The Best Vegan Snack Ideas and Brands for 2021
No matter how filling and nutritious your meals may be, there's always a temptation to snack. For those on a vegan diet, it's important to keep your fridge and pantry stocked with quick-and-easy snack items that meet your dietary needs.
Thankfully, that's easy to do. There are plenty of vegan-friendly snacks that are both nutritious and yummy, as well as some vegan food brands that provide excellent pre-packaged options. From vegan jerky and vegan cheeses to vegan chocolate and vegan plant-based meal replacement shakes, there are more options today than ever.
If you're looking for the best healthy vegan snack ideas, consider a few of the following options.
How to Choose a Vegan Snack
Before we get into specific vegan snack ideas, it's important to know exactly what to look for. Here are four things to consider when selecting your snacks:
- Look for snacks that are rich in protein. Protein matters for a simple reason: It'll help you feel full and energetic, meaning you won't need to reach for another snack within an hour's time.
- Are they travel-ready? Snacking often takes place on the go. Make sure you have some snack options that are easy to transport for running errands or road trips. This is where the pre-packaged options really shine
- Consider the ingredient list. Just like with vegetarian snacks, look out for added or synthetic ingredients, especially sweeteners or preservatives, which can compromise your snack's nutritional value. Healthy vegan snacks should be dairy-free, gluten-free, non-GMO, and free from animal products.
- Check the price tag. You want to find the tastiest snacks, but you also need to avoid over-priced options. While you can find most of these at the grocery store, you can also order prepackaged vegan snacks that are ready to eat.
The Top 10 Best Snacks for Vegans
Based on those criteria, here are a few of our picks for the best vegan snack ideas.
1) Fruit with nut butter
A sliced apple with almond butter, or a banana dunked in peanut butter, just hits the spot. This is a great vegan snack idea because it's both refreshing and filling. It also offers plenty of nutritional value, including protein, fiber, fruit, and vitamins. The only downsides: It's not always super-portable, as the nut butter can make a bit of a mess. And, you need to watch out for added sugars, which are common among almond and cashew butters, in particular.
Edamame is one of the best vegan snack ideas because of its plant-based high protein content. We recommend preparing them with either sea salt or soy sauce to give them a little flavorful zest.
3) Roasted chickpeas
Chickpeas, also known as garbanzo beans, are nutrient powerhouses. Not only do they offer a huge portion of protein, but they are also rich in iron, copper, magnesium, and more.
Yes, it takes some premeditated effort to roast them, but once they're prepped, chickpeas make for a uniquely delicious vegan snack option. Chickpeas are also used to make hummus, another healthy vegan snack option.
4) Rice cakes with avocado
If you aren't familiar with them, rice cakes are basically like crackers, shaped from puffed rice. Rice cakes made with whole-grain brown rice are the most nutritious option, offering you a crisp, tasty snack with a low calorie count. Spreading some avocado or guacamole on top will also give you healthy fats, which can keep you full until mealtime comes around.
For vegan-friendly, on-the-go snacks, fruit and veggie smoothies are tough to beat.In terms of flavor combinations, you can mix and match your personal favorite fruits and vegetables. Note that to keep your smoothies vegan-friendly, you'll need to mix your ingredients with plant based milk, or simply use water as your liquid base.
Try adding a plant-based protein powder, or flax or chia seeds to enhance your smoothie's nutritional value even further.
What could be better than a fragrant dip made with chopped tomatoes, onions, garlic, lime juice, and other aromatic spices?
Salsa works best with tortilla chips, though here you'll need to be careful: Most of the store-bought options have too much salt to really qualify as healthy. Homemade chips are easy, though. Just slice some tortillas, drizzle olive oil over them, and bake them for a few minutes.
7) Fruit and nut bars
Some of the top vegan snack companies produce fruit and nut granola bars that are delicious, portable, and dense with nutritional value. Fruit and nut bars, as well as vegan protein bars or even trail mix, are pretty close to ideal for grab-and-go snacking.
8) Kale chips
A healthy and low-carb alternative to potato chips, kale chips are easy to make and are loaded with nutrients. You can make these by coating kale leaves in olive oil and putting them in the oven on a baking sheet until crispy. Add some sea salt to them for flavor and enjoy. You can also make chips or fries out of sweet potatoes as an alternative to regular chips.
9) Frozen grapes
Grapes are not only yummy, but they are filled with vitamin contents, including vitamins D and K. Frozen grapes can be an especially refreshing treat, and very easy to keep on hand. Just make sure you've got a bowl of grapes in your freezer at all times, and dip into it whenever you need a quick bite.
A final option to consider is keeping a jar or two of olives in your fridge. Not only can they satisfy your cravings for something salty, but they are also loaded with healthy fat, which makes them pretty filling. Consider pairing them with grapes, raisins, or berries for a sweet-and-salty option.
Our Favorite Vegan Snack Brands to Consider
Each product featured here has been independently selected by the writer. You can learn more about our review methodology here. If you make a purchase using the links included, we may earn commission.
As you look for pre-packed vegan snacks, here are five brands to keep on your radar.
Sunbasket is a meal kit delivery service that offers options to meet any diet or lifestyle. You can filter their products to see items that are vegan-friendly. In addition to snacks, you'll find lots of vegan recipes and meal options.
Why buy: While the subscription options are pretty lavish, you can also stock up on excellent vegan-friendly snacks, including nuts, chips, and crackers of all kinds. There are a lot of great flavor options to choose from, ranging from sweet to spicy.
Care/of Plant Protein Powdertakecareof.com
Care/of makes a lot of great vegan products, but their plant protein powder is especially recommended. Use it to amp up the nutritional value of your smoothies and other snacks.
Why buy: This plant protein powder is made from organic pea, pumpkin seed and hemp protein, and comes loaded with 18 grams of protein and antioxidants in each serving. It's a great way to promote muscle growth and recovery, or to make your vegan snacks more filling.
This brand offers "snack boxes" and allows you to filter their products according to lifestyle or dietary needs, including vegan options. They have tons of great snacks in this category, including kettle corn, green chile mixes, dried fruit, pretzels, and beyond.
Why buy: We recommend NatureBox not only for their outstanding range of flavors, but also for their reasonable prices and their emphasis on nutrition. You can find vegan snacks that are crunchy, crispy, chewy, salty, or sweet.
Love+Chew Vegan Protein Cookiesloveandchew.comBest for Desserts: Love + Chew
For protein-rich cookies, we recommend the Love+Chew brand. Their products are made with superfoods like almonds, dates, chia seeds, bananas, dark chocolate chips, and cherries.
Why buy: Clear, transparent nutritional information. Minimal ingredients. Incredible flavors ranging from cherry almond to banana bread. These vegan superfood cookies are the real deal.
Sunwarrior Plant-Based Protein
Sunwarrior's Plant-Based Protein Classic Plus is a dietary supplement made with rice protein, peas, chia seeds, quinoa, and amaranth. It comes in some fun flavors, too, including a delectable chocolate that's perfect for shakes.
Why buy: Sunwarrior offers another great way to boost the nutritional value of your next vegan snack. And the price is very reasonable.
Shop for the Best Vegan Snacks
Everyone needs to stop for a snack at some point during the day. For vegans, having the right products on hand is crucial. Start snacking smarter today with some of these easy vegan snack ideas.
Josh Hurst is a journalist, critic, and essayist. He lives in Knoxville, TN, with his wife and three sons. He covers natural health, nutrition, supplements, and clean energy. His writing has appeared in Health, Shape, and Remedy Review.