As someone who was a vegan for almost a year, I’m the first to admit it can be tricky to find vegan junk food. Although I have reintroduced eggs into my diet, the types of “junk food” I continue to consume are still basically the same. I’m not even really a junk food person anymore, actually. I do like an occasional sugary/salty snack, but on most days, I usually try to stick to eating whole fruits and vegetables. Since starting a bi-daily workout routine, my appetite has definitely changed for the better. I don’t get cravings as often, and I feel more full from the food I prepare.
Like I said, however, I still do like to have an occasional processed snack. You may think it would be difficult to find “accidentally vegan” snacks, but they’re actually more common than you’d think. Oreo’s, Nutter Butters, and even some types of Pop Tarts are actually technically vegan because they don’t contain dairy, eggs, or gelatin. However- wheat, soy, and a whole lot of sugar? Yes, those are typically the ingredients you’ll find on this packages in the allergy statement. So I’m sorry to say, if you have a wheat or soy allergy, those kinds of treats are sadly still out of the question.
I ate a lot of Pop Tarts at school because they’re cheap, somewhat filling, and come in a variety of flavors. I don’t eat them as much anymore, but they do make a great frozen dessert. Seriously. Buy a package of the Hot Fudge Sundae Pop Tarts (yes, they’re vegan), put them in your freezer for a few hours, and enjoy.
This isn’t really a snack as much as it is a full-out dessert, but both the Marie Callender and Mrs. Freshley’s apple pies are vegan. Why? I honestly don’t know. My guess is because soy and maybe shortening are used in place of “real” butter- probably because it’s cheaper and preserves better. Either way, they’re delicious, and they’re safe to eat if you’re vegan. Generally, I would say the more processed something is, the less likely it is to contain ingredients like milk or eggs. I probably don’t have to remind you that these are not healthy vegan snacks by any means, but like anyone else, vegans deserve a sweet treat now and then?
But what about salty vegan junk food? There are the obvious choices, of course, like potato chips and Fritos. Obviously, something like Goldfish or classic Doritos are not vegan because they contain cheese, BUT, the Spicy Sweet Chili-flavored variety of Doritos are vegan. A lot of varieties of Skinny Pop and Cracker Jacks are also vegan, but you should always check the allergy statement just to be safe. Surprisingly, Ritz crackers are also vegan, despite their seemingly buttery taste. I LOVE Ritz crackers, and they make a great breadcrumb topping for baked dishes (like Amy’s dairy-free mac and cheese).
I’m not really a big candy person in general, but there are a few types that I like. It may surprise you that most candy is not vegan, but think about it- a lot of chewy candy contains gelatin (which comes from crushed-up horse hooves). I’m happy to report that Sour Patch Kids, Airheads, Dots, Fun Dip, Jolly Ranchers, Skittles, and Twizzlers are also delightful vegan junk food options. You may not be able to enjoy the buttery popcorn at the movies with your friends, but take solace in the fact that Sour Patch Kids are always on your side.
Those certainly aren’t the only vegan junk food snacks out there, but they are my favorites. Like I said, I don’t eat too much junk food anymore, but sometimes it’s nice to have a treat or a cheat day. I love a bag of potato chips as much as the next person. Or a frozen Pop Tart, for that matter.
I’d love to hear some of your favorite vegan snacks as well. Did any of these foods surprise me? Let me know in the comments below!
Coming up next: Auralite 23: Healing, Peace, and Feminine Energy