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Dietitian Recommended Whole Food Plant Based Snacks

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What do you mean by whole food plant based (WFPB) snacks?

Are they better than more processed snacks?

Where can I find them? What are some recipes?

Great questions! Learn and discover Registered Dietitian Nutritionist recommended WFPB snacks here!

Disclaimer: This article is not a substitute for medical or dietary advice. Always talk to your doctor about any major dietary changes, health concerns, or supplements. See our Disclaimers for more details.

*Consumer Notice: This post contains affiliate links that are marked in this manner: (affiliate link*)”. If you click on these links and purchase, I earn a commission at no added cost to you. As an Amazon Associate, I earn from qualifying purchases.

What Does Whole Food Plant Based Mean?

While we are not aware of a dictionary definition, The Forks Over Knives recipes may come to mind when you hear “Whole Foods Plant Based!”

Their site includes plant based recipes that uses vegan (no animal products) whole foods.

A whole foods plant-based diet is described per this article as the following:

  • Foods found in nature without being heavily processed
  • Devoid of animal products (such as dairy, meat, fish, eggs, and honey).
  • Examples of whole plant based foods include whole fruits, veggies, whole grains and legumes, nuts and seeds.

Based of of these points, whole food plant based snacks likely wouldn’t include (or would reduce) refined sugar, oils, and heavily processed flours (such as refined wheat flour).

So no- that chocolate peanut butter dairy based ice cream is not going to cut it in the WFPB space!

Eating this way with healthy choices could lead to less consumption of added sugars and unhealthy fats.

But what are snack ideas that are healthy plant based, and made with whole foods?

You are in the right place, because we got ideas from Registered Dietitians (aka, credentialed nutrition experts).

But first lets answer the question many of you may be wondering, what makes plant based so trendy right now?

Why is the Plant-Based Snacks Market So Popular?

FYI: The writer is a Dietitian, not an consumer trends or environmental specialist! These are the writers opinions.

Plant-based snack brands are hot! It seems like most major companies are slapping the plant based label on many of their snacks.

Why the increase in popularity? For one, there is a growing awareness of veganism, and accordingly, a demand for products (along with plant-based snack brands)!

Research also suggests that plant based diets are better for the environment in general.

With increases in global warming, extreme weather events, and climate change, consumers may be examining how their food choices impact the planet, and looking specifically for plant-based snacks to buy.

And finally, the as the health benefits of a appropriately planned vegetarian and vegan diet are becoming more well known, more and more consumers may be seeking out whole food plant based diet snacks.

What are examples of some? I’m so glad you asked! We got answers from Registered Dietitian Nutritionists below!

Whole Food Plant Based Snack Recipes

As an FYI: some of these recipes include optional chocolate chips, or oil containing sides. If those are a concern for you on a whole food plant based diet, know that there are alternatives (ie: oil free raisins instead of chocolate chips, whole wheat pita’s instead of chips, etc).

1. Trail Mix

Picture of a bowl with trail mix (consists of nuts and dried fruit)1

“Trail mix is lightweight, temperature-stable, energy-providing, and well-balanced. It’s easy to pack for a day on the trails, at the office, on the run, or even at home!”
-From Lexi Endicott, RD, LD, CCMS of To Taste

Check out their Trail Mix Base Recipe here.

2. Energy Bites

Photo of oatmeal energy bites with chocolate chips on the side. All on a white plate, with a cloth nearby. Photo taken by Lisa Cicciarello Andrews.
Photo Credit: Lisa Cicciarello Andrews

“I love these inexpensive, simple bites made with rolled oats and peanut butter to provide soluble fiber and mono-unsatured fat. Sunflower butter could be used in the case of nut allergies.”
-From Lisa Cicciarello Andrews, MEd, RD, LD From Sound Bites Nutrition

Check out Lisa’s recipe for Peanut Butter Oatmeal Energy Bites here!

3. Salsa

Picture of home made salsa with beans, lime slices, and chips on a plate. Photo taken by Colleen Wysocki Woods
Photo Credit: Colleen Wysocki Woods

“Zesty Southwest Salsa is my go-to homemade snack because it takes less than 5 minutes to make, is super affordable , and acts as a complete protein source. It’s a fun snack that both adults and kids will love.”
-From Colleen Wysocki Woods, MS, RDN of Zest Nutrition

Try her recipe here!

Here’s some delicious ideas for whole foods plant based foods to dunk in this salsa!

Whole Food Plant-Based Store Bought Snacks

1. LARABAR

*Consumer Notice: This post contains affiliate links that are marked in this manner: (affiliate link*)”. If you click on these links and purchase, I earn a commission at no added cost to you. 

“I love Larabars because they’re tasty and convenient while also providing fiber for digestion, carb for energy, and healthy fat for sustenance. The fats from the nuts help to buffer the rate the dates raise blood sugar.”
-Functional dietitian Jenna Volpe of Whole-istic Living

Larabars come in a variety of flavors, with different fruits and nuts! Of note, some varieties have chocolate chips, which some WFPB consumers may not agree on as “whole” foods…

Nonetheless, here are a couple chocolate free ones I have tried and enjoy! (affiliate links*):

2. Natures Candy: Fruit

We would be remiss if we didn’t mention this classic!

Fruit requires minimal prep, and is easy to prepare. So don’t forget this nutrient dense snack that can also satisfy your sweet tooth!

Depending on how much you need to “tide you over” to the next meal, here are some popular parings with a bit of plant powered protein, fat and fiber to make for a more satiating snack:

WFPB tip: Try to go for the unsalted, oil free refined sugar free versions.

  • Nuts and/or seeds
  • Seed and/or nut butters (Idea: apple or banana with mixed nut and seed butter, stuff a date with peanut butter, etc).
  • Just mix em up (ie: make a fruit salad with some nuts and seeds sprinkled in)!

3. Raw Veggies and/or Whole Grain Crackers/Pita Bread and Hummus

Ideas for raw veggies include carrots, cucumber celery, jicama, etc!

If added refined oil is something you are trying to avoid, look for hummus with tahini or oil free versions like Cedars Fat and oil free.

4. Raw Veggies with Guacamole

“I enjoy bell pepper strips and carrot sticks with guacamole: these are sturdy and pack well in lunch bags with an ice pack.”
Melissa Altman-Traub, MS, RDN, LDN

5. Roasted Chickpeas or Edamame with Whole Fruit or Whole Grain Crackers/Pita Bread

Rethink legumes as a lunch or dinner only item! Roasted chickpeas or edamame are fun ways to get in some more fiber, plant based protein, and important vitamins and minerals.

Eat them as is, or pair with some fiber filled carbohydrates for added sustenance.

Here’s a whole food plant based recipe for roasted chickpeas!

Tips: Making a Healthy Snack that is WFPB

How many times have you been looking for healthy plant-based snacks to buy- only to find marketed as “healthy” vegan cookies loaded with added sugars and saturated fat?

Making your own puts you in control of what goes into it.

Here’s some tips to keep in mind when you prep when making healthy whole food plant based snacks on the go:

  1. Make It Less Processed. Keeping ingredients whole is in line with WFPB. This could mean plain nuts over oil roasted, sugary ones, apples instead of added sugar sweetened apple sauce… get the gist? When looking for ingredients to minimize, consider reducing added sugar (look for natural sugars instead), unhealthy oils (consider mostly whole food fats instead), and refined flours (ie: whole grain/intact grain over refined).
  2. Know the 3 Satiating Factors- Fiber, Fat, Foods with Protein: These three things can help you feel more full, which is often what we want from a snack! An example of a WFPB snack with these 3 things is trail mix! The fruit contains fiber, and the nuts and seeds provide some fiber, protein, and fat.
  3. Also Assess Your Hunger Level: Perhaps you just aren’t that hungry, but need a little something to tide you over for a even shorter period of time. Maybe an apple or other less complicated snack will due the trick?

Whole Food Plant-Based on a Budget Snacks

Want to save some money when looking for WFPB snacks? Try these tips!

  • Take advantage of sales. We think this one is pretty self explanatory 😉
  • Consider buying certain long lasting foods in bulk: Some dried fruits and nuts last longer than other foods. If you know you and your family will eat them, why not shop around for bulk savings?
  • Check out the bulk bins try first try out foods: Curious about a dried fruit you have never tried before? Bulk bins allow you to get a small amount without paying for a larger package!

Summing It Up: Whole Food Plant Based Snacks

Graphic showing what a whole food plant based diet includes, eliminates and avoids (also in text).

There are so many options and ways to make healthy WFPB snacks.

WFPB snacks typically emphasize whole foods, eliminates animal products, and avoids processed foods, added sugars, refined oils and refined flours.

Lastly, consider keeping the 3 satiating factors in mind when planning snacks! Fiber, fat, and foods with protein.

Did you find this article helpful? Discover that WFPB snacking doesn’t just mean raw nuts? What are your favorite healthy vegan snacks? Let us know in the comments below!
And while you are here, why not poke around on our blog? We talk about all things vegan nutrition, from Is Vegan Gluten Free to How to Transition to Veganism (not only about diet)!
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may the fork be with you!

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