Healthy Vegan Snacks + Balela Recipe

Healthy Vegan Snacks Organic Lesser Evil Popcorn Trail Mix Kiwi Balela Recipe

Healthy Vegan Snacks Organic Lesser Evil Popcorn Trail Mix Kiwi Balela Recipe

Oh man, we are in the midst of some serious summer heat! It is unbelievably hot here in Pittsburgh and it feels like the air is weighted with moisture when you walk outside. In the midst of humid heat, I gravitate towards a snack-based diet. Preparing a big hot meal when it's 90 degrees just doesn't appeal. These are my latest favorite healthy snacks, and they all happen to be vegan. And there's a recipe for a wonderful balela salad at the bottom.

ORGANIC POPCORN: Lesser Evil Buddha Himalayan popcorn just came out and it's AMAZING. I almost never eat popcorn that I haven't air-popped myself from kernels, but this one may be a permanent exception. There are only three lovely and simple ingredients: popcorn, coconut oil and salt. I can totally get down with this.

KIWI: Kiwi fruit is a serious nutrient powerhouse. It's a good source of vitamin C and high in potassium. It has vitamins A and E as well as healthy omega-3 fatty acids. And it is 90% water, making it a low calorie option.

ALMONDINA: I know these have been around for awhile, but I just discovered them about a year ago and have been hooked ever since! They are the perfect amount of sweet and crunchy and satisfy my sweet tooth.

WASABI SEAWEED SNACKS: Man on man do I love Trader Joe's wasabi seaweed snacks. My husband and I can go through a pack in under five minutes. They are just so addictive. And snacking on seaweed is a good habit to get into.

NECTARINES: Three cheers for nectarine season! These beauties have a ton of great antioxidants with nice vitamin C content and carotenoids like beta-carotene.

DARK CHOCOLATE CHIPS W/ STEVIA: Who doesn't love dark chocolate? These are my go-to for satisfying my dark chocolate cravings. They're healthy, vegan and use stevia instead of refined sugar as a sweetener.

TRAIL MIX: Raw almonds, raw cashews, dried cranberries, and pepitas make this yummy trail mix. Sometimes I'll throw in some of those dark chocolate chips for a little extra kick.

BALELA: This middle eastern chickpea salad is SO good. Here's the recipe...

Balela Salad
(Makes ~3 cups)

2 cups cooked chickpeas, rinsed and drained
1 cup cooked black beans, rinsed and drained
1 large tomato, diced
2 tablespoons minced yellow onion
1 clove garlic, minced
1/4 cup chopped parsley
1 tablespoon chopped mint
1 tablespoon olive oil
1/4 fresh lemon juice
1/2 tablespoon balsamic vingear
1 tablespoon red wine vinegar
1/2 teaspoon crushed red pepper
1/4 teaspoon salt
black pepper to taste

In a medium bowl, toss together chickpeas, black beans, tomatoes, onion, garlic, parsley and mint. Set aside.

In a small bowl, whisk together olive oil, lemon juice, balsamic and red wine vinegars, crushed red pepper and salt. Pour dressing over beans, tossing to combine. Allow salad to marinate 30 minutes at room temperature or in the refrigerator overnight. Season to taste with salt and pepper.

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