I’m a snacker. I don’t really enjoy big meals with course after course coming and going from the table. You are much more likely to find me grabbing something quick and easy out of the refrigerator or pantry and eating it as I go. This was probably why I found changing my snacking habits much more difficult than changing my cooking and mealtime choices. I’ve learned to keep prepared fruits and vegetables ready for the grab-and-go I like to do but sometimes I need (or want) something that isn’t strictly healthy. Ice cream, candy bars, Doritos, and snack cakes are no longer an option. But this doesn’t mean I can’t have any guilty pleasures. On the contrary, here are my top five, not necessarily good for you, dairy free treats. Because sometimes you need to indulge just a little.
Seriously this stuff is so good you will have to hide it from the rest of your family. I know you thought you would never be able to have ice cream again, and while a trip to the Dairy Queen may not be a good option, there are more and more dairy free frozen desserts entering the market. This one happens to be my favorite substitute for my former go to ice cream flavor.
WARNING: Do not eat straight out of the container! Before you know it you will have consumed the entire pint. It might be good for your dairy free life but calories do still count.
2. Lara Bars
So many flavors, so many choices, these all-natural, vegan bars made from unsweetened fruit, nuts and spices are a great alternative to those protein bars you used to eat. You may be put off by the look of an unwrapped Lara Bar, they aren’t pretty, but give them a try anyway. Densely packed with fruit and nuts they deliver big on flavor, with none of the preservatives and fillers that are in many popular protein bars.
My go to flavor is Peanut Butter Cookie, but my favorite is Cherry Pie which is, unfortunately, difficult to find in my area.
Update: I was able to purchase a box of 16 Cherry Pie on Amazon! For less than they would cost in a store. This is a big deal, I love these bars and will be waiting for the mailman on delivery day.
I know what you are thinking, but don’t judge, sometimes you just need to indulge your inner child, and mine likes to spoon this stuff right out of the jar. The straight up sugary, sweet, sticky yet creamy goodness of this brings me right back to the best part of helping Mom bake when I was a kid: Sneaking tastes and spoonfuls when she wasn’t looking.
If you are more of a traditional marshmallow fan, you are in luck, as marshmallows are also dairy free. Which means if you use a good dairy free dark chocolate, you can still have that campfire staple, the S’More!
For the vegan readers, I regret to inform you that Marshmallow Creme and marshmallows are generally made with gelatin, an animal product. But if you wish to make your own I found this marshmallow cream recipe that looks easy to make and delicious.
This is the more grownup, healthier version of that summer staple, the popsicle. With no high fructose corn syrup, and all natural ingredients, you can eat these on a sweltering day without any guilt.
I’m partial to the lemon or raspberry, but I see new flavors like grapefruit and fruit and veggie bars have just been released. I will have to taste test these new all natural bars and will most likely add them to my favorites list.
Chocolate! Made without any dairy products! However Ghirardelli does warn that these chips are manufactured on the same production line as products that do contain milk. While the line is cleaned thoroughly between productions they make no guarantees that cross-contamination doesn’t occur. Depending on your level of sensitivity this may not be a good choice for you.
I suppose you could bake with them but I’m a little lazy and like to mix them with a handful of nuts or dried cherries. Instant chocolate fix, and it is an excellent quality chocolate at that.
An additional surprisingly dairy free/vegan snack food: Oreos!
I’m not a fan of this popular cookie but I know that I am a minority and in the interest of public service will leave you with the knowledge that you can still indulge your Oreo habit. Remember to dunk them in Soy, Rice or Almond milk!