Having a kitchen stocked with fruits, vegetables, grains, legumes, and fungi is whole food plant-based 101. The bulk of any diet should be filled with natural, whole foods, but it's a good idea to have some familiar textures and tastes in the pantry, especially when transitioning. 21 Vegan Snacks: Best Healthy Options features a variety of brands and foods you can quickly grab and go, take on a road trip, or snack on during the day. Vegan snacking is not only plentiful but accessible at a store near you.
With more and more vegan options hitting our shelves, there's always something new to try. When the ingredient list is limited, understandable, and free of preservatives, dyes, and stabilizers, they have a higher chance of making it onto my receipt.
In this post, I highlight my favorite, popular, healthy snacks found at my local grocery store in no particular order.
You don't have to be following a vegan diet to enjoy these healthy snacks. Open up the note section on your smartphone and add some of these 21 Vegan Snacks: Best Healthy Options to your shopping list. I am not affiliated with any brands or products. I highly respect brands that provide healthy ingredient options and have taken the time to vet each company to ensure each would meet my recommendation standards.
#1. Fresh Fruit
Melon, banana, grapes, kiwi, and mango make a perfect snack. Cut your fruit weekly and store it in airtight containers in the fridge. All you'll need to do is grab a fork before heading out. Purchasing these fruits and cutting them yourself is a cost-effective strategy to having a healthy snack available when you need it. Pre-cut fruit makes it more likely you'll consume it before other options.
#2. Vegetables & Hummus
Same as pre-cut fruits, a good stash of washed and cut veggies for dipping can be a lifesaver. Whether you buy your hummus from the store or prepare homemade in your food processor, hummus is a vegan essential! I like small bell peppers, cucumber chips, carrots, or celery sticks for dipping. This hummus found at Whole Foods meets all my desires with a stable flavor, not oily or saturated with spices.
Found in the frozen food section, edamame is a healthy snack option prepared in under 10 minutes. Great for snacking on before a meal or as a side during lunch.
There are two ways I am familiar with preparing edamame:
- Steaming in boiling water for 5-7 minutes with a tablespoon of salt. The beans are done when they float to the top. You can pop the beans out of the pod once cooled.
- Air frying at 400 F for 10 minutes. Coat beans with 1tbsp rice vinegar and sprinkle salt on top. I enjoy dipping them in coconut aminos or your favorite sauce.
#4. Simple Mills Crackers
Simple Mills cracker line is made with almond flour and just a handful of other whole-food ingredients. I've found these crackers at many grocery stores, including large wholesale stores, like Costco. A great option to have for car rides or to transport dip into your belly. They have a variety of flavors available, all equally satisfying!
#5. Beet Chips
Rhythm Beet Chips are a great cracker substitute if you're not into kale chips. Naturally nut-free and gluten-free making them the perfect option for allergen-prone individuals. I like this brand because the chips are thicker, and although the only ingredient is organic beets, they have a balanced salty flavor. I would highly recommend pairing them with lemon beet hummus - Ithaca Hummus hit home. This brand also has carrot, kale, and mango chips to try.
#6. Power Snacks | Cacao, Goji, & Dates
These have got to be my absolute favorite snack to have in the pantry, and they've earned the #1 spot for the best grab-n-go snack on the list. If you don't have time to make homemade energy balls, these are perfect after a workout or with some salty chips on a long drive; I enjoy a few. The main ingredients are dates, chia seeds, and sunflower seeds. Dates have historically been undervalued, but I'm seeing a big comeback as new research shows their powerlifting potential of providing sustained energy. Due to the low glycemic index and high potassium, allowing even blood sugar, you'll feel balanced until your next meal. A few superfood powders like acerola cherry, maca, and lucuma bring a texture and flavor that surpasses the feel of them just being healthy and a straight-up sweet treat.
If you've never tried Barnana plantain chips, you're missing out! These are by far my absolute favorite plantain chips at the grocery store. They have four different flavors pink salt, spicy mango salsa, sea salt and vinegar, and Acapulco lime. Plantain chips carry the weight of a heavy dip, like guacamole, and meld a sweet and salty vibe onto your tastebuds. This brand, in particular, meets all the certified healthy and environmentally friendly checkmarks.
#8. Purely Elizabeth Granola
This gluten-free granola company has nutrient-dense ingredients that satisfy tastebuds and leave you feeling guilt-free. There are tons of flavors to obsess over, and I find this granola very filling. I usually enjoy it on top of a smoothie or mixed in with my Avocado Cacao Mousse but always grab it from the bag when on a road trip. Purely Elizabeth granola has larger crunchy clusters making them an easy out-of-the-bag snack. Not all flavors are vegan-friendly, be sure to read the ingredients.
#9. Roasted Seaweed
These roasted seaweed squares are the potato chips of Korea, and it turns out you also can't eat just one. They taste different than the regular large nori sheets you're familiar with. They have oil on one side rubbed with a salty spice and have been roasted, which you can taste. Whole Foods had individual and a variety pack available. I enjoy them on their own as a quick snack, but many recommend pairing them with rice or avocado. Either way, they are an insanely healthy snack option. Tip: store nori sheets and seaweed snacks in a container in the fridge; they don't mix well with moisture.
#10. Made Good Crispy Squares
These grab-n-go crispy rice treats taste AHH-mazing. Made good with a highly healthy and simple ingredients list, including veggies and brown rice. At just 80 calories per bar and only 7 grams of sugar, they won't ruin your next meal. Another bonus is how allergen-friendly they are being nut-free and gluten-free, which is fantastic for a packaged snack product. I even hear this brand can be found in bulk, so more bang for your buck! They taste so good that I'm positive they're kid-friendly and a great classroom snack. I'm sure these bars make it into lunch pals five days a week.
Lightly salted and unshelled - yes, please! I love pistachios, although I don't grab them often due to too much salt added, making these lightly salted a perfect choice. An excellent snack on their own or added to a bag of nuts, raisins, or dried fruits. The ideal addition to your own trail mix or road trip snack bag. They are filled with healthy fats, fiber, and minerals being a seed rather than a nut. They can also be found in gas stations, airports, and small grocery stores for travel options.
#12. Organic Dried Mangos
Dried fruits, AKA vegan jerky, are among my favorite midday snacks. Dried mangoes shift my tastebuds to a euphoric state; the sweet, sugary texture awakens all five senses after a few bites. Always check the ingredients; dried fruit often has preservatives or unnecessary ingredients, like citric acid.
#13. Hu Chocolate-Covered Hunks
These chocolate-covered cashews are to die for; literally, put these on my death bed. I've spent an ungodly amount of hours researching quality chocolate brands that can easily be found at the grocery store. Why? Because I am equally a chocoholic and qualitarian (high-quality foods only, please). My sweet tooth craves these, and I love pairing them with a salty chip. Hu meets all my health standards, and I am grateful they exist. In 2021 they were bought by Mondelez (owner of Oreo cookies), so I will keep my eye on them, but for now, they continue to be my choice in chocolate.
#14. Hu Dark Chocolate Bars
Added bonus: I also recommend their salty, raspberry, and orange chocolate bars - perfect for s'more snacking or just grabbing a square when the afternoon cravings hit. I preserve mine in the fridge, but they don't last long.
# 15. Solely Gummies
"Whole organic fruit with a touch of vitamin C" is Solely's phrase. Each pouch has one whole serving of fruit and three ingredients: organic mango, guava extract, and vitamin C (320mg, a 360% daily value per their nutrition label). No dyes, no added sugar, and kid-approved. It beats some of the gummy ingredients I was familiar with growing up, and I'm sure they would make it on a kid's favorite snack list.
#16. Medjool Dates
Medjool dates have got to be the healthiest, best option snack available. Nature's candy! Be sure to pick up the 'pitted' box, or you'll be prying the pit out before each bite; your fingers will get sore and sticky - not a good combo. Yet dates are a fantastic superfruit with excellent nutritional benefits! A good source of fiber, 1.6 grams of fiber to be exact, which seems to be the fruits version of having a good 401K. They are sweet, perfect for smoothies or sugar replacements, but the incredible way dates interact with our body's ability to distribute sugar to our bloodstream is unmatched. They are the perfect adrenal snack to bring sustained energy, especially when paired with apples.
#17. Turkish Apricots
Apricots are incredibly high in minerals, iron, cobalt, and beta carotene, making them an excellent choice for disease prevention. Apricots have been known to help with hair, skin, and nail health. Since fresh apricots are hard to find, year-round dried is a fantastic option. Many brands add sulfur dioxide, so it's best to find one without; the only ingredient should be 'organic dried apricots.' If you aren't a fan of dates, apricots might be up your alley.
What's the difference between Turkish versus California apricots? Apricot farmers went to war over the best drying practice- California halves, pits, and then dries, result? The apricot flavor is banging but has low moisture retention, and they look shriveled, IMO never an excellent descriptive word. Turkish apricots are dried whole and then pitted, which means more moisture but sweeter flavor; they look plump and youthful; Turkish gets my pick.
#18. Go Raw | Organic Sprouted Bar
Anything sprouted catches my eye; sprouted nuts, beans, seeds, whole grains - I know it's a best friend to my gut, so extra points there. These raw seed bars have a fruit roll-up vibe; they're chewy, sweet, and convenient for on the go. They make a good breakfast snack, midday refuel, or post-workout energy bar with four grams of protein per bar. There were three flavors available at Whole Foods, and the flaxseed apricot was bursting with chewy, fruity, tangy flavors!
#19. Forager Yogurt
I've been a fan of Forager products years after doing my due diligence when I discovered a lot of 'alternative' dairy products had ingredients I wasn't fond of. I grab their vegan yogurt, butter, cheese, and sour cream over any other brand. Pro-tip for dairy-free yogurt: add in coconut, or freeze-dried fruits, like strawberries, and freeze for ice cream.
#20. KIND Granola Bar
The brand KIND has been around since 2004 and can be found in many large name stores. Chances are you've tried one of their granola bars or seen a box in a store near you. As a 'here and there' snack option, I think these hit all requirements; since the brand is well-known, you'll likely find these in difficult travel situations like gas stations and airports. Their website currently shares a 15% off + free shipping for all military, healthcare, and education workers, so that's cool.
#21. Siete Chips
These chips (and this brand in general) have won my heart in being my favorite vegan snack. I exclusively buy Siete tortilla chips in various bold flavors simply because they POP with flavor like a dairy-free and grain-free chip should.
Just last week, I pitched the nacho-flavor to the twenty-something-year-old cashier. She debated me on the dairy-free aspect and how much she adores cheese. My response: nacho cheese dust gets its flavor from filler dressed in spices, don't let the words dairy-free deter you. The other day she signaled me a thumbs up from across the registers, so either I'm in a grocery gang, or she'd recommend them to you too.
As Siete has gained momentum, I've found these in dozens of different grocery stores across the country. Healthy, accessible snacks are crucial for the vegan traveler. Seeing so many other options emerge over the past few years tells me we are moving forward in rewriting the American health story.
21 Vegan Snacks: Best Healthy Options
I hope that you found value in this post. It isn't easy finding convenient shelf items you can feel good about bringing home to your family. These items were found at my local Whole Foods, but most have been seen in many other grocery stores, including membership stores, like Costco.
Understanding ingredient labels has been the biggest game-changer for my health journey. Gathering information I've learned along my health journey and sharing it through Botanical Barbara is my favorite way to serve this community. If you enjoyed this 21 Vegan Snacks: Best Healthy Options post, let me know, I'd love to hear all feedback and would be happy to make more series like this.