Quick and Easy Vegan Snack Recipes and Time Saving Tips

Here are 4 of my favorite tips for saving time in the kitchen.

1) With a deyhdrator, make an enormous batch of healthy snacks (like flax crackers or kale chips) that last for months without spoiling. So you can work smarter, not harder. Here’s the one I use. See below for some yummy dehydrator recipes.

2) When planning a bean recipe, soak your beans overnight, then slash cooking time with a pressure cooker. Here’s the one I use. And here’s what a couple of our students say:

“Using my pressure cooker has been a lifesaver and I recommend it as the number one time saver in any kitchen!”
– Ellen Pierson

“I just recently started using a pressure cooker and I love it. I have the Instant Pot, its an electric pressure cooker and is so easy to use.”
– Yvonne Harding

3) When you don’t have time to cook a big meal, make a green smoothie. Throw a banana in your blender with other fruit, leafy greens, chia seeds, and water… and VOILA!

You have a nutrient-dense whole food meal in two minutes. You can even drink it “on the go”. See recipe below. This is one of several strategies that made a huge difference for our student Daniel Gray. As he explains:

“Though I enjoy cooking, it can be difficult with limited time and having to share a small kitchen with other people. I used to go without eating, or I grabbed something fast, but less complete as a meal. Your Mastery Program has taught me new ways to prepare meals that save me time and add flexibility. Making smoothies is just one example. I spend a lot less time and stress preparing meals now.”

4) To reduce trips to your grocery store or farmer’s market, store your fresh veggies in green bags like these.  (Tip: get free shipping using that link.) They’ll extend the life of your veggies by 3-10 times!

Trevor’s Green Smoothie Recipe

1 ripe banana
1 Tbsp of chia seeds, soaked in 1/4 cup water overnight
3 dried apricots or figs, rehydrated in water overnight (OR frozen fruit)
2 stalks of kale, chard, or dandelion greens
1/2 cup water
2 Tbsp tahini or almond butter (optional)

Pour all ingredients into your blender, including the water you soaked your apricots, figs, and/or chia seeds in. Blend. Note that including greens, chia seeds and (optionally) nut butter helps to slow down the absorption of fruit sugar into your bloodstream.

Chipotle Kale Chips

by Chef Dina Knight www.greenivore.net

Want a healthy crunchy snack that is loaded with nutrition but still tastes like you’re eating something naughty?

Try kale chips! You can make your own with just a few minutes of work. On average they take 3½ – 4 hours to dry at a low-temperature setting. In more humid climates, they make take overnight to turn crisp.

Ingredients:

2 Bunches Curly Green Kale, or Lacinato Kale
1 Tablespoon olive oil, cold pressed and organic
2 cloves garlic, crushed
Juice of one lemon
1 teaspoon agave nectar (optional)
1 teaspoon chipotle chili powder
1/8 teaspoon cayenne pepper (optional)
1½ teaspoon sea salt

Preparation:

  1. Remove kale from stem. Wash and spin in salad spinner. Place in large mixing bowl. Drizzle with oil, add remaining ingredients.
  2. Toss and lightly massage until the oil and spices are evenly dispersed. Place onto two dehydrator trays outfitted with the grid sheets. Place in dehydrator 4-6 hours at 115°F.
  3. Allow to cool completely before placing in an airtight container. Store at room temperature for as long as they will last — because we are sure you will eat these up very quickly!

Basic Flax Crackers

by Rose Lee Calabro https://www.facebook.com/rose.lee.calabro

Ingredients:

4 cups whole flax seeds, soaked 4-6 hours in 3 cups water
⅓-½ cup Nama Shoyu
Juice of 2-3 lemons

Preparation:

  1. Pour 4 cups of flax seeds in a bowl with 3 cups of water.
  2. After four hours, add the Nama Shoyu and lemon juice.
  3. Spread the mixture as thin as possible (about ¼” thick) on dehydrator trays with teflex sheets. Keeping your hands wet will help in the spreading of the flax seeds.
  4. Dehydrate at 105 degrees for 5-6 hours.
  5. Flip crackers over and remove the teflex sheets. Continue dehydrating for 4-5 hours, or until the mixture is completely dry.
  6. For variety, add garlic, onions, carrot juice, taco seasoning, Italian seasoning, chili powder, or cumin in any combination.

Chia-Fruit Crackers

by Raederle Phoenix of www.Raederle.com

Ingredients:

1 cup prunes, chopped
1 cup dates, chopped
1 cup dried mulberries (ideal, but optional)
1 cup other dried fruit pieces (persimmon, mango, raisins, currants, cranberries, etc)
1 cup chia seeds
2 pinches sea salt
2 pinches cayenne (optional)
1 lemon’s juice (optional, but a very tasty addition)
2-3 cups water or fresh-squeezed fruit juice (adjust as needed; needed amount will vary depending on fruit)

Preparation:

  1. Mince dried fruits and add them to a very large mixing bowl with chia seeds, sea salt and desired spices.
  2. Start with two cups fluid and stir mixture. At first, everything should be just barely free-floating in the water (or juice). Keep adding water (or juice) until you can stir freely without a lot of resistance.
  3. Wait five to ten minutes. The chia seeds will absorb the fluid, creating a gelatinous mixture. It should be similar to pancake batter in consistency. If it’s still fluidy, wait up to twenty minutes, but be careful not to wait too long or the chia seeds will absorb too much.
  4. Pour mixture onto teflex dehydrator sheets. Mixture should be thin enough to pour but thick enough not to run off the edges. Give it some spreading room around the edges just in case.
  5. Ideally, to get the fastest, most evenly dry crackers, without cooking the nutrition away: dehydrate at 145ºF for 1 hour, then 125ºF for the next hour, then 110ºF for four hours. While the food is still wet it is more resistant to heat, so this matches the temperature to the moisture level, keeping the actual crackers closer to 105 degrees.
  6. Flip crackers over and remove the teflex sheets. Continue dehydrating for 2-5 hours, or until the mixture is completely dry.
  7. For variety, try all your favorite fruits. You can also add cinnamon, cloves, nutmeg, cardamom, allspice, ginger – get creative!

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