Best Vegan Snack Ideas

 Photo by Alisha Hieb

Photo by Alisha Hieb

 
 

Why do we snack?

Hunger, boredom, distraction — there are many reasons why we choose to snack throughout the day. Snacking has a bad reputation due to the pervasive nature of processed snack foods and the ill health effects associated with their consumption. No wonder this is the case when many snack foods are chock full of sugar, saturated fat and salt — none of which are health promoting!

 

Making the healthy choice

Mindless eating is known to cause weight gain and a whole host of health problems if poor choices are habitual. However, snacking can be healthy and beneficial when done with the right intention. Tune into your feelings and evaluate if you’re reaching for a snack due to boredom or to fill an emotional gap, or if you’re truly hungry and giving your body what it needs. When you are well-hydrated, active, and your body is telling you it needs something to tide you over until your next meal, a well-balanced, nutritious snack is the perfect choice.

 

Smart snacking made easy

When choosing a pre-packaged snack, let the nutrition label guide you to make the best choice. Look at:

Serving size: Make sure the amount you’re eating is the actual serving! 

Calories: Keep snacks between 200-300 calories.

Sugar: Avoid refined sugar.

Ingredients: The simpler the better! Stick to whole foods that you can pronounce.

 

Easy and delicious snack ideas

Dates and almonds 

Instead of reaching for coffee to boost a midday slump, try dates and almonds. The sugar in dates will give you the energy you need while the monounsaturated fat from almonds will keep your blood sugar stable without a crash. A 300-calorie snack of 5 dates and ¼ cup almonds is perfect for a snack on the go or to keep in pre-portioned bags in your desk drawer. Dates are rich in potassium and almonds are high in vitamin E which is great for skin health.

Raw vegetables and hummus

Enjoy up to ½ a cup of your favorite hummus with 1 cup of raw vegetables (think carrot, celery, broccoli, tomato) for a fiber-rich snack.  A combo of non-starchy vegetables and hummus gives you carbohydrates, protein and healthy fat to help power through your day.

Gluten free crackers and nut cheese

Pair 12 gluten-free crackers (like Mary's Gone Crackers or CrunchMaster Multi-Seed Crackers) with 1 oz nut cheese (try Miyoko's, Kite Hill or Treeline Treenut Cheese). This easy supermarket combo is rich in whole grains and healthy fats. It is both wonderfully satisfying and guilt-free!

Optional: Serve with 1/2 cup grapes or sliced strawberries

MINDWELL Vegan Jerky

Feel good about snacking when choosing MINDWELL’s plant based creations. Our snacks are made of whole foods, no refined sugar, and pair well with raw fruit and vegetables.  Try our Cracked Pepper Vegan Jerky with 1 cup of celery and carrot sticks for a snack that is delicious, hydrating, and satisfying.

 

For those of you looking to mix up your own plant based snacks, try these original recipes:

 

Curry roasted chickpeas, almonds and cherries

Ingredients:

1 can chickpeas, drained, rinsed and dried

1 tsp curry powder

1/4 tsp turmeric 

1 tsp olive oil

1/2 cup almonds

1/4 cup dried cherries, oil and sugar free

Instructions:

- Preheat the oven to 350 degrees F.

- Combine chickpeas, olive oil and spices on a sheet pan

- Roast chickpeas for 30-40 minutes, mixing halfway through

- Cool chickpeas for 15 minutes and then combine with almonds and cherries 

Make this modern trail mix for your next backpacking trip! The complex carbohydrates from the chickpeas will give you long lasting energy and the dried cherries will satisfy your sweet tooth without any added sugar. 

 

Pickled cucumber and tofu salad

Ingredients:

1 block extra firm tofu, rinsed and patted dry, cut into cubes

2 cucumbers, peeled, cut lengthwise, seeds removed and cut into half moon shaped pieces

1/2 small red onion, cut thinly

1/4-1/2 cup vinegar

Optional: Salt

Instructions:

Combine all ingredients and marinate at least 1 hour before eating

This quick pickle snack is crunchy and briny. Tofu is a versatile plant-based protein and a great snack alternative to processed protein bars.

 

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Bridget Henley