Ever had a low waste plant-based snack? Well if you’ve ever had a piece of fruit, you’re in luck! Having nutritious, filling, and delicious snacks can help you make the transition to a healthier lifestyle.
But these days there are COUNTLESS “healthy” snacks out there. From 100 calories packs of cookies to highly processed protein bars, very few of these snacks will actually keep you full of focused. Plus, processed and packaged food means more plastic, more wrappers, and thus more waste.
Below are some simple plant-based snacks that will help fuel you whether you’re at work, school, or backpacking in the mountains. Did I mention they are also package free and low waste? What a concept!
Ahh the trust trail mix. Chances are you’ve had some version of trial mix over the years, usually packaged and full of more candied fruit and chocolate than nuts or seeds. But have no fear, making your own trail mix is easy, budget friendly, AND zero waste! Simply go to the bulk section at your local grocery store and buy a cup or two of all of your favorite nuts, seeds, dried fruit, aaaand maybe even toss in some dark chocolate.
Just throw all the contents into a Tupperware, or Stasher bag and wa-la! You’ve got yourself a filling treat. When it comes to trail mix there are endless combinations of what you can create. Switch it up and you’ll have a satiating snack wherever you may be.
Perhaps some of the most delicious plants on the planet. You know what’s great? They come with their own packaging (aka skin). No need to grab a plastic bag at the store to put your apples in. You can always place them directly in your cart or in a mesh / reusable bag.
To make your fruit snack more filling, we turn to our trust nut butters. Having some peanut butter at work or bringing a small container on your hike will help your fruit keep you full longer, plus nut butters are just downright delicious.
How do you make nut butter low waste? Use an old glass jar and fill up on peanut butter in your bulk foods section. Don’t have a glass jar? Look for a natural peanut butter that comes in a glass jar and reuse that for future nut butter goodness.
Hummus & Veggies
Perhaps my favorite snack is this dynamic duo. However, store bought hummus often comes in plastic which is why you can always make your own. There are plenty of recipes online that range from savory roasted garlic to sweet cinnamon dessert hummus.
When it comes to the vegetables, there is no limit to what you can use; carrots, bell pepper, broccoli, celery, or even cauliflower. Hummus is a delicious way to help you begin to incorporate more plants into diet.
When it comes to sweeter hummus recipes, try dipping some of your favorite fruit and berries in a chocolatey plant-based spread.
Homemade granola bars/balls
Granola bars are often a staple when it comes to snacking. They are easy, tasty, but usually so highly processed that resemble more of a candy bar than a healthy snack. Not to mention these days some of the “trendiest” granola bars are quite expensive.
Making your own granola bars is easier than you might think. Plus, when you buy oats, nuts, seeds, maple syrup and dates, in bulk or glass containers, you’ve got another low waste snack.
Below are some of my recipes along with other granola bar recipes that are cheap, quick to make, and highly nutritious.
A few final tips to remember:
Prep in bulk! If you’re making a batch of hummus or granola bars, don’t just make a tiny bit. Make enough that you’ll have a supply for AT LEAST the week ahead. This way you can spend less than an hour each week ensuring that you have copious amounts of healthy snacks.
When buying ingredients, be sure to purchase ones that not in plastic or ones that come in glass. This will help minimize your overall waste and thus the carbon footprint of these snacks.
Store/ bring your snacks in reusable containers, Tupperware, or (my personal favorite) Stasher bags. Obviously, this eliminates the need for plastic bags, but it also helps protect your food from getting smashed in your bag or backpack.
Remember that eating low waste and plant-based doesn’t have to be difficult. It’s about making conscious decisions and planning ahead. Overtime remembering these simple snacks will become easier and you may just come up with a few of your own!