineapple or drink a coconut instead.
If you plan to bring fruits home with you to last for a while, make sure the fruits are not ripe. If they are, then you will either have to eat them all in one sitting or, worse, throw them away.
That would defeat the purpose of having healthy options for your snacking needs.
3. Raw Vegetables and Hummus
If you don’t like raw vegetables, this is a good way to incorporate more into your diet.
Hummus is packed with protein, so you’ll stay satisfied for hours. Grab a bunch of carrots, celery, cucumber, bell pepper strips, or other veggie favorites and have fun dipping.
This healthy vegan snack is a classic because it’s easy, and the preparation time is basically zero. That’s if you get the store-bought hummus instead of making your own.
If you have the time and feel adventurous, try making some homemade hummus to see how you like it. The main ingredient is chickpeas and tahini, so it’s not that hard.
It’s super easy to make and tastes a lot better than the store-bought stuff.
Oh! These little things are heavenly!
Larabar is a fruit and nut bar made to give you energy when you’re on the go. They are one of my favorite vegan snacks because they are packed with a lot of fiber, protein, and healthy fats, and most importantly, they are absolutely delicious.
They satisfy my sweet tooth on the rare occasion that I do have a craving for something sweet by using dates as their source of sweetness instead of processed sugars.
The cashew cookie flavor is my favorite. It’s the only flavor that I get consistently.
I could go on and on about Larabar, but you should just try them for yourself! You won’t be disappointed.
5. Roasted Chickpeas
Chickpeas, also known as garbanzo beans, are very versatile legumes.
They’re often used in making hummus and falafel, but eating them as-is is also great. They can be added to a plethora of foods and are ideal for snacking.
Chickpeas are packed with fiber, protein, folate, iron, and manganese. Not to mention they’re easy on the budget if you buy them dry instead of canned.
The best part about eating chickpeas is that they’re crunchy when roasted, and you can add any seasoning you prefer. From sea salt and nutritional yeast to cayenne pepper, they go with any flavor you desire.
If you’re feeling really ambitious, try mixing your own seasoning to suit your flavor profile better. I like garlic powder, nutritional yeast, and sea salt.
Roasted chickpeas can be eaten alone like popcorn or with some vegetables and hummus for an extra boost of protein and healthy fats.
You really can’t go wrong!
6. No-Bake Energy Balls
Energy balls are similar to Larabar, but they’re homemade instead of store-bought.
They’re made with peanut butter or almond butter, shredded coconut, maple syrup or coconut nectar, and oats. I like to add flaxseed for an extra boost of fiber so I can get my fiber fix from simply snacking.
I make these when I have all the ingredients on hand because it doesn’t take much effort, and the reward of biting into one of these tasty bites is truly satisfying.
Here’s how easy they are to make:
Use a food processor to blend all the ingredients except the shredded coconut into a dough.
Form dough into bite-sized balls with your hands.
Roll the balls on the shredded coconut to coat evenly, and you’re done.
Making snacks doesn’t have to be hard and complicated. Besides, the easier a healthy snack is to make, the healthier you’ll eat.
7. Guacamole and Chips
Avocados are magic, pure, and simple.
They’re one of the highest sources of heart-healthy monounsaturated fats. Avocados are also packed full of fiber, potassium, vitamin E, B vitamins, iron, magnesium, phosphorus, and folate.
Turning an avocado into guacamole is something I’ve perfected. It’s so easy to make and takes less than five minutes to complete.
What you’ll need:
1 ripe avocado, mashed
1/4 cup chopped cilantro
Pinch of garlic powder
1/2 – 1 whole lime
Pinch of sea salt
1/3 cup red onion
3 tablespoons of chopped tomatoes (use cherry and tomatillo)
Directions: Combine all ingredients in a bowl and serve with chips or use as a spread on sandwiches, wraps, or tacos.
Plain tortilla chips are the best with guacamole. They’re crunchy and have no added sodium making them an even healthier chip alternative.
Popular Vegan Snacks
A lot of vegan snacks are healthy, but there are a few that aren’t so be sure to read the labels!
Here are some common vegan snack foods:
- Fried Plantains
- Trail mix (raisins, peanuts, and candied almonds)
- Seaweed snack
- Pita chips (non-GMO & organic)
- Whole grains, such as quinoa
- Dried fruits
- Raw or roasted nuts (without salt)
- Whole-grain cereal
- Veggie or Kale chips
- Dark chocolate
- Chia seeds pudding
Anything that doesn’t have sugar added to it is normally a great choice.
It’s a relatively simple list, but if you want to find out the more obscure things that are vegan, Peta has an extensive list on its website. I’m sure you’ll have no problem finding some yummy goodies!
Careful! Some of the items on this list are very refined choices that do not fall under the healthy category.
Be Prepared and Eat Well
The key to eating healthy snacks is to be prepared for when a snack attack happens. Having a plant-based vegan snack ready will save you a lot of regrets.
If you’re always prepared, you will be able to enjoy the foods that are best for your body and your health. This way, you won’t feel guilty about eating them or spend too much time thinking about how unhealthy they might be.
Everyone’s bodies react differently to different types of food, so experiment to see what your body likes and then go nuts at snack time.
Clear the fridge and cupboards of all unhealthy snacks to better your chances of making healthier choices.
Snacking is always a good idea when you’re trying to stay healthy. It’s also important for vegans because there aren’t many options that meet their dietary needs.
However, there are plenty of snacks out there that can give your body the energy it needs without being unhealthy or too refined in carbohydrates and sugars.
What snacks will you grab the next time hunger strikes?
Please let me know if you have any other snack ideas!