Meet Alex Caspero
Alex Caspero is a Registered Dietitian, New York Times Bestselling Plant-Based Chef and mom of two. She aims to cut through the nutrition noise by providing real-life, nourishing tips for body and mind. Learn more about Alex.
I have two young kids who love their share of snacks, but the snack attack doesn’t stop when you enter adulthood. Whether it’s a batch of my Kitchen Sink Bars, a plate of Potato Skin Nachos, or a store-bought favorite, we enjoy a lot of snacks in our household. If you’re looking for healthy vegan snacks recommended by a dietitian — and good for all ages — look no further!
When you’re trying to stock the snack shelf or find things to include in your kids’ lunchboxes, it can be a little overwhelming to choose vegan options that are both healthy and taste good. You can of course always opt for fresh fruits and vegetables, but sometimes we need a little more variety. Looking at the nutrition facts panel and ingredient lists are great places to start when comparing packaged snack foods.
Here are a few tips for choosing the best vegan snacks:
Below are 17 of my favorite healthy vegan snacks to help get you started.
I love Skout bars for my kids (and myself) because of how much they prioritize organic, wholesome ingredients. For instance, their bars are made with dates as the first ingredient, followed by fruit, nuts, and seeds, and simple flavoring ingredients like lemon juice, cinnamon, and cocoa powder.
One adult-sized bar provides 200 calories, 10 grams of protein, 5-8 grams of fiber, and no added sugar. Plus, they come in fun flavors like chocolate cherry, coconut vanilla, peanut butter and jelly, and more.
Hummus is an unsung hero of flavor and nutrition. Not only do I love slathering it on a bagel for breakfast or tossed with hot pasta, but I like serving it alongside carrots and cucumber sticks or pita chips for a satiating snack. Trader Joe’s makes great hummus, or you can easily make your own Classic Hummus at home. Try this savory White Bean & Basil Hummus or a slightly sweet Dessert Hummus.
If you’ve ever experienced a love affair with Cheetos or the like, here’s a healthier, vegan version to satisfy the palate. Hippeas are delightful puffs that come in flavors like nacho cheese, white cheddar, sriracha, and barbecue. They’re made with chickpea and rice flour, a little oil, and a variety of spices. You’ll even get 4 grams of protein in a 1-ounce serving, but good luck stopping at that amount.
There are several brands that make something like this, but I recently found Rhythm brand organic cauliflower bites with sea salt at Costco and now I’m a devoted fan. You’ll get 3 grams of fiber, 2 grams of protein, and 45% of the daily value for Vitamin C per serving of these little cuties. Don’t let the saltiness fool you though, as these only contain 135 mg per serving and literally only contain cauliflower, sunflower oil, and sea salt.
Another Costco win, I’ll admit that I was skeptical of DJ&A brand Shiitake Mushroom Crisps when I first stumbled upon them — but these are incredible. These are made using a low-temperature vacuum cooking process and contain shiitake mushrooms, vegetable oil, sea salt, and spices for flavoring. In a ⅔-cup serving, you’ll find 8 grams of fiber, 2 grams of protein, and 8% of your daily needs for potassium.
Applesauce is a forever classic. While I always keep applesauce and other fruit pouches on hand for kids on the go, I still enjoy it sometimes. Choose unsweetened applesauce if you’re going store-bought. Otherwise, try my Instant Pot Chai Applesauce made with apples, lemon juice, and an array of yummy spices.
Sort of like a cookie, sort of like a protein bar, no-bake balls are super versatile and delicious. Rather than trying to find these in a store, I’d encourage you to make them at home because they’re so easy. All you need is a handful of ingredients and a food processor, after which you roll the dough into balls and pop them into the refrigerator to set. Some of my favorite recipes are my No-Bake Pumpkin Balls and Vegan Nutella Energy Bites.
Smoothies are frequent flyers in my home, and this one is no different. I swear it tastes just like a Snickers bar in a cup. All you need is a frozen banana, non-dairy milk, pitted dates, peanut butter, vanilla, and cocoa powder. Good for an after-dinner treat or as a between-meals snack. Find my Vegan Snickers Milkshake recipe here.
These little crunchy snacks are made with green peas, black beans, or red lentils as the primary ingredient depending on which flavor you choose. They only contain a handful of other ingredients and offer around 4 grams of protein and 3 grams of fiber per serving. I find these at both the regular grocery store and in bulk sizes at Costco.
Packaged snack bars can be a tricky beast, as they can run the gamut of being a healthy snack or more of a dessert. LARA bars are great because they generally contain just 2-6 ingredients, which are primarily dates and either almonds or cashews. They’ve also been around forever and have a ton of tasty flavors, like apple pie and cinnamon raisin cookie. Each bar contains at least 3-4 grams of protein and 8-11 grams of fat to help keep you satisfied between meals.
I don’t know many people who frequently cook with seaweed, but these are a great alternative when you want to add more iodine-rich sea veggies to your life. GimMe Snacks makes a nice option made with seaweed, sea salt, and avocado oil. Trader Joe’s sells a version as well! My kids love these as much as I do.
Chia seeds are a great source of omega-3 fatty acids, fiber, protein, and micronutrients like calcium. The Chia Co makes Chia Pods, which are delicious chia puddings made with chia seeds, coconut milk, and flavors like vanilla and cinnamon. You’ll get 6 grams of protein,
This brand makes veggie crackers and tortilla chips from organic plant-based ingredients, like root vegetables and lentils. I like their sweet potato crackers, which are made from ground yellow corn and sweet potato, sunflower oil, flax and chia seeds, sea salt, and black sesame seeds. For homemade veggie crackers, try my recipes for Pizza Crackers or Sourdough Crackers (which taste like cheez-its!).
Chickpeas are great in a chickpea salad sandwich, but I also love them for snacking when they’re seasoned and roasted. Biena makes a great crunchy chickpea snack, in flavors like honey roasted, barbecue, or ranch, offering 6 grams of protein and 6 grams of fiber per serving. Or, you can make your own at home with an easy recipe like my Roasted Chickpea Salad with Hummus Dressing.
Kale chips may be intimidating to think about making, because they require just the right amount of oil and cook-time. But I promise that with a little practice and the right recipe you’ll have success! Try a basic Kale Chips recipe or pack in the flavor with these Cool Ranch Air Fryer Kale Chips.
Another win from Rhythm Foods, their beet chips are gently dehydrated to keep them crunchy and flavorful. Plus, the only ingredient is organic beets. In one 40-gram bag, you’ll get 4 grams of protein, 7 grams of fiber, 15% of your daily potassium, and 6% of your daily iron needs. If you’re in the mood for other easy homemade vegetable chips, give my Air Fryer Zucchini Chips with Creamy Sriracha Dip a try.
Guacamole isn’t just yummy, it’s also a great source of healthy fats. Try my Best Guacamole Recipe or turn up the flavor a notch with this Roasted Tomato Guacamole. If you don’t go through guacamole as quickly as my family does, you can also find individual guacamole cups at most grocery stores that are great for packing on the go.
Whether you’re shopping for yourself or your family, there are plenty of healthy vegan snacks that can be found at numerous stores today. For some new ideas, try a mix of the packaged brands and homemade vegan snack recipes above!