If you’re new to eating an oil-free, low-fat, or whole-food vegan diet, it may seem at first like there aren’t many snack options… But as someone who’s been vegan for over 14 years, I can assure you—there are tons!
In this post, I’ll share just 11 of my all-time favorite oil-free vegan snacks. And I promise they won’t just be “fruit” or “nuts.” While some of these are classics, other ones are pretty interesting—ideas you haven’t heard before!
1. Medjool Dates in the Freezer
I think I got this idea from Dr. Michael Greger’s book How Not to Die (Amazon link). It’s an amazing tip.
Dates are nature’s candy, and when you put them in the freezer, they become chewy like some kind of caramel candy.
There’s nothing like it! You’ve got to try it!
Bonus snack idea: Grapes in the freezer. This one is great, too! Different texture, but still cold and sweet—very refreshing. And I’ve heard mangos are great this way, too. You probably just need to dice them up first.
2. Cold Potatoes
What?? Trust me. It may not sound very good, but try it.
First, just make a bunch of boiled or baked potatoes. Personally, I like boiling small white potatoes in some salty water, so the outside skin is salty. Then put the leftover potatoes in the fridge (whole).
Whenever you want a snack, just go grab one of these cold potatoes! You can just eat it like an apple, and it’s surprisingly good.
One of the awesome things about this snack is that cold potatoes actually include a significant amount of resistant starch, which is a pre-biotic that is great for your gut health. For more about that, check out my blog post all about reducing vegan farting!
3. Banana “Nice Cream”
This is probably the greatest weapon in the whole HCLF vegan arsenal: Making ice cream out of bananas! It absolutely blows my mind how good this is, and how similar you can make it taste to soft-serve ice cream.
Here’s how you make it:
- Get a bunch of bananas.
- Wait for them to be spotty and kind of soft. They’re sweeter at that point.
- Then peel and cut those bananas into pieces.
- Put them in a Tupperware container in the freezer.
- After 8-12 hours, the bananas will be frozen enough to blend into ice cream.
- Blend them up, maybe with some plant milk and extra ingredients for flavor. And eat!
You can blend in other fruits for a fruity flavor. You can add cocoa powder for a chocolate flavor. Cinnamon is good in there. You can even add veggies like spinach for extra nutrients. Ground flaxseed or chia seeds can add healthy fat.
If you want to keep it strictly high-carb low-fat (HCLF), just be sure not to add too much peanut butter or other fats like avocado.
If you want a peanut butter taste with less fat, consider adding a product like PB2 (Amazon link). You can add the powder right into your banana ice cream—it’s really, really good.
4. Homemade Watermelon Juice
There are all kinds of smoothies and juices that could be on this list. But here’s one that most people overlook: You can just put a bunch of watermelon in a blender, blend it up, and you’ve got a really refreshing pink watermelon drink.
It’s obviously high-carb, no-oil, totally fruit-based, and healthy as can be. Some people like adding other ingredients like mint to it, too.
My big tip would be this: Refrigerate the watermelon beforehand. Yes, a big watermelon can be clunky in the fridge. But it’s much nicer to have cold watermelon juice than room-temperature!
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5. Air-Popped Popcorn
Popcorn is an interesting snack option when you’re trying to be an oil-free vegan.
You can’t go for typical microwave popcorn because it contains oil (and sometimes butter). And you can’t even pop it in a normal popper or on the stovetop with oil. But with an air popper, you can still enjoy this snack.
If you haven’t had air-popped popcorn, it’s dry and crisp. It’s a nice light snack—it doesn’t make you feel as heavy or sluggish as popcorn that has oil or butter on it.
Here’s the air-popper I recommend from the leading brand Presto (Amazon link).
The only problem with air-popped popcorn is that salt and other seasonings don’t stick very easily! Here are my tips to help with that:
- Use very “finely ground” salt and seasonings, even “extra fine” if you can find it. The coarser stuff will just fall to the bottom of the bowl.
- If you want to add a little moisture to help the salt and seasonings stick, you can get a little spray/misting bottle from a dollar store, and spray on just a bit of water. It may sound unappealing, but it works okay.
- If you’d rather not do the spraying, you can also just try salting the top of your popcorn but not shaking it around. Just eat that top layer, then you can add some more salt/seasoning to the lower layers when you get to them.
6. Baked French Fries
This one is verging more on a meal rather than a snack, but I’ll include it. (I can confirm that it makes a great snack, too!)
You can season fries all different ways. The way you make them oil-free is by using either a silicone baking sheet or some parchment paper. Either of those will ensure that the fries don’t stick to your baking sheet.
Here’s the silicone baking sheet I recommend (Amazon link), if you’re looking at getting one! It’s the best deal I could find.
You can also just try baking your fries on a “nonstick” baking sheet. That may do the trick by itself.
In my opinion, baked fries can be just as tasty as deep-fried ones—especially with a good ketchup or other dips—but they’re so, so much healthier and lower in calories.
7. Jelly on toast or rice cakes.
This one is a little flexible. There are plenty of kinds of jam, jelly, and fruit preserves that are all vegan and oil-free. So feel free to find your favorites!
For bread to toast, I’ve found that frozen Ezekial bread is a great oil-free vegan option. That one may be in the frozen health food/natural section of the store. But you can usually find cheaper bread options, too.
For rice cakes, a good variety of flavors are vegan, but if you’re adding your own jelly for flavor, you can just go with the plain variety.
8. Kale Chips
Kale chips are a wonder of the world. It’s kale—it’s not supposed to be so yummy! But with kale chips, you get amazing taste and nutrition.
I don’t have a specific kale chip recipe to recommend, as I still haven’t made them myself. But I really should! I have friends who make them when I’m visiting, and I’m always the one finishing them off!
Snack bars are super convenient, but most are not very healthy. Larabars are the most simple and nutritious bars you’ll find in stores.
The “Cashew Cookie” flavor of Larabars only contain two ingredients: Dates and cashews. Nothing heavily processed (no oil). And nothing you can’t pronounce.
Most other flavors are similarly minimalistic when it comes to ingredients. Usually, it’s just dates, nuts, and some other ingredient for flavor.
You can buy a variety pack of Larabars here (Amazon link), and then you’ll know your favorite flavors to keep restocking afterward.
Caution: If you’re trying to go really low-fat with your diet overall, Larabars may contain too many nuts for you. But all the flavors I’ve checked are totally oil-free.
10. Veggies and Hummus
This is a classic, and the main ingredients are vegetables and beans, so it can fit comfortably into a low-fat vegan diet!
However, watch out for added oil in most store-bought hummus options. You may need to make your own hummus at home without oil (it’s fresher and better anyway!).
There are a few store brands of hummus without oil you may be able to find, though. At Whole Foods Market, I’ve found Engine 2 brand hummus along with a couple of other oil-free brands.
Also, keep in mind, there are many kinds of hummus to choose from. When making my own hummus, sometimes I’ll use black beans instead of chickpeas, for example. Many people like adding dill pickles or red pepper.
For the veggies to dip, I like carrots and cauliflower. A lot of people go for broccoli, cucumber, or bell pepper, too.
You can also dip pita bread, toast, or chips in the hummus, but these often contain oil, too—so you need to make your own or find the oil-free brands.
11. Oatmeal or Muesli
These are commonly eaten for breakfast, but you can have them as snacks, too! I often do—it’s one of my great secrets.
Oatmeal can be sweetened and topped in countless ways, usually with fruit. None of them contain oil (to my knowledge). Here’s a separate post I made on 18 healthy ways to sweeten oatmeal without refined sugar!
If you’re not familiar with muesli, it’s usually eaten as a cold cereal, but it contains oats, dried fruit (like raisins), and usually some nuts and seeds. It’s one of the lowest-glycemic options that exist for cereal. Very healthy!
These snacks are just the tip of the iceberg. Pretty much anything can be prepared without oil.
Even packaged foods that include oil in the recipe can be home-made without oil in some way. So don’t let your imagination be held back! Be creative and don’t fall into just eating the same things all the time.
The world is your vegan, oil-free oyster!
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If you liked these vegan snack ideas and don’t want to forget them, save the Pin below to your Pinterest “vegan food” or “plant-based diet” board!