I am a huge believer in incorporating two to three healthy and plant-based snacks into your daily eating plan. For me, this means that I eat five to six small meals throughout my day, or once every two to three hours. Integrating a well-planned snack into your regular routine enables you to maintain steady blood sugar and metabolic levels, to consume a wide variety of nutrient rich foods, and to sustain your overall energy throughout the day.
Whether you have been a vegan for years or are just trying to follow a more plant-based regimen, there are plenty of delicious and healthy snack options for you! If you are preparing your snacks at home, it is easier to avoid common animal products found in pre-made snack foods like milk, milk proteins, eggs, butter, gelatins and honey. If you are buying pre-made snacks at the store, investigate the nutrition labels and ingredient lists carefully to make sure that they are vegan-friendly.
6 Snack Rules to Follow
- Make sure that your snack contains between 150 and 200 calories.
- Try to include a protein (beans, legumes, nuts, tempeh, soy, seeds), a whole grain (bread, brown rice, pita, cereal, bulgur, buckwheat, millet) and a healthy fat (avocado, flaxseed, nuts, seeds, olives) for a well-balanced snack.
- Fiber is key to feeling full; try to make sure there are at least 3 grams of fiber per serving in your snack.
- Follow the MyPlate guidelines and incorporate a fruit or vegetable — or both!
- Pack your snack the night before or stock your workspace and car with dry snacks like nuts, whole grain crackers, oatmeal and homemade trail mix.
- If you are eating a pre-made snack, purchase one that does not contain a lot of added sugar, sodium, trans fats or hydrogenated oils.
10 Go-To Vegan Snacks
- Fruit slices covered with a small spoonful of nut butter and hemp seeds
- Hummus with raw vegetable like bell peppers, cucumbers, carrots and broccoli
- Whole grain toast with smashed avocado, tomato, balsamic vinegar and a scoop of cooked white beans
- Edamame sprinkled with nutritional yeast and flax crackers
- Spicy roasted chickpeas with garlic kale chips
- One square of dark chocolate, a small handful of almonds and a tablespoon of dried fruit like craisins
- Berries sprinkled with quinoa oat clusters and shredded coconut
- Green smoothie with kale or spinach, plant-based milk, fruit, nut butter and chia seeds mixed in
- Air-popped popcorn with “add ins” like granola, cacao nibs and nuts
- Bulgur with pesto, diced tomatoes and spinach leaves