Healthy Dairy-Free Snack Ideas That Everyone Will Enjoy
The past couple of decades have been filled with revelations about diet and nutrition, from low-carb and gluten-free trends to discoveries about metabolism and gut health (hello, kombucha). We’re starting to realize the power of simplifying what we eat and removing some of the less-than-natural ingredients in our diet.
But of all the dietary limitations we give ourselves, dairy is one of the toughest things to give up. There are so many dairy-based foods that just give you that “comfort food” feeling, from milk and cheese to butter and ice cream.
Saying goodbye to dairy is definitely a challenge, especially if you grew up enjoying some of these classic comfort foods. As you start a new chapter with a healthier lifestyle, you’ll need some tasty dairy-free snacks to keep you on the right track.
We’re here to list some of the best dairy-free snack ideas that will keep you feeling energized throughout the day, whether you’re at home, on the go, at work, or with the family. We’ll give a quick breakdown of why dairy-free is a good idea, then get to the snacks.
These are healthy picks that won’t sabotage your diet in other areas, so you can snack with confidence and fully enjoy every bite! Let’s get into it.
Why Go Dairy-Free?
Tune into any fitness podcast or do a bit of research, and you’ll see just how many people have decided to embrace the dairy-free way of living. While some people have been diagnosed with lactose intolerance (the inability to break down the unique proteins found in dairy products), others just find that they feel lighter, healthier, and happier without it.
It’s been argued many times before that milk, yogurt, butter, and cheese are not exactly natural since they undergo a certain degree of processing that isn’t organically available in the wild. That’s why many followers of the Paleo diet say no to dairy.
Of course, it’s up to you to decide whether dairy is doing you more harm than good, and the best way to decide is to leave it off the table for a couple of weeks. Keep an eye on things like inflammation, acne, digestion, and energy levels to see if you want to add it back to the routine or if you’re done with it for good.
If you conclude that dairy-free is the way to go, stay tuned for these healthy snack options we’ve compiled for you here.
Fruits, Veggies, and Nuts
You may not be surprised to find fruits and veggies at the top of our list of healthy snacks, but it’s for a good reason. For starters, they can be prepared in just a few seconds – just give them a rinse, chop them up, or munch them down in their original form.
From apples and oranges to bananas, plums, and pineapple, fruits are healthy snacks with the right type of natural sugar for a quick burst of energy. Veggies might be lower in glucose, but they have the fiber and micronutrients to keep you full for longer and plenty of water content to hydrate the body as well.
If you’ve just made the switch to dairy-free, get familiar with quickly preparing a medley of different fruits and veggies in various shapes and sizes.
It’s just about the right time to grow out of not wanting to eat your veggies and realize just how great-tasting these bad boys can be. Now that we’re more seasoned and wise, it’s the perfect time to return to these ingredients with a new perspective on health and wellness.
You’ll be surprised just how delicious fresh-cut raw veggies can be. It may not be as thrilling as tearing open a bag of chips, but once you get munching on real, healthy stuff like carrots, cucumbers, celery, and grape tomatoes, you’ll understand what you’ve been missing.
Plus, this snack will fill you up fast (thanks to the fiber), and you’ll actually feel energized instead of weighed down by grease and starch. This will motivate you to get more done, work out harder, and stay on top of all your fitness goals.
The next time you’re in the produce section, grab a bunch of veggies and fruits you’d otherwise avoid and just give them a try. We guarantee you’ll find something to love.
While you’re there, be sure to snag a few pouches of peanuts, almonds, walnuts, or cashews. Nuts are an extraordinary source of healthy fats and nutrients that absorb slowly and offer lasting energy. Paired with fruit or veggies, it’s the ultimate all-natural snack – no dairy involved.
Dairy-Free Dips and Sauces
If plain fruits and veggies sound a bit boring, we don’t blame you. Dairy-free dips and condiments are going to be essential to get you far on your journey.
You’ll first want to grab some organic honey (local is best) to drizzle lightly on sliced apples and generally keep things sweet as you say goodbye to dairy desserts. Also, pick up a few types of nut butter (peanut, cashew, almond) to add healthy, satiating fats to your fruit medley.
With veggies, you can venture into salty, savory, and garlicky territory, trying things like hummus, tzatziki, baba ghanoush, and other Middle Eastern spreads that are all free of dairy. You can also rely on healthy salsa and guacamole if you like things spicy, or go with a condiment like tapenade for a French influence.
When you’re browsing the aisles, keep your eyes open for dairy-free dips that inspire you and meet your dietary requirements. Some of them might still be high in fat (featuring mayo as the main event), so use your best judgment when making a selection.
Since the dairy-free lifestyle is pretty widely accepted, some people who are dairy-free will eat meat, and plenty won’t. You might be okay with eating meat and other animal products, which will definitely make your journey easier.
Meat and eggs are very high in protein and provide many of the same nutrients as cheese, so it may be smart to keep them in the mix when you’re first trying out the dairy-free life.
For a super easy snack, your best bet is to buy some low-sodium deli meat from the grocery and keep it stocked for quick access. You can wrap up a piece of turkey or roast beef in a piece of lettuce, drizzle a little mustard, and you have a lean, mean snack in just a few seconds.
Hard-boiled eggs are also a great pick for vegetarians, and it’s never a bad idea to keep a half-dozen sitting in a glass bowl in the fridge for when you need a protein boost.
Gluten, on the other hand, is a touchy subject these days, since so many dairy-free folks also choose to avoid it. But if you’re okay eating tortillas, bread, crackers, and so forth, you’ve got a huge range of decently healthy snack options that you can rely on at any time.
With flour-based snacks on your side, you can quickly toast some bread or English muffin, open up a bag of whole-wheat pretzels. Cereal (not the sugar bomb types) with almond milk or another milk substitute is on the table, too. You can even keep a big batch of veggie-loaded pasta salad in the fridge for quick serving when you need some fast carbs.
As you go further on your dairy-free journey, you may want to experiment with gluten-free or vegetarianism as well, so keep your mind open to all possibilities and don’t get too attached to certain foods in your repertoire.
Classic Crunchy Snacks On the Go
We’ve offered a wide range of healthy dairy-free options, but if you want to indulge in an old-school snack experience without the drawbacks, we’ve got to recommend our Pig Out Pigless Pork Rinds above all the rest.
Not only are they certified vegan and gluten-free, but they also have 25 grams of protein per bag – unmatched by any snack on this list.
For even more variety and an extra burst of key nutrients, check out our Outstanding Puffs, which also check all the boxes for any dietary needs. Pick up a variety pack and try all the awesome flavors, including a White Cheddar that will tap into those cheesy memories of the past.
Interested in learning more about our mission and business philosophy? Check out how we do things our own way at Outstanding Foods.
Going dairy-free doesn’t have to be about sacrifice. It’s a step in the right direction for your long-term health and happiness, so get going! These snacks will help you conquer all cravings and get you to where you want to be.