Saturday, December 9, 2023

7 Ways to Snack Sustainably and 7 Healthy Plant-Based Snacks to Try


Snack time doesn’t have to be unhealthy for you or the planet.

Deskside dining is the new norm in the age of Zoom calls. And snacking has never been more popular. While nothing can replace a healthy meal prepared from fresh ingredients, sometimes the moment calls for a quick, indulgent bite. Or a day full of them! But don’t reach for those chips just yet!

Healthy, sustainable snacking

The best way to snack healthy and sustainably is to eat fresh, whole foods grown locally. But munching on carrots only gets you so far. There are some workarounds, though:

  1. A handful of nuts is a quick and easy snack that’s high in healthy fats and fiber. Seeds are an excellent choice, too. Go for unsalted. Try pumpkin seeds for a high-protein, omega-rich snack.
  2. Steam up batches of your favorite veggies like broccoli or cauliflower over the weekend and drizzle with some olive oil, red chili flakes, and a bit of sea salt for a healthy snack. The veggie fiber will fill you up and not leave you feeling that post-donut drag.
  3. Try keeping cut veggies in your fridge at all times. Keep cut carrots and celery submerged in water so they stay crunchy. Smash up an avocado or have hummus on hand for your veggie spears and make your snack flavorful without the packaging waste from chips.
  4. Keep fresh fruit handy for a healthy snack on its own or top with plant-based yogurt and a bit of granola.
  5. Fill dates or figs with tahini, almond butter, or peanut butter for a filling quick snack. Bonus: melt some chocolate, pour it over your stuffed dates, top with nuts, and freeze until solid for your own sticky, yummy, but super healthy version of a Snickers bar.
  6. Try some greens like Athletic Greens or Dayli’s green vitamins for a dose of nutrients and hydration to see if that gives you a boost before reaching for those chips.
  7. Don’t overdo them (it’s easy to!) because of the high sodium levels, but pickles are a filling because of the fiber. But typically, they are zero or very low-calorie if you don’t want to spoil your next meal.

Best sustainable plant-based snacks

Still feeling snacky? It’s relatable. And there are plenty of healthier ways to munch. These plant-based snack picks are just the thing when a quick bite is all you have time for.

1. Saffron Road Roasted Chickpeas

If you’re a fan of crunchy, salty snacks but try to stay away from potato chips, roasted chickpeas are the perfect alternative for that munchy, crunchy snack fix.

Chickpeas are known for their high protein content, so these are great for an afternoon pick-me-up. Try the sea salt and pepper seasoning on these from Saffron the next time you’re feeling snacky.

2. Ithaca Hummus

Speaking of chickpeas, there’s hummus, and then there’s Ithaca Hummus. And, there’s a difference.

“Taste hummus for the first time. Even if it’s your hundredth time,” the Ithaca website reads, and you’ll attest to that after the first bite. The creaminess is just right and the flavors can’t be beat. How do they do it? We don’t need to know. The secret is part of the allure.

Pro tip: keep jars of cut veggies in your fridge, and grab bell peppers or carrots instead of salty, oily chips and a scoopful of the Lemon Garlic. A protein-packed healthy plant-based snack, you can’t go wrong here!

3. Cocojune Yogurt

This tangy, creamy, thick plant-based yogurt is full of healthy probiotics—not sugar. Made from coconuts, the yogurt is perfectly balanced, all organic, and so flavor-filled. If you’ve not been a fan of a lot of plant-based yogurts because they can be a little thin and heavy on the sugar, Cocojune is just the thing. It tastes like a refreshing throwback to simpler times.

Top it with granola or fresh fruit or try one of the flavored varieties—they’re not overly sweet at all. The vanilla chamomile is divine. And, bonus, the brand is the first certified plastic neutral yogurt company in the U.S.

peanut butter clif bar

4. Clif Bar

The OG snack bar is still the best. Packed full of healthy plant-based fiber from oats and nuts, Clif Bars will fill you up without making you feel guilty about snacking. You can also find mini Clif Bars, which clock in at about half the calories of the regular bar — perfect for when you just need a little help getting over the hump.

In recent years, Clif has launched a lot of new flavors and bar types for a range of diets. We’re still fans of the original peanut butter flavor but you can’t go wrong with most of them.

Miyoko's cheese

5. Miyoko’s Cheese

Dairy? It’s a mess for your health and the planet. Cheese consumption has skyrocketed in the last thirty years and so have rates of obesity and heart disease, among other issues. Likewise, factory farming is a major driver of climate change, with methane from cows at the top of the list. But there’s good news: vegan cheese.

Made with plant milk, Miyoko’s uses traditional cheesemaking techniques to bring you the true dairy experience minus the actual dairy. From hard cheeses to spreadable to melty-gooey pizza-worthy cheese, you won’t miss your favorites one bit.

Patagonia Provisions crackers

6. Patagonia Provisions crackers

Made with regeneratively-grown wheat from Washington State, Patagonia Provisions crackers (formerly Moonshot Snacks) are helping to protect vital soil and biodiversity. The wheat isn’t just grown in Washington; it’s also milled there, too, helping to reduce food miles. The crackers also happen to taste incredible, too. Use the plain crackers for your vegan cheese or hummus, or grab a handful of the vegan cheese, rosemary garlic, or pizza flavor for a quick and tasty snack on their own.

7. Lagusta’s Luscious Caramels, Chocolates, and Truffles

Okay, so chocolates aren’t exactly healthy, or even snacks, really. But, there are exceptions to every rule. And when it comes to chocolates and caramels, no one does it better than Lagusta’s Luscious.

All of Lagusta’s treats are incredible (seriously, all), but the gooey chocolate-covered caramels are to-die-for. The company makes a number of unique flavors, including cardamom, strawberry-balsamic, thyme with preserved lemon. The tahini melts are also a must-try. Sometimes, the only snack you need is the one that fills your soul.

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