Living a healthy, active lifestyle on a vegan diet naturally has its own restrictions. Getting enough protein, iron, and other essential nutrients while maintaining your daily exercise can often be a challenge for beginners.
When it comes to snacking on a vegan diet, asking for what we munch on to be plant-based, healthy, and still a snack is perhaps the biggest obstacle to overcome. For some on the beginning of their vegan diet lifestyle change, it's normal to feel hungry if you aren’t sure of what you can and should not eat.
Plant-based vegan snacks are not high in calories to begin with, meaning they can help you feel full, while at the same time being easily digestible, yet don’t carry the same density of calories some other foods do.
In this list we break down our favorite 10 vegan snacks for athletes.
1. Dried Fruit with Unsalted Nuts or Seeds
Think of this as a simple, easy DIY trail mix. We recommend toasting some walnuts, cashews, almonds, and flax seeds and tossing them with dried cherries, cranberries, or raisins. Snacking on nuts and dried fruits helps your body get its daily dose of protein, vitamins, nutrients, and antioxidants that help you maintain energy levels throughout your workout.
2. Pita Bread with Hummus
With a prep time of under 5 minutes, this easy vegan snack is a great way to get some carbs in your system before or after exercise. Start by toasting whole wheat pita bread, and enjoy it with some hummus of your choice. That’s it, you’re done! Hummus is packed with healthy plant-based proteins, and also helps your body fight against inflammation.
3. Apples with Peanut or Almond Butter
This one reminds us of the snacks we ate when we were younger. It's a small, healthy boost of both sugar and fat for any athlete. If you’re getting tired of using nut butters, feel free to substitute it for some sunflower seed spread. This crunchy, juicy snack will keep you energized and feeling full.
4. Oatmeal with Blueberries and Walnuts
Oatmeal is naturally high in fiber and complex carbohydrates, perfect for endurance athletes. It’s also a great source of protein, has a very low glycemic index, and acts as a sustained energy source during long workouts. When paired with blueberries and walnuts, it offers your body a good source of Vitamin B, minerals, and antioxidants too!
5. Granola and Unsweetened Almond, Soy, or Coconut Milk
This is as close to cereal with milk as we can get! Granola helps provide a steady source of energy, and also provides the necessary fuel for your muscles to perform properly. If you spring for coconut milk, you’ll also be providing your body with plenty of electrolytes for your workouts.
Beware: Not all granolas and milks are created equal. Watch out for those with added sugars!
6. Frozen Banana “Ice Cream”
With some ripe bananas, a freezer, and a blender, your next vegan snack is already looking pretty good! Cut up bananas into round slices, and stick them into the freezer for a couple hours. Once frozen, blend them with your favorite chocolate, fruits, or nut butter, and wait until everything smoothes out. Easy, guilt-free ice cream!
7. Smoothie: Kale, Apple, Ginger, Coconut Water, Lemon Juice
Forget splurging on pre-made juices; this quick and easy smoothie is just as good for a fraction of the price. Simply blend these ingredients together for a powerful pack of antioxidants that help your body reduce inflammation and cholesterol.
8. Tortilla with Brown Rice, Beans, Zucchini, and Squash
A healthy, tasty way to enjoy a vegan burrito or taco! Lightly stir fry some brown rice, beans, zucchini and squash, and finish them off by wrapping them in a tortilla. For a quick bite, this snack is rich in carbs, helps replenish muscle and liver glycogen, and helps with your post-workout recovery.
9. Steamed Edamame with Sea Salt
Edamame are a great source of soy protein, iron, and calcium. With some added sea salt, it makes for a delicious snack of healthy fiber, antioxidants, and vitamin K. Edamame plays a role in reducing heart disease, and also directly impacts your blood lipid profile.
10. Quinoa Crackers with Guacamole or Salsa Dip
Quinoa is magnesium-rich, an important player in nerve function, energy production, as well as healthy bones and teeth. We’d also recommend springing for homemade guacamole, as you can customize the add-ons and the amount of salt you’d like. Alternatively, salsa is another great option to add a bit of flavor to the quinoa!
Vegan Snacks In A Nutshell
We hope these 10 vegan diet snacks have opened your eyes to all the tasty things you can enjoy, even while being on a diet.
All of our recommendations can be easily fine-tuned for any type of athlete. And don’t worry, you can be sure that there are already plenty of athletes out there who thrive each day on a vegan lifestyle!
Good luck on your vegan journey from the ATAQ team!