Whether it’s a late afternoon handful of chips, an after dinner peanut butter cup, or a candy bar at the movies, there are times in life when vegan junk food beckons.
Vegan junk food
Today I’m sharing four of my favorite kinds of vegan junk food. There are two salty options and two sweet options, because cravings aren’t one size fits all.
Salt & pepper kettle chips
Once I open a bag of salt and pepper kettle chips, I have a hard time thinking about anything else.
I pass by the snack cabinet, and it calls to me from inside with a muffled, “Psst…. Hey, you! Why don’t you grab a handful?”
And therein lies the issue. I am physically unable to stop at just a handful. The balance of salt and pepper, along with that satisfying crunch, keeps me going back for just one more taste.
For salt and pepper chips, I like either the Kettle chips or Trader Joe’s brand.
One plus on the side of Kettle Chips is that they offer organic chips in addition to conventional ones. Otherwise, the Trader Joe’s & Kettle chips taste about the same.
(I recently added the salt and pepper chips to my 20+ favorite vegan Trader Joe’s products post, as well as adding four other products. You can find them by scrolling to the last 5 products in the post.)
In addition to putting a handful of salt and pepper chips in your vegan packed lunch with a picnic sandwich, you can also use potato chips as a crust for vegan fried green tomatoes in the air fryer or on the stove.
Pico de gallo chips
I grew up eating taco pizza and have a huge soft spot for it. In fact, it may be my favorite meal. It combines two beloved foods in one single entrée.
But when I first went vegan, there was a real lack of dairy-free nacho chips to be that final layer on the pizza. So for quite a while, I always made a chip-less taco pizza.
That is totally fine in a pinch, but I really missed that crunchy finish. Plus, after you’ve finished your last slice, it’s fun to go back for one or two more chips as a final taste.
The chips are nice and light. When a nacho chip is too healthy tasting or grainy, it’s just not the right finish for a taco pizza.
In addition to their taco pizza prowess, these chips are good with a bagel sandwich with hummus and vegetables.
By the way, these chips weren’t available locally, and I always ordered them by mail. Then I asked my local Natural Grocers to carry it, and they said yes. Now I can get a bag whenever a taco pizza emergency hits.
For ideas on how you can do the same for products you want, check out this post called, How to get vegan products in your grocery store.
Dream Big Bar
My favorite vegan candy bar is Eli’s Earth bar in the Dream Big flavor. It’s similar to a Snickers bar with caramel, whole peanuts, and peanut butter covered in chocolate. It also reminds me of chocolate turtles in candy bar form.
Unless you’re buying it online, this candy bar is surprisingly hard to come by. That’s why when I was on my vegan Vancouver trip, I made sure to buy a few at a store there.
Sadly, I can’t find them anywhere locally, but at least once or twice a year I’ll place an order for them online. And I always include them as a Christmas gift idea on my holiday wishlist.
(Making a list is a great way to insure that you’ll receive a vegan gift at the holidays. Plus, they make a terrific stocking stuffer!)
Dark chocolate peanut butter cups
A few nights of the week, David and I have a couple of mini dark chocolate peanut butter cups as an after dinner treat.
While the full-sized dark chocolate peanut butter cups are quite tasty, the mini cups give my preferred peanut butter to chocolate ratio. You get a little more peanut butter in every bite with the minis.
Plus, it extends the joy of it to unwrap two peanut butter cups instead of one. (David and I usually split a full-sized two pack.)
Be aware that not all of the Justin’s peanut butter cups are vegan. So specifically look for the dark chocolate variety.
A while back they changed their packaging to include “contains milk” as an allergen warning, even though there isn’t any milk in the ingredient list.
If you read the FAQ on their site, they explain that this was to clarify for cross contamination reasons, because the milk and dark chocolate cups are processed on the same equipment.
Because I don’t have a dairy allergy, I don’t worry about cross contamination. I’m vegan because I don’t want to pay for someone to abuse animals, not because I’m concerned about the possibility of trace amounts of dairy on my otherwise vegan chocolate.
Until there are more fully vegan businesses producing in fully vegan facilities, cross contamination is a possibility. (I’m working on a more thorough post about the issue of cross contamination that I hope to share soon!)
In addition to being sold at health food stores, Justin’s dark chocolate peanut butter cups are also sold at mainstream stores like Target. That’s very handy for people who don’t have access to health food stores, or just might not otherwise seek them out.
Eat the peanut butter cups on their own, or chop them up to use as a garnish on a grilled banana split.
What would be on your list of favorite vegan junk food?