Sixteen Fruits for Vegans
Vegan, or plant-based, diets are popular for many reasons. The diet is compassionate towards animals, promotes environmental sustainability, and, when done correctly, provides your body with a wide range of healthful nutrients.
Fruits can play an essential part in a vegan diet. They can replace traditional sugar as sweeteners, provide delicious snacks, and are part of a balanced diet.
Fruits have vitamins, antioxidants (which protect cells from damage and reduce inflammation), and crucial minerals that many people don’t get enough of from non-vegan diets.
Some of the most abundant vitamins and minerals you’ll find in fruit include:
- Vitamin A
- Vitamin C
- Vitamin E
- Folic acid
The Benefits of a Vegan Diet
The reasons for being a vegan can be many. Here are a few:
Color is Crucial for Vegan Fruits
Did you know that the color of fruit can tell you a lot about the nutritional benefits it offers?
The best way to ensure that you are taking in the proper ratios of vitamins and minerals is to get all five of the main fruit color groups into your daily meal plan: Red/pink, blue/purple, orange/yellow, green, and white.
It’s recommended that vegans have four to five servings of fruit a day, so spread out your choices across the entire spectrum of color groups.
When possible, eating local, seasonal fruits offers the benefits of diverse nutrients, delicious flavor, and environmental sustainability, as you avoid the cost and carbon footprint of shipping.
16 Fruits for Vegans
Here is an array of fruits, nutritional value, and recipes that can be part of a delicious vegan diet.
With more than 7,500 varieties produced worldwide, apples are one of the most exciting vegan fruits to introduce into your diet.
In addition to offering thousands of flavorful varieties, apples are excellent sources of vitamin C, fiber, and antioxidants. They are also a satisfyingly filling snack without being calorie-dense.
Apples are vegan, naturally, but you should be aware of the post-harvest treatments. Many protective coatings are made of beeswax, rendering the fruit non-vegan.
Chopping apples and adding them to cereal, slicing them and spreading them with nut butter, or tossing them into a smoothie are great ways to enjoy them.
You can also try them baked into a vegan apple crisp.
It may come as a surprise, but avocados are a fruit! They are one of the most delicious sources of healthy fats available in the produce aisle and offer a wide range of uses, from salads and guacamole to breakfast smoothies.
Avocados thicken a smoothie, so it is creamy and delicious, but the taste can be hidden with the other flavors, like this dreamy recipe for a Chocolate Avocado Smoothie.
Nutritionists consider bananas a superfood, thanks to their potent punch of vitamins and minerals, including:
- Vitamin B6 fiber
- Vitamin C
They make an excellent on-the-go snack but shine in smoothies.
Try them as a vegan ice cream substitute if you’d prefer to incorporate the most ubiquitous yellow fruit into a different frozen treat. Freeze them, toss them in your blender, then add a splash of plant-based milk. Add your favorite topping like berries or cacao nibs.
Bananas can serve as a replacement for eggs in baking recipes, too.
Pears are a nutritional powerhouse, with many of the benefits found, surprisingly, in the peel. These nutrients are believed to discourage inflammation and be wonderful for both the gut and heart.
Studies have shown that red pears help maintain heart health, while green pears can keep your eyes sharp.
All varieties have been linked to other healthy outcomes, like reduced risk of cancer, anti-inflammatory properties, decreased chance of diabetes, and maintaining a healthy weight, thanks to the high-fiber, low-calorie nutritional composition.
Deliciously Ella’s Winter-Spiced Pear and Apple Crumble combine pears with apples, pecans, and spices mixed into a warming winter treat.
Pomegranates are one of the best fruits nutritionally. Inside the leathery exterior is abundant luminous ruby-like seeds bursting with flavor. Pomegranates have three times more antioxidants than either red wine or green tea.
Some of the specific health benefits of pomegranates include:
- Great for the heart
- Diabetes prevention
- Can help with weight loss
- Vitamin K
- Vitamin E
- Vitamin B6
Here is a recipe that packs a lot of super nutritional ingredients, including avocado and pomegranates, in one place: Pomegranate, Avocado, and Quinoa Salad.
Berries genuinely are a superfood. They are packed with nutritional benefits, are easy to incorporate into any meal, and are fantastic as a snack. They are also some of the most enjoyable and sweetest foods to eat.
The benefits of berries include:
- Vitamin C
Blackberries are a summertime favorite, and you’ll find them most plentiful in supermarkets from May through September.
These jewel-like berries contain potent doses of vitamin C, fiber, vitamin K, and manganese, all of which boost your body’s overall health.
This recipe for summer blackberry cobbler is vegan-friendly, thanks to non-dairy butter and non-dairy milk.
Blueberries provide many complex aspects that work together to be highly therapeutic for our bodies. These plump treats are packed with antioxidants and can be particularly helpful with cholesterol and diabetes.
What else can blueberries do?
- Promote a healthy digestive system
- Can help with weight management
- High fiber content can keep diabetes-related blood sugar issues in check
- Aids in collagen production thanks to high levels of vitamin C
- Iron, zinc, and vitamin K contribute to bone health and reduce the risk of osteoporosis
They are easy snacks to bring along, make a fantastic pie filling, and are a smoothie staple.
Try out this super-fast, delicious, and nutritious blueberry and banana breakfast smoothie recipe from Deliciously Ella.
Cranberries are deliciously sweet and tart, often only seen on holiday tables. Yet, you can incorporate these autumnal darlings into your vegan diet long after Thanksgiving day.
Some of the positive attributes of cranberries include:
- Preventing urinary tract infections
- Preventing cavities
- Being heart healthy
- Being good for inflammation
- Helping digestion
Strawberries are perhaps the most popular berry, with Americans consuming, on average, 5.2 pounds annually.
Their health benefits are many, including lowering blood sugar, reducing the risk of diabetes, aiding in preventing cancer, and preventing heart disease.
The Happy Pear Berry and Custard Trifle is a gorgeous dessert starring the ruby-red fruit at the front and center. If you are sensitive to traditional cane sugars, you can substitute coconut or jackfruit sugars.
The deliciousness of cherries is well known. A perfect Rainier cherry leads to another and another. It is hard to stop at just one.
The health benefits of cherries are a happy bonus to their delicious taste:
- Help with exercise recovery, like reducing sore or injuries muscles
- Reduce inflammation
- Promote heart health
- Circadian rhythm regulation
These tart cherry bars are both vegan and gluten-free. They are easy to pack for a quick and healthy snack. It’s like having a pie in your pocket!
Citrus fruits can bring a burst of summer into our daily diet. Citrus fruits include oranges, grapefruits, lemons, and limes.
Benefits of adding citrus to your meals include:
- Vitamin C
- May prevent kidney stones
- Prevent cancer
- Contribute to a healthy heart
- Good for the brain
Dried fruits can be a great source of calcium and iron for vegans. However, it’s essential to eat them as a supplement to other, more nutritious foods, as they are calorie-dense. It’s easy to go overboard!
This vegan apple bread recipe calls for the dried fruit superfood, goji berries, and you swap out or add any other you would like.
When it comes to vegan fruits, kiwis are one of the most potent nutrient sources compared to their size. They are delicious and sweet and easy to add to a breakfast bowl, adding a twist of the tropics to your mornings.
Kiwi is rich in vitamin C, vitamin E, plant compounds like carotenoids, anti-inflammatories, antioxidants, and fiber.
Try these fuzzy fruits in a No-Bake Kiwi Cheesecake, which incorporates cashews (or tofu) instead of dairy.
Melons can be fantastic for healthy blood pressure levels.
The tried and true favorites include honeydew, cantaloupe, and watermelon, along with more exotic varieties like Apollo, Canary, and the tiny-yet-tangy Gac.
You can make frozen pops out of any melon, and they make an excellent addition to water for a jolt of fruity flavor.
The high water and potassium content in melons also make them invaluable in the fight against high blood pressure. They also contain crucial nutrients, like potassium and folate.
Make them a part of your morning routine with this tasty melon smoothie recommended by the Mayo Clinic.
Cantaloupes are deliciously sweet and flavorful, whether enjoyed alone or blended into a hydrating smoothie. Along with their high water content, they are chock full of beta carotene, folate, vitamin C, fiber, and potassium.
Try it out in a cantaloupe sorbet if you can’t get enough of this tough-skinned tasty treat!
The melon is abundant in nutrients. And it’s versatile: delicious for breakfast, in salads, and even as a soup.
Here are some of the health benefits of the honeydew melon:
- Great for bone health
- May decrease blood pressure
- Can help regulate blood sugar
- Can encourage healthy skin
- Good for the immune system
- Helpful for digestion
- Maintains eye health
Try blending the mellow-tasting honeydew with spinach into a vitamin-rich green smoothie.
Perhaps the most famous summertime vegan fruit, watermelon is best served in wedges while relaxing on the beach, enjoying a backyard staycation, or heading into your local park for a picnic.
In addition to the unbeatable taste of ripe watermelon, it’s also great for your body.
Like all melons, it is an excellent source of hydration, especially for little ones who might prefer snacking on a sweet slice of watermelon over slowing down for a drink of water.
One of the surprising things about watermelon is that its rinds are packed with nutrients, especially fiber.
Finding Vegan Recipes
Plenty of experts on vegan recipes can help you incorporate more fruit into your diet, and excellent vegan book lists like this one from Bon Appetit Magazine.
Vegan Fruits Offer a Bounty to Our Daily Meals
One of the hidden benefits of moving to a vegan diet is learning so much about food. We can so often take the fruits we see when we shop for granted.
Learning more about what fruits support our health can open us to a new sense of gratitude for the abundance of nutritional foods available right in our supermarket. The fruit market and the farm stand become wonders.
It’s honestly nothing short of a miracle that we live on an earth that can nurture us by giving us so many dazzling, delicious and nutritious fruits.
Sometimes being vegan can seem like there is a lot of giving up: meat, dairy, familiar recipes, but it’s really a matter of perspective!
One of the most creative and renowned chefs working today, Daniel Humm, has said that taking his celebrated New York City restaurant Eleven Madison Park vegan has been one of the most exciting, creative, and meaningful acts of his career.
Being vegan can be a delicious celebration of all the fantastic, nutritious fruits right before our eyes and the earth’s bounty. With so many unique vegan resources growing every day, it has never been easier to take the journey to healthful eating.