Healthy Plant-Based Snacks That Taste Great
The plant-based revolution is in full swing, with millions of people around the world moving away from animal products every year. On top of the environmental reasons to eat a plant-based diet, there are tons of health benefits to this style of eating that are recognized by the medical community and independent research.
Making the switch to plant-based living is a smart choice for your body, mind, and the world around us, but it isn’t exactly easy. Food culture in the United States still has a heavy focus on animal products, and we know the challenges and pressures that come with it.
If you’re considering a shift away from animal products or you’re 100% committed to the plant-based ideal, you have our blessing! It’s something we believe that everyone should at least try and see how they feel.
To help you take the first step on your journey or reignite your inspiration, we’ve put together a big list of healthy, hearty, and tasty plant-based snacks in this article. Read it, bookmark it, try some new things, and you’ll never run short on stellar snack ideas again.
Everyday Whole Food Staples
There’s a simple rule that applies to healthy eating across the board – the fewer ingredients, the better. When it comes to the plant-based diet, we encourage you to take that principle to heart and simplify the way you eat, focusing on plant foods in their whole, natural form.
Not only will this help you cut down on stuff like additives and preservatives, but it also ensures you get the full spectrum of benefits available in plant-based foods, including micronutrients, fiber, and clean hydration.
Start by making a commitment to stock up on fresh veggies at least once a week, filling your fridge with a ton of different shapes, shades, and colors. We’re talking about carrots, cucumbers, celery sticks, bell peppers in every color, radishes, broccoli, and whatever else catches your eye.
Once the veggies are in your fridge, you won’t want them to go bad, and you’ll quickly figure out ways to enjoy them when hunger kicks in.
Learn to break down the vegetables into manageable bite-sized pieces like strips and wedges, making the most of the edible material and doing away with the rest.
Soon you’ll have the skills to create a fabulous crudité plate on the fly, which can be accompanied by some tasty dips and sauces that we’ll discuss soon.
Follow the same procedure for fruits, and get familiar with how quickly things ripen. Get some standards like apples, grapes, strawberries, and bananas, but also challenge yourself with strange-looking melons, mangos, and pineapples that you’d otherwise avoid.
You never know if you might fall in love with a new kind of fruit or vegetable, so take a chance and try them all!
Same story for nuts and seeds. You can buy these in bulk at the grocery store, keep them in your cupboard for quick access, and get a huge blast of healthy fat and protein any time of day.
Plant-Based Dips and Sauces
Do plain fruits and veggies sound a little boring to you? We hear you, which is why we urge you to learn about the many delicious plant-based dipping sauces, condiments, and spreads that we know and love.
Hummus is our favorite of the bunch for a few reasons. First off, it’s fairly neutral in flavor and has a pleasant, creamy texture. This means you can find it in several different varieties and see which ones work best with particular cuts of veggies.
Many hummus products are loaded with garlic, while others are topped with olive oil and pine nuts. If you want to start making hummus at home, it’s easier than you think, and you have total control over the herbs and spices that go into the mix.
Plus, hummus is a powerhouse of nutrition, giving you a bunch of protein and fat in a quick and easy format. We can’t recommend it enough. Green peas and white beans make a great alternative if chickpeas aren’t your thing.
In the same category of plant-based Middle Eastern condiments are baba ganoush (from eggplant) and tahini (from sesame seeds). These might seem out of the ordinary to some, but you’ll love the flavor if you give it a chance.
If you’re missing the tangy, creamy characteristics of yogurt sauces like tzatziki and raita, you can come pretty close to the real deal by working with soy or coconut-based yogurts from the store. Some seasoning goes a long way, but these products are also tasty on their own.
We can’t forget about colorful salsas, which can run a wide spectrum of flavors from sweet and mild to mind-blowingly spicy. It’s worth investing in a food processor to create salsas at home and see how various fruits, veggies, and spices interact. Grab a few tomatoes, lemon juice, and black beans, or satisfy your cravings with homemade guacamole. Substitute store-bought tortilla chips and make your own healthy option by warming up some tortillas.
Of course, we wouldn’t want to forget about nut butter, now that there are so many great products made from peanuts, almonds, cashews, and even sunflower seeds. These can get a bit pricey (and high in fat), so use them sparingly to bulk up your snacks of sliced fruit or crackers. There's nothing better than dipping apple slices in peanut butter.
Sweet and Savory Prepared Snacks
Sometimes you have a bit more time on your hands and the forethought to plan ahead. Use these opportunities to bake some easy plant-based healthy snacks that will come in clutch when you’re busy during the week and need a quick burst of sustained energy.
If you’re used to buying granola in the store, consider making it at home and saving some cash. You can create your own signature recipe with oats, nuts, seeds, and a natural sweetener like agave, or maple syrup. A batch bakes quickly (about 35 minutes) so make a few in a single afternoon to last the whole week.
You can also dive into the world of protein-packed vegan energy bites, a very popular food item that's full of nutrients and can easily replace cookies in your daily routine. Blend up ingredients like walnuts, flax, chia seeds, hemp protein, dates, raisins, and cinnamon, then mold the dough into the shape of your choice. Balls are easy for beginners, but you can create bars if you have a sculptor’s touch.
These can be enjoyed right away, stored in the fridge to firm up, or flash-baked to get a bit of extra crunch on the exterior. With so many different ways to make these bites, you’ll soon be freestyling recipes and inventing flavors of your own.
While you're experimenting in the kitchen, try out some plant-based classics like crispy chickpeas (spicy seasoning works best) or kale chips that will remind you of the real thing.
A little bit of oil, salt, and spice can really add a lot of character to otherwise uninspiring veggies, so try out a bunch of baked recipes and see what clicks for you.
Finally, don’t ignore the power of popcorn when making strides on your plant-based journey. It isn’t the most nutrient-dense food out there, but it will keep your mouth busy while relaxing or working. Plus, you can add a ton of fun flavors to spice things up. We suggest nutritional yeast, which brings a savory cheese-like taste to your popcorn.
Let’s say you have a few minutes to make a snack and need a lot of nutrition, fast. Few things are going to do the job better than a smoothie loaded with veggies, fruit, and superfood ingredients.
There’s really no wrong way to make a green smoothie, as long as you have a few basic items. Leafy greens like spinach or kale should take up most of the space, with some chunks of tropical fruit to balance out the bitterness.
From there, you just need a drizzle of almond milk, some chia or hemp seeds, then maybe a scoop of plant-based protein powder to top it off.
Fruit smoothies are another sweet option that can pack plenty of vegan protein. Mixing almond butter, plant protein, and fruits like blueberries or bananas can create a yummy, dairy-free post-workout smoothie. You can even throw in some cacao chocolate chips for a sweet treat.
If you're not following a gluten-free diet you’ve got a lot more options for quick snacks using bread, whole grain wraps, and crackers. Whip up some avocado toast, or throw some legumes like chickpeas together with kale and croutons for a crunchy and delicious salad.
Maybe you’ll want to ditch the gluten down the road (like so many plant-based dieters do), but these ingredients can help you get comfortable with the meatless lifestyle at first.
Now and then, you’re going to crave some crunchy snacks that bring back memories, but you won’t need to give in. We created Pig Out Pigless Pork Rinds for this exact scenario, allowing you to indulge in some crazy classic flavors while staying on track with your diet. Each bag has 25 grams of protein and way less salt and fat than most similar snacks. Have a few (or the whole bag), and don’t worry about feeling like garbage afterwards.
For an even bigger serving of nutrition and flavor, check out our Outstanding Puffs, which are loaded with vitamins, minerals, and a dash of nostalgia. These products are made with pride and a vision for a healthier, happier world.
Kudos for making the leap to plant-based living! You’re on the right track, and our snack suggestions will help you stick with it for the long haul.