Best Vegan Snacks: What to Know

Struggling to find the best vegan snack? You’re not alone.

The vegan diet is becoming increasingly popular these days. Some people switch to a vegan lifestyle because they have specific intolerances to some foods. Others think that vegan living is the best way to protect the environment.

Whether you’re going vegan for ethical or health reasons, it’s important to know what kind of foods and snacks you can eat. After all, a diet focused exclusively on avoiding certain foods makes it tougher to get the right nutrition in your diet.

What is a Vegan Diet?

A vegan diet is a dietary choice that attempts to remove all forms of animal cruelty and exploitation. If you go vegan, you avoid eating meat and animal byproducts, such as eggs or milk. Many vegans will also stay away from any makeup, clothing, and other items that exploit animals.

A vegan diet avoids all animal products, such as eggs, dairy, and milk, making it a lot tougher to find the right vegan snack when you’re hungry. Various foods, from chocolate to cake, can contain animal products.

However, there are different kinds of vegan diets. For instance, a whole-food vegan diet focuses on getting whole plant foods like fruit, whole grains, vegetables, seeds, nuts, and legumes into the diet. This means that you’d have meals packed full of things like dried fruits, potato chips, veggies, and so on. Looking into gluten-free foods is also a great way to eat vegan. A raw food vegan diet means eating foods that are, you guessed it, uncooked or raw, or occasionally blanched.

Other options include:

  •         80/10/10: This vegan diet limits fat-rich plants like nuts, nut butter, avocados, and similar items and relies on soft greens and raw fruits instead.
  •         Starch diet: Similar to the 80/10/10 but uses a lot of cooked starches like rice, corn, and potatoes, rather than fruit.
  •         The Thrive diet: A raw food vegan diet where you avoid any heavily cooked vegan foods. Some people believe this is a healthier option.

What Types of Snacks are Vegan?

Many people add their own spin to the vegan diet, which means that the best vegan snacks will depend on you and your needs. Healthy snack ideas when you’re limited in the foods you can eat can be challenging, but there are options out there.

For instance, almond and peanut butter products often stand out as an easy vegan snack. Most almond butter and similar kinds of butter that are all-natural avoid any byproducts that come from animals. You can also look into things like home-made granola bars and chia pudding, which are extremely popular right now. Even if you’re avoiding animal products, there’s nothing to say you can’t have a rich diet as a vegan.

If you’re in the process of switching to vegan food, and you want to turn your favorite existing items into a healthy vegan snack, you can even find helpful recipes online. There are tons of guides out there for things like vegan cake or vegan cookies with dark chocolate and maple syrup.

The key to success with any vegan recipe or food is to check the ingredients carefully. It’s often easy to overlook animal-based products on some items when they’re labeled with unusual and scientific names.

What Ingredients Should I Check Before Buying Vegan Snacks?

Many of today’s manufacturers and food companies add the label of “vegan” to their products, so you can find the items you need right away. However, it’s important to be careful when you’re checking the contents of other foods. When you’re looking for a delicious vegan snack on the shelves of your local store, remember to check for:

  •         Lactose: a milk sugar
  •         Casein: a milk protein
  •         Whey: a milk byproduct
  •         Elastin: found in ligaments of bovine/cattle
  •         Collagen: from the connective tissues of animals
  •         Keratin: from the bones and skin of animals
  •         Gelatin: from the bones, skin, tendons, and ligaments of animals
  •         Aspic: similar to gelatin, made from meat
  •         Lard/tallow: animal fat
  •         Shellac: taken from the body of insects
  •         Honey: made by bees
  •         Royal jelly: secretion from bees
  •         Propolis: used by bees to make hives
  •         Pepsin: from pig stomachs
  •         Cod liver oil: from fish
  •         Isinglass: obtained from fish
  •         Vitamin D3: from fish or sheep wool
  •         Albumen: from eggs

What Popular Foods are Vegan?

Although switching to vegan food does limit your snack options a little, many items out there are almost “accidentally” vegan. For instance, you don’t need to worry about fresh fruit, kale chips, sweet potato fries, and similar items. Peanut and almond butter, certain forms of chocolate, and a lot of other snack foods are naturally vegan-approved.

Here are some of the most common foods you might not know are vegan:

  •         Condiments: Sriracha hot sauce, soy sauce, mustard, Tabasco, Heinz tomato ketchup, and HP brown sauce
  •         Drinks: Most Coca-Cola products, some hot chocolate, and various forms of fruit drinks.
  •         Bread: Many bread products are naturally vegan, but it’s worth checking the ingredients to make sure that you’re not accidentally buying any by-products.

You can also buy things like tortilla chips and roasted chickpeas, hemp seeds, and pumpkin seed snacks, as well as various fruit snacks like prunes and raisins. Just make sure that these items don’t have any “added extras” included. Products like guacamole, brown rice, and veggie crisps are usually suitable for vegans to eat too.

How Can You Get B12 Without Eating Meat?

It’s often difficult to get the right blend of vitamins, minerals, and other essential nutrients into your diet when you switch to a new lifestyle. Deciding to go vegan means that you’re going to cut down on the amount of certain products you can take in. One of the most common problems when eating vegan is that you get a much lower amount of B12.

Limited B12 in your diet can cause various problems, including nervous system damage and anemia. Unfortunately, most of the B12 in our diets does not come from plant-based products. For most vegans, the best source of B12 will be foods that come fortified with this substance. You can find almond milk and cashew cream that’s fortified with B12, for instance.

You may also be able to track down certain protein bar products and protein powder options that come with extra B12 included; just make sure that there are no additional animal products in the mix. If you rely on fortified foods to get the right blend of nutrients into your diet, make sure that you check the label to ensure that you’re getting enough of the right products.

If you’re concerned about getting certain ingredients into your food now that you’re vegan, speak to a doctor or dietician about your options.

What are the Best Healthy Vegan Snacks?

Though making sure every snack you eat is vegan can be a little exhausting at first, you’ll soon get used to the challenge. After a little while, and some experimentation, you should have a wide selection of recipe cards that are perfect for your vegan snack moments. For instance, you can enjoy everything from almond and peanut butter to dried fruit and certain types of dark chocolate.

To ensure that your vegan snack is healthy and appealing, make sure that you check the amount of sugar in each recipe. It’s important not to go over-the-top with sugar in your search for flavor.

Here are some healthy vegan snack ideas:

  •         Fruit and veggie smoothies: Smoothies are a great snack for people who are regularly on the go. Just add your favorite fruit and veggies, and you can blend with plant-based milk for some extra moisture. Add a scoop of chia seeds for some omega-3 fatty acids.
  •         Oatmeal with nuts: Oatmeal is high in fiber, magnesium, and iron. You don’t need to add any animal milk here. Almond or coconut milk is an excellent alternative. Add dark chocolate or fruit for extra flavor. Or try adding some Crazy Richard’s peanut powder for some extra protein! 
  •         Fruit and nut butter: Combine peanut butter or almond butter with fresh or dried fruits for a sweet and delicious snack. Fruits provide minerals, fiber, and vitamins, while your nut butters are rich in protein and fiber to help you stay energized. And if you haven’t already, you’ve got to check out Wholly Rollies! You can thank us later. 
  •         Guac and crackers: If you’re looking for snack ideas that are more savory, then try this classic. Guacamole is a vegan dip made from avocado and sometimes onion, garlic, and lime juice. This product is rich in monounsaturated fats, potassium, and fiber. If you’re not a huge fan of guac, you can try some vegan cheese or hummus on your crackers instead.
  •         Edamame and salt: Edamame soybeans are an excellent source of plant protein, something you need plenty of as a vegan. Add some sea salt for extra flavor, or make an edamame and chickpea salad.
  •         Homemade granola: There are a lot of different kinds of granola that you can use as a vegan snack. Most recipe options will contain nuts, seeds, oats, dried fruits, and sweeteners. Avoid store-bought options that are packed full of excess sugar. Combine your own granola bars with maple syrup and coconut oil instead.

Enjoy Your Vegan Snacks

When you decide to go vegan, it can be easy to get overwhelmed, thinking, “what do vegans eat?” However, there are plenty of options out there if you know where to look, from chocolate chip cookies to bread with nutritional yeast that cuts out all animal products.

Speak to your doctor, do your research, and don’t be afraid to experiment with each unique recipe you find. You’ll have plenty of vegan snack options in no time.