While September 22nd marks the first day of autumn for everyone in the United States, for some people the end of summer marks another important event — the end of vacation and the beginning of the new school year.

Students living in college dorms or residential halls know that securing access to fresh, affordable ingredients isn’t always easy. Even if you’re lucky enough to live down the block from a grocery store, finding the time in your busy schedule to meal prep and prepare elevated plant-based meals isn’t always an option. Sometimes, you just need a quick snack that will energize you through your study session and tide you over until your next big meal.

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Heres the thing: when you’re juggling coursework, essays, lectures, extracurriculars, and your own mental health, sometimes even the thought of figuring out what kinds of snacks and treats to have on hand can become an intimidating, instead of tasty, task. Don’t worry — we get it, and we’re here to alleviate your worries and present you with these nourishing, delicious, and easy plant-based snacks. Stock your pantry up with these goodies at the beginning of your term, and you won’t have to worry about having something to graze on that you can feel good about. No stress needed!

Spreads and Dips

First things first: you’re going to want to either purchase or made some spreads and dips to store in your refrigerator. Spreads like hummus, muhammara, and nut-butters all have the capacity to elevate the flavors of the ingredients you pair them with.

When it comes to hummus, we’re really feeling this anti-inflammatory and super healing Turmeric Hummus With Curried Chickpeas recipe; we suggest dipping baby carrots, cherry tomatoes, or even celery stalks into the semi-spicy mix. Pumpkin Seed Butter is delicious on top of toast or paired with apple slices, while this Chia Muhammara is a dip made roasted bell pepper, walnuts, and spices, and the roasted chia seeds on top add a touch of healthy fats. Pair this dip with some vegan crackers and you’re good to go!

 

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Powerfood Seed, Nut, and Grain Mixes

You can purchase different plant-based granolas and seed mixes at various grocery stores, but it’s also super easy to whip up your own granola recipe chock full of all your favorite superfood ingredients. We’re a huge fan of making overnight oats (Quaker sells five flavors, but they’re a cinch to make on your own) and topping them with delicious granola for an extra health boost.

This Paleo Granola is crunchy, golden, and grain-free, while this Protein-Packed Spiced Lentil Granola is sure to help you meet your protein goals. Don’t skip this Superfood-Packed Trail Mix recipe, either, or even this delightfully flavorful Curried Cashew and Veggie Trail Mix for a treat.

Fresh and Dried Fruits

Fresh fruits like bananas, apples, plums, and pears are all great seasonal choices to have one hand. If you like the idea of snacking on fruit throughout the day but are worried that you won’t be able to scarf down a ton of fresh produce before it spoils, then dried fruit is the way to go. The nutrients in dried fruits are condensed into a smaller package due to most of the water being extracted from them, according to Livestrong.

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We love sprinkling dried berries, such as antibacterial and anti-fungal goji berries into other mixes, like in this Seeds and Goji Berry Granola recipe. Dates are also some of our favorites; not only can you use them to make delicious condiments, but they’re rich in vitamins B1, B2, B3, B5, A1, and C. We also love transforming fruit into chips, like in this Oregano Olive Oil Beet Chips recipe. And while the Berry Fruit Tarts With Chia Seeds pictured above may look complicated, they actually only require seven ingredients—and six of them are fruit!

Powerbars and Energy Bites

Refueling after a long day of classes, or even after a workout, to help refresh your body and mind, is crucial. You want to be running on good-for-you nutrients so that you can perform at your optimal capacity, both academically and socially. Energy and protein bars from the grocery store are not always vegan, and sometimes they are quite expensive—especially on a college budget.

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Make a batch of cheaper, healthier bars, and grab them for a convenient pick-me-up when you’re feeling a lapse in energy. We love choices like these No-Bake Superfood Energy Bars because they’re chewy, crunchy, addicting, and easy to make in your dorm once you run out. These Raw Sprouted Buckwheat Bars taste chocolatey and delicious. They use buckwheat, which is loaded with minerals like manganese, fiber, copper, and magnesium, as well as calcium, iron, phosphorus, potassium, zinc, and selenium. Yum!

If you’re interested in finding some more scrumptious vegan recipes, then we highly recommend downloading our Food Monster App, which is available for both Android and iPhone, and can also be found on Instagram and Facebook. The app has more than 8,000 plant-based, allergy-friendly recipes, and subscribers gain access to ten new recipes per day. Check it out!

Lead image source: Protein-Packed Spiced Lentil Granola

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