The Heart of Vegan Snacks

Vegan  SnacksAt some point over the past century, we were sold the idea that a snack is a packaged fattening or sugary, unhealthy “treat”, even GF vegan snacks. The truth about snacking is far from this current idea. One could argue that dessert is the domain of sugar and nutrition should mind its own business. I am not here to make that argument at all, nor do I really agree with it. I think dessert is about taste. Snacks on the other hand, really are a way to tide us over until the next meal time. Naturally, they should be a good source of energy to be able to do this job. Something that is mostly refined sugar may be a gluten-free vegan snack, but it will be a pretty poor source of nutrition and the sugar crash it eventually leads to defeats its purpose.

But What Makes Good GF Vegan Snacks Then?

Vegan snacks that are super healthy but taste like recycled cardboard (organic, naturally) might make parts of your body smile, but not the mouth part. To fulfill its mission, that snack also has to deliver a flavour bomb. I am not saying that pumping it full of fake chemicals to help it stand toe to toe with the candy isle of the Easter Bunny’s bomb shelter is an answer. Too often, though, the label “healthy” is an excuse to make the flavour mimic the compost heap that the snack leftovers may eventually join. Just like a dinner meal, a healthy snack, in fact can taste good and be healthy.

How to Start Cranking out GF Vegan Snacks: Think about it

Okay, that title was a bit unfair, I know. I shouldn’t assume that you are going to finish reading this article and suddenly decide to build a snack workshop in your spare bedroom. I was hinting at my first pointer to you though. The more snacks you make yourself, the more you will have control over your nutrition. Remember, there are plenty of times that you want a snack when you are at home. There are plenty of other times when you want one at school or at work (or at and about and have a bag). How many of you pack a lunch?  Okay... how many of you have in the past packed a lunch and often think that you should get around to doing that again. Let me tell you now that you can pack snacks just as easily. Save your health and your pocketbook (that’s olden days talk for wallet, apparently;).

How to Start Cranking out GF Vegan Snacks: Prepare to Do It

As with most things, the secret to success with vegan snacking 101 is preparation. I have made countless baked goods that made tastiest snacks and were super satisfying, just by planning before I went shopping, picking up a couple ingredients, and trying out a recipe. I think that cooking something you can’t wait to put in your mouth that is also really good for you is a great feeling, never mind the fact that lots of people simply love the art of cooking and baking once they try it.

How to Start Cranking out GF Vegan Snacks: Make It Happen

As with all my advice, I recommend starting small and building a habit. You probably shouldn’t overhaul your entire diet in one fell swoop unless you are really gung ho. If the task or behaviour you are beginning seems too onerous, it is much more likely that you will quit doing it, even if it is helping you. Ideally, you want to feel like the new activities, like packing a couple of items to bring to work that you had fun making on the weekend, is so easy that you smile to yourself and think of how you wish you had started earlier.

How to Start Cranking out GF Vegan Snacks: Practical Tips

  • You can bake a lot of GF vegan cookies in one batch and have a ready supply of snacks that can last for a really long time and save you tons of cash.
  • Those old time snacks do count. Apples, oranges, bananas, mixed nuts and dried fruit, veggies. Try it.
  • Remember the protein and the fat. Fruit makes great GF vegan snacks but for long lasting energy that will keep you going for hours add some snacks high in protein and some that are rich in essential fatty acids. A snack that is low calorie or all starch is not as good. Try for balance.

How to Start Cranking out GF Vegan Snacks: Parting Shopping Tips:

Your snacks will only be as good as your ability to shop for the right sorts of high-quality ingredients, in the right balance to make things with that both nutritious and pack in long lasting energy. Here are some tips for the next time you are making a shopping list and looking for a basic cheat sheet:

  • Unsalted nuts: high in “good” fat and protein, with maximum portability
  • Instead of white rice flour make a big change: use brown rice flour, and add in some pea flour, soy flour, or buckwheat flour. The last three are all great sources of protein and can really go a long way in making healthy snacks that still taste great. For starters though, use a finely ground brown rice flour as the primary flour and then experiment with adding in a third buckwheat flour, or 20% soy and 20% pea flour. I have lots of different recipes, too so feel free to email me for additional tips. I recommend trying cookies first.
  • Rolls: you can make lots of GF vegan rolls and put PB& J on them and snack on them throughout the day for steady energy.
  • Some veggies like broccoli are richer in both calcium and protein than other veggies and make better snack foods. Dip optional!
  • I like to make my own high protein energy bars, too.
  • You can easily bring a GF vegan protein shake in that thermos.

The vegan snacks you eat are limited only by your imagination. After a few years, I now find that there are so many more options on my shelves at home than any supermarket I go to, for snacks I would actually want to eat, or even crave. Look for more articles in this GF Vegan Protein series here on Infobarrel and look for additional resources and links to recipes in the signature box to your right. I hope you enjoyed this article and enjoy you future GF vegan snacks!