A few weeks ago, I whipped up a Youtube video for you guys all about zero waste & vegan snack ideas. The more I thought about it, I realized a blog post might be helpful too so I can include some recipe recommendations for you to try out! I know a lot of you have really enjoyed preparing the low waste and plant based meals from my cookbook, The Zero Waste Vegan Cookbook. This post includes a few more recipes and ideas to expand your zero waste & plant based kitchen repertoire. Because honestly, that has always been the biggest struggle for me – coming up with WHAT to cook/eat! After Vasco was born, I found myself eating a lot more junk food, take out, etc because I didn’t have the time to meal plan and hunt for healthy, low waste meals for my fam.
So here are just a few ideas to help fill your pantry so you won’t feel like you need to grab some not so healthy processed, packaged snacks when you’re hungry! I also wanted to note that I tried to include only ideas that were pretty easy to find without a bulk food store. I know some people have access to large bulk food stores that offer tons of package-less snacks like chocolate covered raisins, banana chips, chocolate covered almonds, etc. I wanted to include only snacks that were easy to find in most any grocery store. Be sure to share your favorite zero waste & vegan snack ideas with me in the comments section of this post 🙂
I know it’s not the most interesting zero waste & vegan snack idea but fruit is such a no-brainer! Think apples, pears, mangoes, oranges, bananas, etc. You can find a lot of different fruits without packaging, especially if you check out your local farmers market. Seriously though, fruit is such a great zero waste snack option, because you can often find it packaging free and it’s great for snacking on the go. If you’re wanting something a little more filling than just plain fruit, consider packing an apple with peanut butter in your bag or a banana with almond butter. Nut butters can help you stay fuller longer.
Homemade Hummus & Veggies
Another simple and healthy snack idea is homemade hummus with veggies. Hummus is actually not too difficult to make from scratch. You can find plenty of recipes on Pinterest for homemade hummus. But here are a few that I’ve picked out that look really great:
I like to cut up carrots and bell peppers for dipping. Or you can even try your hand at making your own pita chips from scratch!
Stove Top Popcorn
My absolute favorite waste free snack is stove top popcorn! We do have a bulk bin at our grocery store with naked popcorn kernels which I realize you can’t find at every grocery store. However, it is pretty common to find a large sized plastic container of popcorn kernels at most stores. This isn’t 100% waste free but it’s a lot less packaging in comparison to those individual paper bags of popcorn that each come wrapped in film plastic. If you’ve always made popcorn in the microwave rather than stove top, don’t worry. It’s really easy to make! Here’s a step by step blog post on how to make the perfect stove top popcorn.
Roasted chickpeas are super delicious and a great source of protein and fiber to help you stay fuller, longer. I like to roast chickpeas with just a little bit of olive oil, salt, pepper, and maybe a dash of garlic powder. It’s so good! There are lots of other more elaborate roasted chickpea recipes on Pinterest too. I think this cinnamon roasted chickpeas recipes sounds divine. I’ve also seen some recipes for spicy roasted chickpeas if you like a kick! I like to toss a few handfuls of roasted chickpeas in a mason jar and throw them in my bag for zero waste snacking on the go.
I can’t take credit for this idea. This is a recommendation from my sister! She says rather than preparing a snack in the afternoons when she gets a little hungry before dinner time, she will just warm up a small portion of whatever she cooked for lunch. For example, if she made vegan veggie curry for lunch, she will reheat a small bowl of curry for an afternoon snack. So simple, I don’t know why I didn’t think of it!
Alright now, are you wishing there were some serious snacky-snacks on this list? Like junk food? I’m thinking potato chips, candy bars, etc? Well, if you’re really craving a not so healthy but oh so delicious zero waste & vegan snack, how about baked goods? Yes, this does require a little bit of prep time, but I would say it’s well worth the time. You could make some tasty vegan muffins or banana bread in advance then just take a few pieces on the go. What’s also great about homemade baked goods is that a lot of them can freeze easily. In this way, you could make a large batch of muffins, freeze them, and then just pull them from the freezer as you need them. I love me a good ole blueberry muffin!
The last zero waste & vegan snack recommendation on my list is smoothies. I love these, because you can really just throw in whatever fruit you have on hand. If we have some bananas or kiwis that are going off, we just toss them in our smoothies. I love peanut butter in my smoothies too. There really are so many different options when it comes to smoothies and what you can add to them. They’re simple to make and can be really filling depending on the ingredients you add to them.