Snacking in Style: Plant-Based Pros Share Their Favorites

Are you a plant-based enthusiast who has mastered the art of creating delicious whole-food meals? If so, you may find yourself wondering what to snack on in between those nourishing meals. Luckily for you, we have reached out to some plant-based veterans to discover their favorite snacks. Get ready to be inspired by their expert tips and tricks!

Dr. Shivam Joshi: A Classic Fruit and Nut Combo

Dr. Shivam Joshi, a board-certified internal medicine physician, keeps it simple when it comes to snacking. His go-to snacks are fresh fruits and nuts. He loves the convenience of nature’s prepackaged snacks and enjoys indulging in berries, mandarin oranges, and bananas. Dr. Joshi even shares that he wouldn’t hesitate to devour two or three bananas in a single snack. When it comes to nuts, he prefers roasted and unsalted cashews, walnuts, and almonds. Occasionally, he likes to prepare his own trail mix at home.

Chef Darshana Thacker: Plant-Based Bhel

Chef Darshana Thacker takes inspiration from her childhood in India for her favorite snack, an adaptation of bhel, a savory and crunchy treat. To make this delicious snack, she suggests chopping or mashing a steamed russet potato and adding chopped tomatoes, Persian cucumbers, and onions or scallions. Crumble brown rice cakes over the top and sprinkle with chopped cilantro, lemon juice, and a dash of hot sauce. Toss it all together like a salad and enjoy before the puffed rice loses its crispiness.

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Cathy Fisher: Crunchy Roasted Garbanzo Beans

For Cathy Fisher, roasted garbanzo beans are the perfect snack reminiscent of childhood memories. Drain and gently pat dry canned or home-cooked garbanzo beans. In a bowl, toss the beans with paprika and granulated onion and garlic, or any other desired flavors like curry powder. Roast them in the oven for 40 minutes at 375°F until they become delightfully crunchy. Let them cool in the oven for an additional hour to achieve maximum crispiness. Store these flavorful beans in an airtight container for later snacking.

Ashley Madden: Almond Butter and Fruit

Ashley Madden, a pharmacist and nutritionist, has a super easy go-to snack – almond butter smeared on a banana or an apple. This nutritious snack requires no cleanup, making it perfect for busy individuals. The combination of creamy almond butter and the natural sweetness of fruit provides a satisfying and healthy snack, especially after a workout.

Chef Katie Simmons: Cucumber Boats

Chef Katie Simmons shares her delightful and crunchy snack recipe, perfect for picnics or entertaining guests. She recommends taking Persian cucumbers, cutting them in half lengthwise, and scooping out the center with a spoon. Fill the hollowed-out cucumber boats with oil-free baba ghanoush, hummus, or guacamole. Top them off with radish slices or substitute with sliced mushrooms, celery, or halved grape tomatoes if you prefer a milder flavor. The result is a refreshing and satisfying snack, sure to please any crowd.

Heather McDougall: Baby Potatoes with Dipping Sauce

Heather McDougall, CEO of The McDougall Program, has been enjoying baby potatoes as a healthy snack since childhood. She loves to pair these tiny potatoes with a variety of dips, including hummus, salsa, or Dijon mustard. Simply season the potatoes with salt and pepper, or any spice blend of your choice, and boil them for 10 minutes. Alternatively, you can roast or air-fry them at 400ºF for about 20 minutes. These baby potatoes are delicious whether enjoyed warm, at room temperature, or even cold.

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Chef Del Sroufe: Sweet Potato Hummus Pockets

Chef Del Sroufe offers a fantastic snack idea for sweet potato lovers. His sweet potato hummus is both filling and bursting with flavor. To prepare it, puree peeled, cooked sweet potatoes, garlic, lemon juice, tahini, ground cumin, and optional salt and cayenne pepper in a food processor until creamy. Serve this delightful hummus in a whole grain pita with sprouts and cucumber or as a dip for carrot sticks, celery, cucumber, and red bell pepper. The natural sweetness of the potatoes adds a unique twist to this savory snack.

Dr. Columbus Batiste: Roasted Edamame

Dr. Columbus Batiste knows that replacing unhealthy snacks with wholesome options is key. To satisfy his cravings for something crunchy, he turns to roasted edamame. These legumes not only provide a satisfying crunch but also offer a nutritious punch. Dr. Batiste suggests mixing edamame pods with nutritional yeast, lemon juice, paprika, onion powder, and chili powder. Bake them in the oven at 375°F for 20 to 30 minutes, turning them every 10 minutes. The result is a flavorful and nutrient-rich snack that will keep you coming back for more.

Dreena Burton: Popcorn Trail Mix

Dreena Burton, an accomplished author and snack enthusiast, has created a fantastic popcorn trail mix. This snack was designed with school in mind, so it’s nut-free and perfect for packing. In a container with an airtight lid, combine air-popped popcorn, whole-grain cereal, pumpkin seeds, dried apple slices, roasted garbanzo beans, raisins, goji berries or dried cranberries, and dairy-free chocolate chips. Portion this mix into individual baggies for a convenient and delicious snack you can enjoy anytime.

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Chef AJ: Air-Fried French Fries

Chef AJ, a culinary instructor and author, shares her love for air-fried French fries. She always keeps pre-cooked potatoes and sweet potatoes in her fridge for convenience. Her process is simple: take a potato out of the fridge, cut it into wedges, and air-fry them for 20 minutes at 400°F. The result is a batch of super crunchy fries that are both satisfying and guilt-free.

Robby Barbaro: Lots of Fresh Fruits

Robby Barbaro, a New York Times bestselling co-author and nutrition expert, emphasizes the power of natural, whole foods, specifically fresh fruits. Robby’s go-to snacks include an assortment of portable fruits such as bananas, figs, grapes, cherries, blueberries, apples, raspberries, tangerines, blackberries, and strawberries. These fruits require minimal preparation—just a quick wash and peel—and they are packed with water, fiber, vitamins, minerals, antioxidants, and phytochemicals. Snacking on these delicious fruits can improve your metabolic health and provide a guilt-free treat.

So, the next time you’re looking for a plant-based snack, consider these expert-approved and mouthwatering options. From classic fruit and nut combinations to savory cucumber boats and sweet potato hummus, there’s something for every snacking preference. Enjoy these nutrient-rich snacks and feel satisfied knowing that you’re nourishing your body with wholesome, plant-based goodness.

For more information on a whole-food, plant-based diet, visit the Ames Farm Center website. Happy snacking!