You’re eating a vegan diet but you’re looking for vegan low calorie snacks to eat between meals and you’re not totally sure what to choose? I feel ya. In fact, as a vegan dietitian, this is actually something that I hear quite frequently from people. Before we dig into some great vegan low calorie snacks, let’s consider a few things…
1. If you’re eating a whole food plant-based diet, you likely don’t need to be considered about calories. In fact, I don’t think many people should focus on calories. Instead, it’s more important to focus on the amount of fiber and protein in a food and if you’re eating a predominately whole food plant-based diet, it’s a natural way to “control” calories so to speak. That’s because plant-based foods like fruits, vegetables, whole grains, beans, legumes, and even nuts and seeds are lower in calories per volume compared to many animal product counterparts. Not only are they lower in calories, but many plant-based vegan foods are naturally higher in fiber that will automatically fill you up faster and more often than if you consumed foods without fiber. So, on the other side of that spectrum, if you are not eating a vegan whole food plant-based diet and you’re relying more on processed foods or mock meats/cheese/fried foods/chips/crackers/etc, those foods have more calories and are easier to overeat with. So, the first question is…what type of vegan or plant-based diet are you consuming?
2. The second consideration is that sometimes you may need a snack that has more calories. For example, if you eat lunch at 11:30am and you are going out to eat that night at 8:00pm, you will most definitely need a vegan snack. However, if you are also planning on working out mud afternoon, you will need a larger snack to help balance out an earlier lunch, a later dinner annnnd vigorous activity. In that instance, a vegan low calorie snack would not be sufficient.
3. The third point I’d like for you to consider is that you may need or want a snack because you didn’t eat enough at your previous meal. Unintentionally under eating is something I see happen with vegans or vegetarians frequently. To have a satisfying vegan meal, there needs to be a considerable amount of fat, fiber, protein and starch. Sometimes, I see plant-based eaters load up on the fiber but forget to add a significant fat source or starch that would help keep you full longer.
Did that give you some food for thought? I hope so, and if you still want to nosh on healthy vegan snacks throughout the day that are also low calorie, keep reading! For the purpose of this post, I’m considering a calorie level of 130 calories or less to be low calorie as most of the time snacks are around 200-300 calories depending on someone’s energy needs and activity level.
8 Great Vegan Low Calorie Snacks
1. Enlightened Bada Bean Bada Boom Plant-based ProteinWhy We Love Them: Enlightened Bada Bean Plant-based protein low calorie snacks are a great option when you want to incorporate a low calorie snack that’s individually packaged (great for school lunch or packing a lunch in the office!) and contains a substantial bit of nutrition. With only 100 calories per bag including fiver grams of fiber and seven grams of protein, that’s the same protein equivalent as an egg to help keep you full and satisfied in between lunch. These crunchy Enlightened Bean snacks pack just the right amount of crunch and salt for a truly nosh worthy treat.
Considerations: Enlightened Bada Bean Crisps come in only 3 flavors so while you won’t have a plethora of low calorie vegan snack flavor options, we definitely thing the three flavors on hand are fantastic and can easily be added into salads, soups, or trail mixes to provide taste variance.
Why We Love Them: Beanitos are like a tortilla chip, just a bit thicker and with a heartier bite instead of a thin airy crisp in traditional tortilla chips. With 4 grams of fiber and 5 grams of protein, these are a healthier option than grabbing a traditional bag of chips. Plus, with 130 calories and 6 grams of fat Beanitos are still satisfying if you’ve got a mid afternoon salt craving. Pick them up HERE and see for yourself.
Considerations: Beanitos are available in individual low calorie snack size bags and full size bag of chips. If you’re looking for a vegan low calorie snack, I suggest the individual packed bag to ensure that you don’t eat more than you bargain for as these can be easy to eat one right after another!
Why We Love Them: Non-GMO and a high protein snack, Seapoint Farms Dry Roasted Edamame make a great low calorie vegan snack choice with 100 calories, 5 grams of protein, and 10 grams of protein per individual serving bag. Edamame, or young soy beans are a terrific source of iron and with 8% in each serving. These nuggets can be added into trail mixes or are great eaten on their own to keep the calories minimal. Find Seapoint Farms Dry Roasted Edamame HERE.
Considerations: The Dry Roasted Edamame is low calorie but can be quite dry and crunchy. I would strongly suggest consuming your vegan snack with a large glass of water. Again, tasty but a bit on the drier/crunchier side – nothing that a little hydration can’t solve!
Why We Love Them: These whole food based vegan snacks are small and compact and low calorie. Health Warrior Chia Bars work as a great vegan snack if you’re short on time (and can only nosh on two bites of something) or you’re short on space (they fit in just about any pocket or purse!). With only 100 calories, 3 grams of protein and whopping 5 grams of fiber in a tiny package, these whole food chia seed based bars are a great vegan snack. They come in a variety of flavors, so you never have to worry about getting burnt out. I still think my favorite part is the size. I love keeping a Health Warrior Chia Bar in my purse and clutch for whenever hanger strikes – give them a try!
Considerations: Yes, Health Warrior Chia Bars are low calorie but….if you know anything about chia seeds, you know that sometimes they can get stuck in your teeth. I still think this is a valuable low calorie vegan snack but I would recommend checking your pearly whites afterwards or swishing some water to remove any chia seeds that may have gotten stuck.
Why We Love Them: HIPPEAS are reminscent of those other cheese flavored puff that you may have enjoyed in your pre-vegan days. HIPPEAS Chickpea puffs are just a bit heartier than a traditional chip puff but they contain 130 calories, 3 grams of fiber, and 4 grams of protein whereas most chips have more calories and only 1 gram of fiber/protein (if any at all). So not only do HIPPEAS provide a low calorie vegan snack, but they do so while providing solid nutrition. Oh, and did I mention that the nacho cheeze vibes and the vegan white cheddar actually taste a bit cheesy?? This is a fun vegan twist as most commercially prepared cheese flavored snacks include dairy or milk. Give HIPPEAS a try for your next vegan snack break.
Considerations: Honestly, the biggest consideration here is usually what flavor of HIPPEAS you want to try first! I would also say that while I enjoyed the texture, my husband finds them to be a little “too hearty” for a snack as he’d rather have the traditional crisp of a chip or a puff.
Why We Love Them: If you’re heading out the door and you don’t have fruit in the house or you don’t have time to sit down and nosh on a peach or something, then Pure Organic Layered Fruit Bars can be a great low calorie vegan snack option. The layered fruit bar are fairly small and with the same amount of calories as a piece of fruit (60 calories per bar). If you need a sweet afternoon pick-me-up, try vegan Pure Organic Layered Fruit Bars.
Considerations: While the Pure Organic Layered Fruit Bars contain only fruit, the vegan snack bars contain fruit puree. This means that the fruit bars while low in calories do not contain any protein or fiber. Usually fruit doesn’t have much fiber but we do usually expect to see anywhere from 2-6 grams of fiber in a serving of fruit and in these bars you won’t find any.
Why We Love Them: Popchips still use potatoes but rather than frying the potato like in traditional potato chips, Popchips pops them to retain the potato flavor but without the calories and fat of the fried chip. Each individual serving contains 100 calories and only 1 gram of protein and 1 gram of fiber. However, these can still be better options than traditional potato chips if you want something crisp, salty, and vegan. The only flavor that is not vegan is the Sour Cream and Onion, otherwise try the Barbeque, Sea Salt, or Sea Salt and Vinegar Popchips for your next snack and see what the fuss is all about!
Considerations: These are a low calorie option but Popchips are not as nutritionally dense as some of the other snack options listed earlier like the dried bean crisps or even the other higher protein chips.
Why We Love Them: Roasted Seaweed is one of the most nutritionally dense, low calorie vegan snack options out there. Each large serving contains only 30 calories with 1 gram of protein, 1 gram of fiber, plus 20% vitamin C and 2% iron per individual serving. Roasted Seaweed snacks are one of my favorite ways to add a vegetable or a nutrient dense snack food to a day without contributing very many calories at all. Roasted seaweed is crisp but pretty thin, so don’t expect it to fill you up much, but it will be a great vegan midday snack if you aren’t very hungry but have the munchies. Check out the vegan roasted seaweed snacks HERE.
Considerations: Each package of roasted seaweed is rather large in size given the amount of calories and overall volume. Part of that is because the seaweed is in a plastic container so it doesn’t get smashed and cracked into a million pieces. This means that the vegan roasted seaweed snacks are not going to be the snacks you carry in your purse or in another tight space.
There are certainly other low calorie vegan snacks, but these 8 are all nutrient dense despite being low in calories. This means that you can help meet your nutrition needs without consuming more calories than what you bargain for. Which low calories vegan snack do you plan to try first? Or have you already tried one? Comment below and let us know – we’d love to hear from you!