This week we're talking about the best plant-based snacks to have on-hand.
There tends to be a lot of confusion surrounding a plant-based diet, especially when it comes to snack time. What do you eat? Does snacking consist of big bowls of lettuce instead of chips and a chocolate bar? While lettuce may be the healthier choice in that scenario, you most definitely won’t have to sacrifice tastiness for bland and boring. The good news is, there are a ton of whole, plant-based snacks that provide all the nutrients without taking away any of the flavours. Here are 6 go-to plant-based snacks to keep on hand for those moments when you need a yummy fix.
- Nuts/Seeds: One of the best (and easiest) snacks to have on hand are nuts and seeds like Almonds, Brazil Nuts, cashews and Sunflower seeds and pepitas. Not only do these bitesize treats pack a nutritious punch of fiber, vitamin E and other heart-healthy fats, but they satisfy your cravings and keep you feeling full for a longer period of time. Brazil nuts are also known for their high selenium content, which is a precursor for glutathione (our bodies most amazing antioxidant!). It’s super easy to grab these and go when you’re in a rush but they are also great to have on hand so that you can add them to other meals as well like salads, stir fry and even smoothies. Some nuts and seeds can be higher in salt content so be sure to opt for the unsalted version.
- Dried Fruit: When you need to grab a sweet treat, dried fruit is a great option to have on hand. From sultanas, apples, figs, and dates to banana chips, apricots and prunes, there is no lack of variety when it comes to choosing what to snack on. You can find dried fruit by itself or combined with nuts and seeds to create a sweet and savoury trail mix if that’s what you prefer. Dried fruit is loaded with fiber and antioxidants and can be preserved for much longer than going the fresh fruit route. As always, make sure you pay close attention to the labels and try to avoid dried fruit added sugar. I always buy my dried fruit from Honest to Goodness as they don't use the preservative sulphur dioxide. *Visual warning* this does mean their dried apricots are black and not orange like those available in supermarkets. Some people experience an unpleasant reaction to this preservative, similar to that experienced with MSG.
- Dips: If you are new to making healthier, plant-based choices in your diet, dips are a fun, easy way to make the transition. Dips are great to pair with fruits and veggies, but you can also eat them with crackers such as flaxseed (to get a healthy omega 3 dose) and even use them for salad dressing to change things up. Seriously, hummus makes even a boring salad amazing! The options really are limitless when it comes to creating a high protein, plant-based snack that will make your meal even more irresistible. From vegan spinach artichoke dip served with broccoli and carrots to pesto hummus with crackers or capsicum, you can’t go wrong with this healthy snack. The best part is, you can play around and create a unique concoction that satisfies those cravings and gives you the exact taste and flavour you’ve been searching for.
- Popcorn: If prepared properly, popcorn is a great option, especially for those that are completely new to a plant-based lifestyle. Popcorn is a nutritious, low-calorie snack that will keep you feeling full and satisfied long after snack time is over. Avoid the microwave route and try air-popping your own at home. Instead of dousing it with butter, try a healthy homemade popcorn seasoning made with spices and herbs you have on hand. You can find a ton of simple, yet yummy recipes on Pinterest that will make you swear off the normal “buttered popcorn” forever. Try this cheesy popcorn recipe from Gimme Some Oven.
- Vegetable Chips: When it comes to a super healthy, super quick snack, you have to include baked vegetable chips in the snack arena. Start by choosing the veggies that you wish to include - this can be anything from zucchini, sweet potatoes, carrots, onions, beets, kale – the choices are endless. Simply prep your veggies, drizzle with extra virgin olive oil, sea salt, and/or other seasonings of your choice like garlic powder, oregano, curry, basil, parsley, etc. Bake them up (times may vary depending on your choices) and enjoy a healthy AND delicious snack that will keep you coming back for more. Protein Balls: These are super easy to whip up at home and keep in the fridge for when you need a snack to fulfil your sweet tooth. I highly recommend making your own as store bought ones will always contain preservatives and most have a high sugar content (often using 3 different types of sweeteners!). I am yet to find a protein ball/bar in the supermarket that I would recommend to people. Making them at home also means you can include all the ingredients you personally like and exclude those you don’t. The protein component can comprised of nuts and seeds or protein powder. If using protein powder, I recommend using rice or a combination of pea and rice. All store bought ones seem to only use pea and I find it super gross.
Deciding to live a more plant-based lifestyle doesn’t mean you have to settle for snacks that lack flavour. There are plenty of options that will keep your health in check and your taste buds happy at the same time.
Hold tight Goddesses! We have 2 NEW protein ball flavours coming for you next month. Both of these flavours have been developed (meaning taste tested, a lot!) to include protein powder. For all of you chocaholics out there - you're going to LOVE what’s coming! We also have a mouthwatering option for those of you who don't like chocolate - you're welcome ;)
Don't forget, you can always add a pack of our current protein balls to any cleanse order or grab a My Healthy Day pack. Our current flavours are Nut & Seed balls and Coconut Cranberry balls.