If you’re not vegan and you don’t have any vegan friends, you might think that to be vegan means to eat boring food with little to no flavor. I mean, a diet with no cheese, no ranch, and only dairy-free ice cream? No fun. But that isn’t true–there are many ways to enjoy super yummy vegan snacks that are loaded with flavor and easy to make. Ahead are ten vegan snacks that I’m betting are going to become your go-to!
1. Roasted Chickpeas
Chickpeas are the ingredient for vegans. Not only are these little legumes packed with protein, they’re also high in fiber and important vitamins and nutrients. Chickpeas (AKA garbanzo beans) are amazing because they contribute to our over-all bone and heart health, they help lower cholesterol, and they aid in the detoxification of cancer-causing compounds that can be found in your body. In other words, these legumes do the body good. Roasted chickpeas are all about the crunch. To get the oh-so-important-crunch, pat your chickpeas dry–totally dry. If they’re even a little wet, they’ll steam instead of crisp. When they’re dry, toss them in olive oil, salt, and pepper, place them flat on a baking sheet, and throw ’em in the oven (which has been preheated to 450 degrees) for about 20 minutes. Once you’ve perfected the art of the crispy chickpea, you can experiment with different seasonings: sriracha, garlic powder, paprika, brown sugar, chili powder, lime.
2. Seven-Layer Dip
When I first became vegan, I thought I was going to have to give up Mexican food. I couldn’t help but think I’d never be able to enjoy tacos, burritos, or nachos ever again. And while these types of food aren’t loaded with vitamins and nutrients essential to a balanced diet, I knew I was going to miss the deliciousness that is refried beans, tender carnitas, and cotija cheese. Thankfully, vegans don’t have to give up their favorite foods. This vegan seven-layer dip is super yummy and easy to put together. All you need is a can of refried beans, a couple of large avocados, vegan sour cream, vegan nacho cheese, lettuce, black olives, red onion, tomatoes, and fresh cilantro to top it all off. You can serve this as a dip or serve it over your fav tortilla chips for vegan nachos!
3. Mediterranean Bowl
If you’re looking for a fresh and filling snack, then try out a Mediterranean bowl, filled with all your favorite Mediterranean veggies and spreads. You can easily customize this recipe by picking and choosing your favorite flavors. The most basic recipe calls for tomatoes, cucumber, onions, parsley, kalamata olives, chickpeas, hummus and quinoa. Arrange your bowl: chickpeas and quinoa on the bottom; mixed veggies as the next layer; and a dollop of hummus on top. Top with olive oil, balsamic vinegar, and salt, and enjoy! If you’re looking to go all the way, consider making your own vegan tzatiki (which involves soaking cashews overnight so plan accordingly). This bowl is packed with protein, fiber, and important antioxidants, and it also looks super pretty.
4. Chia Seed Pudding
This is another vegan recipe that is super easy yet full of health benefits. Chia seeds are über healthy. They’re loaded with iron, calcium, potassium, and Omega-3s. For the most basic of chia seed pudding, add the cream from a can of coconut milk, 1/4 cup of almond milk, two tablespoons of chia seeds, two teaspoons of honey, and a teaspoon of vanilla extract into a small bowl. Mix all the ingredients together and let it sit. The longer, the better. Let it sit overnight for completely softened chia seeds (which can help with the consistency). Serve with fresh fruit and nuts. The great thing about this recipe is that it’s so easily customizable. Add cocoa powder, peanut butter, your favorite flavor of jam, or even coffee to make a different delicious pudding each time.
5. Spinach & Artichoke Dip
Spinach and artichoke dip is one of my favorite appetizers. It’s good no matter where you get it from. And thankfully, being vegan doesn’t mean you have to give up this amazing appetizer. The ingredients are easy enough: raw cashews, garlic, onion, non-dairy milk, nutritional yeast, lemon juice, fresh spinach, and, of course, artichoke hearts. Soak your cashews in hot water for five minutes. In a blender, mix together the drained cashews, milk, nutritional yeast, lemon juice, and salt. Cook the garlic and the onions. Afterwards, add the cooked garlic and onions, the spinach, and the artichokes into the blender. Pulse, don’t blend! You’re gonna want it a little chunky. Transfer your mixture into an oven-safe dish and bake for about 20 minutes at 425 degrees. You want it warm, bubbly, and a little brown on the top. Serve with pita bread, tortilla chips, and veggies.
6. Sweet Potato Chips
These are super easy to make, and sweet potatoes are a great source of fiber, iron, calcium, and both B and C vitamins. Vitamin B is an important vitamin for the body, but we get most of our vitamin B from meat and other animal products like eggs, milk, and cheese, so vegans need to be aware of their intake of this vitamin. Enter the sweet potato chip. Slice your sweet potatoes with a mandolin and, in a bowl, drizzle your slices with olive oil. At the same time, drizzle oil onto a baking sheet lined with foil. Not too much oil, or your sweet potato will absorb the oil, making your chips soggy. Arrange your sweet potato slices evenly on the foil and bake in the oven (preheated at 325) for 15 minutes. Flip the chips after 8 minutes. Pull ’em from the oven and immediately top with salt. Let your chips cool and enjoy!
7. Homemade Hummus & Veggies
Hummus is super easy to make at home, and it can be customized to make a bunch of different flavors, too. The base of hummus is chickpeas, but you’ll also need olive oil, tahini, lemon juice, garlic, and salt and pepper. In a food processor, combine all of your ingredients and blend until super smooth. You can even use some of the chickpea liquid to thin your hummus out if it’s a little too stiff. And that’s literally all it takes to make hummus! Super easy, right? Once you get comfortable with the basic recipe, experiment with paprika, cumin, toasted pine nuts or walnuts, and roasted veggies. Serve with pita bread or vegetables.
8. Black Bean Crispy Tacos
Obviously, if you’re vegan, that means no more Jack in the Box tacos. And that can really suck. But if you’re craving a crispy, crunchy taco shell, then try out these black bean tacos. All you need is a can of black beans, corn tortillas, and vegetable oil. Heat the oil in a skillet over medium-high heat. Add a couple of tortillas to the oil and let them sit for about ten seconds. Add your black beans (which you can mash to make spreading easier) to one half of the tortilla, and flip the other half over. Cook until crispy and lightly browned and then flip the taco onto the other side. For a creamy dipping sauce, blend together cilantro, avocados, lime juice, olive oil, salt, and a little water. Tastier and healthier than Jack in the Box!
9. Baked Zucchini Fries
If you’re looking for a healthy alternative to French fries, then you’ve found one in these baked zucchini fries. In a large bowl, mix together flour, garlic, paprika, onion powder, nutritional yeast, and both salt and pepper. After brushing your zucchini with a little bit of olive oil, toss them in your dry mixture. Place them on an uncreased baking sheet and brush them once more with a light coating of olive oil. Stick ’em in the oven. After they’ve baked for about fifteen minutes, let them cool and enjoy.
10. Ranch & Basically Anything
Ahhh, ranch: the greatest condiment. And if that hasn’t been voted on, I call for a nation-wide vote. Ranch is amazing, but, unfortunately, ranch is usually not vegan. But there’s a quick way to make delicious vegan ranch, and it involves cashews, water, lemon juice, onion powder, garlic powder, parsley, and dill. Process all of your ingredients in a food processor and blend until smooth. You can enjoy your homemade vegan ranch with your sweet potato chips and zucchini fries!
Vegan snacking doesn’t have to be boring and flavorless! Try some of these recipes and let us know in the comments below how it went and how it tasted!
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Recent college graduate, avid reader, lover of music and all things Yankees. Collector of pins, patches, and records.