One of the best ways to ensure that you stick to your healthy eating plan is to make sure that you’re prepared. These whole food, plant-based (WFPB) snacks are perfect to keep around the house, in your purse or gym bag, in your travel carry-on, or in a desk drawer at the office.
When we’re stressed, hungry, or just plain bored, it’s really easy to reach for the closest food around. (I’m not the only one, right? 😅)
Typically, the closest, easiest food is highly-processed. It’s usually not the kind of snack you would pick for yourself if you weren’t stressed/anxious/hungry. This guide will help you break the cycle of eating whatever processed food you can get your hands on when hunger or feelings strike!
Not an emotional/stress eater? Already sticking to a WFPB diet? Not to fear–this guide has great new ideas and recipes for experienced WFPB-eaters too!
With this guide and a little bit of advanced planning, anyone can create a healthy eating environment where it’s easy to make better eating choices without really having to think about it.
About this Plant-Based Snack Guide
These easy snacks are things that I personally eat all the time. In this guide, I’ve outlined some homemade recipe options, some store-bought convenience foods, and plenty of vegan snack ideas to give you some inspiration.
When you choose well-balanced, lower-calorie options like the below, you can eat your meals, have your snacks, and never feel deprived or “hangry”.
Still stuck at home? These are also amazing, healthy quarantine snacks!
What are Whole Food, Plant-based Snacks?
Basically, snacks that are whole foods or simply prepared foods. A WFPB snack is a snack that is dairy-free, oil-free, and refined sugar-free. It’s a snack that your great-grandmother may have eaten (or at least would have recognized as food!).
WFPB snacks are healthy and taste amazing! They’re fresh, crunchy, and full of wholesome ingredients. “Snacking” can sometimes have a negative connotation. However, these snacks will likely improve your health, since they’ll help you add antioxidants and fiber to your day.
Let’s take a look at these yummy snack ideas!
Easy Vegan Snacks: The Basics
It’s such an obvious snack choice, but it absolutely makes the list! Fiber, antioxidants, and water packaged in a brightly-colored, compact package. Remember that fruit is nature’s candy. In fact, some kinds even come in their own on-the-go packaging (peels!).
Fruits to Try:
- Firm, whole fruits that are easy to take with you, like bananas, clementines, oranges, and apples.
- Cut fruits, like pineapple, cantaloupe, and watermelon.
- Soft fruits, like berries, kiwis, mangoes, and pears.
- Dried fruits, like dates and apricots. (Look for unsweetened, unsulfured, and oil-free varieties.)
- Grapes! They get their own bullet point since they’re so easy to “prepare”, travel well, and aren’t loud and/or difficult to eat in public.
Tip: For extra staying power, pair your fruit with a little bit of fat or protein. For example, try adding some nut butter to your sliced apples, a handful of nuts to your dried fruit, or some high-protein soy yogurt with your berries. And, of course, wash your fruit at home if you’re taking it with you, so you don’t have to worry about finding a sink.
Another obvious snack choice, vegetables can’t be overlooked. Many people struggle to eat their recommended servings of vegetables every day. When you choose to snack on vegetables, you’re immediately increasing your vegetable consumption by creating an additional eating occasion.
To make vegetables more fun, add a delicious dip on the side! For bonus points, add vegetables to your healthy dip, like I did in this beautiful beet hummus.
Vegetables to Try:
- Raw sliced cucumbers, bell peppers, celery, and zucchini are great crunchy snacks.
- Whole cherry or grape tomatoes are easy to take along and then eat quietly. 🙂
- Baby carrots or whole carrots (cut into batons) are easy, cheap, and naturally sweet.
- Leftover roasted vegetables, like broccoli, Brussels sprouts, and cauliflower, are super healthy cruciferous vegetables. They also taste amazing once caramelized in the oven.
- Sugar snap peas or edamame in their pods are great snack options to help you eat slowly and mindfully.
Tip: To help ensure that you reach for vegetables instead of convenience foods, prep some of your veggies in advance. While softer vegetables like cucumber and zucchini don’t store well for long periods, you can easily prep them the night before for crispy veggies the next day. On the other hand, carrots and roasted vegetables store wonderfully and can be prepped well in advance. They’re a perfect addition to your weekend meal prep! In order to ensure crisp carrots throughout the week, slice and pack in water. I usually use these glass containers.
Nuts are so amazingly delicious. The heart-healthy unsaturated fat and plant-based protein found in nuts help to keep us satiated. Choose raw nuts for a delicious snack that will keep you full for hours. Though nuts are high in fat and calories, studies have found that eating nuts does not lead to the weight gain expected from the additional calories. Of course, you should still try to keep your portions reasonable.
Nuts to Try:
- Walnuts, the often-lauded omega-3 packed nut.
- Pecans, the deliciously syrupy nut that’s crunchy and sweet.
- Cashews, the buttery nut that many vegan recipes rely on.
- Pistachios in their shells, the fun-to-eat nut that can help you slow down and focus on what you’re doing.
- Almonds, the high-calcium nut that has recently gotten a bad rap because of its high water needs.
Tip: Choose raw, oil-free, salt-free nuts and nut butters for the healthiest snack possible. Try adding some nuts to your favorite fruit and vegetable snacks to help you stay full and satisfied until your next meal.
Smoothies are a great snack option. In short, you can pack in fruits, vegetables, nuts/seeds, greens, and even whole grains into one easy-to-drink blend. They’re also quick, easy, and portable for on-the-go snacking.
For a well-balanced smoothie that packs fruits, greens, and seeds into a delicious package, check out my energizing apple, banana, and kale smoothie. If you’re staying at home, try this matcha smoothie bowl recipe instead.
Tip: For staying power, include more than just fruit in your smoothies! To take your smoothie to-go, use an insulated cup to keep it frosty, or simply toss in a few whole ice cubes. (In fact, this trick also works well if you accidentally heat up your smoothie by blending too long!)
Homemade WFPB Snacks
With a little bit of prep work, you can make your own homemade plant-based snacks that are easy and delicious. Spreads and dips will make any vegetable way more delicious, while chocolate pudding and energy balls will seriously satisfy your sweet tooth. There’s a little something for everyone here!
If you’re a savory snack lover or someone who loves to crunch on chips and crackers (me!), then air-popped popcorn is the whole food, plant-based snack of your dreams!
Is popcorn plant-based? Yes, homemade popcorn sure is! Many store-bought, microwave popcorns, however, contain artificial flavorings, excessive salt and oil, and (likely) cancer-causing chemicals.
In order to make WFPB popcorn, start with an air popper and inexpensive non-GMO popcorn kernels. With these two plant-based staples in your kitchen, you can then pop your own healthy, whole-grain popcorn for years to come.
Popcorn is perfect for when you want to really SNACK, since you can munch on a large quantity of it. 🙂
Tip: After popping, top your popcorn with nutritional yeast, paprika, or other herbs and spices of your choice for a different gourmet popcorn every time.
Spreads & Dips
There are so many options for plant-based spreads! Bean spreads, in particular, are perfect for snacking. Thanks to their protein and fiber, bean spreads make for a well-balanced snack that will keep you full for hours.
Edamame dip, hummus, and refried beans are all examples of bean-based spreads that pack plenty of plant-based protein and fiber. They also supply much-needed iron, which is especially important for women, vegetarians, and vegans. Above all, these spreads can be made in bulk and stored in your fridge for the week ahead. Serve with veggie batons for a fancy, healthy, and homemade snack any day of the week.
Looking to switch up your spreads? This vegan chickpea salad (pictured below) is amazing spread onto crackers, cucumber slices, or whole-grain bread. Keep this spread in your fridge to make both lunch prep and snack prep super easy!
Hummus gets a whole category to itself, even though it’s technically a dip. This high-protein, plant-based spread is so extremely versatile for both snacking and full meals.
For snacking, it’s perfect for dipping vegetables and pita bread. It’s also perfect for topping WFPB crackers, spreading onto a slice of toast, or slathering onto a tortilla with some baby spinach for a quick wrap you can pack.
Though they go by many names, these well-balanced snacks typically contain healthy fats from nuts and seeds and natural sugar from dates. These are delicious on-the-go snacks, with built-in portion control.
In fact, energy balls make a great post-workout snack, since dates are high in easily digestible carbohydrates, natural sugars, and potassium. The best part, (well besides their amazing, sweet taste), is that dates don’t have any adverse effects on blood sugar.
These whole food, plant-based snacks taste like dessert, can be made in your blender in less than 10 minutes, and store beautifully in the fridge. Try out this pumpkin date ball recipe.
Yes, really, plant-based chips! Discovering that you can make homemade oil-free chips with very little effort was a game-changer for me.
Kale chips have been popular for years, and they’re SO delicious with some nutritional yeast. However, you can turn most thinly sliced veggies into chips as well.
To make homemade tortilla chips that are oil-free and lower in salt, slice up some corn tortillas, spray them with a small amount of water, then bake them until crispy. Once done, serve with a delicious WFPB dip.
Yes, pudding can be super healthy! Chia, flax, and avocado puddings are popular and can be customized to fit a variety of tastes.
This delicious chocolate pudding, made with a secret healthy ingredient, is also perfect for satisfying your chocolate snack cravings.
Store-bought Snacks (Great for Travel)
Don’t let your whole food, plant-based lifestyle get in the way of your travel! And, of course, don’t find yourself at the airport with nothing to eat except a $12 soggy sandwich filled with sliced vegetables. (I speak from experience.)
Many of the snacks mentioned in this post can be great for travel, but sometimes you want to grab something store-bought and head out the door. Especially if you’ve been working to clean out your fridge before traveling!
The below store-bought snacks are perfect for travel, those always on the go, and for those who just can’t be bothered to prep homemade snacks (yet).
Brami Lupini Beans
These are amazing high-protein, plant-based snacks. High in protein, fiber, and iron, but low in fat and calories, they are filling and fun to eat. Lupini beans are a Mediterranean staple food, but Brami marinated them and packed them into easy-to-carry bags, and brought this bean snack into the mainstream.
I actually grew up with lupini beans soaking on my vovó’s countertop. I would never touch them as a kid, though! Fast forward to today, and they’re now a dependable favorite. I am subscribed to them through Thrive Market, but Amazon also sells these delicious lupini beans. Grandma truly knows best. 🙂
Mary’s Gone Crackers Seeded Crackers
One of my absolute favorite whole food, plant-based snacks, these crackers are organic, oil-free, and non-GMO. They don’t contain preservatives but do contain plenty of healthy seeds for plant-based protein.
These crackers are perfect for dips and spreads, but have plenty of flavor and can be eaten plain. There are many varieties, but the herb crackers are my favorite. I Subscribe & Save via Amazon to save 15% on every shipment.
Another yummy, savory cracker. These crackers are thicker than the Mary’s Gone Crackers brand linked above and are a bit more “rustic” in shape. These are gluten-free, organic, and non-GMO verified as well.
Flackers brand crackers, however, are germinated, then dehydrated (rather than baked like Mary’s are).
Years ago, granola bars were a “health food”. Today, many have come to realize that they’re quite processed and usually really high in fat, oil, and preservatives. Lara Bars are an exception. Each bar is made with just a few simple ingredients, usually including dates and nuts.
For an on-the-go snack without all the additives, a Lara Bar is a good choice. They will store in your purse or backpack easily so you’ll never be without a little something to nibble on. There are many varieties to choose from, so check the ingredients for your particular bar.
Dry Roasted Edamame
Another perfect option for savory snack lovers! As we’ve seen, beans in various forms are great plant-based protein snacks. Edamame is simply soybean pods. While you can eat them raw or steamed (like at a sushi restaurant), dry roasting them turns them into a super crunchy snack.
Additional Snacks/Mini Meals
This is one of my absolute favorite snacks. A “toast” is simply a slice of bread that you toast. Duh. Then you dress it up! Add nut butter, hummus, or avocado onto your toast. Then add a variety of toppings, spices, and a drizzle of hot sauce, if desired.
This can be a super easy snack, or you can get a little fancier by upping your topping game. It’s also easy to make multiple slices and turn this snack into a meal. To keep your toasts WFPB, choose a hearty, healthy bread like Ezekiel sprouted bread.
Here are my favorite toast combinations:
- Avocado + cherry tomatoes + chickpeas + sumac + oregano (my FAVORITE topping combo)
- Beet hummus + cucumbers + hemp hearts + sumac (or lemon juice)
- Plain hummus + chickpeas + microgreens + hemp hearts + cayenne (or hot sauce)
- Almond butter + flax + blueberries + cinnamon
- Peanut butter + hemp hearts + sliced banana + nutmeg
- Tahini + cherry tomatoes + white beans + Italian seasoning
Sweet potatoes are such a wonderful and versatile food. Loaded with vitamins A and C, fiber, minerals, and powerful antioxidants, they’re an excellent addition to everyone’s diet. Even better, they’re easy to find at the grocery store, are inexpensive, and store well for a while.
For a sweet potato snack, you can either go savory or sweet!
- Savory: Stuff your sweet potato with black beans, salsa, corn, and hot sauce.
- Sweet: Stuff your sweet potato with date paste or sprinkle on some cinnamon and nutmeg.
Yes, leftovers also make great snacks. If you have a little bit of this and a little bit of that left in your fridge, then repurpose them as a snack (or side dish for your next meal).
For example, you can combine leftover pasta sauce with white beans, and put it on top of toast for an Italian spin on beans and toast.
As mentioned above, leftover roasted vegetables can make a delicious and nutritious snack that is really satisfying. You can also add leftover grains to make it a well-balanced, mini-meal.
Here are the delicious whole food, plant-based snack recipes I’ve mentioned throughout this post. Once you have a great repertoire of breakfast, lunch, dinner, and snack recipes, eating plant-based is a BREEZE.
Start building your WFPB snack collection by trying out one of these homemade snack recipes today!
- Pumpkin Energy Balls
- Energizing Apple, Banana & Kale Smoothie
- Matcha Smoothie Bowl
- Creamy Chocolate Pudding
- Healthy Chocolate Mousse
- Easy Oil-Free Hummus
- Beet Hummus
Helpful Tools for Snack Prep
Snack prep is an awesome way to ensure that you’re eating healthy every day. If you meal prep already, I bet snack prep will be pretty easy for you too.
Here are some helpful tools to get you started:
- Small containers for portioning hummus, nuts, and puddings into individual serving sizes.
- Larger containers for stuffed sweet potatoes, a snack-sized wrap, or your prepped veggies.
- Reusable bags to avoid plastic snack bag waste.
- Vitamix or food processor for making hummus, pudding, energy balls, and smoothies.
- Portable cutlery set so you can eat on the go, wherever you’re going!
- Silicone baking mat for oil-free baking/roasting, freezing smoothie ingredients, and chilling date balls.
Plant-Based, Whole Food Snacks: Wrapping It All Up
Get it? Wrapping. 🌯
To sum up, there are plenty of delicious plant-based snacks to get you started or to keep you going on your healthy eating journey. I hope that this guide has given you some new ideas and recipes for oil-free, plant-based eating.
If you’re just getting started with a new way of eating, please don’t be overwhelmed! There are many delicious options out there, so don’t be discouraged if you haven’t found your favorites yet. It’s also completely okay if it takes some time for you to transition to a whole food, plant-based lifestyle!
Please let me know if these whole food, plant-based snacks match up with your own go-to’s, or if I’ve left off any of your favorites! I’m always interested in finding a delicious new snack. 😋
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