In a busy world, vegans often struggle to find healthy, nutritious snacks they can enjoy on the go. While the UK caters well to vegans thanks to a rise in fast-food options, mainstream eateries, and even a change towards vegan-friendly sweets such as M&S’ Percy Pigs, those with very little time on their hands can still struggle to find something that’s actually healthy and will provide the energy boost they need.
Here’s our comprehensive list of healthy vegan snacks you can prepare in advance or grab on the go for students, parents, and commuters alike. So, enjoy more free time and a healthier balance with these ideas.
DIY Trail Mix
Shop bought trail mix can be expensive and full of unnecessary ingredients. Making your own is a better way to ensure you get your protein fix without the added sugars. But remember, not all sugars are ‘unhealthy’ by default.
Your body needs sugars and fats – but it needs them to be from a quality source. To achieve this, make your own trail mix that has natural fats from nuts and non-refined sugars from dried fruit.
Get a bowl and add raw nuts of your preference. Almonds, cashews, peanuts and walnuts are all good sources of protein and require minimal prep. Pistachios are tasty, sure, but you can’t class a treat as ‘quick’ if you have to sit and deshell all of them.
Take your nuts and combine them with raw, unsalted seeds. Chia and sunflower are good options here; and sesame seeds are a great addition to savoury and sweet dishes alike.
From here, add a handful of dried fruit. Ideally, you should opt for sun-dried or dehydrated fruit, rather than those coated in sugar and sulphur.
Finally, top off your trail mix with some dark chocolate but check to make sure it’s vegan-friendly. While dark chocolate isn’t exactly ‘healthy’, it is the healthiest type of chocolate and is rich in antioxidants.
For a final flair, add a handful of ‘spice’ to flavour things up – whether that’s a pinch of cinnamon or nutmeg. Mix everything together in a bowl, then dispense portions into sandwich bags. Bravo, you’ve now created some handy snacking on the go, which is full of protein and built to your own specific tastes in a few minutes.
Turmeric date balls
Turmeric is a bit of a miracle food thanks to its active ingredient, curcumin – but it’s also a pain to get into your diet in any quantity unless you’re eating lots of Indian food.
Date balls are a bit of a fitness trend for a good reason; they’re easy to make, full of good stuff and generally suitable for all diets. These ones are no different – they’re paleo, vegan and gluten-free!
All you’ll need is a blender or a food processor and some easy ingredients. Get around 70 grams of walnuts and the same of shredded coconut (often called desiccated). Pick up 8-10 pitted Medjool dates and then chop them up. Add a teaspoon of turmeric and cocoa powder, then half a teaspoon of cinnamon.
Get that blender started! Pulse the mixture until everything begins to stick together. If it’s too dry, add more dates. Dump the mixture into a bowl and then knead into small balls by hand. Throw in the fridge and enjoy for up to a week after making them.
With the cocoa powder masking the turmeric, you’re essentially ‘cheating’ your way into the powerful health benefits of the spice without its sometimes overpowering taste.
Nut butter apple wedges
Okay, okay – we know this sounds simple. But when you’re in a rush, simple is often best. Fitting in your five a day can be tough – so anything that makes getting fresh fruit into your system is a win in our books.
Combining apples and nut butter results in great vegan snacks for work, since you can keep a jar of nut butter at your desk to use whenever you’ve got an apple handy. Slice an apple into wedges, and then apply peanut butter or a nut butter of your choice. The fresh, crisp texture of an apple contrasts well with the sweet and sticky nut butter.
It doesn’t have to be rocket science – but this is a quick snack option that tastes great with virtually no effort. It’s also a good vegan snack for kids since it will help boost fruit intake.
Another snack so simple it’ll feel like cheating. Roasted chickpeas are actually a delicious alternative to other finger foods like popcorn, delivering a protein-packed snack with a spicy kick that you can make in about 30 minutes.
All you need is a tin or bag of chickpeas. Drain if required, then toss them into a bowl and mix with some olive oil. Put them out onto a baking tray and then into a preheated 180c oven for about 25 minutes. Remove, cover liberally with garlic powder and paprika with a pinch of salt, then put them back into the oven for 10 more minutes to brown off.
The trick here is not to use the spices from the start as they’ll likely burn. Once you’ve got them out of the oven you can either eat warm for a stay at home movie night, or wait for them to cool off and then place them in a container to be enjoyed later.
Vegan cookie dough
As a vegan snack for kids, little can compete with cookies and cookie dough. By using aquafaba (the water tinned chickpeas come in), you can make tasty vegan cookie dough that is absolutely delicious despite how weird its main ingredient sounds. You can also cut out refined sugar, making this a healthy recipe that doesn’t run the same salmonella risk as standard raw cookie dough, thanks to its lack of eggs or dairy.
All you’ll need are 400 grams of chickpeas, 80mls of coconut oil, a few teaspoons of maple syrup, vanilla extract, sea salt, flour and vegan chocolate chips. If you’ve got any, you can also add a scoop of vanilla or plain vegan protein powder.
Blend the chickpeas until they become a smooth paste. Add in your oil, maple syrup, a few drops of vanilla extract and two teaspoons of sea salt. Blend that up, or mix by hand, until it’s a shaggy, creamy mixture.
Add in the flour and protein powder – you can use any but we’d suggest coconut for gluten-free or plain all-purpose flour for standard diets. Blend that once more, then fold in the chocolate chips.
Once done, put the mixture in the fridge for a few hours to firm up. Afterwards, you can either enjoy the dough directly or bake it in your oven to make vegan protein cookies.
Vegan protein bars
Sometimes in our busy lives, we just don’t have the time to make anything. When that happens, we are forced to make decisions that often lean towards unhealthy options. How many times have vegans ended up buying bags of crisps in a supermarket because there’s nothing else?
Luckily, there are more healthy vegan bars on the market than ever before. Here at Oatein, we offer a range that’s different to most – we put taste and health first, rather than packing in protein at the cost of that weird ‘chalky’ texture other protein bars offer.
Take our Salted Caramel Millionaire Crunch, which restyles one of the UK’s favourite sweet treats as a vegan millionaire’s shortbread. It is full of flavour and packed with 15g of protein, and it tastes so good you’ll think it’s an indulgence.
Alternatively, pack some hype bars in your backpack. The chocoholic flavour is entirely vegan, comes with less than 0.5g of sugar and has 18 grams of protein. Ideal for those with busy lives who want a serious protein bar that doesn’t overly stress your insulin response.
Whatever you choose, quick vegan snacks are easier than ever. Plan ahead and pack some with you so you don’t ever have to sacrifice your nutrition when you’re out and about.