· By Craig Morantz
70 Snacks That Are Not Only Plant-Based But Also Healthy
Snacking is an important part of any diet—that’s right, I said diet. Even if you’re trying to lean out or eat healthfully, snacks get you from one meal to the next. They should be as balanced as possible when it comes to sugar, protein, and essential vitamins so that it keeps you just full enough until you reach your next meal.
No one should be denied a healthy and delicious snack because they’re drawing a blank in the kitchen. That’s where we come in—most of the snacks in the ebook can be whipped up in less than 10 minutes. There’s some that can be purchased at a reasonable price, some that take a couple minutes to prepare, and some that require a bit of prep upfront, but will keep in your fridge for days at a time.
Ready? Are you hungry? Here we go!
1 | Olives
This is a great snack idea for so many reasons. They last weeks in the fridge and transport fairly easily in a snack container. Olives are an unusual fruit because of their high fat content. The most abundant fatty acid is oleic acid, which is good for the heart and decreases inflammation. A 100-gram serving of olives is about 125–150 calories depending on the variety: that’s about 60 calories for 10 olives. They also consist of 75–80% water, 11–15% monounsaturated fat (that’s the good stuff), 4–6% carbs (of which 50-75% is fibre), and they even have minor amounts of protein! Additionally, olives are a good source of iron, calcium, copper, and vitamin E.
2 | Hummus and Crackers
Hummus is a healthy and delicious savoury snack. It’s affordable and easy to take with you to work, or when you run errands and need a quick fix. A quarter-cup of hummus is about 100 calories, 6 grams of fat, has just under 4 grams of fibre, and almost 5 grams of protein. Whether you make it yourself (which is super simple—chickpeas, olive oil, garlic, tahini, lemon juice, and cumin—blended until smooth) or buy it, hummus is always a great snack option. While they probably won’t help you see in the dark, carrots are packed with vitamin A and other antioxidants, and are a great crunchy snack. A cup of carrots only has 52 calories, 3.5 grams of fibre, and 3 grams of sugar.
3 | Apple Slices and Nut Butter
An apple a day… helps to keep you regular! An apple has around 4 grams of fibre, and less than 100 calories (depending on the size of the apple of course). This crunchy sweet snack will help to curb that craving for sweets that might hit you after a meal or in the evenings. Add on some almond, cashew, or classic peanut butter and you have yourself a balanced, nutritious snack! Be careful not to over do it with the nut butters. Even the no-additive nut butters can be high in calories. A 100-gram serving of almond butter clocks in at just under 100 calories, 0.7 grams of saturated fat, 2.2 grams of polyunsaturated fat, and 5 grams of monounsaturated fat. Luckily the apple has zero fat of any kind. Balance is always the name of the game when it comes to snacking!
4 | Instant Oatmeal
Plain oatmeal is wonderful for so many reasons. It’s a quick and easy snack, comforting on a cold day, and provides nutritious sustenance that will help get you to your next meal. For added health benefits, add some hemp, chia, and/or flax meal. We recommend flax meal rather than flax seeds since it’s easier for your body to absorb the nutrients when flax is ground. One packet of oatmeal is just 100 calories, 20 of which come from healthy fats. There are 19 grams of carbs, 3 grams of fibre, and no sugar. Plus, a single serving gives you 4 grams of protein! Add in a tablespoon of hemp seeds and two tablespoons of chia and you can add in 8 more grams of protein!
5 | Non-Dairy Yogurt
There are so many great options for non-dairy yogurt these days! We tried and reviewed a bunch of them in a previous issue of The Veginning. Non-dairy yogurt is also fermented, which is great for your gut health, since it can contain the same number of probiotics as dairy yogurt! A serving of unsweetened coconut yogurt from Yoso has just 117 calories, 6 grams of fibre, and 8 grams of healthy fats. Add in a handful of blueberries for an antioxidant-rich snack. Pour on a tablespoon of chia seeds to up the protein content. There are so many ways to make non-dairy yogurt even tastier than it already is!
6 | Dry-Roasted Chickpeas
Dry-roasted chickpeas will satisfy your need for a savoury crunchy snack, and they are healthy too! There are loads of companies that make great roasted chickpeas in delicious flavours. We like the Three Farmers brand, which we feature in our own Snack Crunch—they are sustainably grown and roasted in Canada! Roasted chickpeas have a dense nutritional profile and the lightly salted flavour has just three ingredients! They are high in fibre and protein, are a great source of Omega-3 polyunsaturates, iron, phosphorus, copper, magnesium, and zinc. One serving has 100 calories and 6 grams of each fibre and protein! Of course, you can easily make roasted chickpeas yourself, if you have the time.
7 | Dry-Roasted Peas
Dry-roasted peas are another way to satisfy that crunch craving. We love the Smoky BBQ Crunchy Peas from Zak’s Organics, a company out of Saskatchewan. One serving (⅓ of a cup) has 5 grams of protein, just 140 calories, and will easily keep you satiated until your next meal. We love Zak’s because they are certified organic, a great source of iron, fibre, and potassium, and they are a wonderful soy-, dairy-, nut-, and gluten-free snacking alternative!
8 | Chia Pudding
Chia pudding can easily be thrown together in just a few minutes and is so delicious and nutritious—you won’t be able to get enough! I use almond milk for my chia pudding, but you can use any non-dairy milk product you like. Just use a 4:1 ratio for chia to almond milk. I prefer to sweeten it with a bit of maple syrup, but you could just use fruit, coconut flakes, cinnamon, granola, whatever you prefer! Just stick it in the fridge for 2.5 hours or overnight if that’s more convenient. I usually make a couple days worth in multiple containers so it’s ready whenever I want it. As already mentioned, chia seeds are wildly nutritious—just 1 tablespoon has 4 grams of protein! Plus they are a source of fibre, antioxidants and calcium.
9 | Celery Sticks with Nut Butter
Celery is one of the world’s healthiest foods! It helps to protect against inflammation in the digestive system, and is an excellent source of vitamin K and molybdenum. It’s a very good source of folate, potassium, dietary fibre, manganese, and pantothenic acid. Plus, it’s a good source of vitamin B2, copper, vitamin C, vitamin B6, calcium, phosphorus, magnesium and vitamin A (in the form of carotenoids). A single cup only has 16 calories! Salt-sensitive people should be conscious of how much they are eating though, since it has 35 milligrams of sodium per stalk. Add some nut butter to make it even more satiating.
10 | Larabar
Larabars are plant-based and made with wholesome ingredients that make them a great option to carry in your bag. They are also great for kids since they taste amazing. My favourite is the coconut cream, which has about 200 calories, 80 of which come from fat. With 3 grams of protein and 5 grams of fibre, you’ll be more than satisfied after one bar while on the go. They are also easy to find at most grocery stores.
11 | Popcorn
Making your own popcorn from kernels at home (not that microwaved junk, or stuff from the bag), is not only extremely easy, but nutritious too! Three cups of air-popped popcorn is just 92 calories, has 1 gram of fat, 18.7 grams of carbs, 2.6 grams of fibre, and 2.9 grams of protein! That’s pretty impressive nutrition density for just a little corn kernel. But the best part? When you make it at home, you can flavour it however you like! I’d recommend coconut oil and himalayan salt, or even some nutritional yeast for a cheesy taste. Don’t have an air popper? That’s no big deal. Just use a tablespoon or two of extra-virgin olive oil in a big pot, turn the heat on your stove to medium-high, stick a lid on the pot and give it a shake every few minutes. In no time, your popcorn will be popping away. Listen for when the pops slow—that’s when it’s done and time to snack!
12 | Homemade Trail Mix
This is possibly the easiest snack to put together. Think for a second, what are your favourite nuts? Have a few in your head? Now just add in some dried fruit—raisins are always a classic option, or try dried blueberries or cherries for a yummy treat. Perhaps add in some vegan dark chocolate chips and sprinkle with some cinnamon! There are countless recipes online for delicious trail mixtures that you can easily make at home. Obviously chocolate and dried fruit are higher in sugar, but just eat a handful or so at a time to fulfill that sweet craving, while the nuts keep you fuller for longer.
13 | Digestive Cookies with Hazelnut Chocolate Spread
Digestive cookies aren’t the most healthy. But one or two can help you keep that monster sugar craving at bay. Each cookie is only about 70 calories, with 1.1 grams of protein, 9 carbs, and 3.2 grams of fat. Since they are so low in calories, spread some hazelnut chocolate spread (see number 54 for the recipe) on there to add some protein and fat to keep you fuller for longer!
14 | Handful of Almonds and Three Dried Apricots
Could almonds be a more perfect snack? Probably not! This amazing snack actually reduces your cholesterol levels. And although they are technically considered high in fat, studies have shown that a handful of almonds everyday has actually helped people lose weight! The healthy kinds of fat found in almonds help you feel full for longer, which means you won’t feel the need to snack on more unhealthy things throughout the day between meals. Check out these amazing numbers (based on a ¼ cup) and then go eat a handful of almonds: 207 calories, 5 grams of protein, 5 grams of fibre, 7 grams of carbs, 5 grams of sugar, 61% daily value of vitamin E, 36% daily value of magnesium, 9.5% daily value of calcium, and 4% daily value of iron. Add in about three dried apricots for a bit of sugar for energy. Don’t worry—the protein in the almonds will help balance that sugar out.
15 | Handful of Macadamia Nuts and Dried Blueberries
Vitamin A, B vitamins, iron, folate, manganese, protein, healthy fats, and the all-powerful antioxidants—macadamia nuts may not be a normal nut in your rotation, but with nutrition details like that, they probably should be! In just 100 grams, you can find 7 grams of protein and 8 grams of fibre.
Dried blueberries are one of my favourite treats and add a great energy kick to beat the 2pm slump while at work. They are high in sugar though, so don’t go overboard. Just enough of these yummy sticky berries to give you the energy you need while the protein in the macadamia nuts balances you out sugar wise.
16 | Handful of Brazil Nuts and dried cherries
Brazil nuts fight inflammation. Eating just one or two Brazil nuts every day can be even better than taking a selenium supplement and can help improve your mood and other bodily functions. Doctors recommend only eating up to six Brazil nuts per day since you can actually overdo it with the selenium in them. Six Brazil nuts contains 185 calories, 3.5 grams of carbs, 4 grams of protein, 19 grams of fat, and 2.1 grams of fibre. In addition to selenium, they also contain magnesium, copper, phosphorus, manganese, thiamine, zinc, calcium, potassium, iron, and vitamin E.
Dried cherries on the other hand, do not contain any protein or fat. A small handful, in addition to the healthy Brazil nuts, will give you a great boost of energy that will easily get you through to your next meal. These little guys are like nature’s candy!
17 | Za'atar Popcorn
I already talked about the nutritional benefits of eating air-popped or stove-popped popcorn, but this is one of my favourite recipes by far. Za’atar is a Middle-Eastern spice mix and it just pairs perfectly with popcorn for a savoury treat. Made up of thyme, sesame, and sumac spice, this combo will get you reaching for that bowl constantly until it’s all gone!
18 | Two-Minute Organic Peas and Corn
This may seem like a strange snack, but peas have a surprising amount of protein in them. Just 85 grams has 55 calories and 4.6 grams of protein! Mix the peas with some organic corn, microwave to heat up and you have yourself a nutritious and filling snack in only a few minutes.
19 | Half-Pita with Green Banana and Pumpkin Seed Butter
Did you know that as a banana yellows, its nutritional profile changes? Greener bananas are starchier, but because they are resistant starches, they are generally counted as fibre. As bananas yellow, that fibre turns to sugar. Why not try a half a pita with a sliced green banana and some pumpkin seed butter? Pumpkin seed butter is lower in calories than peanut butter and is therefore a great alternative when paired with the carbs in the banana and pita.
20 | Avocado on Ezekiel Toast with Lemon
Have you tried Ezekiel bread? This low-carb bread option is so delicious and filling. With 4 grams of protein and 3 grams of fibre, it’s a fantastic alternative to traditional bread. Mash up some avocado, squeeze on some fresh lemon, and maybe add a pinch or two of cayenne pepper for some kick! The avocado is high in fat and ⅓ cup has about 80 calories, but they are healthy monounsaturated fats that help to lower cholesterol. Just make sure you’re not eating too much avocado daily so that you don’t go overboard with the calories.
21 | Snack Bombs
Have you tried these things yet? What these lack in size, they make up for in flavour and nutrients. Each Bomb has 190 calories, 6-8 grams of protein, 2 grams of healthy fats, and 5 grams of fibre. They also come in so many amazing flavours—matcha cashew, coffee ginger, walnut apricot, and maple chai. Seriously. Try them.
22 | Five-Minute Homemade Granola
Open up your pantry, grab whatever you’ve got: some oats, sesame seeds, walnuts, pumpkin seeds, etc. Put some coconut oil in a pan. Once the oil is melted, add the dry goods. Add a few tablespoons of maple syrup and some cinnamon to taste, even a pinch of sea salt. At medium heat, constantly stir to avoid burning, and after 3-4 minutes you’ve got your granola. Enjoy with almond milk or non-dairy yogurt.
23 | Oh She Glows Endurance Crackers
I love Oh She Glows. It’s probably my favourite site to get delicious and easy vegan recipes. In fact, there might be at least one more recipe from there on this list! These crackers have everything I look for in a homemade snack: healthy, quick, and super easy. With chia, sesame, pumpkin, and sunflower seeds, and a hint of garlic, these crackers taste amazing with a bit of smashed avocado or hummus.