One thing is for sure: switching to a 100 percent vegan diet is a challenge. From finding good lunch options to procuring the best vegan snacks, you have to be careful what you put in your body.
While there are plenty more vegan-friendly options available nowadays at grocery stores and restaurants, you still need to be mindful of the ingredients. The number of everyday items containing animal by-products and ingredients is shocking.
Take jelly beans, for instance. The majority of their ingredients sound harmless: sugar, corn syrup, and edible wax for that shiny, glazed finish.
However, some jellybean brands contain gelatin, an animal byproduct made by breaking down discarded pieces of meat.
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Therefore, vegans can't eat it. In fact, vegans need to steer clear of anything with gelatin in it.
If you're searching for some nibble-worthy treats without feeling guilty, we're here to help! We've rounded up some of the best vegan snacks to satisfy your sweet and salty cravings sans compromising your vegan lifestyle.
WHAT IS A VEGAN DIET?
If you're reading, you're probably already a vegan: bravo! But just in case you're still on the fence, we'll break down what being a vegan means.
First, let's backtrack and explain a more common dietary choice: vegetarianism.
Vegetarians are those who choose not to eat meat. There are several kinds of vegetarians (pescetarians, Lacto-ovo vegetarians, etc.), but none of them eat meat such as pork, veal, chicken, turkey, etc.,
Veganism is like vegetarian 2.0. Not only do vegans abstain from eating meat, but they do not use or wear anything from animals.
For example, they do not wear fur coats, leather shoes, or anything derived from animal products.
They also do eat or use things that come from animals. That includes anything containing dairy (milk, cheese, butter, etc.), products from bees (beeswax, honey, etc.) or anything containing glucose (sometimes derived from animals).
While the list of forbidden food, clothing, and other products is vast, the benefits are worth the sacrifice. Everyone benefits from veganism: the animals, the environment, and your body. Veganism is linked with lower blood pressure, cholesterol levels, and percentage of body fat.
So while making the switch may be tough, you and everyone else reap the benefits.
MAKING YOUR OWN SNACKS VS. BUYING
Because looking through every single ingredient list when you grocery shop is tedious, some vegans opt for making the majority of their snacks. This way, they know exactly what they're putting in their bodies!
There are a ton of recipes and online tutorials describing how to go about making the best vegan snacks such as fruit leather, homemade potato chips, or even applesauce.
The downside to making your own snacks is time and effort. You'll spend a lot of time sourcing the ingredients, preparing, and actually making your snacks.
Purchasing the best vegan snacks available has the added advantage of being pre-packaged. Their easily accessible (in the right stores), and easy to transport from one place to another.
Plus, you won't spend any time preparing anything or worrying about added costs (electricity to power your oven to make vegan crackers).
However, patience and knowledge are required to ensure all the ingredients are indeed vegan.
Additionally, purchasing vegan snacks are generally more costly than traditional non-vegan snacks. If you put two boxes of crackers side-by-side (one vegan, one not), chances are the vegan one is more expensive.
That is primarily due to its higher-quality ingredients and sometimes the process of which to make the product is less cost-efficient.
HOW WE REVIEWED
While we would have loved to engorge ourselves on all these tasty snacks, we approached finding the best vegan snacks a little bit more conservatively. Instead, we searched the web to find the best vegan snacks readily available for purchase. We scanned real customer reviews and based our decision on their critiques as well as their overall rating.
THE BEST VEGAN SNACKS EVER
Whether you have a sweet tooth or crave salty snacks, we've rounded up the best vegan snacks to make your stomach grumble in want!
VEGA PROTEIN CRISPS: SWEET CHILI
- High Protein: 15 gram plant-based gluten free protein from pea and brown rice protein
- Flavor & crunch: Bold taste and serious crunch in two delicious savory flavors
- On-the-go: Convenient single-serving snack bags you can bring with you anywhere
While the ingredients in most potato chips do not contain animal by-product, there is a lot of controversy surrounding the use of palm oil. Palm oil comes from huge palm plantations.
To make room for these plantations, thousands of animals are displaced, leaving them without homes which may result in death. So the question "are all potato chips vegan?" is not answered easily due to this controversial plantation process.
Thankfully, Vega Protein Crisps do not contain any palm oil at all so that you can rest easy on that front. While they disclose that their products are made in the same facility where dairy and nut products are made, the ingredients do not contain any of these forbidden items.
Their Sweet Chili pack costs $25 to $30 and comes highly rated at 4.3 stars out of 5. Inside the box are 12 single-serving sachets weighing 1.6 ounces packed with flavor. Each package contains 200 calories, 15 grams of plant-based protein and 15 percent of your daily iron intake.
ZAC BROWN'S REMEDY CHOCOLATE CHUNK COOKIES
- YOUR ULTIMATE GLUTEN-FREE COOKIE - Flavor-packed with a chewy crunch, Remedy Bake Shop's cookies are ideal for every...
- OUR QUALITY - Nothing but whole, non-GMO ingredients that are indistinguishable in taste from the mainstream....
- ZAC'S MISSION - When Grammy award-winning artist Zac Brown, of Zac Brown Band, opened Camp Southern Ground in 2011, one...
If you're tired of bland vegan cookies, Zac Brown's Remedy Chocolate Chunk Cookies are here to change the game.
Not only are they vegan, but they're also non-GMO, dairy-, egg-, soy-, and nut-free. While they offer a variety of other cookies (such as oatmeal cranberry and snickerdoodle), their chocolate chip is arguably one of their most popular kinds.
Thirty-one customers rated these cookies 4.2 stars out of 5.
The box contains five large, individually-wrapped cookies for $11 to $13, depending on the retailer. The high price reflects the quality of the brand.
That means that even those with the most sensitive allergies can enjoy this cookie worry-free.
That was the thought process behind making these cookies by creator Zac Brown of the Zac Brown Band. Their most rigorous testing was bringing their cookies to camps filled with children with different allergies and dietary restrictions.
The result was a cookie that is wholesome, delicious, and works with the vast majority of these restrictions.
TEA SQUARES SUPERFOOD ENERGY BAR
- ⚡️ NEED TO FOCUS? TeaSquares Focus Bites are for ambitious, go-getter professionals interested in maintaining a high...
- 👩🚀MISSION: We believe that the energy to fuel your focus, chase your passion, and help you reach your...
- 💫SUSTAINED ENERGY: Energy boosting, natural ingredients for mental energy, clarity & focus. Made with Tea,...
Thankfully, several manufacturers sell proteins which are also vegan-friendly.
Cliff, for example, is an easy grab-and-go vegan snack available at most grocery and hardware stores near check out.
If you're looking for the best vegan snacks that will pump you full of energy and nutrients, consider purchasing a bar packing even more nutrients such as Tea Squares' Superfood Energy Bar.
Tea Squares Superfood Energy Bars is vegan as well as gluten-, and dairy-free. A package costs approximately $18 to $21.
It is available in three flavors: acai blueberry tea, citrus green tea matcha, and vanilla chai tea.
We'll focus on the latter because it sounds so tasty. Inside each bag is 12 squares containing a mere 100 calories with 30 mg of caffeine and 4 grams of sugar. Tea Squares' Vanilla Chai Tea contains wholesome ingredients including puffed millet, almonds, pumpkin seeds, coconut oil, and brown rice.
NANGA BY NATURE ORGANIC DARK CHOCOLATE BARK: ALMONDS, BERRIES, AND MATCHA
- USDA Organic; Fair Trade USA
- Gluten Free; Dairy Free; Soy Free; Vegan, No Lecithin, No Emulsifiers
- Handmade Smooth Organic Fair Trade 70% Dark Chocolate with layers of amazing flavor and texture. A delicious adventure...
One of the hardest things going vegan is giving up a delicious ingredient found in so many treats: chocolate. If you enjoy dark chocolate, you don't have to worry.
However, most chocolate contains hints of dairy (such as milk chocolate), which is a big no-no in veganism.
Nanga by Nature's Organic Dark Chocolate Bark contains bittersweet chocolate, which is a category of dark chocolate. Therefore, it does not contain any added dairy. The rest of Nanga by Nature's ingredients for this particular product include almonds, blueberries, and matcha green tea.
All of their ingredients are organic and fair-trade without the use of any soy, fillers, emulsifiers, dairy, or gluten. They also have a whopping 10 other flavors including peppermint, blueberries lavender rose, and many more.
This particular flavor has the highest rating in our list: 4.9 stars out of 5! This package costs $17 to $20 and ships worldwide.
REAL FOOD FROM THE GROUND UP CAULIFLOWER CRACKERS
- Shake up your snack game with sea salt goodness – our classic cauliflower cracker never goes out of style
- CERTIFIED snacking that's GLUTEN FREE, and NON-GMO PROJECT VERIFIED
- Would you like MORE VEGGIES with that? We’ll throw in added flavor, crunch and bites to our made with vegan ingredient...
Finding food that little mouths enjoy is a challenge. Finding a vegan option they can happily munch on is nearly impossible.
If you’re trying to introduce only the best vegan snacks to your little one, try these Cauliflower Crackers from Real Food’s From The Ground Up.
Inside this container are six packs of delicious snack-sized bits of cauliflower sprinkled with vegan ingredients for that “cheesy” (but not cheese) taste.
There are three flavors available: sea salt, cheddar, and pizza. All the natural ingredients are certified gluten-free and at only 110 calories per serving, they’re pretty healthy too!
Customers rated this product 3.9 stars out of 5. It costs $19 to $22 (which is less than a dollar per ounce!) and ships across the United States.
BARÙKAS: DISCOVER A SUPERNUT
- DELICIOUS SUPERFOOD: Barùkas nuts have a flavor that's often described as a hybrid of different nuts, with notes of...
- GOOD FOR YOU: Barùkas nuts have more fiber and fewer calories than any other nut. They’re loaded with antioxidants,...
- GOOD FOR THE PLANET: These nuts grow in the wild in South America, with no artificial irrigation, pesticides, or...
One of the easiest grab-and-go snacks for a vegan is an assortment of nuts. They’re sold in most grocery stores (sometimes in bulk), easy to transport, and don’t cost a fortune. If you’ve never heard of Baru nuts, we can’t blame you! This nut is also called the Baru almond and goes by a few other names such as cumbaru, barujo, and camaru. This nut is native to South America and comes from the dipteryx alata tree.
Its nutritional value trumps most other nuts because it has fewer fat calories and more fiber than many other nuts. Most report its taste somewhere between a creamy cashew and aromatic peanut.
But all you really need to know is that this nut is absolutely delicious! Barùkas: Discover a Supernut sells a 12-ounce bag of Baru nuts for approximately $14 to $17. There are 11 servings per bag with each serving (about a quarter cup) containing 140 calories. At 4.8 stars out of 5, this product is one of the most highly-rated of the list. Mix it with your favorite soy yogurt and vegan oats for the best vegan snack ever.
WHICH VEGAN SNACK WOULD WE DEVOUR?
Choosing just one of the best vegan snacks in our list is truly a case of personal taste. In our case, we would spend our hard-earned cash on a package of Vega Protein Crisps' Sweet Chili Heat (mostly because we don't have a huge sweet tooth). Provided you're not one of the unlucky customers who received a bad batch, the reviews rave about the flavor and crunch. Plus, the price isn't bad either!
Are you of a different opinion? What's the best vegan snack in your cupboard? Let us know in the comments below!