Of course, it’s best to prep your food at home if you can. But sometimes you just need something healthy to grab and go!
Maybe you’re tired, or lazy, or busy.
Or if you’re not home for an extended period of time like if you’ve got a long day of traveling, maybe you just can’t.
I wanted to share the quick, easy, healthy vegan snacks I buy myself when I’m out, utterly exhausted, or otherwise can’t do my usual prep.
Hopefully, this list will help reduce any overwhelm you may feel, and then you can be consistent with making choices that align with your ultimate lifestyle goals.
Here are 17 plant-based or vegan snacks that you can grab and go!
1- Trail mix
Of course, it’s better to blend your own dried fruit and nuts at home and bring it with you if you can.
But store-bought trail mix is great in a pinch!
You can find those little bags at just about any store. Even many gas stations have them.
It’s not the lowest-calorie snack so if you’re watching your weight you may want to be careful not to eat the whole bag.
But if you just need something quick to grab and go from nearly any store or shop you can find, trail mix is your friend.
2- Whole fruit or veggies
Next, it’s probably not that obvious but whole fruits and/or veggies make perfect snacks that you can find just about anywhere.
Again, you can usually find at least an apple or banana on display at many convenience stores.
And these are filling, high-fiber, lower-calorie options that are also affordable and easy to grab and go!
My #1 pick for an on-the-go vegan snack is an apple, a banana, and a small bag of trail mix.
So tasty, affordable, and never fails to get me to my next meal.
Depending on the ingredients, crackers can be another healthy plant-based snack that you can grab at the store.
You may need to pay close attention to the ingredient list and/or nutrition facts to make sure that they are as healthy as you need.
But you can usually find a quick bag of crackers, pair them with a plant-based dip like hummus or guacamole, and snack away!
When you stumble upon some vegan crackers during your grocery shopping, grab a nutritious, delicious, and versatile tub of hummus!
Not only is hummus readily available in stores, but it’s also a healthy choice as it’s made from legumes (usually chickpeas).
Packed with protein and fiber, hummus can keep you feeling satisfied for hours.
For an even healthier (and super-filling option), try pairing hummus with raw veggies instead of crackers.
(Remember, it’s a great idea to stay as close to whole foods as often as possible.)
RELATED: How To Make Your Own Hummus
Another delicious plant-based dip that you can buy at most stores is guacamole.
This creamy and flavorful avocado-based dip is full of healthy fats, fiber, and vitamins.
Not only does it make a great snack with crackers or veggies, but you can also use it as a spread on sandwiches or wraps for added flavor and nutrition.
Pretzels are a classic on-the-go snack that can easily be vegan or plant-based if you choose the right brand.
They’re often low in fat and calories, making them a healthier option than other types of chips or crackers.
Plus, they come in various flavors and shapes for added variety.
Just make sure they don’t contain milk or egg if you want to make sure they are vegan.
Or, if you’re plant-based for a reason such as weight loss, make sure the calories per serving are sufficient for your needs.
7- Bottled smoothies
You do have to be careful when purchasing bottled smoothies at the store, as many of them claim to be good for you but are actually loaded with sugar.
However, if you pay attention to the ingredients, you can often find some that are better than others.
Look for smoothies made with whole fruits, vegetables, and minimal added sugars or sweeteners.
Though you’ll usually find a high sugar content even if no additional sugar is added, at least it’s due to the natural sugar in fruit.
These can make a great on-the-go snack or meal replacement when you’re in a pinch.
8- Veggie chips
For those who prefer a savory snack, veggie chips can be a great option.
While they may not be as healthy as raw veggies, they are still a good source of fiber and nutrients compared to traditional potato chips.
Look for brands that use whole vegetables and minimal added oils and seasonings.
9- Nuts & seeds
While trail mix is an excellent option for a quick store-bought snack on the go, these can also have lots of extra salt, and sugar, and sometimes they even contain candy!
While these added ingredients can make them taste better, they also increase the calorie count and decrease the overall health benefits.
Instead, opt for plain roasted or raw nuts and seeds.
They provide essential healthy fats, protein, and fiber to help keep you full and satisfied throughout the day.
Fun fact: Depending on how well you chew them, whether the nuts are processed (roasted, salted, ground), and the type of nuts you eat, a host of studies have shown that the caloric uptake of nuts can be from 5% to over 30% lower than expected.
A calorie is not always a calorie.
So if you can, opt for whole, unprocessed, salted nuts instead of sugary, salty trail mix.
And chew them thoroughly!
10- Plant-based yogurt cups
For a quick and easy snack that’s high in protein and calcium, consider grabbing some plant-based yogurt cups.
These are perfect for those who are lactose intolerant or looking to reduce their dairy intake.
Look for brands with minimal added sugars and choose options made from alternative milk such as almond, coconut, or cashew milk.
I’ve tried this brand before and found it pretty good.
I add fruit and nuts and boom – a tasty, healthy snack!
Popcorn is one of my all-time-fave plant-based snacks!
I eat popcorn at least three times a week – sometimes more than that!
While most popcorn at the store has tons of butter, salt, and other additives, you can opt for lightly seasoned or even plain versions.
Popcorn is a whole grain that’s packed with fiber to keep you full.
And a little goes a long way.
Grab some and add it to your list of vegan snacks.
12- Plant-based protein bars
Next, I’ll admit I’m not the biggest fan of protein bars. But they can be a good option if you need something quick and easy to get you through a workout or to your next meal.
Look for plant-based options that are low in added sugars and high in protein.
These can be handy to keep in your bag or car for those moments when hunger strikes and there are no healthy snacks in sight.
Oatmeal cups have become pretty popular in recent years and for good reason.
They’re a convenient, on-the-go option that’s high in fiber.
You want to be careful not to get the super-sweetened ones that come in crazy flavors with tons of additives.
Those usually have way too many calories added and amount to more of a sugary dessert than a healthy snack.
Look for plain, unsweetened versions and add your own toppings like nuts, seeds, or fresh fruit to pack in some extra nutrition.
14- Rice cakes
Okay, so I know rice cakes sometimes get a bad rap for being plain and boring, but hear me out.
Rice cakes are a great base for all kinds of toppings that can really jazz them up.
I like to spread avocado or hummus on top and add some cucumber slices or other veggies for a quick and satisfying snack.
Just make sure you check the ingredient list because some of them are loaded with additives and can have a high sodium content.
I keep a bag of these rice cakes in my pantry at all times and love them so much!
Each one is only 35 calories and there’s only one ingredient – whole-grain brown rice!
They’re super-clean and make the perfect vehicle for hummus, guacamole or anything else you can dream of putting on them.
15- Dried fruit
Though higher-calorie than whole fruit, dried fruit can still be an option if you need quick snacks on the go and want to do better than, say, a bag of candy.
A single serving (about 1/4 cup) can provide a boost of energy and satisfy your sweet tooth.
Just be mindful of portion sizes and make sure to choose dried fruit without any added sugar or preservatives.
Some great options include raisins, apricots, dates, and mangoes.
Dried cranberries also make a great addition to salads and oatmeal for some extra flavor and texture.
16- Cup o’ Noodles
Some plant-based warriors would jump down my throat for this but I don’t care!
If you get the cup o’ noodles that aren’t based on animal product flavoring, it’s really just noodles, carrots, peas, and maybe some other stuff.
Not quite “whole foods” plant-based… but it’s still so much better than many other options!
Just look on the back of the package and make sure they don’t use eggs or other animal products, and enjoy a hot, brothy, salty snack that’s at least better than stopping at a fast food drive-through and going completely berzerk!
17- Seaweed snacks
Last but not least, those little packages of seaweed snacks are so convenient and so delicious!
Depending on where you get them, they can be a bit expensive for what you get.
But when I find a good deal I’ll buy them in bulk and just keep them in my pantry.
Some research shows that seaweed suppresses hunger and reduces calorie intake.
So just by adding seaweed to your diet, you might be able to resist the desire for more processed snacks or just overeating later in the day.
Plus, seaweed is packed with nutrients like iodine, calcium, magnesium, and vitamin K.
So not only will it satisfy your cravings, but it can also nourish your body!
As you can see, being a plant-based warrior doesn’t mean giving up your favorite snacks or sacrificing convenience.
With just a little bit of effort, you can find tasty and satisfying options that align with your values and health goals.
I hope this list of ideas helps you feel more confident in your ability to maintain or improve your new lifestyle.
Remember, you don’t have to be perfect to make progress.
Your journey is your own, and every choice you make counts.
So go out there and enjoy some delicious, plant-based snacks!
Your body and your planet will thank you.
Keep calm and snack on!