The Ultimate Guide to Vegan Snacks

Although people love to joke about vegans munching on “rabbit food,” there is soooo much more to vegan snacking than carrots and celery. Whether you’re looking for something easy to throw into your backpack for a hike or something delicious to dig into on movie night, there is no shortage of vegan-friendly options to choose from.

Are you feeling like a savory snack? How about some jerky?

Have you got a sweet craving? Try some brownies or cookies!

In this ultimate guide to vegan snacking, you’ll learn everything there is to know about the wonderful world of vegan snacks. But we can’t promise you won’t be hungry by the end!

Vegan Snacks Contents


Why eat vegan snacks?

So, why choose vegan snacks over your regular old favorites? Besides the fact that they are super yummy, there are also some other benefits to snacks without animal by-products.

tasty vegan snacks healthy protein balls

1. Nutrition

Chicken nuggets, ice cream, and mozzarella sticks might taste delicious, but they have minimal nutritional value and can even be harmful to your health. Meat and dairy tend to be high in cholesterol, putting you at risk for heart disease, obesity, and diabetes.

The health benefits associated with going vegan are undeniable. Those who stick to a plant-based diet have lower cholesterol, lower blood pressure, and are less likely to be obese. Since vegans are not consuming animal protein, their diets contain more vegetables, fruits, whole grains, nuts, and seeds. That means that by default, they are consuming higher volumes of potassium, folate, fibre, vitamin C, magnesium, and vitamin E. Plus, they will consume less saturated fats. 

Vegans have a lower risk of heart disease, up to 42% less than people eating meat and animal by-products. Additionally, people who eat plant-based diets can lower their blood pressure, which can help reduce your risk of cardiovascular disease, strokes, and heart attacks.

Are you suffering from arthritis? Studies show that a vegan diet is beneficial to those who suffer from arthritis pain. Compared to people on an omnivorous diet, those on a vegan diet had less joint swelling, morning stiffness, or general discomfort. Why? A vegan diet can reduce C-reactive protein, which causes inflammation.

There is even promising evidence that a vegan diet helps lower the risk of type 2 diabetes thanks to improved glucose control. Some people with diabetes have even been able to reduce the amount of medication they need thanks to a vegan diet, which is likely related to high fiber intake.

Instead, consuming plant-based snacks, such as those made from a soy base, nuts, popcorn, or fruits, will satisfy your snack craving plus give you some extra fiber without added bad cholesterol. On top of that, vegan diets are notoriously low in saturated fats and high in vital nutrients like protein, calcium, B vitamins, magnesium, and zinc.

2. Ethical reasons

Avoiding snacks made with animal products is one of the best ways you can stop contributing to animal exploitation and suffering.

Animals are intelligent beings, who feel pain and emotion, and deserve a life free from suffering. There are many studies into how animals experience pain, and while some don’t show it the way humans do, it’s proven they feel pain in the same way. Unfortunately for those born on factory farms, the future looks bleak. 

Currently, 90% of farm animals in the world live their lives on a factory farm (99% in the US). These animals barely have enough space to move around at all or lay down for the duration of their lives. Not only is that uncomfortable, but they often end up with broken limbs from being severely overweight or respiratory problems from the waste pollution. Since they live in their own waste, many factory-farmed animals develop painful skin infections and even depression as a result. 

Many vegans choose the lifestyle for moral and ethical reasons, as they are unwilling to accept or contribute to animal suffering. So instead of munching on snacks made from animal protein, choose a vegan option. Try bringing vegan snacks to potlucks, movie nights, or family get-togethers, and show your community how delicious vegan snacking can be!

By eating vegan snacks, you are supporting the future of food since everything we need is in plants. 

happy cow with its tongue out for vegan snacks

3. Environment

The animal agriculture industry is one of the top polluting industries on the planet. One of the best ways to lower your carbon footprint is by choosing vegan snacks over cheese, hotdogs, beef jerky, ice cream, etc.

There are a considerable number of resources required to produce food from animals. First, animals need water to drink and food to eat. It takes up to 200 times more water to raise one pound of beef than it does to grow one pound of vegetables or fruit. Millions of people have no access to clean water for various reasons, such as water pollution or drought. It takes 1800 gallons of water to produce one pound of beef. Just think of how many people could benefit from that clean water! The feed that is given to factory farmed animals is often genetically modified, which has a string of negative side effects on both human health, and the environment.  

The animals also need to be transported, producing CO2 and methane gas, not to mention the methane created from animal feces. The livestock industry produces more pollution than all forms of transportation in the world combined. If we were to swap factory farms for plant farms, not only would they produce less harmful gases, but the plants themselves would actually purify the air. 

Livestock farming inevitably leads to deforestation, as massive areas of forest are clear-cut to make room for more grain fields and space to house even more animals. The fewer trees, the faster climate change runs its course.

Plant based snacks use on average 1/10th to 1/16th the resources to produce compared to traditional animal based snacks. So less energy, water, land are needed and much less waste is created. . So, choosing vegan snacks instead can eliminate the excessive use of such valuable resources.


What snacks are vegan?

vegan jerky on a vegan charcuterie board

Snacks are a quick fix to your hunger pangs between meals. You can purchase ready-made snacks or throw together something yourself (anything under 10 minutes of prep time counts as a snack to us!) A vegan snack is anything that doesn’t include animal-based ingredients such as meat, dairy, or eggs.

There is more to vegan snacking than hummus and crackers or Oreos. There are delicious snack options that you can buy or whip up fast that will rival – or even surpass the flavor of your favorite animal-based snacks.

But what snacks are vegan? Vegan snack options include the obvious – like vegetables and fruits, which are a delicious and healthy option. But we all have those snack cravings that just can’t be satisfied by fruits and veggies. 

Salty snacks like super buttery popcorn or beef jerky are now available in vegan friendly snacks. And for your sweet tooth, you can get some vegan candy or chocolate. 

Some of your favorite snacks may already be vegan and you don’t even know it! Snacks like crackers, Oreos, unfrosted pop tarts, potato chips, Twizzlers and Sour Patch Kids are all unintentionally vegan. 

Let’s take a look at some more of the options available to you.

What are vegan snacks made from?

Vegan snacks are made from just about anything you can imagine, but if you’re looking for snacks that closely mimic snacks made with animal products, then here are some of the most common ingredients and best sources of plant-based protein.

  • Pea protein
  • Tofu
  • Soy
  • Chickpeas
  • Flaxseeds/apple sauce (as an egg replacer)
  • Nuts and nut butters
  • Almond/oat/soy/coconut milk (as a dairy replacer)
  • Dates

Many vegan snack options include very standard ingredients that you’d also find in non-vegan snacks like wheat, oats, sugar, corn, potatoes etc. Plus, fruits and vegetables always make an easy and healthy snacking option in a pinch, since you can pick them up anywhere. 

Can you get protein from vegan snacks?

There is a common misconception that we can only get protein from animal products, and calcium for dairy. This myth has been circulating for many years, and although meat and eggs do contain a lot of protein, you can get equally as much from plant-based sources, with other added benefits. 

Plant-based protein sources are almost always lower in cholesterol, bad fats and calories than animal protein alternatives, making them a more nutritious option. 

soy versus beef protein sources

Soy, for example, is a complete protein. That means it contains all the essential amino acids that our body needs. Choosing vegan snacks made from non-GMO soy will help you easily reach your daily protein intake. In fact, most vegans and vegetarians have no problem reaching their daily intake and often go over. As a guideline, the average man needs about 56 grams of protein per day, and for women about 46 grams per day. 

 

Here are some examples of plant-based protein sources found in vegan snacks, and how much protein you can get from them per 100 grams:

  • Pumpkin seeds: 32.97 grams 
  • Peanut butter: 25.09 grams
  • Almonds: 22.09 grams
  • Soy/tofu: 17.10 grams
  • Oats: 16.89 grams 
  • Chia seeds: 15.60 grams

Vegan snack Options

vegan bacon snacks on peanut toast

Need some vegan snack ideas for your next get-together or group event? WOW your friends with some of these tasty vegan snacks:

Vegan jerky

Who doesn’t love a good jerky when you’re on a hike, driving in the car, or just in need of something quick to curb the hunger pains between work breaks? Jerky won’t leak in your bag, it isn’t messy to eat, it’s delicious, and now you can get a vegan friendly version! Vegan jerky can be made with non-GMO, organic soy which resembles the texture of actually jerky. Plus you can get it in a bunch of different flavors. 

Vegan bacon

Put bacon on anything and it ups the ante. Burgers, sandwiches, pancakes and even popcorn just taste better with bacon. Luckily, you can now snag a vegan friendly version of this mouth-watering snack. Go ahead and add it to your favorite snack foods, or just eat it straight. We won’t judge you!

Vegan baked goods (cookies, muffins, cupcakes, pies)

While you may assume that moist, decadent baked goods must be loaded with eggs and milk, they definitely don’t have to be. Some of our favorite vegan snacks like muffins, cookies, cupcakes and donuts can be made vegan friendly. While egg is often used as a binder for baked goods, there are many other ingredients that do the same thing. Some of the best substitutes for eggs in vegan friendly snacks include applesauce, flax, bananas, silken tofu, tapioca starch or premade egg replacers. 

Vegan dips

Some of our favorite vegan snacks include vegan dips. Dips are a universal crowd pleaser and a great option to take to potlucks, picnics, or eat for a snack at home. Hummus is a staple vegan dip, and one of the best vegan snacks to buy or make yourself. It’s a super versatile dip and you can jazz it up by adding different ingredients like roasted peppers, garlic, beets, chipotle, dill – basically anything you can think of. 
You can also make or buy dips made from white or black bean, baba ganoush, curried lentils, or vegan cheese dips.  

Vegan pizza

It wouldn’t be a snack list without the world’s favorite snack – pizza. What might surprise you is that pizza dough is almost always vegan. Pizza dough is made from flour and water, sometimes with the addition of salt, oil or yeast. You can top your pizza with your favorite sauce, veggies, vegan cheese and mocks meats like vegan jerky or vegan bacon. 

Popcorn

Popcorn isn’t just for the movies. And you don’t have to miss out on buttery, salty popcorn just because you’re vegan. Popcorn on it’s own is vegan, but dry popcorn is no fun! You can level up your popcorn by adding melted vegan margarine, making a cheesy sauce with nutritional yeast and olive oil or adding a light dusting of chili powder. 

Some other vegan snack options include:

  • Trail mix
  • Fruit leather
  • Energy bars/balls
  • Popcorn
  • Seaweed crisps
  • Vegan bruschetta

What are the best vegan snacks?

While everyone’s taste buds are slightly different, we do have some favorite vegan snacks that are universal crowd-pleasers.

WOW your plant-based and meat-eating friends with vegan snack options that taste even better than their animal-based counterparts.

What snacks are vegan? Well, whether you’re looking for a vegan alternative to your favorite meaty snack like jerky or bacon, or a sweet treat like muffins or cakes, you can either buy it, or make it yourself.

Here are some of the best vegan snacks that are quick, easy, and delicious!

 

1. The best vegan snacks to buy

Vegan friendly snacks are becoming increasingly easier to find and the demand for vegan snack options increases. While you can of course buy fruits and vegetables anywhere, it’s nice to have more interesting options that can satisfy those snack cravings. Here are some of the best vegan snacks to buy:

2. Vegan snacks you can make

Whether you’re a wiz in the kitchen or can barely throw together a sandwich, you can whip up some delicious vegan snacks at home. You can make these simple vegan snack options to take to work, for a special event or just to dig into yourself on a night in! All the ingredients are easy to get your hands on and don’t require you to have to run around to super specialty stores. In fact, many you can even order online! 

Here are some great vegan snack recipes that you can make yourself:


 

Non-vegan ingredients to watch out for when shopping for vegan snacks

non vegan friendly candy snacks

Your snacks might not list “beef” or “pork” in the ingredients, but that doesn’t mean there aren’t animal products hidden in your favorite treats. When you look at an ingredient label, especially for processed snacks, likely, you won’t understand all the ingredients you are looking at. There’s a good chance that some of those ingredients are not vegan. 

Here are some common non-vegan ingredients that you may find hidden in snacks: 

1. Beeswax or Honey

Beeswax and honey both come from, you guessed it, bees. Although neither substance is made by killing bees, both involve the exploitation of their labor. Larger scale operations may harm bees in the extraction of their honey or wax, and in some cases, they may be killed. 

Honey is often a sweetening agent in various snacks, but beeswax is the more common ingredient. Beeswax is used as a coating for fruits to help them retain their freshness and is also used to coat many different types of candy. 

2. Casein 

Casein comes from either cow’s milk or sheep’s milk, although you can often find it in products that say they are dairy-free. It is a protein that is primarily used for making cheese, but you will see it in some soy cheese products, sherbet, and margarine. So if you’re purchasing a creamy snack, it’s worth checking the label for this ingredient. 

3. Gelatin 

Gelatin is one of the most common non-vegan ingredients that you’ll find in snacks. Gelatin comes from animal collagen, usually from pigs and cows. The collagen is extracted from the connective tissues by boiling skin, bones, ligaments, tendons and then filtering them until the collagen is separated. 

You can find gelatin in anything that is gelatinous in texture, like marshmallows, gummy candies, and puddings.

4. Whey 

Whey isn’t just for protein powder. You’ll find whey in everything from bread to candy, and it is made during the cheese-making process. After milk is curdled and strained, the leftover liquid is whey. It’s a very common ingredient, and you will typically find it in premade pancakes, muffins, waffles, caramel, or puddings. It has a bit of a cheesy flavor to it, so you can find it in crackers, chips, or margarine as a flavoring.  

5. Lactose 

Lactose is a type of sugar found in milk. Lactose is used in all kinds of snacks, including cereal, bread, muffins, frozen French fries, and hash browns, and more!

Join the vegan snacking revolution

Forgoing animal products doesn’t mean you need to miss out on your favorite snacks—quite the opposite. With so many substitutions available, you can still enjoy salty snacks like jerky, or sweet treats like muffins and cakes, without contributing to the animal agriculture industry. 

Try out one of these vegan snacks, and let us know what you think!