Let's face it. Most people are bad at feeding themselves. Grocery shopping never sounds fun, some claim to be a mediocre cook at best, and grabbing a bag of potato chips from the naughty drawer at work always sounds infinitely more appealing than slicing an apple from the not-so-naughty fruit bowl. That being said, if you're looking for a healthy way to snack, all roads lead to a plant-based diet—not only can it potentially lower your blood pressure, but it can also keep your brain strong.
If there's one thing we know about a plant-based diet, though, is that it’s hard out there for a vegan who wants to snack healthier, but who also prefers to eat things that aren’t too hippie-dippie (and don’t take so much effort that you just forego food altogether, leading to a major blood-sugar crash). So, we decided to put together a list of 27 healthy vegan snacks that satisfies the junk food craving. Plus, we tapped plant-based registered dietician Amy Gorin and nutrition and health expert Nicole Avena for their thoughts on these plant-based snacks. This is for all of you fellow junk-minded vegans (or anyone who wants to snack a little healthier and way more sustainably, really).
Meet the Expert
- Amy Gorin is a plant-based registered dietitian and owner of Plant-Based Eats in Stamford, CT.
- Nicole Avena, PhD is a nutrition and health expert as well as an a assistant professor at Mount Sinai Medical School.
Keep scrolling for the best vegan snacks that are tasty and nutritious.
These addictive little gluten-free nuggets are available at places like Whole Foods and Starbucks, and we're sure you'll buy them basically every time you see them. The company was started by a cute couple (one was vegan, one gluten-free: a modern love story) and is still small and family-oriented. The product basically tastes like part macaroon, part cookie and is 100% organic and non-GMO.
Looking for an alternative to your favorite potato chip bag? You've found it in Bada Bean Bada Boom, roasted bean snacks that will satisfy you while on the go.. "Potato chips contain high amounts of saturated fat, are calorie dense, and can contain little nutrients, but bean chips are full of protein, fiber, and contain no saturated fat," says Avena. This crunchy plant-based snack is a high protein, high fiber alternative to chips. Best part? It comes in 13 different flavors including Sweet Sriracha, Cocoa Dusted, and Zesty Ranch—our personal favorites.
Almond Milk Yogurt
Nothing beats fresh yogurt as a mid-morning summer snack—especially if it's made out of almond milk. Gorin says Silk's dairy-free yogurt alternatives are an especially great option for those who are vegan or lactose intolerant, but even if you're not, you'll still appreciate its creamy spoonable tastiness. You won't find soy, artificial flavors, or gluten in these cups—just a variety of flavors from strawberry and peach to vanilla and mixed berry acai.
If you're a a major chocolate monster, these raw vegan squares will make you feel actively good about that. The chocolates come in super-exotic flavors like blueberry lotus and goji with Schizandra and are packed with organic ingredients and holistic meditation herbs. Plus, the packaging is beautiful.
You know the old saying, "once you pop, you can't stop"? Well, The Good Crisp Company has created a stacked gluten-free chip that brings Pringles nostalgia with all the taste and none of the junk. Even non-vegan tastebuds will appreciate all the flavor that goes into these chips (and the fact that you won't feel guilty even if you top off a whole canister—trust us, it's easy to do so). FYI: Only the Classic Original, Outback BBQ, and Sea Salt & Vinegar flavors are vegan.
The Neat Egg Natural Egg Substitute
This isn’t exactly a snack you’d eat on its own, but if you’re feeling ambitious enough to bake one yourself, you need it. The product is an all-natural vegan egg replacement made from just chia seeds and garbanzo beans. Neat indeed!
If you're constantly on the go, you'll likely need a filling bar that can hold you over between meetings (or until dinner, for that matter). These refrigerated nutrition bars from Core Foods hit the nail on the head, providing one billion probiotics in each bar as well as clean ingredients.
Be careful with these: They are so caramelized, crunchy, and tasty, you could kill a whole bag in one sitting. Though that actually wouldn’t be the worst thing, as these chips are made of whole-food ingredients—just plantains, olive oil, and salt. "Per each roughly one ounce serving, you get two grams of fiber and one gram of protein to help keep you satiated," notes Gorin.
The world needed a modern take on trail mix, which is why we bow down to the makers of Daily Crunch for giving us a uniquely crunchy snacking experience that involves more than just your typical nut medley. With Daily Crunch, raw nuts goes through a four-day sprouting and dehydrating process, resulting in nuts that are more nutrient dense, easier on the stomach, and, alas, crunchier than your standard raw or roasted nuts.
Pea Protein Bar
There aren’t a lot of vegan protein bars that get a vegan's stamp of approval, but this one literally tastes like chocolate brownie dough—you can’t not love it. Luckily, it’s made with a natural, low-calorie, sugar alternative called monk fruit, plus organic sunflower butter, pea protein, and extra virgin coconut oil, so you can feel way better about it than a normal non-vegan brownie.
This tastes almost like the real stuff, and we think the fun Western packaging helps with authenticity. The soy-based product packs 12 grams of protein per bag and even non-vegans agree with their motto that fake never tasted so real. Plus, it's the perfect road trip snack.
Swap your on-the-go cookie bag with these fig bars, which Avena says are healthier alternatives to highly processed sweet snacks (like your go-to cookies). "They have no high fructose corn syrup and they are made with whole grains and oats," she says. "Pair this with a handful of nuts for some added protein, or a glass of fortified plant milk for some added calcium."
When the sweet tooth kicks in, these cacao bites fit the bill. Crafted specifically for an afternoon delight, these crisps have simple, straightforward ingredients and are only sweetened with coconut sugar. Plus, Avena loves the fact that that they use the whole cacao fruit instead of just the highly processed bits that usually make up chocolate. You won't be able to stop at just one.
Skipped breakfast on the way to the office? Pop one of Purely Elizabeth's oatmeal packets in your workbag to make sure you never go hungry. According to Gorin, they add additional protein and fiber via pea protein, almonds, chickpea powder, chia seeds, flax seeds, quinoa, and amaranth. "I also like that the packets are made with gluten-free oats, so that anyone who has celiac disease or a gluten sensitivity is able to enjoy them," she adds. You heard it here first.
Okay, we know vegetable chips don't sound appealing, but trust us when we say you won't miss the gluten once you try these options from Forager Project. Leafy greens team up with either ancient grains or gluten-free root veggies for a crunch-filled snack session. Take our word and get the variety pack— it's all you need for healthy munching while you catch up on Netflix.
Pair your vegetable chips with this plant-based hummus—aka the perfect alternative to sugary or dairy dips you find in the supermarket. Gorin says that hummus is a great snack because it provides both protein and fiber to help keep you fuller for longer. We're fans of the Sea Salt & Olive Oil flavor from Hope Foods (though their Avocado Lime flavor is slowly inching toward the top of our favorites list).
"This paleo granola replaces grains with dehydrated fruits and nuts for a crunch that is more nutrient and protein dense than conventional granola," says Avena. The ingredients are almost completely nuts and dried fruit, with a bit of coconut nectar added for sweetness. Use it to top off your morning granola or to snack on during your summer road trip.
Soft, chewy, and oh-so-cookie-like, Lenny & Larry's The Complete Cookie-fied Bar is what plant-based snack dreams are made of. Made with plant-based protein and only six grams of sugar, these bars are topped with Lenny & Larry’s signature crunchy cookie pieces for a deliciously satisfying experience. Pop 'em in your purse to satisfy your cookie craving on-the-go.
Avocado lovers, rejoice! Now there's a way you can snack on your favorite high fat snack without having to whip out a knife and cutting board (or risk cutting into an overly-ripe one—womp womp). Gorin is a fan of avocados—even freeze-dried ones—as they provide a heart-healthy monounsaturated fat, aka the type of fat that helps to keep you fuller for longer.
Don't have the time (or energy) to whip out a blender but still crave a healthy, refreshing mid-morning snack? Let Sweet Nothings' spoonable smoothies do all the heavy lifting for you (and yes, they do provide the spoons, too). At under 120 calories, they make the perfect breakfast, post-workout snack, or guilt-free dessert. Avena notes that since they're only made with organic, whole food ingredients, they're a great low-sugar alternative to snacks and desserts. Win!
Everything you know and love about cheese puffs—including the light, airy texture and finger-licking flavor—is right here in Hippeas chickpea puffs. All ingredients are non-GMO, and the product is free of dairy and gluten. Plus, there's four grams of protein and three grams of fiber per one-ounce serving. Impressive? We think yes.
Sick of the same ol' grocery store dried fruit? Rind Snacks is here to shake things up. Snacking on fruit isn't the same anymore—these dried fruits actually maximize nutrition and minimize waste by actually keeping the skin on the fruit (yep, even on the kiwis and oranges!). We're partial to the tropical flavor—it's chewy, tangy, has six grams of fiber, and (as Avena recommends to look for in your dried fruit) has zero added sugar.
Let's face it. An ice cream craving can hit any time of day, and if you're vegan, you don't have to sacrifice taste for quality. These vegan mochi desserts are perfectly portioned with 80 calories per piece and are made with only high-quality, real ingredients (think: coconut-based milk). Basically, you won't feel guilty having more than one.
More crunchy goodness! These healthy bites are surprisingly complete in their nutrition, made with crispy quinoa, toasted coconut, ground turmeric, and 50 milligrams of cocoa flavanols per serving.
Okay, just when we thought popcorn was only reserved as a movie or Netflix snack, Poppy's Hand-Crafted Popcorn is here to tell us otherwise. With mouth-watering flavors like Spicy Thai, Vegan Salted Caramel, and Everything Bagel, these gourmet snacks deserve a spot in your pantry, whether you're vegan or not. Best part? Gorin says that even though many people don’t realize it, popcorn is actually a whole grain that in addition to providing satiating fiber, is just as likely to boost a bad mood as higher-calorie, more traditional comfort foods like ice cream. Imagine that.
Life's tough when you're a vegan who needs to fulfill their sour cream and onion fix. Not with these must-haves from Pop Bitties. Like a chip but way better for you, these vegan sour cream and onion air-popped chips have one star ingredient: sorghum, an ancient grain that includes more vitamins, minerals, and fiber than your typical grains like corn and modern wheat. They also give you a bit of filling fiber and protein in every bite, says Gorin.
Keto Tortilla Chips
Avena says that these keto tortilla chips are great for those who are gluten sensitive or like to stay away from grains. Plus, "they're higher in protein than regular tortilla chips which means they will help keep you full for longer," she adds. Next time someone annoyingly asks how vegans get their protein, just point them to this stuff.