The benefits of eating a plants-based diet are seemingly endless! A nourishing diet rich in plants promotes a healthy heart, healthy digestion, clear skin, increased nutrition, lower body fat, weight loss, increased energy, reduced allergies and even a healthier environment.
A couple summers ago I tried eating a vegan diet. I cut down on added sugars, eliminated dairy, and I upped my intake of plants and legumes. Let me tell you, I felt AMAZING! I experienced first hand all sorts of benefits. My skin was clear, I was incredibly energized and my mood was lifted!
To be honest, I thoroughly enjoyed the cleansing benefits and energy boosts I got from such a nutrient dense diet, but I missed the more satiating effects of both meat and dairy. So while I no longer eat a strict vegan diet, I AM trying to eat more ‘plant food’ so that I can reap some of those wonderful benefits! Here are some of my favorite snacks that are vegan, filling, and oh-so delicious! I hope you enjoy them as much as I do!
You guys already know how much I love almond products (from my recent ‘almond lovers’ post)… and why not?! Almond butter is a delicious and nutritious plants-based snack that’s sure to keep you satisfied ’til your next meal. It’s got vitamin E to protect you from oxidative damage, magnesium for healthy bones, and iron for healthy blood cells. Almonds reduce bad cholesterol and control blood pressure, too. Pair a spoonful of Barney Butter with a few apple slices and you’ve got a salty-sweet treat that will put a smile on your face and nutrition in your body!
Pop chips!! Gotta love these gluten-free healthy chips! I pair a serving of Pop chips with a spoonful of crunchy peanut butter for a filling snack. Peanut butter actually helps you lose weight because the combination of protein and fiber fills you up and keeps you feeling full longer! Enjoy this with a bit of fresh fruit and you’ve practically got yourself a mini (VEGAN) meal! YUM! One medium 80 calorie orange actually provides 130% of your daily vitamin C needs, 0 grams of fat, 250 milligrams of potassium and a gram of protein! This time of year is a great time to enjoy an orange… it will boost your immune system and hopefully prevent some of the colds and flu floating around out there!
Carrots and hummus. Enough said, right? There’s just something about creamy hummus with crunchy carrots that just hits the spot! This is the perfect vegan snack for when you’re craving something savory. Hummus is really just chick peas, olive oil, lemon juice and salt. It is rich in protein which helps fight hunger cravings and balances blood sugar levels. The iron content may just boost your energy and motivate you to hit the gym! Hummus comes in so many awesome flavors, too, so you’ll never get bored. Try Sweet Potato hummus, or Thai Coconut Curry, or Jalepeno Cilantro. I keep deciding that one certain flavor is my favorite, and then… oops! I try another and THAT’S my new fave!
Okay, this is kind of a random snack, but trust me… it does the trick! Pair a small sweet potato with a smear of raw almond butter for a sweet/savory snack that’s naturally sugar free! A sweet potato has over 100% of your daily vitamin A requirement. Vitamin A is linked to anti-aging benefits, cancer prevention, and good eyesight. They’ve got loads of fiber and potassium, too. And with their low glycemic index (they release sugar slowly into the blood stream) they provide a steady amount of energy. Try them baked, broiled, steamed, or even microwaved (when you’re in a rush!)
Finally, who doesn’t love popcorn? It’s light, salty and fun to eat! Popcorn is a gluten free healthy whole grain and it is packed with protein. The problem I have with popcorn though, is because it’s so light, I find that I tend to ‘inhale it’ when I’m hungry… which is fine when I’m alone, but not the best idea when you’re snacking with friends :/ (or if you don’t like to vacuum!) Have no fear! Adding a few salty almonds to my popcorn allows me to eat those first, and because they’re more dense I can satisfy my hunger faster and then enjoy the rest of my popcorn!
How about you?! Do you eat a vegan diet? What are your favorite vegan snacks?!