(Natural News) If you have decided to commit to healthy eating, make vegetarian snacks a part of your diet. You don’t have to be strictly vegetarian to enjoy these guilt-free, tasty snacks, and finding ones that are easy to prepare isn’t challenging. You can whip up these 10 nutritious snacks in no time and enjoy them at home or on the go. So grab your spoon and dig in! (h/t to EcoWatch.com)
1. Nut butter with fruits
For a quick-and-easy, filling, plant-based snack that you can enjoy at home or eat at work or school, pair your favorite fruit with nut butters such as almond butter, hazelnut butter, or cashew butter.
Some fruits that go well with nut butters are apples, bananas, and strawberries. These fruits are rich in immunity-boosting antioxidants and gut-healthy fiber that can keep you feeling full in-between meals. This will greatly reduce unnecessary snacking throughout the day.
2. Yogurt with fruits
Yogurt is rich in protein, calcium, vitamin B12, and potassium. To avoid added sugars, use plain, unsweetened yogurt. You can enhance the flavor of plain yogurt with some cinnamon, honey, or maple syrup.
For a sweet yet healthy snack, add some fruit to your yogurt. Fruits that taste good with yogurt include apples, berries, bananas, and grapes, but you can also use any of your favorite fruit.
This snack is rich in fiber, vitamin C, and disease-fighting antioxidants.
3. Oatmeal with fruits
Oatmeal can be enjoyed for breakfast or as a snack. Oats contain beta-glucan, a type of fiber that promotes weight loss and improves cholesterol, blood sugar, and blood pressure.
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Enhance the flavor and nutrient content of oatmeal with fresh or dried fruits and berries, cinnamon, nuts and seeds, or even nut butters.
4. Bell peppers with hummus
Bell peppers with hummus is the vegetarian version of chips and dip. Bell peppers are low in calories and contain more fiber, vitamin C, and vitamin A than your traditional tortilla or pita chips. Having hummus as dip can boost your intake of protein and fiber and keep your calorie intake low.
5. Roasted chickpeas
To make roasted chickpeas at home, simply toss cooked chickpeas with olive oil and your choice of spices or seasonings prior to baking at 400 F (200 C) for 20 to 30 minutes. Some spices that go well with this healthy snack include cayenne pepper, garlic powder, chili powder, cumin, cinnamon, and nutmeg.
Chickpeas are rich sources of protein, fiber, vitamins, and minerals like manganese and folate.
6. Roasted edamame
Edamame are soybeans that are harvested before they’re fully ripe. They can be boiled, steamed, or roasted. A one-cup (155 g) serving of cooked edamame can provide 8 g of fiber and 18 g of plant protein. It also contains a good amount of magnesium, iron, and vitamin C.
For a tasty and nutritious snack, roast edamame at 400 F (200 C) for 30 to 40 minutes with vegetarian Parmesan, garlic, pepper, or paprika.
7. Guacamole and plantain chips
Salty snacks are hard to resist for most people. For a nutritious substitute for potato chips, pair plantain chips with guacamole.
Plantain chips are easy to make at home, and baking them is healthier than frying. Toss thinly sliced plantains with some olive oil and your choice of spices as seasonings. Bake at 400 F (200 C) for 15 to 20 minutes or until the plantains are browned and crispy.
Avocados in guacamole are rich in healthy monounsaturated fats that help increase HDL (good) cholesterol and reduce triglyceride levels. They’re also a great source of potassium, vitamin C, and vitamin B6.
8. Kale chips
Kale may not be everybody’s cup of tea, but there is no denying its nutritional benefits. For one, kale is a great source of immunity-boosting vitamins C and A, which help prevent many diseases.
Kale chips are easy to make. Just toss kale with olive oil and sea salt then bake at 275 F (135 C) for 15 to 20 minutes or until crisp. Watch them closely, as they can easily burn.
9. Green smoothies
Green smoothies are a quick and easy way to incorporate veggies into your diet for your daily intake of fiber, vitamins, minerals, and antioxidants.
Given the name, green smoothies are prepared using leafy greens like kale or spinach, but other vegetables and even fruits can be used to make them. Try making a veggie smoothie with carrots, celery, beets, berries, bananas, chia seeds, or flax meal.
You can also add vegetarian protein powders like whey, pea, hemp, or brown rice protein to support muscle growth and control blood sugar.
10. Energy balls
Energy balls are highly customizable snacks that you can make with your favorite nutritious ingredients. A good combination would be some nuts and seeds, dried fruits, cacao nibs, and honey. Mix them in a food processor and pulse until the mixture is smooth. Roll it into balls and leave them to chill in the fridge for 10 to 15 minutes.
Other easy, simple, and nutritious vegetarian snacks that anybody can enjoy at any time of the day include hard-boiled eggs, pumpkin seeds, mixed nuts, and trail mix.
For more healthy snacks and meal ideas, visit Food.news.