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5 Vegan Snacks That are Healthier Versions of Your Childhood Favorites

Try these plant-based foods and drinks that offer tasty takes on the snacks you enjoyed as a kid

Remember the good old days of childhood when you ate whatever snack you wanted without giving it a second thought? Even if it was some unnatural neon color or had ingredients you couldn’t pronounce it didn’t matter — you had no clue about the dangers of processed foods, chemicals and artificial ingredients.

Well, those days are over.

No matter what kind of diet you follow, the fact is that we all want healthier snack options. Of course, we could simply eat seeds, nuts and veggie sticks every day, but that gets tired after a while.

Whether you’re looking to combat that mid-afternoon slump, want a tasty snack for your next weekend hike, or just need more meatless options for those in-between-meal cravings, here are some tasty vegan snacks that will remind you of your childhood and add more fun and flavor to your day. Bonus: Almost of all them are gluten-free, too!

Ashapops are a vegan snack made from water lily seeds
We’re crazy for Ashapops!

ASHAPOPS

If you were coo-coo for Cocoa Puffs as a kid, Ashapops is what you’ve been waiting for as an adult. These incredible little puffs come in four flavors, including Dark Chocolate, which have a texture, smell and taste that will remind you of Cocoa Puffs … without the junk.

If you liked Cinnamon Toast Crunch growing up, then you have to get the Cinnamon flavor. You can mix Ashapops in trail mixes or yogurt, but I like them straight out of the bag. With only 100 calories or less per bag, Ashapops are actually made from popped water lily seeds. Yes … as in the seeds from those pretty flowers you see growing in ponds!

Ashapops come in two sweet and two savory flavors
Ashapops come in two sweet and two savory flavors

What I also love about Ashapops is the story behind them. I met the creators at my local Erewhon market where mom Asha and her son Jai were offering samples to customers. I immediately bought two bags and then went back for more. You may have never heard of water lily seeds, but Asha says that they are actually an ancient Ayurvedic superfood used during fasting in India as well as a gift to the gods.

Best of all, Ashapops are organic, loaded with nutrients, minerals and antioxidants and always non-GMO, vegan, paleo friendly, gluten-free, corn-free, soy-free and grain-free.

One sheet of seaweed is packed with nutrients
One sheet of SeaSnax seaweed is packed with nutrients

SEASNAX

If you’re Latino or grew up around Mexican markets, chances are you remember those packets of teeny-tiny dried shrimp found in the spice section. I used to love eating those! Well, now you can have a similar snack that’s vegan.

SeaSnax are lightly roasted organic sheets of seaweed that are crisped with 100% organic extra virgin olive oil and just a touch of sea salt. While they aren’t as chewy as those briny crustaceans, they do offer the same sort of salty and oceanic flavor thanks to the seaweed.

Toasted Onion and Original are fantastic, but if you love lots of spice and can handle the heat, give the Chipotle and Wasabi a try.

Seaweed is a great snack because it’s low in fat and packed with soluble fiber, which helps control blood sugar levels and keeps you regular. It’s also rich in minerals including iodine, selenium, calcium and iron. Also, unlike shrimp, SeaSnax have no cholesterol. They’re also gluten-free, sugar-free and non-GMO with no artificial colors, flavors or preservatives. And because they’re only 30 calories per serving, you won’t feel bad if you eat two containers at a time!

 

Humm Kombucha will keep you humming with all the flavors
Humm Kombucha will keep you humming with all the flavors

HUMM KOMBUCHA

If you’re anything like me, you cringe when you think about just how much soda you drank as a kid. Fortunately, there are plenty of healthier alternatives to soda these days. Kombucha is a great alternative to soda because you can get that carbonated caffeine kick without all the bad ingredients. Humm kombucha is organic, non-GMO, gluten-free and comes in yummy flavors like Pomegranate Lemonade and Coconut Lime to spicier flavors such as Chai and Lemon Ginger.

Not only is this fizzy drink perfect if you’re having a midday slump, but kombucha is rich in probiotics, which can help boost immunity and overall health. That said, not all kombuchas are created equal. You have to read the labels because some kombuchas are loaded with sugar. Fortunately, Humm does a pretty good job of keeping the sugar under control. While it does contain organic cane sugar (about 7 grams per serving), that’s a much better option to a can of Coke, which has a whopping 39 grams of sugar per can!

 

Say farewell to Funyuns thanks to onion Chomperz
Say farewell to Funyuns thanks to onion Chomperz

CHOMPERZ

If you loved Funyuns growing up, you’re going to love onion-flavored Chomperz. Sure, they look nothing like Funyuns, but the taste is ridiculously similar.

Made from the same maker of SeaSnax seaweed sheets, Chomperz are light and crispy seasoned seaweed curls wrapped in rice flour. But unlike Funyuns, these light and crispy snacks are vegan with no artificial ingredients, no preservatives, no sugar and definitely no MSG or partially hydrogenated soybean oil.

You can try Chomperz in other flavors including Original, Barbecue and Jalapeno, but onion is the way to go if you’re looking for a healthier alternative to get your Funyuns fix.

Rau Chocolate drinks are an adult throwback to childhood chocolate milk
Rau Chocolate drinks are an adult throwback to childhood chocolate milk

RAU CHOCOLATE

Remember how fun it was drinking chocolate milk as a kid? Many of us grew up on Ovaltine and Yoohoo, but these highly processed beverages certainly weren’t good for us no matter what the commercials said.

So what’s a chocolate milk lover to do? Get your hands on some RAU Chocolate, that’s what. This stuff is an adult version of those childhood favorites without all the junk.

Made from organic, fair trade ingredients, RAU chocolate drinks are are free from any refined sugars, plus they are totally vegan, gluten-free, paleo friendly and non-GMO. They also contain theobromine, an alkaloid found in the cacao bean, which has a similar effect to caffeine, so they can actually help keep you energized throughout the day.

RAU Chocolate comes in six flavors including Salted Caramel, Semi-Sweet, Cold Brew Mocha, Mint, Bold Original and my favorite Coconut, which has the perfect balance of creaminess and sweetness for a smooth finish that tastes totally indulgent.

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Written by Mar Yvette

Mar Yvette is an on-air host, lifestyle expert, writer and editor with 10+ years of experience working with some of the world’s most recognized media companies.