People who eat more small portions throughout the day tend to weigh less (and be healthier) than those who eat three large meals. Incorporating smart snacking into your diet is a key component to eating more often—but not all snacks are created equal.
Dietitians often add dairy items like cheese and yogurt into a daily meal plan, but there are plenty of dairy-free snacks that are great alternatives while still packing a protein punch. Protein is a key element when it comes to smart snacking, as it makes you feel fuller longer and gives you the energy you need to go about your busy day.
Rather than heading to the vending machine the next time you need an afternoon boost, try some of these dairy-free snacks to curb your cravings:
Blueberry Banana Vegan Smoothie
Who doesn’t love a smoothie? Not only are they filled with healthy fruits and vegetables, but they’re also a satisfying way to indulge your sweet tooth.
Here’s what you need:
- 2 bananas, chopped and frozen
- 1 cup blueberries
- 1 cup kale
- 1 cup orange juice
- 1 cup almond milk
- 1 scoop vegan protein powder
Place all the ingredients into a blender, and mix until everything is fully incorporated. Pour into a travel cup to enjoy staying energized and satisfied wherever your day takes you. This blueberry banana smoothie also is great for breakfast on the go.
Garbanzo beans—which are the key ingredients to hummus—are rich with filling fiber and a significant serving of protein (you may know them as “chickpeas”). When blended with tahini and enhanced with flavorful spices (full of omega-3s), garbanzo beans are transformed into a creamy snack that rivals any dairy-based item. Pair hummus with carrots sticks for a heart-healthy snack anytime of the day, or incorporate it into a pita sandwich for an enjoyable mini-meal.
To make your own, gather these ingredients:
- 15 oz. can garbanzo beans, drained
- ½ small garlic clove
- 2 tbsp. tahini
- 1 tbsp. lemon juice
- 2 tbsp. water
- ½ tsp. cumin
- ¼ tsp. garlic powder
- ½ tsp. salt
- 1 tbsp. fresh parsley
- 1 tbsp. olive oil
Place all the ingredients into a blender or food processor, and mix until everything is fully incorporated. You can adapt this recipe to your taste by adding roasted red peppers, roasted garlic, or sun-dried tomatoes into the mix.
When it comes to hearty, dairy-free snacks, almonds reign supreme. A quarter-cup of almonds contains five grams of protein as well as a good amount of fiber, calcium, and iron. Keep a bag of raw almonds in your desk for a perfect pick-me-up during the workday or enjoy a handful in the evening to promote healthy eating habits before bed.
If eating raw almonds isn’t your cup of tea, give almond butter a try. One tablespoon on a piece of wheat toast topped with strawberries will conjure childhood memories of peanut butter and jelly sandwiches while gratifying your more grown-up palate.
Whether you’re lactose intolerant, vegan, or simply cutting back on your dairy intake, try these high protein snacks to keep your energy up and your junk food intake down. If you have a dairy-free sweet tooth, try these recipes for healthy ice cream alternatives and vegan hot chocolate for even more deliciousness.
What are some of your favorite dairy-free snacks? Let us know with a #GoodMatters tweet!
This article was brought to you by Tom’s of Maine. The views and opinions expressed by the author do not reflect the position of Tom’s of Maine.