Hallie-Approved Store Bought Snacks

August 29th, 2013 at 6:06 am
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True to my holistic nutrition gal self, I’m a stickler when it comes to store bought snacks. If there’s anything—and I mean anything—in the ingredient list that I’m skeptical about, I usually won’t buy it. I say usually because emergencies happen and sometimes you’ve just gotta bend.

To be honest, most of the “gluten-free” snacks on the market are laden with stuff I’d rather not eat on a daily (weekly? monthly? quarterly?) basis. Finding pre-made snacks without gluten, dairy, 20+ grams of sugar, and weird unpronounceable stuff is no easy task.

When it comes to snacks, I usually make mine fresh from scratch. Apples with nut or seed butter, homemade crackers, avocado halves with sea salt and honey, smoothies, green juices, trail mix—you know the drill. But once in a while when I’m traveling or just getting tired of the same old snack routine, I’ll pick something up from my co-op that’s pre-made but still pretty healthy.

So, here you go. A collection of Hallie-approved snacks that even my stickler self deems A-okay!

Go Raw Flax Snax (gluten-free, grain-free, nut-free, soy-free, vegan, refined sugar-free)

You’ve probably read about my love of Flax Snax before in another post because I’m sure I’ve mentioned them by now. These are so good. I could easily polish off the entire bag in one sitting! The flavor pictured above is delicious, but my favorites are the Pizza Flax Snax. So good with guacamole!

The flaxseeds pack in some healthy fats, so these are pretty satisfying—unlike other starchy crackers made from mostly empty carbs.

Maranatha Almond Butter (gluten-free, grain-free, soy-free, vegan, refined sugar-free)

Maranatha is definitely one of my favorites when it comes to raw almond butter, but I also love Once Again’s Sunflower Seed Butter for a nut-free alternative. Served with apple wedges, celery sticks, or just off the spoon, nut and seed butters are time and again my life saver. Yes, you can make your own butters at home, but I must say. The convenience of popping open a jar of creamy nut or seed butter is worth something to me.

Wild Planet Sardines (gluten-free, grain-free, soy-free, dairy-free, egg-free, nut-free, refined sugar-free)

A fantastic source of omega-3 fats, protein, and calcium, sardines are the unsung hero of the sea. Wild Planet is the one of very few companies committed to sustainable seafood practices, which is why I buy from them. Mashed up with some mustard and spread on crackers, sardines make a great heartier snack option for when you’ve got a bit of an appetite.

Most of us eat way more omega-6 fats than omega-3′s, which can actually cause quite a bit of inflammation in the body over time. Omega-3 fats are crucial to good skin, brain, and organ health. It’s smart to incorporate them into your diet through natural sources on a regular basis.

Wild Planet Salmon (gluten-free, grain-free, soy-free, dairy-free, egg-free, nut-free, refined sugar-free)

Another seafood winner from Wild Planet, canned salmon can double as a snack or as a dinner protein. While fresh is always best, canned is convenient when you’re in a pinch or if you’re someone who thrives on a higher protein diet. Again, I like to mash it with mustard and spread it on crackers, serve it in lettuce leaves, or just eat it straight with some carrot and apple slices.

Like sardines, canned salmon makes a nice mini meal paired with veggies or fruit when you’re a bit hungrier but don’t want a huge meal.

Wilderness Poet Hempspread (gluten-free, grain-free, soy-free, vegan, refined sugar-free)

I spotted this sample pack of hempspread at my co-op the other day and just had to pick it up for something unique and different. Whether you choose a cool seed blend like this one or another type of nut or seed butter, these little “mini” packages are available from various companies in many natural food stores these days. Small enough to tuck in a purse or backpack, these things pack calories and satisfying nutrition in a tiny package!

If you’re like me, enjoy them with a spoon right from the package. Or use as a spread for your favorite fruit, veggies, or baked goods.

Earthling Organics Goji Bar (gluten-free, grain-free, soy-free, vegan, refined sugar-free)

These bars are a real treat—more of a dessert than a snack in my opinion. I tried them a few months ago and have since had them a few more times when I want to give myself a little something special. Sweetened with agave nectar—something I rarely eat, except for occasional treats—these bars remind me of a healthy sugar cookie but with way more flavor, nutrients, and crunch. The goji flavor is my favorite.

They also contain coconut, figs, and cinnamon—three more reasons to love them!


So there you have it. Fun snacks that are Hallie-approved!

Tell me, what’s your favorite store bought snack? Any suggestions for what I should try next?


  1. So many good things in this post!!
    I like the flax snacks too, my favorite is the spicy one!
    I also like the sardines, those are my favorite to have mashed up with dijon mustard, avocado and seasoned with parsley and lemon juice so good! I just bought the pink salmon to try, glad to know it is good too!
    Now I am curious about the hemp hazelnut spread, sounds soo good! I like making hazelnut butter at home, but never thought about adding hemp seeds to it, something new I might try!

  2. Great post! Just wanted to add that Wild Planet uses BPA-free cans, so another great plus! Wild Planet and Eden Foods are two companies I love to support for their commitment to sustainability, BPA-free cans, and quality products.
    Like Ana, I’m going to look for the hemp hazelnut spread. Hadn’t seen that yet and the mini packaging makes it the perfect to-go snack! I’m currently loving Nuttzo organic nut and seed butter – check it out if you haven’t already.

    • Jillian: Yes, I love that about both of those companies! I’ve heard about Nuttzo (RAVE reviews!) but have yet to try it. Need to get on board that train :)

  3. I like that several of the foods you’ve highlighted have a long shelf life. I’ve begun trying to pick up a few things for an emergency cache in the event of an earthquake or other disaster. I want a few days worth of easy to open and tasty foods that are high protein and low carb (for the most part) that are gluten, dairy, soy, crap, and sugar free. I’ve never had a stash that didn’t need fire or water to cook…but recently friends have had some emergencies hit and I’m thinking it would be a good idea. Thanks! And I’ve not tried the Flax Snacks but they look good so I’ll be looking out for them.

    • Karen: That is a great idea. Being prepared for emergencies is a bit tougher when food allergies are in play, but more and more companies are coming out with products making our lives a bit easier, which is so nice to see. :)

  4. Those look yummy! My favorite snack is very specific–peanut butter cookie lara bars. The ingredients list only peanuts, dates and salt. But then I have to admit that since I “discovered” them, I have purchased my own unsalted nuts (almonds or peanuts) and dates (unsweetened–they’re plenty sweet enough), and just eat them together as a sort of lazy man’s larabar! :)

  5. I’ve never seen the hemp spread and can’t wait to try it. Another one of my favorite gluten-free, dairy-free snacks – http://www.thatsitfruit.com – they’re great for on the go snacking!

  6. I heard of that Wilderness Poets years ago, but hadn’t seen what they make. Sounds interesting for sure! I’m not much of a premade snack girl myself. When needed, I grab something like a Kit’s Organic bar. Though I do have a post on some of my fav low sugar snacks coming up :)

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