People who follow vegan diets now have a wider choice of snacks, but many include processed ingredients or high amounts of sugar. This article provides nutritionist-designed recipes for five healthy and tasty snack options.
Grabbing a quick snack can help sustain someone’s energy, but only if it does not spike their blood sugar level. Processed vegan snack bars, chips, and fake meats may be tasty, but they are not ideal for health.
Eating snacks made from whole foods can provide essential nutrients and maintain energy levels.
This article looks at five recipes for vegan snacks that a qualified nutritionist has designed. They include nutrient dense ingredients that help meet vegans’ daily nutrition requirements.
1. Spicy chickpeas
Chickpeas, or garbanzo beans, are good sources of calcium for people who follow vegan diets.
The following recipe uses two 16-ounce (oz) cans, which provide approximately 200 milligrams (mg)T of calcium toward the adult requirement of 1,000 mg per day.
Eating one-quarter of this recipe as a snack will provide someone with 50 mg of calcium toward their daily requirement.
- two 16-oz cans of chickpeas in water
- 2 tablespoons (tbsp) of olive oil
- half a teaspoon (tsp) of Himalayan pink salt or natural sea salt
- 1 tsp of smoked paprika
- half a tsp of ground cumin
- half a tsp of bell pepper flakes
- half a tsp of garlic granules
- half a tsp of onion granules
- Preheat the oven to 400ºF (205ºC).
- Drain and rinse the chickpeas, and shake off the excess water.
- Combine the spices in a bowl.
- Toss the chickpeas in the olive oil.
- Spread the chickpeas on a baking tray and cook in the oven for 35 minutes, turning them occasionally.
- Add the spices and stir until they have an even covering.
- Bake for a further 10 minutes until crispy.
- Allow to cool before eating.
The chickpeas will keep in an airtight container for a few days.
2. Rainbow rolls
These snacks include healthy raw vegetables and sprouts. People can buy sprouts in grocery stores or grow their own from soaked beans, seeds, or grains.
Raw sprouts may have health benefits. This is particularly true for radish and broccoli sprouts, which some research indicates may have anticancer and antioxidant effects.
Using various raw vegetables helps someone meet the 2.5 cups per day of different colored vegetables that dietary guidelines recommend.
- Finely slice or julienne a range of raw vegetables, such as cabbage, carrots, avocado, bell peppers, raw mushrooms, and green onions.
- Chop up some fresh herbs, such as cilantro, mint, or chives.
- Buy or prepare some raw sprouts, such as radish, broccoli, lentil, or mung bean.
- Wet the spring roll wrappers in water until pliable.
- Arrange a selection of vegetables, herbs, and sprouts and roll up according to the spring roll wrapper instructions.
- Serve with a dipping sauce, such as tamari or soy sauce.
People should be aware that raw sprouts can cause food poisoningTrusted Source. Therefore, people should buy them fresh and store them correctly.
3. Chocolate protein balls
Oats are sources of fiberTrusted Source. When combined with nuts, they can help regulate energy.
These snacks are healthier choices than chocolate bars or candy, which can spike a person’s blood sugar level, leading to energy dips and weight gain.
These protein balls are easy to make by hand or in a food processor. Someone can then store them in the refrigerator or freezer and consume them as they need.
- 2 cups of old fashioned rolled oats
- half a cup of peanut butter
- one-quarter of a cup of cashew nuts
- 1 tbsp of cocoa powder
- 2 tbsp of maple syrup or equivalent stevia
- one-quarter of a tsp of cinnamon powder
- a large pinch of salt
This recipe yields approximately 20 protein balls.
- Combine all the ingredients in a food processor or mix them by hand.
- Roll the mixture into balls and either store as they are or roll first in the following optional ingredients:
- unsweetened shredded coconut
- hemp hearts
- chopped almonds
- dark chocolate chips
4. Protein smoothies
Including a protein powder in a smoothie can help vegans achieve their minimum daily protein requirement of 46 grams (g) per day for females and 56 g per day for males.
There are various vegan protein powders to choose from, including soy, hemp, and rice. People can also combine two different powders to achieve a balanced amino acid profile.
To make a protein smoothie, a person needs to select either fresh or frozen fruits and vegetables, a liquid such as a plant-based milk, and two scoops of a protein powder.
The following are some suggestions as to how to combine the ingredients:
- Sunshine smoothie: Combine mango, banana, coconut water, and pea protein powder.
- Supergreen smoothie: Combine raw kale or spinach, apple, mint, lime juice, almond milk, and hemp protein powder.
- Blueberry boost smoothie: Combine defrosted frozen blueberries, fresh pear or apple, raw spinach, oat milk, and rice protein powder.
Also, people can add additional vegan healthy fat sources, such as avocado, hemp hearts, or flax seeds.
5. Green pea and mint dip
Green peas, or garden peas, are great sources of the following nutrients:
- minerals such as calcium, magnesium, zinc, and potassium
- vitamins such as vitamin C, vitamin A, and folate
The following recipe also contains nutritional yeast, which is an excellent source of B vitamins for vegans. Additionally, the nuts in this recipe provide protein.
People can try eating this green pea and mint dip with raw vegetable crudites, vegan pumpernickel bread, or buckwheat crackers.
To make the recipe, combine the following ingredients in a food processor or with a pestle and mortar:
- 1 cup of thawed frozen green peas
- a handful of washed mint leaves
- half a cup of cashew nuts soaked in water for at least 4 hours
- 1 tbsp of extra virgin olive oil
- 1 tbsp of nutritional yeast
- a squeeze of fresh lemon juice
- salt and pepper to taste
Other quick and healthy vegan snacks
Some other quick and healthy vegan snacks that are easy for people to prepare include:
- hummus and celery or carrot sticks
- vegan trail mix, though people should be sure to check the sugar content
- tofu slices with natural flavors and green olives
- cashew cheese with oatcakes
- almond or peanut butter with apple slices
- walnuts and a small portion of dried raisins
- fresh coconut flesh sprinkled with hemp hearts
- a piece of fresh fruit and a handful of plain nuts
To help regulate energy, it is a good idea to balance carbohydrates with proteins or fats, as this can slow down the release of blood sugar.
Consuming snacks can help regulate energy and provide essential nutrients. However, regularly choosing processed or high sugar options can be detrimental to health and cause energy dips.
Vegans should choose snacks carefully as part of an overall balanced and healthy diet.
Batch preparing snacks and storing them in the refrigerator or freezer can save time and ensure that someone always has a quick and healthy option to hand.
Also, many options, such as crudites and hummus or apple and peanut butter, take little or no preparation.