Smart Afternoon Snacking for a Vegan Diet
By Olivia Booker, Student Nutritionist
Becoming a vegan can be quite a drastic change to make. Removing all foods derived from animals can also result in the removal of various essential nutrients. The good news is that most of these are easy to replace with plant-based foods, and afternoon snacks can be a great way to ensure you are meeting all of your daily nutritional requirements.
Whilst there are various vegan products on the market, not all of them provide the nutrients we need to be more aware of when following a vegan lifestyle. These include protein, omega 3, iron, calcium, vitamin B12, vitamin D, iodine and selenium. Our recent report highlights why some of these are harder to consume when eating only plant-based foods. If you want to know a little more about the types of foods that include these key vitamins, check out our handy infographic.
When thinking about making a vegan afternoon snack both tasty and nutritious, it is essential to focus on adding in some of the key items we mention in the infographic and including a variety of different foods for your consumption. Most wholemeal bread, wraps and pittas are vegan and are a good source of carbohydrates, B vitamins and iron. When using them to make a sandwich, ensure you include a good vegan protein like tofu or chickpeas, along with some tasty vegetables. Our chickpea ‘chuna’ sweetcorn wrap recipe is an easy example of how snacking can be an essential inclusion in a well-balanced vegan diet.
We also need essential fats from our food to help absorb specific vitamins and support various other functions in the body. Nuts and seeds are a great addition to energy bars, salads and smoothies as they provide these essential fats. We have a tasty sweet potato and almond salad recipe you could try, and you could easily swap the almonds to walnuts to include omega-3 or sprinkle with fortified nutritional yeast to have a cheesy flavour as a source of vitamin B12.
There are lots of vegan recipes online, but they can often include hard to find expensive ingredients. By including a variety of the food items shown in our infographic daily and putting a little creative spin on the snacks you may have eaten before becoming vegan, you can easily contribute to the essential nutrients your body needs.
Author: Olivia Booker, Student Nutritionist
Reviewed by Kathy Lewis, Registered Nutritionist
© 2021 The Caroline Walker Trust