Vegan Snack Solutions
Post by Paula Jahn, Co-owner and Registered Dietitian at Nourish Northwest
Most of my nutrition clients ask for healthy snack ideas. I always suggest making a mini meal instead of having just one of the three energy-providing nutrients: healthy fat, protein and slowly-digested carbohydrate. This provides sustained energy and helps prevent blood sugar crashes. For example, an apple is a wonderfully healthy food, but it contains almost exclusively carbohydrate; it lacks balance. In order to make it a balanced “mini-meal,” I usually suggest having it with nut butter, cheese, or even a hard boiled egg. For omnivores, cheese and eggs are an easy go-to fat/protein source. Many vegan clients struggle to find balanced snack choices that are not so high in carbohydrate.
Today, I am going to give some vegan snacking suggestions, focusing on the protein component. Plant based sources of protein also have the added benefit of being high in fiber, phytochemicals (anti-oxidants), and often healthy fat. While a piece of fruit and a handful of nuts is a perfectly fine snack, it can get a little tired. Read on for some creative vegan snacking solutions.
Beans and lentils rein king in the vegan protein world. Most contain about 20 grams per half cup.
Oven-Roasted Crispy Chickpeas (Works well with edamame, too!)
Apricot Energy Balls (see recipe below)
Hummus and Vegetables
Tofu Jerky, purchased or make your own.
Nuts and Seeds
These are the other main vegetarian sources of protein. They also boast fiber and healthy fats. A handful of nuts or seeds (about ¼ cup) has ~7-8 grams of protein.
Nut Thin Crackers (dietitian-approved “junk food”)
Apricot Energy Balls
1 15 ounce can chickpeas, rinsed
2 tablespoons tahini
1/2 cup dried unsulfured apricots, chopped
3 sprigs rosemary, stripped from stem and chopped
1-2 tablespoons water (optional, as needed)
Pinch of salt
1. Rinse and peel chickpeas, add to food processor.
2. Process until crumbly/creamy, add tahini and, continue to process.
3. Add apricots and rosemary, blend. Add water as needed to make dough.
4. Form into one inch balls and bake at 350 for 12-15 minutes.