Who doesn’t love a good snack? They’re essential for staving off hunger between meals and keeping you fueled from your early morning workout until your late night dinner with friends. But small bites can also be a nutritional trap, providing few nutrients and tons of unnecessary calories. A 2012 study examining the diets of nearly 5,000 adults found that almost a third of their daily calorie intake was from “empty,” or nutritionally void, snack calories.
Going vegan doesn't mean you don't get to eat snacks. You may be wondering what you can snack on in between meals, late at night, or just when you're out and about and on the go. There's plenty to choose from. You don't have to just eat carrot sticks, although, with a bit of hummus or some vegan ranch dressing, veggies are fantastic healthy vegan snacks.
Bust out your slow cooker and make some chili. A pot of chili will last you all week long and is perfect for any season and for any meal. Vegan chili is super easy; all you need are some spices, a couple cans of beans, and simple vegetables like corn, onion, and tomatoes. Chili is adaptable and tastes super with other ingredients like beer or sweet potatoes. This Three Bean and Sweet Potato Chili is a vegan wonder as you just need to add your ingredients and let them simmer. Same goes for this Sweet and Spicy Pumpkin Chili. Chili also makes for an extraordinary make-ahead meal. For the more adventurous, add some vegan sour cream or cheese for an extra indulgence. To use up those leftover pantry goods, this Frito Chili Pie is an American bar-food staple that definitely suits a lazy vegan lifestyle. For more slow cooker ideas beyond chili, try using protein-packed lentils in stews and soups.
According to experts, snacking in between meals wards off hunger and aids weight loss by maintaining blood-sugar levels and reducing blood insulin levels. "When your body produces less insulin, you're much less likely to convert dietary calories into body fat," says weight loss expert Dr. Wayne Scott Andersen. "If we feed the body at regular intervals we send a signal to the body that it doesn't have to store calories," he adds.
Ditch the store-bought granola brands (which are often packed with artificial ingredients) for this delicious DIY bar. Made with chunks of dried apple, pecans, toasted oats and cinnamon, each bite will satisfy your apple pie cravings. The other good news is that it serves up only five grams of sugar. Make a batch ahead of time and then stash some in your desk so you’ll always have something to nosh on. Photo and recipe: Carmen Sturdy / Life by Daily Burn
Freekeh is a cereal made from roasted green wheat. That's the one and only ingredient in this snack's original blend, making it an ideal packaged snack. With zero sodium, four grams of fiber, six grams of protein, and only 130 calories per quarter-cup serving, you can help yourself to an extra-large serving. Try rosemary sage or tamari when you want to mix things up.
Seriously, this is a thing, guys. “Avocados are a great source of heart-healthy monounsaturated fat, as well as fiber,” says Northbryhn. Cut prep time by picking up pre-made guac; some grocery stores also have breakfast hot bars where you can buy bacon slices, too. Just break two bacon slices into bite-sized pieces and dip into ¼ cup guac, she recommends.
More than 7 million Americans identify as vegetarian, while another 22.8 million follow a largely vegetarian diet (Vegetarian Times, n.d.). Whether you are a dedicated vegetarian or an omnivore exploring healthier meat-free options, getting the right balance of nutrients is essential. Snacking is a healthy part of any diet, making it important to choose vegetarian snacks that satisfy your hunger while meeting your unique nutritional needs.
Need to use up some leftover ingredients? Make a pita pizza! Don’t fret about making the dough, that’s what whole grain pita bread is for. While pita bread makes filling and tasty sandwiches, it’s also a great base for loading toppings on. Whole grain pita bread is typically high in protein and fiber, and it’s ideal for the lazy vegan because it’s already cooked for you! Pita pizza is also awesome because it’s just the right size for one person. Start with pita bread, spread on some sauce, add some non-dairy cheese, and pile on any vegetables you have on hand. This Vegan Pepper Jack Cashew Cheese is my favorite as it will add some spice to your Homemade Pita Bread. For an easy fix, use store-bought vegan cheese like Daiya or Tofutti. Mushrooms, tomatoes, spinach or broccoli are healthy options for vegetable toppings, and many of these can come frozen or from a jar. Check out this Ultimate Guide to Making Homemade Pizza and simply use a pita for the base. After assembled, pop your pita in an oven at 425 degrees for 8-10 minutes and you’ve got yourself a quick and wholesome meal.
For the BOSH! Balls: Preheat the oven to 180℃. Place the oats, pumpkin seeds, sesame seeds, coconut and pecan on a baking sheet and toast for 5- 10 minutes. Set aside and allow to cool. Place the dates, cinnamon, maple syrup, salt and vanilla in a food processor and puree. Remove and add to a mixing bowl. Add the cooled toasted oats, seeds and nuts and the chopped chocolate. Mix well together using your hands or a wooden spoon.
I love that you have so many bowls of things! Those are my favorite–and I’m really lazy, so I go across the street to Whole Foods and pick up cooked rice/other carby thing, pre-cut or steamed vegetables, some beans or tofu, and I’m set for lunch or dinner. Breakfast is another bowl–fruit, some homemade granola (or crumbled up cookies…) and Kite Hill yogurt.
There are simple tricks to help out any lazy cook with making meals. The most important trick is to keep lots of spices and sauces in your kitchen. Spices like turmeric, black pepper and sea salt, cinnamon and cayenne pepper are sure to pair well with most plant-based ingredients. These Chipotle Vegetable Stuffed Avocados are flavored with …yup, you guessed it: chipotle. Sauces like teriyaki, soy, mustard and balsamic are great starters in marinades for plant-protein sources like tofu, beans or tempeh. Another trick for the lazy cook is to use basic, yet satisfying ingredients. This means straying away from processed foods and choosing fresh or frozen vegetables and grains instead. Here are some of the best meal ideas that would suit any lazy chef. These ideas are economical, hearty, vegan-friendly, and best of all, don’t require your whole night in the kitchen.
Next time you’re at the store, keep these snacks in mind because it’s easy to grab a not-so-healthy quick fix for a lil’ snackie, but it’s imperative that we love our bodies too with wholesome foods. It’s all about consistency. Sure I promote balance and allow treats like a couple ‘Chocolate Covered Brownie Pops‘ when they’re calling my name 😉 but of course, I feel so much better when I stay on track with healthy snacks instead.
Vitamin B12. Vitamin B12 is exclusively found in animal products (Office of Dietary Supplements, 2016). This vitamin is important for red blood cell formation and metabolic processes. Non-vegan vegetarians may obtain vitamin B12 from eggs, milk, or other dairy products. Vegans may need a dietary supplement to get enough, although breakfast cereals and other products are sometimes fortified with the vitamin.
What about evening snacking? The biggest problem with nighttime snacks is most of us reach for ice cream and chips-not fruit and yogurt. That's not to say you can't have a treat after dinner. Some of your favorite evening snacks may even be on this list (chocolate! popcorn!). One thing to note, if you're always hungry after dinner, make sure your meal is made up of filling and healthy foods and you're getting enough food. If all you're nibbling on is a lackluster salad you may legitimately be hungry and need an evening snack(see our best dinner foods for weight loss). If you love an evening snack after dinner, serve yourself a healthy portion onto a plate or bowl so you're not scooping straight from the container.