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The paleo diet is a popular way of eating that excludes processed foods, refined sugar, grains, artificial sweeteners, dairy products, and legumes (
It’s meant to mimic the way human ancestors ate, but with a modern twist.
Since the paleo diet excludes many popular snack foods, finding paleo-friendly snacks might seem like a difficult task. Fortunately, you can enjoy many store-bought and homemade snacks on the paleo diet.
Furthermore, while it’s commonly believed that paleo diets are centered around animal products, there are many delicious plant-based paleo snacks.
Here are 24 easy and tasty snacks that suit a paleo diet.
Almonds are a portable and highly nutritious snack that can be enjoyed by those following a paleo diet.
However, eating plain, roasted almonds can get boring over time. To try something new, mix up a paleo-friendly batch of ranch-flavored almonds in no time in the comfort of your own kitchen.
Simply toss 4 cups (564 grams) of raw almonds with 4 tablespoons of olive oil, 1 tablespoon of nutritional yeast, a dash of paprika, and 1 teaspoon each of salt, garlic powder, onion powder, dried dill, dried chives, and dried parsley.
Bake at 335℉ (163℃) for 20–25 minutes, stirring occasionally to prevent burning.
Chia pudding is a delicious and filling paleo-friendly snack that you can enjoy any time. Combining chia seeds with nutrient-dense ingredients like blackberries and cashew butter boosts the health benefits of this snack even further.
To make chia pudding, combine 2 tablespoons of chia seeds with 1/2 cup (125 ml) of non-dairy milk in a jar and stir. Add maple syrup or vanilla extract to taste and let the pudding sit in your refrigerator for at least 6 hours to let the seeds absorb the liquid.
Top with a tablespoon of cashew butter and fresh blackberries for a tasty, nutritious snack.
Although many protein bars contain ingredients that aren’t allowed on the paleo diet, several healthy, paleo-friendly protein bars are available for convenient on-the-go snacks.
Keep in mind that bars that contain peanuts or peanut butter are not allowed when following a paleo diet, as peanuts are considered a legume ().
Whole fruits like apples, pears, bananas, and oranges make perfect portable snacks if you follow the paleo diet. Fruits are loaded with fiber and powerful plant compounds that help decrease inflammation and reduce your risk of chronic disease (
Fruit can be paired with other healthy, filling foods like nuts, seeds, or nut butter and be easily enjoyed when running errands or at home or work.
Avocados are celebrated for their impressive nutrient content and health benefits.
Combining the two by stuffing half of an avocado with a few tablespoons of egg salad makes a nutritious, paleo-friendly snack that‘s sure to keep you full for hours.
Many grocery and convenience stores carry snack sticks made with ground turkey, spices, and a collagen casing, all of which are paleo-friendly.
Turkey is an excellent source of protein, B vitamins, and minerals, such as zinc and selenium ().
Paleovally brand offers turkey sticks made from pasture-raised turkey, which may contain more beneficial omega-3 fatty acids than conventionally-raised turkey ().
Though dairy-based yogurt is off-limits on a paleo diet, coconut yogurt can be used to create a parfait that makes an excellent snack. Coconut yogurt can be high in fat and calories, but since it’s filling, you may only need a small amount to satisfy your hunger.
Look for unsweetened coconut yogurt and alternate layers of yogurt with fresh berries, pumpkin seeds, cacao nibs, and unsweetened coconut flakes for a nutrient-dense, paleo-friendly parfait.
To make a delicious, satisfying snack, cut a medium-sized banana lengthwise and top each half with a tablespoon of almond butter. The combination of high-fiber banana and protein-packed almond butter makes a satisfying snack for paleo dieters.
Sprinkle with additional ingredients like unsweetened coconut flakes, salted sunflower seeds, cacao nibs, cinnamon, or paleo-friendly granola for a boost of crunch and flavor.
Making your own paleo-approved snack bars doesn’t have to be difficult. Focusing on limited-ingredient recipes is key to saving you time in the kitchen.
To make coconut-cashew bars, combine 1 cup (120 grams) of raw cashews, 1.5 cups (340 grams) of pitted dates, 3/4 cup (64 grams) unsweetened coconut flakes, and 1 tablespoon of melted coconut oil and pulse in a high-speed blender until a coarse dough forms.
Press the mixture into a parchment-paper-lined pan and refrigerate until firm. Cut into pieces and enjoy.
With the popularity of grain-free diets on the rise, many companies make grain-free crackers that are perfect for paleo dieters.
Crackers made from flax seeds, nut flour, and even cauliflower are available in specialty grocery stores and online.
Whip up a dairy-free cheese dip to pair with your crackers by pulsing soaked cashews, salt, pepper, nutritional yeast, and spices of your choice with a bit of water in a food processor until it reaches a hummus-like consistency.
Thin slices of sweet potato can make a delicious substitute for grain-based toast for those following paleo diets. Simply slice 1/2-inch (1.3-cm) pieces of sweet potato and roast them at 400℉ (204 ℃) in the oven for 20 minutes.
Top with slices of fiber-rich avocado, sea salt, and red chili flakes for a filling snack.
You can slice fresh vegetables like carrots, cucumbers, zucchini, celery, and bell peppers for convenient sticks that make delicious snacks.
These non-starchy vegetables are low in calories yet high in vitamins, minerals, and antioxidants, making them a healthy choice for snacking.
In fact, both carrots and red peppers are defined as “powerhouse” vegetables, meaning they deliver 10% or more of 17 different nutrients per 100-calorie serving (
Pair veggie sticks with a dairy-free dip made from coconut yogurt, fresh dill, garlic powder, apple cider vinegar, salt, and pepper.
Chicken salad made with mayo and fresh herbs is delicious on its own but even better when paired with crunchy sweet potato chips.
To make your own sweet potato chips, toss thinly sliced rounds of sweet potato with a bit of olive oil, then bake them at 425℉ (218℃) for 20 minutes, flipping after 10 minutes to prevent burning.
Once cool, top the sweet potato chips with a spoonful of chicken salad for a protein-packed, paleo-approved snack.
Though tortilla chips made with grains like corn or wheat are off-limits when following a paleo diet, some types are suitable for paleo dieters.
For example, Siete brand tortilla chips are grain-free and made with paleo-friendly ingredients like cassava, chia seed, and coconut flour.
Pair your tortilla chips with guacamole for a convenient, savory snack.
Apples are nutritious fruits that are high in fiber, vitamin C, and potassium (
Apples are also rich in antioxidants, including chlorogenic acid, quercetin, catechins, and phloridzin, all of which may help reduce your risk of chronic conditions, including heart and neurodegenerative diseases and certain cancers (
To make a fun, portable snack, cut cored apples in thick rounds, then cover them with a spoonful of cashew butter. Top the rounds with another slice to create a sandwich. Roll the sides of the sandwiches in fine coconut flakes or chopped cashews for added texture.
Salmon is an excellent source of nutrients, including protein, omega-3 fats, vitamin B12, and selenium. However, the effort of cooking fresh salmon makes it inconvenient for a quick snack ().
Enjoy salmon on a bed of greens, such as arugula, spinach, or watercress, for a healthy, paleo-friendly snack combination.
Protein shakes are an easy way to combine multiple nutritious ingredients into one convenient drink.
To make a paleo-friendly protein shake, combine 1.5 cups (354 ml) of coconut milk, 1 scoop of unsweetened chocolate protein powder, such as pea or hemp protein, 1 frozen banana, 1 tablespoon of coconut butter, and 1 tablespoon of cacao powder in a high-speed blender.
Blend until it reaches a smooth consistency and enjoy.
Hard-boiled eggs are a perfect snack choice for people on the paleo diet. Whole eggs are not only packed with protein, healthy fats, vitamins, and minerals but also a number of antioxidants, including lutein, ovalbumin, and beta-cryptoxanthin (
Canned or packaged tuna is a high-protein snack option that can satisfy between-meal cravings. Spoon tuna salad made with mayo, chopped celery, and finely diced onion onto pickle chips for a savory snack.
When purchasing tuna, choose companies that fish via pole-and-line or trolling methods, as these methods impact marine life less than more common ones that employ seine nets and longlines (
Cookies don’t have to be packed with sugar and other potentially unhealthy ingredients. In fact, you can purchase nutritious, paleo-approved cookies or make them yourself.
Specialty food stores sell brands like Go Raw, which makes superfood cookies with ingredients like cacao, coconut, and sesame seeds that can be enjoyed as an on-the-go sweet snack.
You can find recipes for homemade paleo energy cookies that are made with ingredients like bananas, pumpkin seeds, nuts, hemp hearts, and raisins online.
A bowl of chicken and veggie soup is a satisfying snack that can be enjoyed any time of day. Plus, making your own chicken and veggie soup at home lets you control what’s in it.
To make a simple chicken and veggie soup, place a leftover chicken carcass in a pot with fresh herbs, chopped carrots and onions, salt, pepper, and enough water to cover. Simmer for at least two hours to create a tasty stock.
Strain the stock — reserving the veggies and chicken meat from the carcass — and transfer the strained broth back into the pot.
Add veggies of your choice, bring it to a boil, and reduce the heat to a simmer. Cook for one hour to let the flavors infuse the broth and the veggies to become tender before enjoying.
Adding more vegetables into your diet is important for your overall health. In fact, eating vegetables is associated with a lower body weight and reduced risk of many chronic diseases like heart disease and diabetes (
To make a fun snack using a variety of veggies, wrap layers of shredded carrots, bell peppers, cucumbers, and red onions in a collard green leaf. You can add a source of protein, such as shrimp, fish, or chicken, for a more filling combination.
Dip your spring rolls into paleo-friendly sauces, such as almond-butter sauce, spicy mayo, or guacamole, to complete the snack.
Plantains are starchy relatives of the banana that can be used in savory paleo recipes. They are high in vitamin C, vitamin B6, potassium, and magnesium ().
This fruit can be made into sturdy chips that can hold much more dip than regular potato chips. Plantain chips made with paleo-friendly oils like coconut and avocado oils, such as the Barnana band, can be found at specialty grocery stores or online.
Pair them with guacamole or dairy-free queso made from cashews for a delicious snack.
Traditional oatmeal made with oats is not permitted when following a paleo eating pattern. Instead, you can make nutrient-dense, grain-free oatmeal using paleo-friendly ingredients.
To make paleo oatmeal, combine 1 cup (237 ml) coconut milk, 1/4 cup (28 grams) almond flour, 1/4 cup (20 grams) unsweetened shredded coconut, 1 tablespoon ground flaxseeds, 1 teaspoon coconut oil, 1/2 teaspoon vanilla extract, and 1/4 teaspoon cinnamon in a pot.
Bring to a simmer until thickened to your desired consistency. Top with fresh fruit, nut butter, coconut yogurt, cacao powder, or cacao nibs for extra flavor.
Though the paleo diet restricts certain foods, such as dairy, grains, and processed items, you can buy or prepare many healthy, delicious paleo snack options.
Those including whole, nutrient-dense ingredients like vegetables, fruits, nuts, seeds, and filling proteins are always the best choice.
Try out some of the tasty snacks listed above to add some flavor and variety to your paleo eating pattern.