Whether you’re on a hike to get fit for the summer or just to join some friends, snacks are a necessity. Some snacks these days are filled with crazy amounts of sodium and sugar that can bog you down on your hike, but have no fear.
There are definitely some great healthy and vegan snacks available! Some benefits of these snacks: They don’t have dairy or meat, so they don’t spoil as easily under the heat. They are health-conscious. And, lastly, they are great for people with certain diets.
1. Sweet or savory trail mix
If you’re the type who likes to snack on a variety of things, trail mixes give you many options. These days, trail mixes can get a bad rep with tons of added sugars, but if you’re conscious on ratios and ingredients, you can make an amazing healthy mix of flavors.
#SpoonTip: Trail mixes can be nutrient-dense and calorie–dense, so 1/3 – 1/2 cup is a recommended serving size.
Do you have any portable containers, packets, or plastic bags? If you don’t, invest in some NOW. Why, you may ask? Dips will change your life, especially if you try this sweet potato chipotle hummus, this perfect guacamole, or this fancy french onion dip that makes everyone say, “Oui Oui.”
Making your own dip is the best way to know for sure what you are putting into your body, but there are many low-sodium dips available within your super market that will definitely do the same for your taste buds.
#SpoonTip: Some dips have dairy included and written in small writing, so be careful to read the ingredients in store-bought brands.
3. Nut or seed butters
Name any nut or seed butter and I will assure you that a plethora of snack combos are open to you. One combination that never fails me is any butter + fruit + carbohydrate. The secret about this combo is that it helps you fill your healthy fat, fiber, and carb serving in one go.
For example, here is an awesome list of 17 almond butter hacks to get you started. Next thing you know, you will be asking where your whole jar went.
#SpoonTip: Try to be creative and don’t be afraid to omit or add to the equation. Also, the less ingredients in your butter, the better.
4. No-bake sweets
Whoever says sweets are bad for you didn’t know about these sweets. These sinfully good recipes will make you doubt just how healthy they are, and are great for those without an oven. Have you heard of these cookie dough bites full of protein, peanut butter fudge with natural fats, or these quick-and-easy 3-ingredient energy balls?
#SpoonTip: Investing in a high-speed blender or a food processor will save you tons on time.
5. Roasted chickpeas or seeds
Chickpeas and seeds are great protein alternatives for those with nut allergies. They are filling and great for sprinkling on meals or eating them by themselves. Have it your way with roasted chickpeas plain or spicy. And try some creamy chia seed pudding or easy 3-step roasted pumpkin seeds.
#SpoonTip: Always soak your chia seeds at least 2+ hours for safety.
6. Popcorn and rice cakes
Need to up your fiber or whole grain intake? Or do you just like the sound of a crisp or crunch? Popcorn and rice cakes are great for both of these, and without the heavy calories or sodium from chips. After all, no one really eats just half a bag of chips, so if you eat a ton of these there’s no need to feel guilty.
The great thing about popcorn and rice cakes is that they can be bases for almost anything: salty, sweet, or savory. Here are 21 ways to pimp out your popcorn. Once you go popcorn, you never turn back.
#SpoonTip: Try to avoid microwaveable popcorn as it tends to have chemicals from the popcorn bag.
7. Fruit – dried or fresh
Fruit is amazing for your source of various vitamins and fiber, and is known to help reduce the risk of many diseases, including cancer and high blood pressure. Fresh fruits, cut and stored, or dried fruits with no added preservatives or chemicals are great to take for the hike. You can even change things up a little with chocolate-dipped apricots, some refreshing fruit water, or your own kid friendly DIY fruit roll-ups.
#SpoonTip: Avoid dried fruit with added sugars or preservatives. Sugar is good in its natural form and in moderation.
8. Veggie rolls and chips
Some people enjoy a heartier snack that leaves them full and satisfied, especially if their meal is farther down the road. Veggie rolls are not only super portable, but they are packed with different vibrant vegetables, containing nutrients like potassium to maintain blood pressure, and folate which helps the body form red blood cells.
#SpoonTip: Wash your non-organic vegetables with 2% salt water or vinegar water (1 part vinegar and 4 parts water) to help remove pesticides.
9. Simple protein and snack bars
Bars are great for everyone and anyone when they are down to the simple and basic ingredients that you can actually read and pronounce. You can try making your own like this mouthwatering banana peanut butter granola bars. And if you don’t have time, you can even buy some of these awesome brands: LARABAR, Simply Protein Bar, GoMacro Bar, Health Warrior Chia Bar, and NuGo Bars. All are great and have only a few ingredients.
#SpoonTip: Eat in moderation, even though it’s hard because they are so darn good.