Whether you’re in between classes, buckling down for a long study session or simply hanging out in your room, snacking tends to be an essential part of college life. Vegan diets make snacking slightly more difficult than grabbing whatever food is in front of you, but there are still plenty of options available for a tasty snack in between meals. Even if you don’t follow a vegan diet all the time, these conscious choices can lead to healthier snacking and a healthier diet in general.
Grade-school snacks: Remember “ants on a log”? Peanut butter and jelly? Classic snacks from years past can easily be recreated in the dining hall. For “ants on a log,” grab some peanut butter, celery and raisins from the salad bar of the dining hall. Spread the peanut butter on the celery, and top it with raisins —— a snack that’s both fun to make and fun to eat! As a side note, despite its name, peanut “butter” actually does not contain butter, but rather oil, so it’s safe for vegans to eat. Now that hummus is available in all dining halls, it’s easy to replace the classic snack of carrots and ranch with carrots and hummus, too.
Popular snacks that are “accidentally vegan”: The term “accidentally vegan” refers to food that was not made with the intentions of being free of animal products but that are vegan anyway. Surprisingly, lots of supermarket foods are vegan! Foods on this list include Oreos, Annie’s organic fruit snacks, Lorna Doone shortbread cookies, Lay’s plain potato chips and Sour Patch Kids. Doing a Google search for “accidentally vegan foods” also leads to a more comprehensive list.
Emporium vegan finds: The Emporium in the Lulu Chow Wang Campus Center is well-stocked with vegan comfort food options. They have almond-based yogurts and ice cream and dark chocolate for sweeter options; for savory options, check out the Xtra Tangy Buffalo Wing Pringles or the kettle chips.
Nutrition and protein bars: These can be life-savers for those long study sessions or an event-packed day. While nutrition and protein bars should never act as meal replacements, they can help supplement your daily meals and provide a boost of energy. The emporium carries many nutrition and protein bars which are vegan: Luna bars and Clif Builder’s protein bars are made without animal products and come in many flavors. A word of caution about KIND bars: They contain honey, so for strict vegans, these should be avoided.
Nuts and trail mix: Nuts are a great source of sustenance. Usually, nuts also contain lots of protein, vitamins and healthy fatty acids that can help supplement a vegan diet which is naturally lower in protein. Particularly healthy nuts include almonds, cashews and walnuts. Along the same vein, trail mix is a great option because it usually includes a good variety of nuts. Just be sure to check the ingredients first in order to avoid dairy products.
Get creative! Experiment with foods in the dining hall and in the Emporium to find what works for you. It can be something simple like bananas and peanut butter or crackers and hummus or maybe a smoothie made with dates, almond milk and vegan chocolate. Whatever it is, vegan snacking can be a fun way to exercise your creativity and keep you going in between meals.
Photo by Alice Liang ’16, Co-Editor-In-Chief