In the past few weeks I’ve been getting lots of questions and comments about snack ideas and what you can make now that you’re stuck at home during quarantine, that is quick, easy and also filling, as well as some ideas that are perfect for kiddos. I thought it was the perfect time to bring back some oldies but goodies, and add to them, as well as share, once again, a printable that you can stick to your fridge with one whole month’s worth of vegan snack ideas.
Out of everything I've read about whether or not snacking is a good thing, I can tell you that the best choice is always what is best for you specifically. We all have different histories with food, schedules, time restraints, and this more than anything else is what I think should determine whether snacking between meals is for you or not. There should be no “shoulds” when it comes to snacking, as with all our meals, it’s all about that very intuitive process of understanding what feels good for you, based on your activity levels, on your hunger and fullness levels, etc.
Many people who have struggled with overeating sometimes tend to avoid snacking because they see this is as yet another moment to have to make choices and possibly be faced with a binge. When you make this choice due to fear instead of actual connection, what could happen (and this is what used to happen to me), is that since you avoided eating a snack when you felt hungry, bypassing your body’s natural way to alert you that it’s time to eat, you are ravenous come dinner time and that turns out to be the meal in which you ate without awareness or even enjoyment. This is just a simple example of how making a decision that isn’t guided on your body’s innate cues can take you away from that road to a better relationship with food.
Here’s another example. On a day in which you exercised vigorously, you realize you’re hungry mid-afternoon but you had already made up your mind that snacking wasn’t for you, ignoring the fact that your body needs to refuel, making you feel overly hungry at your next meal, making it more difficult to eat it with presence and attunement, often bypassing that place of being comfortably full, and instead feeling very uncomfortable after dinner.
Everything, from our genetics, to our metabolism, to our activity levels, to the size of our previous meal, to practical things like knowing that we might be in a meeting later in which we won’t be able to get a bite to eat, will affect us in different ways. On the question of whether to snack or not to snack, we should always make decisions just like we’re making them for the rest of our meals, pulling together those strings that bind all the aspects of our eating together:
Our hunger and fullness levels (asking ourselves if we’re hungry or in need of something else, if we are hungry, asking ourselves “how hungry?”, letting this guide our choices of what and how much to eat).
Understanding some basics of what would be most helpful in terms of nutrients at that time (for example adding some protein to our snack will make it more satisfying, some carbohydrates if we’ll be exercising soon, or some fruit to provide vitamins and other phytonutrients and fiber).
Practicality (what’s available, when I’ll be able to eat again, my time restraints or money restraints).
and of course, what will satisfy us and bring us that wonderful eating joy.
When we make our choices pulling all of these together, whether this is for a meal or a snack, we’re much more likely to be mindful, to make easier choices and to not overthink it or follow it with any kind of guilt or food worry. Eating is something we do multiple times a day and with practice in this new, more gentle approach we’ll be able to bring it back down to normal, simple and joyful.
What does my snacking look like?
It varies from day to day. I rarely snack mid morning because I usually have a late breakfast that is very filling and ties me over until lunchtime. Mid afternoon I usually have a snack since my dinners, due to my teaching schedule are late. Many times I need options that are easy to take on the go since I need to grab them and take them with me to school. Now that we’re spending so much time at home, it’s easy for me to prepare something at that moment. On some days, snacking just can’t fit into my schedule, so I automatically know that when I get home from teaching I’ll be extra hungry, which will probably mean a slightly bigger portion, or what usually happens, I’m munching on some of the vegetables I’m chopping while I cook, or I pile on some hummus on a cracker while dinner is ready. I never ignore my body when it's hungry, and even these simple “tide me overs” help me be patient enough to really be mindful when I sit down to eat my evening meal.
One little thing I’ve found that has helped a lot when I’m building my snacks, because of the fact that I exercise regularly, and because of the fact that I have to teach many hours back to back in the afternoons with no breaks in between, is to include a protein source in my snack too, just like I do in all my main meals. This isn’t a rigid rule, sometimes I don’t follow it, but I do find that it helps me keep my energy levels up, and it helps me teach all my classes cheerfully and without getting hungry in the middle of one, when eating isn’t possible. You’ll find lots of ideas in what I’ll share here, and in the printable you can get through the big button at the end of this post.
Today I'm giving you a ton of ideas for a whole week's worth of snacks! At the end of this post, just in case you want to take this even further, you can download our cute printable snack calendar with a whole month's worth of ideas you can pick and choose from. Are you ready?!
Whether you're a savory snacker, or have a total sweet tooth, I'm sure you'll find some yummies in the list below.
What do the symbols stand for?
Just so that everyone can have easy access to the recipes, I've marked them with a "YT" which means they are part of our youtube recipes available to everyone (click the letters to go to the recipe!), and an "MB" which means they are part of My Brownble, our online membership program. Some are pretty self explanatory and need no recipe at all!
Whole grain toast with mashed avocado mixed with lemon and sea salt, sprinkled with turmeric and topped with any green you like. This can be an herb like cilantro or greens like arugula, kale or spinach!
Whole grain toast with nut butter, mango and banana slices, topped with hemp seeds (MB: My Brownble members, find this one in your snacks section in your library!)
Dip it Like it's Hot...
Guacamole and raw vegetables or chips (MB: My Brownble members, find this one in your snacks section in your library!)
Creamy hummus with raw carrot sticks or other veggies (MB: My Brownble members, find this one in your snacks section in your library!)
Oat coconut cranberry bars (YT)
Energy balls made by pulsing dates, almonds and coconut flakes in a food processor and making little balls (a little drizzle of maple syrup and vanilla extract is optional but delicious).
Our lemon meringue balls that are too yummy to describe (YT)
Cashews are King!
Raw cucumber rafts with herbed cashew cream cheese (MB: My Brownble members, find this one in your snacks section in your library!)
Raw vegetables, sliced apples or pears with a little cashew sour cream (YT)
Berry, banana, any vegan protein powder you like, and non-dairy milk smoothie (MB: My Brownble members, find this one in your snacks section in your library!)
Kale and pineapple green smoothie with banana, almond milk and hemp hearts (MB: My Brownble members, find this one in your snacks section in your library!)
Watch me making a delicious “pb and j pick me up smoothie” in our 3 quick snacks video! (YT)
Some more ideas and combinations that are so simple:
Apple slices with some peanut butter for dipping.
Putting leftover veggies and tofu in a nori wrap and adding some soy sauce as you eat.
Crackers, vegan cream cheese and some preserves or sweet fruits like peaches, nectarines or berries.
Roasting (or even microwaving) a piece of pumpkin, adding peanut butter or almond butter on top, drizzling with some maple syrup and topping with something crunchy like nuts or pumpkin seeds (it sounds weird, but trust me, it’s divine!).
Some dried figs, apricots or cranberries and mixed nuts to take on the go.
Some non-dairy yoghurt mixed with some vanilla flavoured protein powder, fruit or fruit compote for topping and some granola or walnuts.
Some popcorn and toasted cashews coated in some melted dark chocolate, placed in the freezer until the chocolate has set. Great for a movie night!
Our sweet potato toast (or regular toast) with yummy savory toppings like hummus or mashed avocado, cherry tomatoes, fresh herbs, and sautéed mushrooms (YT).
Want even more inspiration for your daily snacks?
Click the button below and we'll send you our 1 month printable full of delicious ideas.
Members of our online program, remember that you have this printable in your resources section of the program, along with all other printables we share in the blog and podcast.
I hope you love these ideas, and that snacking becomes a happy, delicious and less stressful part of your day, if and when you feel like having one. Happy snacking!
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