Do you often find yourself feeling like you are running on empty in the middle of the afternoon, desperate for a snack to help you keep going?
While a slice of cake or chocolate candy bar might seem like an obvious choice for a quick boost, they will soon make your energy levels plummet and can leave you feeling even more exhausted than before.
To fuel our bodies effectively without the roller coaster of highs and lows we need good-quality protein, healthy fats, some carbohydrates, and plenty of vegetables.
Choosing snacks that are nutrient-dense, rich in superfoods, and made with smart, complex carbs will mean you are able to stay full for longer. Whole grains, nuts, seeds, meat, fruit, and vegetables all form a good foundation for healthy snacks, and you don’t even need to give up the chocolate completely just be sure to choose dark chocolate, preferably with a minimum of 70 percent cocoa solids, instead of sugar-laden milk chocolate.
1 RISOTTO BITES MAKES 12 BITES
Prep: 15 minutes / Cook: 20 minutes
I love repurposing leftovers! This is a great way to take a main dish and turn it into a snack with a completely different texture. Air-frying fans can follow the directions exactly but set the air fryer to 390ºF and cook for about 7 minutes.
½ cup panko bread crumbs
1 teaspoon paprika
1 teaspoon chipotle powder or ground cayenne pepper
1½ cups cold Green Pea Risotto
Nonstick cooking spray
1.Preheat the oven to 425ºF. Line a baking sheet with parchment paper.
2.On a large plate, combine the panko, paprika, and chipotle powder. Set aside.
3.Roll 2 tablespoons of the risotto into a ball. Gently roll in the bread crumbs, and place on the prepared baking sheet. Repeat to make a total of 12 balls.
4.Spritz the tops of the risotto bites with nonstick cooking spray and bake for 15 to 20 minutes, until they begin to brown.
5.Cool completely before storing in a large airtight container in a single layer (add a piece of parchment paper for a second layer) or in a plastic freezer bag.
Storage: Place the airtight container in the refrigerator for up to 5 days or freeze for up to 2 months. To thaw, place in the refrigerator overnight. Microwave for 1½ to 3 minutes or reheat in a toaster oven set to 400ºF for 5 to 10 minutes.
TIP: Instead of “bites,” you can opt for veggie burgers! Use 1 cup cold risotto to form each patty.
2KALE CHIPS MAKES 2 SERVINGS
Prep: 5 minutes / Cook: 25 minutes, plus 15 minutes to cool
Perhaps the most stereotypically vegan recipe in this article, Kale Chips had to be done. I mean, what’s better than turning an oh-so-good-for-you leafy green into a terrific alternative to greasy, bagged chips? I like to eat these up in two or three days. Perfect as a snack, they are also great crumbled over a salad for an alternative crouton or over soup to add a little texture.
1 large bunch kale
1 tablespoon extra-virgin olive oil
½ teaspoon chipotle powder
½ teaspoon smoked paprika
¼ teaspoon salt
1.Preheat the oven to 275ºF. Line a large baking sheet with parchment paper.
2.In a large bowl, stem the kale and tear it into bite-size pieces. Add the olive oil, chipotle powder, smoked paprika, and salt. Toss the kale with tongs or your hands, coating each piece well.
3.Spread the kale over the parchment paper in a single layer. Bake for 25 minutes, turning halfway through, until crisp.
4.Cool for 10 to 15 minutes before dividing and storing in 2 airtight containers.
Storage: Store the airtight containers at room temperature for 2 to 3 days.
INGREDIENT TIP: If you prefer to limit oils, use unseasoned rice vinegar or balsamic vinegar as a substitute for the olive oil. You may not get the same level of crunch, but they’re tasty all the same.
COOKING TIP: Leftover kale chips may not have the same crunch as when served hot out of the oven. If convenient, reheat in the oven (preheated to 400°F) for 5 to 10 minutes.
Per Serving: Calories: 144; Fat: 7g; Protein: 5g; Carbohydrates: 18g; Fiber: 3g; Sugar: 0g; Sodium: 363mg
3TACO PITA PIZZAS MAKES 4 SERVINGS
Prep: 5 minutes / Cook: 7 minutes
Mini pizzas are a terrific snack, and since we’re using pita bread or Sandwich Thins, they actually reheat well! Notice that we aren’t using vegan cheese? The refried beans add the creamy texture and a protein boost.
4 sandwich-size pita bread pieces or Sandwich Thins
1 cup vegetarian refried beans
1 cup pizza sauce
1 cup chopped mushrooms
1 teaspoon minced jalapeño (optional)
1.Preheat the oven to 400ºF. Line a large baking sheet with parchment paper.
2.Assemble 4 pizzas: On each pita, spread about ¼ cup of refried beans. Pour ¼ cup of pizza sauce over the beans and spread evenly. Add ¼ cup of mushrooms. Sprinkle ¼ teaspoon of minced jalapeño (if using) over the mushrooms.
3.Place the pizzas on the prepared baking sheet and bake for 7 minutes.
4.Cool completely before placing each pizza in a freezer-safe plastic bag, or store together in one large airtight, freezer-safe container with parchment paper between the pizzas.
Storage: Place the pizzas in the freezer for up to 1 month. To defrost, refrigerate overnight. To reheat in a microwave, remove the pizza from the bag and place on a plate. Heat for 2 to 3 minutes. To reheat in a toaster oven, remove the pizza from the bag, place directly on the rack, and toast for 5 to 8 minutes at 400ºF.
TIP: Most cans of refried beans equal 1½ cups. Save that remaining ½ cup to use as a bean dip with raw vegetables for a snack.
Per Serving: Calories: 148; Fat: 2g; Protein: 6g; Carbohydrates: 29g; Fiber: 5g; Sugar: 3g; Sodium: 492mg
4BAKED POTATO CHIPS MAKES 12 BITES
Prep: 10 minutes, plus 20 minutes to soak / Cook: 30 minutes
A nod to the barbecue potato chip, these wholesome baked potato slices are great as a snack, as a side dish, or even chopped or shredded and served over soups and salads.
1 large Russet potato
1 teaspoon paprika
½ teaspoon garlic salt
¼ teaspoon vegan sugar
¼ teaspoon onion powder
¼ teaspoon chipotle powder or chili powder
⅛ teaspoon salt
⅛ teaspoon ground mustard
⅛ teaspoon ground cayenne pepper
1 teaspoon canola oil
⅛ teaspoon liquid smoke
1.Wash and peel the potato. Cut into thin, 1/10-inch slices (a mandoline slicer or the slicer blade in a food processor is helpful for consistently sized slices).
2.Fill a large bowl with enough very cold water to cover the potato. Transfer the potato slices to the bowl and soak for 20 minutes.
3.Preheat the oven to 400ºF. Line a baking sheet with parchment paper.
4.In a small bowl, combine the paprika, garlic salt, sugar, onion powder, chipotle powder, salt, mustard, and cayenne.
5.Drain and rinse the potato slices and pat dry with a paper towel. Transfer to a large bowl. Add the canola oil, liquid smoke, and spice mixture to the bowl. Toss to coat. Transfer the potatoes to the prepared baking sheet. Bake for 15 minutes. Flip the chips over and bake for 15 minutes longer, until browned.
6. Transfer the chips to 4 storage containers or large glass jars. Let cool before closing the lids tightly.
Storage: Store on the countertop or in the pantry for up to 3 days.
TIP: Each day the chips will lose a little bit of their crunch. This isn’t a bad thing; I just want to manage expectations. On day 2, consider using them as a crouton for a salad, and on day 3, shred them and serve over “Beefy” Bean Chili.
Per Serving: Calories: 89; Fat: 1g; Protein: 2g; Carbohydrates: 18g; Fiber: 2g; Sugar: 1g; Sodium: 65mghydrates: 18g; Fiber: 2g; Sugar: 1g; Sodium: 65
5MINTY FRUIT SALAD MAKES 4 SERVINGS
Prep: 10 minutes
This is the kind of dish you could set out at a dinner party to impress, but we both know it’s incredibly simple. If your local store carries cut pineapple, you’re going to be able to whip this up in 5 minutes.
¼ cup lemon juice (about 2 small lemons)
4 teaspoons maple syrup or agave syrup
2 cups chopped pineapple
2 cups chopped strawberries
2 cups raspberries
1 cup blueberries
8 fresh mint leaves
Beginning with 1 mason jar, add the ingredients in this order: 1 tablespoon of lemon juice, 1 teaspoon of maple syrup, ½ cup of pineapple, ½ cup of strawberries, ½ cup of raspberries, ¼ cup of blueberries, and 2 mint leaves. Repeat to fill 3 more jars. Close the jars tightly with lids.
Storage: Place the airtight jars in the refrigerator for up to 3 days.
TIP: To turn this fruit snack into a meal, start with ½ cup plain vegan yogurt in the jar, assemble as directed, and finish with ¼ cup Baked Granola or slivered almonds.
Per Serving: Calories: 138; Fat: 1g; Protein: 2g; Carbohydrates: 34g; Fiber: 8g; Sugar: 22g; Sodium: 6mg