My Top Ten Quick, Healthy, Sustainable Snacks

Spring RollsWhen it comes to eating, I have come to accept the fact that I am a grazer. This analogy is quite fitting given that I am an herbivore, I suppose. I snack often and tend to eat smaller portions several times a day rather than eating huge meals. I hear it’s not a bad idea to eat smaller meals more often, so I embrace my munchies. Of course, I try my best to keep my snacks healthy and green, but occasionally I can’t help but give into organic dark chocolate or Fig Newmans.

My favorite snacks often come from my local farmer’s market, the bulk bin at the co-op, or recently, from my own plot in my local organic community garden! I work from home and am always busy, so sometimes I make them ahead of time on weekends and stock the fridge and cupboards so that I have a quick stash of healthy snacks available to grab quickly. I’ve been known to crowd my desk with small plates of munchies while working. Hey, snacking happens, it might as well be good for you!

So, to the delight of green-minded grazers everywhere, I present my top ten favorite healthy sustainable snacks. As an added bonus, these recipes are all vegan. So dig in.

  1. “Ants on a Log”

    No, I’m not advocating eating ants. This has been one of my favorite snacks since childhood. Simple, easy to make, and deliciously crunchy, the old celery + peanut butter + raisins standby can be spiced up a bit by trying different nut butters and other dried fruits, such as cranberries or blueberries.

  2. Homemade energy bars

    I originally started making homemade energy bars using a recipe from my old Co-op. Basically, it involves mixing brown rice syrup with almond butter, and balancing those sticky wet ingredients with a sufficient amount of oats, nuts/seeds, and dried fruit. I spread out the mixture into a glass brownie pan, and store it in the fridge. It’s much cheaper and more sustainable than buying individually wrapped energy bars!

  3. Soygurt with fresh berries and granola

    I love WholeSoy & Co’s Soy Yogurt. Often the large tubs only come in plain or vanilla, so I make it more exciting with a handful of granola and fresh seasonal berries. Organic raspberries and blueberries are my favorites.

  4. A cold, frothy fruit smoothie

    Smoothies take a little bit of advance preparation, but are super-quick to make. I freeze berries and other fruit ahead of time for them (strawberries, raspberries, sliced peaches, blueberries, and bananas all freeze well). Then I add whatever juice I can find in the fridge, a splash of hemp milk or rice milk, a handful of hemp seeds and/or a scoop of hemp protein powder, and a banana. Frozen fruit makes for a very cool, creamy drink, but if you don’t have any frozen, you can add a few ice cubes.

  5. Trail mix by the handful

    One of my favorite things about the bulk section of the co-op is all the different kinds of trail mixes. I love inventing my own mixes with different bulk ingredients. Unusual and healthy dried nuts, seeds, and fruit like pumpkin seeds, goji berries and pistachios make a great mix. And sometimes I throw some raw cocoa nibs in there to get my chocolate fix.

  6. Fruit leather

    Another snack that requires some advance preparation is fruit leather. It’s basically just pureed fresh fruit flattened and dehydrated, but it tastes like candy. It’s easy to make in a home food dehydrator with fruit leather trays.

  7. Freshly picked salad

    I have been lucky enough to start a plot in my local community garden this spring, so lately some of my favorite snacks involve greens and veggies I harvest from the garden. Spinach salad with strawberries and a strawberry vinaigrette is one of my favorite quick salads, and lately I’ve been harvesting and eating bok choy, romaine, arugula, and radishes.

  8. Crackers with nut butter

    Crackers are truly one of the greatest foods invented – up there with pizza and the sandwich. They’re portable, crunchy, and completely versatile. I like topping mine with sunbutter (made of sunflower seeds), almond butter, or peanut butter. Sometimes a little jelly helps, too.

  9. Tortilla chips and homemade salsa

    I hope to make lots of homemade salsa this summer with the bounty from our tomatillo, tomato, chile, and cilantro plants. My favorite tortilla chips to pair with any dip are the “no salt added” blue chips made by Garden of Eatin’. I’ve heard you can make tortilla chips at home, but so far I’ve been too lazy.

  10. Spring rolls

    The other night I made a batch of spring rolls for an appetizer with our Asian-themed dinner. I had the leftovers for lunch today and I’m hooked. The beauty of spring rolls is that you can stuff them with just about anything. I prefer marinated tofu, mung bean sprouts, finely chopped cabbage, fresh mint and cilantro, grated carrots, and itty bitty broccoli florets in mine. If you need a recipe, this one looks yummy. Thai peanut sauce has got to be the best spring roll dipping sauce ever invented.

If you need some extra snacking inspiration, check out the adorable lunch box filler ideas at Vegan Lunch Box or a list of vegetarian snack ideas at iVillage. Happy Grazing!

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Photo by jslander on flickr, under a Creative Commons license.

Written by Megan Prusynski

6 Comments

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  1. The list is great! I plan on trying the spring rolls this weekend.

    Any chance you could share the homemade energy bars recipe?

  2. Awesome list, I’m glad to have stumbled across it.

    Homemade tortilla chips are super easy…and if you have two ovens….fast! My favorite have been pita chips sprinkled with chili powder and cumin. They go great with homemade salsa or hummus.

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