Contrary to popular belief, vegetarians and vegans do, indeed, snack. We're not this "cult", as some may call us, that refuses to touch ice cream or chips because we want to maintain a distinct "culture". Some of us, including myself, can't go a single second without eating. While I do need a way to satisfy my guilty pleasure of snacking, it's the variety of snacks I choose that keeps me feeling healthy, even after indulging.  

So with that, here is a list of my favorite vegan, non-GMO snacks.

1. Somersaults Sunflower Seed Crunchy Bites

Avery Paulen

These delicious treats made with Dutch cocoa are the perfect substitute for regular chocolate. The dairy in chocolate is proven to cause acne in males by reacting with the testosterone in their bodies, increasing the production of sebum in skin, the oily substance that clogs your pores. It also affects females by gluing together dead skin cells inside your pores so they can’t exit naturally, leading to clogged pores. Removing dairy products, including milk chocolate, from your diet is probably the most effective thing you can do to clear up your skin.

So, when you're having cravings, instead of going straight to that chocolate bar in your freezer, take a step back and consider how your skin might feel. Instead, pick up these amazing, bite-sized, snacks that efficiently fulfill your desires just as well as any Hershey product. 

2. Trader Joe's Kale Chips

Avery Paulen

This snack delivers a truly tantalizing mix of spices that reminds you of nacho cheese, even though there's not a single trace of dairy in them. Kale is a power food that is low in calorie, high in fiber, and has zero fat, among many other health benefits, serving as a perfect, healthy alternative to regular chips. Once you pick these up, I can assure you you'll never want to put them down.

3. Trader Joe's Roasted Seaweed Snacks

Avery Paulen

Warning: These undeniably tasty seaweed snacks will lead to over-consumption. But you're in luck because it's only 30 calories for half a container which has loads of Vitamin C (a whopping 16% of your daily value). So don't hold yourself back—go ahead and indulge!

4. Trader Joe's Just Mango Slices

Avery Paulen

Mangos are my favorite fruit in the entire world, meaning I couldn't pass these when I saw them in the store. The sweet, juicy texture of these dried fruits leaves you wanting more every time. And the best part—there's absolutely no added sugar

5. ShopRite Fat Free Rice Cakes

Avery Paulen

This is my go-to breakfast food and occasional after school snack. The light, fluffy texture makes them perfect to pair with almond butter or hummus. And when it comes to hummus, don't worry, we've got you covered.

6. Tribe Mediterranean Olive Hummus

Avery Paulen

This smooth, creamy spread is perfect to pair with anything from carrot sticks, to cucumber slices, to tortilla chips. And the best part is, it has absolutely zero artificial preservatives, genetically modified ingredients, or gluten.

7. Trader Joe's Veggie & Flaxseed Tortilla Chips

Avery Paulen

This 3-flavored medley of chips is a healthy alternative to the regular tortilla chip. With 500mg of omega 3s per serving and a good source of fiber, these carrot & tomato, spinach & garlic, and red beet & onion chips are the perfect after-school or lunch snack. 

8. South Georgia Pecan Co. Pecans

Ellie Haun

If you ever wonder how vegetarians and vegans get their protein (since meat is out of the question), the answer is not only tempeh and tofu, but nuts as well. Raw pecans have 9 grams of protein per one cup serving, which is 18% of your daily value. These are perfect not only for snacking, but to add to any salad, too. 

9. Nature's Path Organic Coconut Chia Granola

Avery Paulen

The options for this snack are infinite. You can add it to yogurt, pour some coconut or almond milk in and make it a cereal, or just simply eat it straight from the box like I do. Eating from the box is definitely allowed when something tastes this good. 

10. Buono Mochi Ice Dessert 

Avery Paulen

On the days when I come home from school craving something sweet, I'll run to my freezer and immediately eye these amazing vegan mochi desserts in matcha green tea and strawberry flavors. These dairy and soy free desserts, made with coconut milk, taste exactly like the real thing, minus the trans fat and gluten. So don't hold back. Indulge! 

#SpoonTip: If you're interested in buying some of these items, check out your local Trader Joe's or ShopRite, or the companies' websites to find the closest retailer.

Leading a healthy lifestyle always has to begin somewhere. So start by snacking healthier and feeling better, and the amount of things you can incorporate into your everyday diet will be infinite.