Fueling your body with the nutrients it needs is easy once you understand how to do two things:
Craft a well-balanced meal
Create a meal plan
This is especially important for people on vegan and plant-based diets. Finding the perfect balance of macronutrients can be tricky, as sources of protein can be limited.
This smashed chickpea and avocado sandwich will provide you with healthy fats, high-quality protein and wholesome carbohydrates. It’s also quick, easy and fun to prepare (check out our Facebook Live video for proof). Learn more about the recipe and key ingredients below.
Flaxseeds are one of the few plant-based sources of alpha-linolenic acid (ALA). This is an essential fat, meaning we require it in our diets. ALA fats have shown to boost brain health, decrease inflammation, improve skin and hair quality, and support weight loss.
Storage tip: Flax can be difficult to chew, as a result, it will pass through your digestive system without being absorbed. It’s best to grind it down before eating. It’s worth noting that flaxseeds are prone to spoiling, so we recommend keeping whole flaxseed (and grinding them before eating) for 6-12 months and ground flaxseed for 6-12 weeks. Store in an airtight container in a dark, cool and dry spot — or, better yet, in the fridge.
Avocado is loaded with heart-healthy monounsaturated fatty acids (MUFAs) which have been shown to reduce inflammation and improve cholesterol levels.
Cooking tip: The fats in avocado are resistant to heat damage, making avocado oil an excellent and safe choice for higher heat cooking.
Plant-based, vegan source of protein
Garbanzo beans, also called chickpeas, contain a good amount of protein and fiber. It’s a legume, which helps you feel fuller for longer, improves digestion and keeps blood sugar stable.
Cooking tip: Roast your own chickpeas! Rinse and drain canned garbanzo beans, then spread them on a paper towel until they are completely dry. Once dry, move them onto a baking sheet and lightly coat them with drizzled oi Finally bake them in at 400°F (205°C) for 30-40 minutes or until golden brown.
Carbohydrates from whole grains
The grains in whole grain bread haven’t gone through the refining process, meaning they still contain healthy B vitamins, iron, copper, zinc and magnesium. In addition, whole grains also contain fiber, which will keep your digestive system happy and healthy.
Shopping tip: Not all loaves of bread are “whole grain.” Ingredients on a food label are listed by weight, meaning the closer an ingredient is to the top of the list, the greater percentage of that ingredient is in the bread. Look for ingredients with “whole” in the name and aim for 3 grams of fiber per serving.
Smashed Chickpea and Avocado Vegan Sandwich Recipe
- ½ cup canned chickpeas, drained and rinsed
- ¼ avocado
- 1 Tbsp spring onion, chopped
- ½ lime, juiced
- 1 Tbsp ground flaxseed
- 1 Tbsp fresh cilantro, chopped
- black pepper to taste
- salt to taste
- 1 slice 100% whole grain bread
- ¼ cup arugula
- Halve the avocado, remove the pit, and scoop out the flesh needed
- In a bowl, smash the chickpeas and avocado together using a fork
- To the bowl, add spring onion, lime juice, ground flaxseed, cilantro, salt and pepper — mix well, Spread smash onto bread (toasted or not)
- Wash the arugula to serve on top
This recipe makes one 400-calorie portion. If you’re eating this for dinner, you might consider adding extra avocado or an extra slice of bread. However, if this is a snack, reduce the amount of smash used. 8fitters can add this recipe to their meal plans and get customized ingredient amounts and calorie counts.