My 50 Favorite Vegan Snack Items
My name is Mercedes and I am a chronic snacker.
In a recent post, I shared my favorite vegan meals at 20 popular chain restaurants across the country. I included breakfast, lunch, dinner and even delicious animal-free desserts like lemon sorbet from Baskin Robbins! But the meal I was missing is snacks (yes, snacks are totally considered a meal). Our household is very dynamic when it comes to meal times. Jesse can have breakfast, lunch, and dinner and for the most part, be good to go. Maybe one snack or something for dessert every now and then. But me..... no. I eat something fairly small for breakfast, something pretty small for lunch, and a smaller portioned dinner, with approximately 900 snacks scattered throughout. I am a HUGE SNACKER.
At the beginning of the month, I shared a post with you detailing the various reasons that sparked my journey into veganism. However, there were several other reasons that were less important but definitely still in the background. One of those reasons is just my overall health. Because I am such heavy snacker, I really eat a variety of foods throughout the day. But unfortunately, a lot of those foods were super unhealthy. My go to snacks used to be pretzels dipped in cream cheese, tortilla chips with nacho cheese, ALL OF THE ICE CREAM, canned ravioli, easy mac, Cheetos, Cheez-Its... need I go on?
If you haven't noticed, my guilty pleasures usually consisted of some form of artificial cheese... I was obsessed, for real. So one of the underlying reasons I chose to explore a vegan diet was to adopt a way of eating that forced me to choose alternative snacking options. Now I know you're already thinking two things:
1. You don't have to be vegan to stop inhaling artificial cheese like a savage.
2. Just because you stop eating animal products, doesn't necessarily mean you'll eat healthier.
Correct (although harsh) and correct! So let me explain.
I realize this. But something that I have learned about myself is that my chances of success increases substantially when I a) implement specific regulations on myself, b) make a public announcement, and c) adopt an entirely new mindset related to my goal. Therefore, when I decided I would no longer eat anything containing animal products, told the entire internet that I was going vegan, and approached my life with the mindset of contributing to a healthier planet and a healthier me, I knew that I was now more likely to succeed than if I would have just said "okay no more fake cheese." The next day most definitely would have involved a bunch of Ho-Hos and Three Musketeers.
So you are right; on the surface, being vegan is not synonymous with being healthy. But if you are investing in this lifestyle switch with true intentions of developing healthier you and a healthier world, then they will be synonymous.
I have spent the last year learning a lot about the ingredients in the foods I eat and how my body processes them. I am not a die hard nutrition feign who doesn't allow anything but kale and edamame into my body, but I do like to avoid ingredients that remind me of my college chemistry course. For the most part, I really try to eat clean. But I do indugle every now and then in an Oreo or two. Whoops.
One of the biggest struggles that come for someone who is a big snacker AND trying to eat clean is that you're almost forced to make your own snacks. Of course you can eat apples and celery all day, but that's only sustainable for approximately 36 minutes. I try to make snacks for the week, like healthy granola bars or protein bites. However, there are definitely times that I just need to grab something quickly - that's when this list comes in super handy. It's okay to slip up here and there and not eat clean 24/7 - sometimes you just gotta do the best you can with what you have! And sometimes.... you just need some sweets.
So here you go; my top 50 favorite vegan store bought snacks:
20. Somersaults Sunflower Seed Crunchy Bites (dipped in peanut butter, obvi)
33. Twizzlers (although it smells incredible, please do not eat the candle)
48. LUNA Bars