In years past, finding snacks when you follow a vegan diet may have been a tricky prospect. Nuts, fruits and whatever you brought with you from home may have been your best bet. Not so anymore!
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"These days, I don't think it's hard to find vegan snacks," says Sydney Greene, RD, a New York City-based dietitian and founder of the private practice Greene Health. What may still be challenging is finding options that are nourishing and will keep you full (and aren't loaded down with not-so-nutritious ingredients), Greene says.
Vegan-friendly snacks should balance protein, fiber and fat, says Lisa Moskovitz, RD, CEO of NY Nutrition Group and author of The Core 3 Healthy Eating Plan. Seeking out protein is particularly important for vegans as it can be a shortfall nutrient.
You'll also want to opt for snacks with healthy fats, like the ones found in seeds, nuts and olives, Greene says, while avoiding sugar-filled options. "In general, I recommend choosing a snack that has more grams of protein than grams of sugar," Greene says.
Here, you'll find the best vegan snacks recommended by dietitians.
1. Hippeas Organic Chickpea Puffs
Per 1-ounce serving of Hippeas: 130 calories, 5 grams of fat, 2 grams of sugar and 4 grams of protein.
Sometimes you want something with a real crunch. Hippeas deliver: They're "a fun, crunchy snack made from chickpea flour and are also portable and tasty," Moskovitz says. Thanks to the chickpea flour, they've got a good amount of protein.
While the serving size is a single ounce, most people will likely eat an entire 4-ounce bag in a go. "Be mindful of portions and balance it with other whole foods in the day," Moskovitz says.
Buy it: Amazon.com; Price: $3.19 for a 4-ounce bag
2. Moonshot Crackers
Per 10 crackers: 140 calories, 4.5 grams of fat, 1 gram of sugar and 3 grams of protein.
Moonshot has a flavor for every cracker craving: Pair the Sourdough Sea Salt flavor with nut butter and honey, the Tomato Basil with pesto and the Rosemary Garlic with olive tapenade. Each serving has 2 grams of fiber and 3 grams of protein for staying power.
Buy it: Bubblegoods.com; Price: $18 per 3-pack
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3. No Cow Protein Bars
Per Peanut Butter Chocolate Chip bar: 190 calories, 4.5 grams of fat, 1 gram of sugar and 21 grams of protein
"No Cow bars are a high-fiber and plant protein-packed bar that is tasty and easy to carry with you on busy days," Moskovitz says.
But for some people, the amount of fiber might be too much of a good thing. One bar contains 17 grams of fiber, or 61 percent of your daily value (DV). "If you have [a] sensitive tummy the added fiber could make it hard to digest," Moskovitz notes.
Buy it: Amazon.com; Price: $29.99 for a 12-pack
4. Catalina Crunch
Per 1/2-cup serving of Fruity: 110 calories, 5 grams of fat, 0 grams of sugar and 11 grams of protein.
You can enjoy this cereal straight out of the bag or combine it with almond milk (or any other non-dairy milk), Moskovitz says. It's high in both protein (11 grams per serving) and fiber (9 grams per serving), Moskovitz points out.
Buy it: Amazon.com; Price: $49.94 for a pack of six 9-ounce bags
5. Green Mustache Cheddarish 'Cheese' Crackers
Per 55 crackers: 150 calories, 7 grams of fat, 1 gram of sugar and 4 grams of protein.
Made with a blend of tapioca flour, chickpea flour and white rice flour, these vegan and gluten-free crackers are perfect for scooping up hummus or guac. Each serving has 2 grams of fiber to keep you full past snack time.
Buy it: Bubblegoods.com; Price: $18 per 3-pack
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6. Chia Seed Pudding
When it comes to chia seed pudding, you've got options, says Denver-based dietitian Ricci-Lee Hotz, RDN, a Testing.com expert. You can make it with berries or fruit and add in grains, spices, nut butters and other flavorful options.
"Chia seed pudding is an excellent, easy and entirely plant-based snack that offers a great source of fiber, calcium, iron and protein, most of which can be harder to come by when you're vegan," Moskovitz says. An ounce of chia seeds contains 138 calories, 8.7 grams of fat, no sugar and 4.7 grams of protein.
7. Vegan Yogurt Parfait
Want more than just yogurt on its own? Add in crunch and flavor by making a yogurt parfait, Moskovitz suggests. Start with your favorite variety of vegan yogurt. You can then add chopped walnuts, ground flaxseed, blueberries and cinnamon, Moskovitz says.
This will give a snack that has antioxidants, fiber, protein, calcium and gut-friendly probiotics, she says.
A Recipe to Try
8. A Protein-Rich Smoothie
If you're at home, a smoothie is a great option for vegans — you'll just need to choose a non-dairy liquid and, if you're including it, opt for a vegan protein powder.
"Add in a combination of frozen or fresh fruit, veggies, avocado, nut butters and even a pea protein powder to an energizing treat," Moskovitz says.
9. Tahini Spread on Sprouted-Grain Toast
- A slice of sprouted bread: 130 calories, 1.5 grams of fat, 2 grams of sugar and 5 grams of protein
- Two tablespoons of tahini: 210 calories, 19 grams of fat, 0 grams of sugar and 8 grams of protein
Tahini is a paste made from sesame seeds. It's an ingredient in hummus and other dishes, but you can also have it on its own.
Moskovitz suggests having tahini as a snack, spread on toasted sprouted-grain bread. You can also sprinkle some nutritional yeast on top. "It's a hearty snack that can provide protein, fiber, B vitamins, magnesium and calcium," Moskovitz says.
10. Lavva Yogurt
Per container of Lavva strawberry yogurt: 150 calories, 11 grams of fat, 7 grams of sugar and 2 grams of protein.
Greene recommends this brand for vegans on a snack hunt. This dairy-free yogurt is sweetened with real fruit and has zero grams of added sugar, Greene says.
Buy it: Amazon.com; Price: $2.39
11. GoodPop Orange n' Cream
Per one ice pop: 90 calories, 5 grams of fat, 10 grams of sugar and no protein.
On a steamy day, an ice pop can be a great treat. This one, which Dana Amaya, RD at Lenox Hill Hospital recommends, is low in calories.
Buy it: Amazon.com; Price: $4.49 for a box of four
12. 88 Acres Plant-Based Seed Protein Bar
Per one protein bar: 260 calories, 19 grams of fat, 7 grams of sugar and 12 grams of protein.
Greene likes the banana bread pumpkin seed variety of these vegan bars in particular, which has a low amount of added sugar and a high amount of protein. "I love that the protein source for these bars are pumpkin seeds, which are rich in magnesium, iron and zinc," Greene says.
Other flavors are available too, such as Dark Chocolate Brownie.
Buy it: Amazon.com; Price: $24.99 for a 12-pack
13. Saffron Road Roasted Chickpeas
Per 1/4-cup serving of Falafel flavor: 130 calories, 4 grams of fat, 2 grams of sugar and 6 grams of protein.
"Saffron Road Roasted Chickpeas are an excellent source of plant-based protein and fiber," Greene says. And while they're great as a snack on their own, you can also add them to salads and soups for some satisfying crunch, she says.
Buy it: Amazon.com; Price: $6.71
14. Fruit and Nut Butter
The nutrition varies based on the fruit and nut butter you select:
- Per one apple: 65 calories, 0.2 grams of fat, 13 grams of sugar and 0.3 grams of protein
- Per one pear: 80 calories, 0.2 grams of fat, 14 grams of sugar and 0.5 grams of protein
- Per 1 tablespoon almond butter: 98 calories, 8.9 grams of fat and 3.4 grams of protein
"A classic vegan snack is a piece of fruit and nut butter for good reason," Greene says. "This combo is rich in plant-based protein and fat from the nut butter as well as fiber and phytonutrients from the fruit," she says.
Keep in mind you can vary the fruit — try bananas, apples or pears. And, you can also use any nut butter, including peanut, almond, cashew and so on.
15. Veggies With Vegan Ranch Dressing
Per 2-tablespoon serving of Primal Kitchen Vegan Ranch Dressing: 130 calories, 14 grams of fat and no protein or sugar
Dip mushrooms — or any veggie — into a vegan version of ranch dressing or any other tasty salad dressing, suggests Amaya. This makes for a nutritionally rich, veggie-forward snack that doesn't require a lot of prep time.
Buy it: Amazon.com; Price: $6.29
16. DIY Trail Mix
Head to the bulk aisle for your favorite nuts and dried fruit. Once you're back at home, mix "whatever suits your fancy," Amaya says. Portion it out, using small containers or bags — this is a good way to save money and control what ingredients you're eating, and how much of each one, she says.
You can also purchase trail mix at the store, but watch for added sugar.
17. Banana Ice Cream
Per 1-cup serving of banana-berry ice cream: 195 calories, 4 grams of fat, 15 grams of sugar and 10 grams of protein.
If you're craving ice cream, turn to bananas. Once they're blended, this fruit develops a creamy, thick texture that mimics ice cream. Bananas are very nutritious, and banana ice cream is a great snack for vegans, Amaya says.
Recipes to Try
18. Whole-Grain Toast With Peanut Butter
- Per slice of Dave's Killer Bread: 110 calories, 1.5 grams of fat, 5 grams of sugar and 5 grams of protein.
- Per 2 tablespoons of peanut butter: 188 calories, 16 grams of fat, 2.1 grams of sugar and 7 grams of protein
Opt for a whole-grain, dairy-free vegan bread and spread it with peanut butter and you'll get a good balance of carbs, protein and fat, Hotz says.
Keep in mind that nutrition facts can vary from one brand of bread and peanut butter to another. And while nearly all brands of peanut butter are naturally vegan, watch for the ingredient list, as some may contain honey.
19. Carrots With Hummus
As with having bread and peanut butter as a snack, a serving of carrots with hummus provides a good balance of carbs, proteins and fats, Hotz says. Plus, she points out, hummus is "both nutrient- and calorie-dense" — which means, a small amount provides plenty of nutrients.
You can also have hummus with vegan crackers or whichever vegetables you'd prefer.
Make Your Own
20. Orgain Protein Bars
Per Orgain protein bar: 150 calories, 5 grams of fat, 6 grams of sugar and 10 grams of protein.
Hotz recommends these Orgain protein bars as a vegan snack, along with other vegan varieties such as Larabars and NuGo bars. Before buying a protein bar, check the sugar content, she suggests — some may have high amounts.
Buy it: Amazon.com; Price: $21.51 for 12 bars
- 1 ounce of almonds: 164 calories, 14 grams of fat, 1.2 grams of sugar and 6 grams of protein
- 1 ounce of cashews: 157 calories, 13 grams of fat, 1.7 grams of sugar and 5.2 grams of protein
"Nuts are my top recommendation for those on a strict plant-based or vegan diet," Moskovitz says. They're easy to find: You can stock up in the bulk aisle or grab a package at gas stations or convenience stores. "Not only are they satisfying, but they are full of filling fiber, protein and anti-inflammatory fats," Moskovitz says.
When you're purchasing, check the ingredients: Some nuts may have added palm oil, sugar or excess sodium, Moskovitz says.
22. Green Smoothie
Per green smoothie: 144 calories, 5 grams of fat, 9 grams of sugar and 5 grams of protein.
Of course, there are plenty of ways to make a green smoothie — it's just a matter of which ingredients you add to your blender. Greene recommends using a leafy green, coconut yogurt, chia seeds and fruit. "This quick and easy combination hits all of the boxes: fat, fiber, protein and antioxidants," she says.
Get More Smoothie Recipes
23. Vegan Yogurt With Almond Butter
- Per cup of unsweetened plain cashew yogurt: 149 calories, 10 grams of fat, 1 gram of sugar and 4 grams of protein.
- Per 2 tablespoons of almond butter: 220 calories, 19 grams of fat, 1 gram of sugar and 6 grams of protein.
Combine a vegan yogurt — such as ones from Silk, Forager or other unsweetened options — with almond butter or protein powder, Hotz suggests. With little prep required, this is a great on-the-go snack.
Per cup of air-popped popcorn: 31 calories, 0.4 grams of fat, 0.07 grams of sugar and 1 gram of protein
You can get popcorn in the bulk aisle, Amaya points out. When she's making it at home, Amaya heats up organic coconut oil, and adds a teaspoon of sugar, pinch of sea salt, drop of vanilla and some chili powder for a sweet, spicy snack.
Or purchase a bag: She likes the SkinnyPop brand, which has several vegan options available.
Buy it: Amazon.com; Price: $14.47 per 12-count
Per 2 tablespoons of guacamole: 50 calories, 4 grams of fat, 0 grams of sugar and 1 gram of protein
This delicious dip is readily available for purchase, but it's also very easy to prep at home. Just mash up an avocado, squeeze on some lime and add spices like cayenne if you'd like, Amaya says. Spread this dip on vegan bread, dip in vegan crackers or enjoy with chopped vegetables.
Avocados are rich in nutrients and have monounsaturated fatty acids (MUFAs), which may help improve cholesterol levels, per the Mayo Clinic.
Per 1-cup serving of edamame: 188 calories, 8.1 grams of fat, 3.4 grams of sugar and 19 grams of protein
Edamame offers lots of protein — a big perk for vegans. And they're a fun, easy snack food: Just boil or nuke them in the microwave, add a sprinkle of salt, then peel and eat them.
27. Energy Balls
Per one peanut butter ball: 152 calories, 8 grams of fat, 4 grams of sugar and 5 grams of protein.
Many energy ball recipes are naturally vegan — or can be transformed into a vegan option with a few simple substitutions. Energy balls offer a quick source of protein. Vegan versions often rely on carob or plain cacao nibs (in place of chocolate) and nuts for protein and a good-for-you source of fat.
A Recipe to Try
- USDA: "Almonds"
- USDA: "Cashews"
- No Cow: "PEANUT BUTTER CHOCOLATE CHIP PROTEIN BARS"
- Catalina Crunch
- USDA: "Meijer Inc. - Sprouted Grain Bread"
- USDA: "Tahini"
- GoodPop: "Orange 'n Cream"
- USDA: "Apple"
- USDA: "Pear"
- USDA: "Almond Butter"
- USDA: "Primal Kitchen Vegan Ranch Dressing"
- USDA: "Trail Mix"
- USDA: "Peanut Butter (Smooth)"
- USDA: "Hummus"
- USDA: "Forager Project - Unsweetened Plain Cashewgurt"
- Justin's: "Classic Almond Butter"
- USDA: "Snacks, popcorn, air-popped"
- USDA: "Giant Eagle Inc. - Guacamole"
- Mayo Clinic: "Cholesterol: Top foods to improve your numbers"
- USDA: "Edamame"