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21 healthy (and quick) snacks for vegans who wanna kick butt with their fitness

Healthy vegan snacks; Karina Inkster

Many of my clients often feel “stuck” when it comes to preparing – or buying – healthy vegan snacks that will support their hard work in the gym. I get my clients to create an action plan each week not only for their meal prep, but for their snack prep as well.

I need to eat a lot of food each day and I have very limited available time, so I know a thing or two about preparing delicious vegan snacks that will support your fitness goals without taking up hours in the kitchen.

Below you’ll find my list of 21 easy and delicious vegan snacks that will help you kick ass at (and recover from) your workouts. My list focuses on snacks you’ll make yourself, but does include a few store-bought gems as well.

1. Homemade trail mix

Buy ingredients in bulk, throw 'em together, and you've got homemade trail mix with the exact ingredients and ratios you want. For bonus points: store in small single-serving containers so you can grab 'n' go.

Homemade trail mix

2. Sliced apple or banana with peanut or almond butter

Simple as that!

3. Dry roasted edamame

I buy the Seapoint Farms brand. A delicious way of amping up your protein intake. Eat as is, use as a salad topping, or add to your trail mix.

4. Peanut butter chickpea energy balls

I make 2 week's worth of these and freeze them. I use agave instead of honey (and not nearly as much as the recipe suggests), and make my own oat flour in the food processor. I also sometimes add hemp hearts and unflavoured brown rice protein powder.

Here's the recipe.

5. Homemade granola

Make a big-ass batch and it'll keep for 2 weeks. Below is the basic recipe; add your choice of additional ingredients like shredded coconut, pumpkin seeds, dark chocolate chips, or slivered almonds.

Homemade granola recipe

The Grub:

4 cups rolled oats

1/4 cup olive oil or melted coconut oil

1/4 cup agave nectar

1/2 tsp cinnamon

The How To:

Preheat oven to 300ºF and line 2 rimmed baking sheets with parchment paper. In a medium mixing bowl, mix all ingredients until well combined, then spread in a single layer onto baking sheets.

Bake for 50-60 minutes, stirring every 15 minutes, until granola is lightly browned and crunchy.

6. Roasted chickpeas A crunchy snack that packs a protein punch. Use whatever seasoning you like! Simple salt 'n' pepper? Smoked paprika? Spicy curry?

Healthy vegan snacks; Karina Inkster

The Grub:

2 15 oz cans chickpeas

1.5 tbsp olive oil or melted coconut oil

1 tbsp seasoning of your choice

The How To:

Preheat oven to 400ºF. Rinse chickpeas in cold water, then blot dry with paper towel.

Place chickpeas in a rimmed baking dish in a single layer. Drizzle with oil and seasoning, and mix to distribute. Bake for 45 – 75 minutes, stirring every 20 minutes or so, until chickpeas are crunchy all the way through and have turned medium brown.

Each oven varies, so make sure you test your chickpeas starting at about 45 minutes. You’ll want your chickpeas to end up similar to corn nuts in texture – nice ‘n’ crunchy!

7. Veggies + hummus Self-explanatory! You can even buy pre-cut fresh veggies and pre-made hummus if you're super short on time. Here's a unique (and easy) hummus recipe if you want to make your own.

8. Smoothies I put together 2 weeks' worth of smoothies at once. I place all the below ingredients into individual storage containers (or Ziploc bags) and freeze them. Then all I need to do is add plant-based milk and I don't have to pull out 7 different ingredients every time I want a smoothie (which is daily).

My smoothie ingredients (get creative and invent your own!):

- mixed berries - rolled oats - ground flax seed - hemp hearts - chia seeds - peanut butter - flax oil ...and I add soy milk right before blending.

9. No-bake energy bars These are delicious and will take you 10 minutes - tops - to throw together. Here's the recipe.

10. Coconut yogurt and fruit If you're lucky enough to live in Australia, that's where I found the best damn non-dairy yogurt I've had in my 15 years of being vegan. It was mind-blowing. Here at home (Canada) I enjoy the Yoso brand coconut yogurt.

11. Baked tofu + dipping sauce Another protein-packed snack to fuel those badass gym workouts. Baking tofu gives it a lightly browned, crunchy outside, while keeping it soft on the inside.

Baked tofu recipe

The Grub:

1 package (350 g) extra firm tofu, cut into 3/4”-by-3/4” cubes

Juice of 1 orange

1 tsp chilli powder

1/2 tsp ground black pepper

1 tbsp agave nectar

1 tbsp toasted sesame oil

1/4 cup low sodium soy sauce

2 tbsp rice vinegar

3 cloves garlic

2 tbsp fresh ginger, finely chopped

The How To:

Preheat oven to 400ºF and line a baking sheet with parchment paper. Place tofu on baking sheet in a single layer. Bake for about 25 minutes, flipping tofu cubes halfway through, until evenly browned and slightly crispy on the outside.

To make the dipping sauce, place all remaining ingredients in a blender and process until smooth.

12. Popcorn If you steer clear of slathering your popcorn in (plant-based) butter, it's a very low-calorie snack! I make stovetop popcorn in coconut oil. Absolutely delicious. If I'm extremely low on time (or not at home), I'll sometimes buy the Angie's brand "Boom Chicka Pop" popcorn.

Stovetop popcorn

The Grub:

1/4 cup coconut oil

3/4 cup popcorn kernels

1/2 tsp salt

The How To:

In a large saucepan or Dutch oven, heat coconut oil over medium heat for 2 minutes. Drop in three popcorn kernels, cover, and wait ‘til you hear at least one pop. That’s your cue that the oil has reached the correct temperature.

Add salt and the rest of the popcorn kernels, cover, and gently shake the pot (wearing oven mitts!) every 20 seconds or so to prevent burning the kernels. Once popping has slowed to about once every 3 seconds, remove saucepan from heat and uncover immediately to let steam escape.

13. Homemade tortilla chips + salsa

Homemade tortilla chips are super easy to make. Store-bought are OK too, but you won't be able to decide on your own seasonings (or oil content)!

Homemade tortilla chips recipe

Tortilla chips

The Grub:

6 corn, wheat, or gluten-free tortillas

1/4 cup olive oil or melted coconut oil

Salt and pepper to taste

2 tsp your choice of additional seasoning (optional)

The How To:

Preheat oven to 350°F and line 2 baking sheets with parchment paper. Stack tortillas on top of each other. Using a sharp knife, slice the stack into eighths. Place tortilla wedges in a single layer on baking sheets. Brush lightly with oil, then sprinkle with salt, pepper, and additional seasoning (if using).

Bake for 6 to 10 minutes, until edges are lightly browned. They can burn quickly, so check every minute or so starting at 5 minutes. Tortilla chips will continue to crisp as they cool.

Tomato mint salsa:

The Grub:

2 medium tomatoes, diced very small

1 tsp olive oil

1 tbsp fresh lime juice

1/4 cup green onion, chopped

2 tbsp fresh mint, chopped

Salt and ground black pepper to taste

The How To:

In a medium bowl, stir together all ingredients. Let stand 5 minutes.

Tomato mint salsa recipe

14. Primal Strips vegan jerky Primal Strips are one of my absolute favourite snacks. It's the most delicious vegan jerky on the planet, and provides 10 grams of plant-based protein per strip. These were one of my main protein sources while adventuring in the Australian Outback! I buy them, multiple boxes at a time, on Amazon for much less than in stores.

15. Baked beans on toast (or with baked potato) Inspired by our friends Down Under, I love baked beans on toast. I don't eat a lot of bread though, so I most often have 'em with a baked potato (cooked in the microwave). Here's a pic from our Australia adventure a few months back.

16. SimplyProtein bars & chips SimplyProtein makes excellent protein bars and protein chips (yes, I said protein chips. They're surprisingly tasty!) Much lower in sugar than other protein bars.

17. Kale chips What vegan snack list would be complete without kale chips?! Here's a detailed how-to and recipe.

18. Chia pudding Chia seeds are very filling, given their ridiculously high fibre and protein content, so this recipe makes a great between-meal snack or post workout energy source. The Grub:

2 cups plant-based milk

1/2 cup chia seeds

1/4 cup unsweetened cocoa powder

2 tbsp agave nectar or maple syrup

2 tbsp dark chocolate shavings (optional)

The How To:

Combine plant-based milk, chia seeds, cocoa powder, and agave nectar or maple syrup in a bowl, and whisk until well mixed. Place in fridge 2 hours or more (best if left overnight).

Stir well before serving, and add a few tablespoons of plant-based milk to alter thickness, if desired. Garnish with dark chocolate shavings (optional). 19. Vegan quesadillas These could be an entire meal if you add some steamed greens or a side salad, but they make a filling snack on their own. I use whole wheat tortillas, Daiya cheddar shreds + grated Earth Island mozzarella slices, Yves Cuisine veggie ground round, salsa, green onion, and a dash of smoked paprika.

Y'all (hopefully) know the quesadilla-making drill: Heat a bit of oil (or plant-based margarine) in a frying pan. Add a tortilla and quickly spread all ingredients evenly on one half of the tortilla. Fold the other half over to cover the filling. Cook a few minutes ('til lightly browned) on each side.

20. Protein shake When you're short on time, a protein shake can be a quick 'n' easy snack to tide you over 'til your next meal. I like the SunWarrior and North Coast Naturals brands of brown rice protein powder, but there are countless plant-based protein options including pea, pumpkin seed, hemp, and soy.

21. 70% dark chocolate My snack list wouldn't be complete without my favourite - 70% dark chocolate! I have a square or two almost every day. My favourite brand is Lindt.

Recipes featured in this post are from my book, Vegan Vitality. Photos by John Watson.


Want your own vegan personal trainer? Wanna level-up your health and fitness, and show the world what plant-based athleticism is all about? Check out my fitness and nutrition coaching programs.

Vegan personal trainer Karina Inkster


Download your free vegan strength training ebook by Coach K!

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