Many people think that to eat vegan, they need to spend a lot of money. Nothing could be further from the truth! Just last month, the Wall Street Journal reported the prices of meat were rising more than the prices of fresh fruits and vegetables. Besides fruits and veggies, here is a list of the top 10 vegan snacks to keep you and your wallet healthy.
Edamame refers to immature soybeans still in the pod. Because of its minimal processing, edamame is relatively cheap to buy frozen or dried. Half a cup of shelled edamame contains 120 calories, 11 grams of protein, 10 percent of your daily iron requirements, and 4 percent of the daily required calcium. You can enjoy this light and crunchy vegan treat on its own or in a homemade trail mix.
Air-popped popcorn can be a perfect low calorie, low cost snack. It packs well for an on-the-go snack or is great while relaxing and watching a movie. Experiment with different savory or sweet popcorn seasonings in order to spice up and personalize this delicious snack.
When you buy them in bulk, almonds are a cheap and good source of protein and calcium, with four times more fiber than cashews. Almond nut butter make a great alternative to peanut butter and can even be made at home with a high-powered food processor. Snack on raw almonds or try spreading some almond butter on your favorite crackers.
Want a cheap vegan protein source that travels easily? Try some hummus! Hummus can be made from sesame seeds, chickpeas, or even other beans such as cannellini beans and black beans. You can make hummus easily at home or buy some at the grocery store, then pack a little with some chopped carrots or pita chips to nibble on during a work or school break.
Nothing goes better with hummus than carrots, a low cost vegetable with a long shelf-life in your fridge. You can eat them raw or cooked with sweet sauces for a side dish. A super versatile food, carrot sticks can also be enjoyed with your favorite salad dressing or a savory soy yogurt dip. If you don’t feel like chopping up carrot sticks, you can always get baby carrots, which pack easily and make an excellent snack for work and travel.
Peanuts are an inexpensive, shelf-stable source of vegan protein. Recent studies have shown that the fats in nuts are actually healthier than the fats in meat and some cooking oils. Whether you prefer them salted, raw, or blended into butter, peanuts can be an excellent and tasty vegan snack.
Granola bars are often dipped in chocolate and loaded with additives to the point where they are as sugary and unhealthy as the candy bars they are intended to replace. You can save money and calories by making your own healthy granola snack with oats, nuts, dried fruit, and other ingredients of your choice.
Chickpeas can be delicious without long cook times or fancy recipes. This high protein vegan food is low in fat and super filling. To save money, buy dried chickpeas in bulk and either eat dried or soak overnight before you want to use them. When they’re ready, select your favorite Indian chickpea recipe and try it out for a fresh new snack!
Berries are a healthy snack food to keep in your arsenal. Two berry superfoods are acai berries or goji berries. Even eating more blueberries, raspberries, and/or strawberries during the day can also add Vitamin C, essential amino acids, and antioxidants to your diet. Buy fresh berries in the summer when they are the most available and least expensive and buy frozen the rest of the year.
10. Grapes, Apples, Oranges, and More!
Some vegans make the mistake of loading up on chips and meat alternatives, neglecting to add enough fresh fruit to their diets. Enjoy a whole apple, orange, banana, or a handful of grapes to tide you over between meals. The beauty of fresh fruit is that it is cheap, always ready to eat, available in many locations, and is naturally sweeter and healthier than most processed vegan foods!
Remember this list the next time you need something quick to munch on, and you are sure to be healthy and wealthy!