Creative Plant Based Snacks
I don’t know many people who can make it from meal to meal without some kind of snack. I know I can’t make it more than 3 or 4 hours without one! If you’re like me, try giving these plant based snacks a go so you can feel more energized between meals.
What makes up a good snack?
Snacks can be tricky because by the time we eat them, we’re usually so hungry we end up grabbing whatever is in front of us. This can be a problem when it’s a bowl of candy!
Ideally, a balanced snack would include a combination of carbohydrates, fats and protein. Think along the lines of a fruit with nut butter or veggies with bean dip. Incorporating all three of these components into a snack will satisfy your hunger and prevent you from coming back for more after a few minutes.
Timing your snack is important because extreme hunger can lead to poor food choices. Think about your schedule and when you’ll have the longest stretch in between meals. Try to plan a snack somewhere in that time, to prevent your hunger from getting out of control.
It’s also helpful to make sure you have good food options stored in places you spend the most time. Be prepared and keep staple snack items you know will work for you in locations that are easily accessible. This will cut down on time spent thinking about what to eat and will help get you feeling satiated faster.
What is plant based eating?
Plant based snacks sound healthy, but what do they actually entail? Striving for a plant forward diet doesn’t mean cutting out animal products entirely, it just means focusing on incorporating more plant foods into your diet. Make foods like fruits, vegetables, legumes, whole grains, and healthy oils your first choices for meals and snacks and you’ll be on the plant based eating train too!
Does plant based mean healthy?
Making your diet mostly plants can have some excellent health benefits. A plant based diet has been found to be associated with lower risk of cardiovascular disease and cardiovascular disease risk factors.1
But, this doesn’t mean you can reach for any plant based product to claim these benefits. It’s important to make sure your food choices are high quality, like whole grains as opposed to refined grains and whole foods instead of processed snacks like potato chips, which are technically plant based, but not the healthiest option. Try some of the recipes below for tasty and healthy plant based snacks!
Recipes for Plant Based Snacks
Green Tahini Dip—Dips make the best snacks, especially this one! Tahini is a creamy paste made from sesame seeds, which gives it a nutty and savory flavor. This dip gets its green color and extra nutrient boost from spinach – a good way to sneak in extra veggies. Enjoy it with crisp vegetables or whole wheat pita bread.
Chickpea Salad—You can make this chickpea salad as a side dish for dinner and pack a small container of it for a snack the next day. It holds up well in the refrigerator, provides a good source of protein from chickpeas, and is extra delicious with pickled onion on top!
Pumpkin Muffins—Pumpkin isn’t just for the fall…it tastes great all year round! Pumpkin puree is the perfect addition to muffins and other baked goods because it provides added moisture, and extra nutrients, like beta carotene and vitamin C. An ideal plant based snack to pack for a busy day.
- Satija A, Hu FB. Plant-based diets and cardiovascular health. Trends in Cardiovascular Medicine. 2018;28(7):437-441. doi:10.1016/j.tcm.2018.02.004.