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Not everyone in the TODAY office is vegan. But after taste-testing these amazing vegan goodies for The Snackie Awards, more of us are considering switching over to dairy-free snacking days.
This year's crop of vegan snacks taking home top marks in the Snackies are totally cheesy (without the cheese) or just delightfully flavorful.
Hippeas Organic Chickpea Puffs, Vegan White Cheddar aren't just popular at TODAY; they're so popular on Amazon that they have an impressive 4.6-star average rating and are the third bestselling product in the puffed snacks category. In addition to being vegan, they're also free of gluten since the base is a mix of chickpea flour, brown rice flour and pea hull fiber. A 1-ounce serving has 130 calories, 5 grams of fat, 4 grams of protein and 17 grams of carbs.
The first ingredient listed in From the Ground Up's Cauliflower Stalks isn't cauliflower — it's cassava. But besides cauliflower, you're also getting a blend of spinach, broccoli, carrots, tomatoes, beets and shiitake mushrooms. Even if they're only present in trace amounts, it's still nice to know you're getting so many veggies in one salty, crunchy and totally satisfying snack. A 1-ounce serving — about 24 stalks — has 140 calories, 6 grams of fat, 2 grams of protein and 18 grams of carbs.
In a blind taste test, Earth Balance Vegan Cheddar Squares could probably pass as Cheez-Its. Seriously. The difference is you're not getting any dairy, trans fat or any GMOs. These are also a little thicker and a lot less greasy. A 1-ounce serving — about 35 crackers — has 100 calories, 4.5 grams of fat, 2 grams of protein and 13 grams of carbs.
Chester who? Instead of the famous cheetah, check out the tiger mascot to find Peatos. Peatos are basically Cheetos except instead of corn they're made with a protein-packed base featuring peas (duh), fava beans and lentils. Plus, the Fiery Hot and Masala flavors are vegan. A 1-ounce serving has 130 calories, 8 grams of fat, 4 grams of protein and 12 grams of carbs.
It's hard to believe that these dessert-like bars only have three ingredients: dates, almonds and, of course, cherries. While they're not an exact substitute for a slice of homemade cherry pie, they can definitely satisfy a dessert craving on the go. They're delightfully chewy, but the dates and almonds lend a sweet richness that is truly reminiscent of a crust made with dairy. One bar has 200 calories, 8 grams of fat, 4 grams of protein and 20 grams of sugar.