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Snack ideas to help you eat more plants

Looking to include more plants in your diet? One of the easiest ways is to add more plant-based snacks.

These little hunger-slayers are ideal if you’re looking to introduce a wider range of nutrients to your everyday eating. But this doesn’t mean you have to give up meat and dairy if you don’t want to.

Whether you’re a meat enthusiast, a connoisseur of eggs, vegan, vegetarian, flexitarian or none of the above, everyone can potentially benefit from consuming more plants.

As mentioned, that’s partly because plant-based foods are packed with lots of different nutrients, from vitamins to protein. But there have also been studies to suggest that eating more plants can reduce your risk of issues such as heart disease and type-2 diabetes.

You’ll find plenty of recipes out there to help you get more plants into your main meals, but we’re focusing here on snacks – anything that’s easy to carry and eat on the go, and most importantly, that will enhance your day with a burst of deliciousness. Because that’s the thing: choosing plant-based snacks definitely doesn’t mean sacrificing flavour.

Which foods count as plants?

Any of the following foods are considered to be plant-based, so long as they’ve been minimally processed – that is, changed only a little bit from their original state.

  • Fruit
  • Vegetables
  • Wholegrains
  • Seeds/pulses
  • Legumes
  • Herbs

Plant-based snack ideas

1. Nuts

A flatlay of a selection of different types of nuts.

Nuts are an easy on-the-go snack for when you need a nutrition boost. They may be relatively high in fat but this is mostly unsaturated, and they’re packed with vitamins and nutrients. Ideally, avoid flavoured or salted nuts so you don’t accidentally boost your salt intake.

2. Roasted chickpeas

Roasted chickpeas spilling out of a glass.

Toss a can of drained chickpeas with your preferred spices, pop them in the oven until golden, and you’ll have a delicious, budget-friendly snack. As spices count as plant-based foods, you’re getting a double hit with this one!

3. Popcorn

A bowl of popcorn.

It may surprise you, but popcorn does indeed count as a plant-based snack. That’s because it’s classified as a wholegrain. Steer away from sugary, salted or buttery versions – try adding spices to plain popcorn for extra flavour instead. It’s particularly delicious with cinnamon if you have a sweet tooth.

4. Quinoa balls

A close-up of quinoa grains.

In recent years, quinoa has achieved superstar status in the nutritional world – for good reason. It’s a wholegrain that’s packed full of protein, fibre, zinc and magnesium, and as a gluten-free food source it’s suitable for people with coeliac disease.

To make it into a portable snack, search for quinoa balls recipes. You can make them ahead of time, adding your favourite vegetables and seasonings, and keep them refrigerated for a healthy option when hunger strikes.

5. Fruit

A basked of different fruits.

Nutritious, easy to carry and (to some) delicious: fruit is an easy win when it comes to plant-based snacking. Try switching up the fruits you eat in order to enjoy a wide range of nutrients.

6. Smoothies

Ingredients for a green smoothie in a blender, with a hand squeezing a lemon into it.

Smoothies are an easy way to get a hit of multiple fruits and/or vegetables all at once, so you can up your plant intake with ease.

7. Baked tofu

Squares of baked tofu as a plant-based snack served on a white plate with salad and a dipping sauce.

Tofu is made from soybeans, giving it plant-based status. Cut into squares, marinate in your favourite seasonings and bake, for a simple snack. If you pair it with a vegetable based dip, you’ll be adding even more plant power to your day.

8. Edamame beans

Green edamame pods in a colander.

Boil, fry or air-fry the edamame pods – the beans make for a low-calorie, high-protein snack.

9. Houmous and crudités

A bowl of houmous,

Traditionally made with chickpeas, houmous counts as plant-based. Enjoy with raw vegetables or peppers for a nutrient-rich snack.

10. Vegetable crisps

Vegetable crisps in a bowl.

Vegetable crisps are available pretty widely these days, but if you are going down the premade route, check the packaging, as some brands contain high levels of salt and other additives. They’re also easy to make at home in the oven or air fryer – root vegetables such as beetroot and parsnips work best.

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