By Allison Wells
I’m a lady who likes her food. Yes, I’m a nutritionist, and yes, I like to keep it healthy, but everyone loves a snack. Today I’m talking to you about my top five favorite snacks, and they all happen to be vegan. These aren’t pre or post workout snacks, though they could possibly be used as such. These are just snacks. Cuz, when a girl’s hungry, you better get her some food!
1- My absolute favorite snack is organic brown rice cakes (I prefer the brand Lundberg) covered in hummus. The brown rice cake has a nice crunch and hearty texture, and that creamy hummus packs in some flavor as well as a bit of protein and fiber. This munchie can keep me going for several hours between meals.
2- Next up we have an old classic with a twist. I love to snack on apple slices with a tablespoon of peanut butter, and a dash of cinnamon. Apples not only have a sweet, crispy, juicy crunch, but they also pack enough fiber to tie me over until the next full meal. That dab of peanut butter gives me a boost of protein and fat to keep hunger at bay. The cinnamon is full of antioxidants and gives the whole snack an extra punch of flavor. I am careful to measure my peanut butter, because I could easily eat half the jar if I’m not careful.
3- Here’s an easy one. If I’m on the go, or I know I’ll be confined to my car for a while, I’ll snack on a Mojo Bar (made by Clif Bar) or a Kind Bar. These are great combinations of grains, nuts, and a little bit of chocolate or dried fruit. My faves are the peanut butter pretzel and the chocolate almond coconut for Mojo, and the dark chocolate with sea salt for Kind. They provide you with carbs, fat, and protein, and all within 200 calories. The trick is to keep your eye on the sugar content. Choose a bar with 10 grams of sugar or less, and 200 calories or less, and you’ll be on your way!
4- Another easy on-the-go snack idea is a refreshing green juice. These green juices are all the rage these days, but keep in mind that just because it’s green, doesn’t mean it’s all healthy. The most important thing to watch is the sugar content in these drinks. The juices that are mostly all green ingredients with one or two fruits included are going to be the best options. Trader Joes has a cold pressed green juice for $5, which has mostly all greens, and only 11 grams of sugar (which is pretty low for any juice). Whole Foods has a couple options that offer mostly greens (kale, spinach, spirulina, parsley, cilantro), a few bonus ingredients (ginger, lemon juice), and a small bit of apple (or other fruit) juice just to take the edge off. Yes, I realize these are not as fun as the high fruit/ sugar loaded juices, but they are WAY better for you.
5- Last, but certainly not least, we have another classic munchie. Popcorn (preferably organic). Everyone loves popcorn! Because I don’t have a microwave (gasp!) I like to make mine the old fashion way… on the stove. Yes, it takes a little bit more effort, but I can tailor it to whatever I’m craving that night. I start by heating up a couple tablespoons of coconut oil in a large frying pan, with one kernel in it. Once that pops, I know I’m in business. After popping my corn, I can add some sea or lava salt, nutritional yeast and dried herbs if I’m in a savory mood. Maybe a little cinnamon and turbinado sugar if I’m feeling extra sweet. It’s light, simple, and super satisfying as an after dinner treat.
These are just a few suggestions if you’ve found yourself stuck in a snacking rut. Often we get into patterns of eating because they are easy, but they can also get boring pretty quickly. I hope these ideas serve you a little inspiration the next time your tummy starts grumbling.
By Allison Wells