The best vegan snacks – tried and tasted
How’s your Veganuary going, so far? So many of us are getting on board with a plant-based diet these days and, while you may think that the likes of crisps are vegan friendly (they’re just fried potatoes, right?) quite often, even flavours of the non-animal variety have milk products in them. So the BALANCE team has road-tested the best vegan-friendly snacks, so you can snack away in a planet-saving, eco-conscious, dairy and meat free manner. Pass the nuts, will you?
Squirrel Sisters Nuts
Nuts taster selection box, £5
We like to champion smaller brands and Squirrel Sisters are doing a sterling job with their entire snacking range being entirely free of added sugars. Their nut selections washed down our garden gin-tons just perfectly, and the super-tasty range has something to please all. We loved the fiery chilli cashews with a good bit of a kick and a punch spice wise, while our friend who comes out in a sweat eating salt and vinegar crisps (he really does) was more partial to the milder sea salt and black pepper variety. They also do almonds which didn’t take on the flavours quite so well as the cashews but we’re just nitpicking as they were still very delicious, with a special mention going to the smokey flavour.
£2.80 per bar, luisasveganchocolates.co.uk
Honestly, this one is a revelation. Chocolate that isn’t in fact chocolate at all, but cashew nuts blended with Madagascan vanilla, unrefined sugar and cocoa butter, it’s super creamy and smooth and just the tonic for anyone who has given up dairy but misses milk or white chocolate (because we don’t always want super rich, sophisticated dark chocolate that we can’t handle more than two squares of, do we guys?). There’s pure milk or white casholate and one flavoured with matcha but, despite being sceptical about spices messing with our snacks, our favourite was the turmeric casholate. So very, very flavoursome and creamy.
Proper Chocolate Popcorn Bars
Our young tasters were totally bowled over by Proper’s popcorn bars when we tried out the Hazelnut Praline and Salted Caramel flavours. As were the grown ups, to be fair. They’re vegan friendly with a drizzle of Fairtrade dark choc, and feel pretty decadent and lux while also not being packed with cals and sugar. Each one is under 116 cals, and there’s a protein hit with the nuts so we got to feel rather smug while also feeling satiated and loving the different tastes and textures, especially the hazelnut praline. Eat with a cuppa and a trashy movie, in an ideal world.
Kettle Chips Sheeze and Red Onion Crisps
£1.99, available in major supermarkets and small retailers nationwide
Just because you’ve gone plant-based doesn’t mean you don’t crave an icon of crisp flavours, correct? We found Kettle Chips’ uber delicious sheeze and red onion variety to be a super crunchy taste and texture sensation, and you’d never distinguish them from a traditional cheese ‘n’ onion crisp (and we mean that in a good way). The king of posh crisp brands, to be fair.
Higgidy pies and rolls
Mini No Pork Pie, £2.65, Sainsbury’s, Waitrose, Ocado, Tesco
Porcini Mushroom & Spinach Vegan Rolls: £2.65, Sainsbury’s, Waitrose, Ocado, Tesco
Vegetable Samosa Vegan Rolls, £2.65, Waitrose
Higgidy did us proud fancying up our summer picnic with their varied vegan bits and bobs. Our favourites were the vegetable samosa vegan rolls with a touch of inner mango chutney to keep them lovely and moist, while the porcini mushrooms and spinach vegan rolls were tastiest warmed up and dipped in a nearby pot of salsa. Even our meat-preferring young testers had to admit that the filling of the mini no pork pies was tastier than the real thing (‘without any of that weird jelly stuff’) as we all loved the combo of lentils, carrots and sunblush tomatoes that felt proper health-giving and made our picnic far more virtuous that it would usually ever be.
Northern Bloc ice cream
£5.49 for 500ml, selected Waitrose, Ocado, Co-op, Booths and Morrisons stores
Our testers loved the peanut butter ice cream, but the chocolate honeycomb was the outright winner for being rich and creamy and flavoursome and convincingly like ‘proper’ ice cream, for those that matters to. In fact if we’d done a blindfold taste test and hadn’t already told non-vegan testers that this was a vegan brand, they’d have been none the wiser. We also loved the posh branding (and great name) – in fact the whole thing felt gave us a fabulous ‘Treat yourself, it’s a special occasion’ kinda feeling.
£1.75, Ocado, and Holland & Barrett
These plant-based choc bars that are doing wonders for the world, as well as being fibre rich and having less than half the sugar of regular chocolate. They’re the UK’s first plastic-negative chocolate and are carbon neutral, offsetting their carbon footprint by funding a forest preservation project in Peru, the source of their cacao. Flavours include dark choc with sea salt, roasted hazelnut, and coconut.