For the Vegan Munchies

Now, we all know that good little vegans only snack on healthy treats like carrot sticks and apple slices. Ha! I think not. We all get crazy munchies and junk food cravings just like everyone else, and it's actually not that hard to get your snack on with plant-based goodies. And while there are some awesome specialty products on the market, like kale chips or quinoa puffs, you can actually find a huge range of vegan snacks on your standard supermarket shelves if you know where to look.

A few of the easy-to-find vegan snacks that I'm noshing on these days.

Crispy and Salty
This is my preferred snack category and I am a complete sucker for chips or popcorn. The biggest pitfall is the ever popular cheese flavor so if you stay away from that, you'll find that most brands are free of animal products. Oh, sour cream flavors are another no-no.

Classic flavors like plain, salted, all dressed, onion, BBQ, dill pickle, and salt & vinegar, are all safe and delicious. The current trend of meat-based flavors like poutine, chili and chicken wings are all out (usually because of dairy rather than actual meat though).

Potato chips, corn chips, sunflower seeds, pretzels and non-buttered popcorn are all excellent choices. In fact, some brands of "buttered" popcorn are still vegan because they manage to get that flavor without using any real butter. Scary, but vegan. Did you know that even Doritos have a vegan variety? Their spicy sweet chili chips are free from animal products and are super tasty.

If you prefer crackers for your crunch fix, Wheat Thins and Triscuits both have a whole bunch of vegan crackers that are yummy.

Sweet and Chewy
I'm talking candy here, for the snackers with a sweet tooth. My personal favorite is the standard jujube, and as long as you read the ingredients and avoid gelatin, they're easy enough to find. Many jelly beans, licorice, jujubes, hard candy and gumdrops can be found that are vegan. Gummy candies (think bears or worms) are a little tougher as they generally have gelatin.

I suppose some people would lump chocolate in with candy but I figured it deserved a mention by itself. Dark chocolate is vegan but (obviously) milk chocolate is not, and that is by far the more common variety out there in the snack world. Chocolate-covered anything is almost always milk chocolate. Bars of dark chocolate are in any supermarket, and you might have to settle for that format to satisfy your needs. Our Bulk Barn carries a few chocolate-covered nuts and such treats with dark chocolate though, so I know they are out there.

Ice Cream
This one is a tough one since the fundamental ingredient in ice cream is cream. There are more and more non-dairy versions out there now, using coconut or cashew milk as the base. You can also find varieties of sorbet in most stores that are dairy-free, and don't have the premium vegan price tag. Chapman's has a chocolate sorbet that is excellent.

The last snacky group I'm looking at is cookies. Out of all the types of food mentioned, this is probably the hardest to find vegan without resorting to specialty stores and custom brands. Baked goods of all varieties commonly have milk or egg ingredients in them. Oddly enough, Oreos are a famous example of an "accidentally vegan" cookie that you can indulge in. Some brands of ginger snaps and graham crackers are also vegan.


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