High fat is a term that often scares people away, I know. We’ve
been told for decades that fat is bad for us, and because of ad
campaigns and flawed science, there is a fundamental
misunderstanding that leads us to believe fatty foods means fat
on the body – but this is just not true.
Science now shows that
fats from whole food sources (nuts, seeds, avocados,
olives, coconut and more) are quite good for us, and it’s
processed carbs and sugars that are one of the major
culprits when it comes to weight gain.
Over the past few years, I found that switching out my
carb-heavy morning oatmeal or toast for high fat, high protein
chia pudding (see my recipes below) kept me fuller longer and
kept my energy levels high during the day. I also make an
effort to include fats and protein at each meal. This has
led to more balanced energy throughout the day, even through
the dreaded afternoon slump (most of the time!).
During the late afternoon slump, many of us reach for sugar or
caffeine (or both!). But these stimulants offer a quick boost
and don’t do anything to supply your adrenal glands with the
energy you need to get through the afternoon.
Snacks that contain protein, fat and fiber (found in all plant
foods) break down slower in your body, keeping your blood sugar
steady for longer periods and keeping your energy levels up,
unlike quick carbs like bread and oatmeal that can burn off
quickly and leave you hungry, or worse, with a blood sugar
crash that drains your energy. Sarah Britton of
My New Roots has a great discussion of why adding more fats
and protein into your diet can deeply affect our hormone
levels, which play a big role in energy levels too.
I have found that increasing
my fat intake throughout the day in the form of
healthy snacks can make the most difference. So whether it’s a
late-morning snack to hold you over until lunch or a
late-afternoon slump-buster, these 10 sweet, high-protein vegan
snacks and 10 savory, high-protein vegan snacks can really help
you feel your best and power you through the rest of the day
10 Sweet High Protein Vegan Snacks
1. Smoothie Bowls
The trick to smoothies and smoothie bowls is – as you might
imagine from the info above – fat and protein. Fruits are the
easiest way to make your smoothie taste delicious, but that
boost of quick sugars might leave you crashing after. Be sure
to include some greens (spinach, kale, greens powders) and lots
of protein into your smoothie bowls to make the energy last
longer. Protein additions can include nut butters, high-fat
fruit like açai or avocado, ground flax or chia (don’t go
overboard or you’ll have a cement-like smoothie!), protein
powders and using a base of high-protein, plant-based milk
instead of juice.
2. Chia Pudding
Chia pudding is my go-to breakfast and sometimes afternoon
snack too. Chia seeds – though tiny – are nutrition
powerhouses, full of fat, protein, fiber, calcium, magnesium
and iron. I like to make a large batch a few times a week and
then just scoop out what I need. And I make my chia bowls super
awesome with some fresh or frozen fruit, cacao nibs, hemp
seeds, and coconut milk or coconut yogurt, all of which adds
flavor and more fat.
3. Nuts And Seeds (Trail Mix)
I keep a bag of plain nuts, seeds and dried fruit with me at
all times. Really, it lives in my backpack every day! Whether I
get stuck at an event with no vegan options or just have a few
more hours of work before I get to eat a proper meal, nuts and
seeds are the easiest option for a quick snack.
I opt for more nuts (walnuts are my current favorite) and seeds
(roasted sunflowers for the win) and just a few pieces of
fruit. Currently, I’m enjoying dried cherries in my mix, but
raisins, prunes, plums and apricots all work well too.
Sometimes just a handful is all you need to give your grumbling
stomach a bit of a break and ward off a ‘hangary’ afternoon.
4. Homemade Bars
If you have some time to whip up some bars at home, there are
lots of options. Many commercial brands are made with processed
carbs and sugar, but when making at home you have the
opportunity to boost the protein, fat, and fiber content to
make sure your bars serve you well. I really love these
Hemp Protein Bars, made with hemp protein and pumpkin
seeds. When I don’t have time to prep homemade bars, I like
bars and Health
Warrior Chia Bars, both of which are high-protein,
5. Nut Butter Packets
Another way to get quick fats and protein into my body are
those little nut butter packets that are now so widely
available. These are imperative for
vegan backpacking trips, but I also find them great for a
super simple snack at the office or while on the airplane. I
brand, but Justin’s
are much less expensive and more widely available.
6. High-Protein Balls
Another homemade option, these
high-protein energy balls are totally worth the time it
takes to whip them up. Use whatever nuts you have on hand,
along with some protein powder to make these rich, chocolatey
balls. I like to crumble them atop chopped fruits or just eat
out of hand. Perfect for a sweet afternoon treat that won’t
ruin your night.
7. Vegan Yogurt
There are lots of vegan yogurt options out there, and many of
them are quite high in plant-based protein. Be sure to read the
labels to ensure there is no sugar and a good amount of
protein. Many commercial brands are loaded with sugar and
lacking much else. But if you find the right brand (I like Kite
Hill unsweetened) or
make your own vegan yogurt, it can be paired with some
fruit, granola (like the high-protein granola below), blended
into smoothies or – of course – eaten as is.
8. Protein Powder Brownies
Sometimes you want your snacks to taste like health food… and
sometimes you just want brownies. I loved this recipe from
Chocolate Covered Katie using protein powder, peanut butter
and just a handful of other ingredients to make a sweet yet
protein-rich brownie bar.
9. Quick Protein Shake
I listed this separately from smoothies because there are so
many great options now for quick smoothie mixes that just need
water and a jar to mix it. I like Vega
chocolate nutritional powder, which is super sweet
(with stevia), but makes a lovely late afternoon sweet treat.
Grass Amazing Meals are also quite yummy and have the added
boost of enzymes and probiotics.
10. High-Protein Granola
Granola is usually made with heaps of sugar and oils, but this
high-protein granola alternative uses leftover almond pulp
from homemade almond milk along with gluten-free, high-protein
buckwheat for a much healthier alternative to store-bought
Savory High Protein Vegan Snacks
1. Baked Or Roasted Chickpeas
Legume-based snacks are one of the best trends I’ve seen pop up
in recent years. I love our local brand Chic Naturals, based in
Maui, but if you’re not on the islands, make your own like
Vegan Ranch Roasted Chickpeas from my friend Becky. Just a
few easy ingredients go into making these yummies, and you’ll
have a quick, protein-rich snack to eat out of hand or to
include atop salads.
2. Salad In A Jar
You’ll need a fork for this snack, but it’s quick and easy and
can keep your belly happy for in-between meals. Be sure to
include veggies, dressing and some high-protein options like
quinoa, nuts or seeds. I like this easy tutorial from
Oh She Glows. Bonus points because it’s super cute and
ready for Insta.
3. Socca (Chickpea Flour Flatbread)
Socca is a traditional Italian flatbread made with
high-protein, gluten-free chickpea (besan) flour. It’s just a
few ingredients and comes together quickly. I like to serve
with a light tomato-based dip, but it can also be seasoned on
its own for built-in flavor. Try adding caramelized onions,
leeks or roasted veggies to the batter.
4. Flax Crackers
simple flax crackers can be sweet or savory, and they work
as a stand-alone snack or used in dips. They would also be good
crumbled over salads or roasted veggies. Flax is high in fat,
fiber, and protein, so it’s a perfect little snack alone.
However, it’s paired with chia and sunflower here for a
gluten-free, high-pro snack alternative to regular crackers.
5. Tofu Bites
Tofu is an awesome snack to have around. It’s super high in
protein and fiber, so if you’re in a time crunch, a few slices
of pre-made tofu can be your hunger solution. I love this idea
tofu from fried dandelions, which uses a tomato-herb base
for a crunchy baked tofu. These would be perfect on their own
or with some vegan, ranch dipping sauce.
6. Hummus & Veggies
Hummus is the ultimate vegan snack because of its
versatility and deliciousness. It’s simple to make, but if you
can’t find the time, it’s easy to find at nearly every store. I
like to blend veggies into my hummus for a bonus health
benefit, including roasted carrots, zucchini and beets for a
hot pink treat.
7. Bean Burgers Or Bites
Homemade or store-bought veggie burgers (or bites) are an
awesome snack to have on hand for quick protein boosts. Serve
atop a salad or just with a little bit of ketchup if you’re in
a hurry. I like Hilary’s burgers or Amy’s, both are made with
grains, nuts and seeds and offer a nice little protein boost.
8. Cashew Cheese
Cashew cheese is a lovely way to enjoy the creamy texture of
cashews in dippable form.
Cadry’s Kitchen has a yummy cashew cheese made with
jalapeños for a sweet-spicy option. This recipe comes
together quickly with just a few ingredients and would be
excellent alone or as part of a fancy vegan charioteer plate
like she features here.
9. Nut & Seed Bread
This is one of my all-time favorite recipes: it’s easy, super
healthy, and is just so dang yummy. This
gluten-free bread uses only oats, nuts, seeds, and a few
binding ingredients like psyllium husk and chia seeds to turn
itself into the heartiest loaf you’ve ever had.
10. Sweet & Savory Edamame (Green Soybeans)
Edamame are young green soybeans that are infinitely
customizable and travel well for hikes or shoving into your bag
for a day at the office. I like a
sweet-savory combination for my edamame with some
sesame oil, agave and soy sauce, but you can play with whatever
flavor you love. Naturally high in fiber, fat, and protein,
these are almost the world’s most perfect snack.
Keep up with the latest sustainable food news by
signing up for our free newsletter. CLICK HERE to sign