Being a gluten-free vegan means that quite a few go to snacks, even healthy ones, are not an option for me. I cannot eat gluten nor dairy due to allergies, and I am also a very picky eater when it comes to flavors and textures. Trying to find a go to snack that is healthy, fills me up is not always easy, and satisfies cravings is not always easy. So here are some of my favorite snacks, in no particular order.
Bobo’s Oat Bars
A few months ago, one of the restaurants on campus, called Engrained, held an Earth Day fair with a wide variety of displays. There was everything from a game picking litter out of a tub to “save” the little rubber duckies, to planting your own basil seeds to grabbing free healthy food samples. That was when I discovered the amazingly moist, absolutely delicious, and quite filling Bobo’s Oat Bars. Since then, the campus store has also sold them either as individual bars or in boxes of five “bites”. A bite is half the size of a bar, and I actually prefer the bites.
Strangely enough, I usually have a hard time eating oats, but these little bites: I love them! They are great for a mid-afternoon snack or even a substitute for lunch on a busy day (supplemented with a banana and apple). I have only tried the original, but there are quite a few flavors to choose from. They may be small, but they are surprisingly filling. I also feel great after eating them, which I cannot say about a lot of pre-packaged items.
South Beach Diet Gluten-Free Chewy Nut Bars: Chocolate Chip
The reason I love shopping at the 99 Cent Store is that you never know what usually expensive food items they may have. A few months ago, and a few times since, a store near me has had boxes of the South Beach Diet Gluten-Free Chewy Nut Bars, chocolate chip flavor. I tried them at first as a quick snack for a camping trip we were about to go on, and since then I have tried to keep at least one box of twelve in my cabinet at all times. I do not eat them often, but they are fabulous snacks to take on a hike or camping or when I know I might need a light afternoon snack to hold me over until dinner.
Though it is chocolate chip, it is completely dairy-free! This means I can get just a taste of chocolate, which is extremely rare for me these days. They are so yummy that just the other day, I caught Bradley eating one of these instead of one of his usual granola bars.
Lundberg Organic Brown Rice Cakes
Perhaps my absolute favorite snack on this list, I love Lundberg Organic Brown Rice Cakes. Rice cakes are great snacks, either alone or with peanut butter on top. I try to keep a package of these in my office, and I love to take them on road trips. On our second honeymoon last summer to the Redwoods, brown rice cakes, peanut butter, and honey were life-savers for someone who cannot always find allergy-friendly food at restaurants or when your hotel has no microwave so you can prepare your own safe meal. There were a few days that I pretty much survived off these and some brown rice/lentil soup mix I heated up in a tiny cockpot warmer using the car’s battery while we drove. It was an adventure, a fantastic trip, but I definitely lost weight.
I have heard many people say negative things about rice cakes in general, but for me personally Lundberg’s brand is quite delicious. For those who do not like the taste of plain or lightly salted rice cakes, they also have a wide variety of flavors. So far, I have tried both the mochi sweet and the koku seaweed, though the slightly salt brown rice is still my favorite of all.
Nice! Whole Cashews (roasted)
I am not the biggest nut fan, but two kinds I particularly love are almonds and cashews. I prefer my nuts whole, roasted and lightly salted with sea salt. Most nuts are just too salty or oily for me. Nice! Whole Cashews (roasted) lightly salted with sea salt from Walgreens are a tad expensive for a small bag, but they are quite tasty. The perfect balance of roasted and a dash of sea salt. For someone like me who does not eat nuts a lot, it is worth having in my office stash for a quick snack.
I absolutely adore hummus, and I can remember the very first time I had it. My family and I were driving across the United States along I-40 and we were starving. We stopped at a Walmart right off the interstate, grabbed hot bread from the bakery (this was before I stopped eating gluten) and a container of creamy Sabra hummus. It was delicious and I have been hooked ever since. I have gotten my husband and a few friends hooked on hummus, too!
I enjoy homemade hummus but often do not have the time to make it. We also buy a different brand of hummus from the 99 Cent Store, but Sabra is still my favorite brand due to the creamy texture and the lack of a tahini after taste. (Often times, I find other brands use too much tahini and I actually do not care for that heavy tahini taste.) There are plenty of different flavors, but our favorites are: roasted red pepper, pine nut, and garden herb. Hummus is fantastic on toast, on artisan style bread, pretzels, tortilla chips, or even plain potato chips! As I cannot eat bread and I’m limiting corn, I usually eat it with veggie sticks, potato chips, or Beanitos.
Speaking of, my absolute favorite chip is Beanitos, made from beans and allergy friendly. These bags are usually quite expensive so I tend to be very disciplined when enjoying them. (Alas, it is heart-breaking, but I manage to survive.) Imagine my delight when I found a whole bunch of the Black Bean Beanitos at the 99 Cent Store. I stocked up on a six month’s supply (limiting myself to just one bag a week)! You can also buy them from Amazon in 6-packs that are a pretty good deal. They are worth every penny. (I am keeping my eyes open every time I visit the 99 Cent Store just in case I see them again.) My favorite flavors are the Restaurant Style (White Beans) and the Original Black Bean.
There you go: six vegan, gluten-free snacks that I enjoy! Due to my diet, I eat fruit and veggies a lot, more veggies than fruit to be honest. I am actually not much of a fruit eater, but I do try to eat bananas, green apples, grapes, and strawberries somewhat regularly. Sometimes I crave carbs and starches, something a little more filling and satisfying to the tastebuds. These snacks help satisfy these cravings.
Do you have a favorite snack? Do you have a special diet or food allergies you have to work with?
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