5 Simple Healthy Upgrades To Your Favourite Snacks

As a kid snack time was my favourite! My mom was a delicious cook and her baked goods, which she learned to make from my grandmother, were the best! Although, many of the favourite snacks I grew up with were not plant-based I have been able to easily make some simple changes to the ingredients and make them delicious vegan snacks. 

Many of my clients think it’s too hard to go vegan because they would have to give up some of their favourite snack foods but that’s not the case. Once you learn how to make some simple adjustments to your favourite snack-time recipes you will love the new version so much you won’t be able to go back to your old snacks. 

I once hosted a cooking class and a woman brought her husband with her. The entire time he sat there with a scowl on his face and had his arms crossed. Until he started to eat… then bite by bite he started to loosen up. By the end of the class he came up to me and said, “I didn’t want to come tonight because I didn’t think it would be any good but this food was delicious! Can you teach my wife how to cook like that?” 

I smiled and laughed to myself because anytime I have ever made a plant-based snack or meal for anyone they have loved it! 

In this blog I will share with you five simple upgrades you can make to your favourite snacks that will boost the nutritional value, which will make them healthier and less guilt-free. 



Chips and dip was a favourite in my house when I was a kid. There was nothing like movie night at home on a Friday night when we got to choose our snacks and have a little treat. However, as I got older and realized that eating chips and dip was not the healthiest choice of snacks to have on a regular basis I began to look for healthier options. One I now absolutely love is hummus with crackers and veggies.

I hope you will enjoy this recipe as much as I do. Use this recipe as the base and add any ingredients or flavours you like to satisfy your snack craving.


  • ¼  cup olive oil
  • 1 large can organic chickpeas, drained and rinsed 
  • 1 lemon, juiced
  • 2 cloves garlic, minced
  • 1 tsp sea salt


  • Mix all ingredients in a food processor or blender until smooth.
  • Serve with your favourite cracker and an assortment of veggies to dip.

Optional ingredients:

For spicy hummus add to base recipe:

  • 1 tsp ground cumin
  • 1 tsp ground coriander
  • ½  tsp cracked pepper
  • ¼ tsp cayenne
  • Pinch turmeric

For olive hummus add to base recipe:

  • 1/4 – 1/2 cup olives, pitted

For red pepper hummus add to base recipe:

  • 1 red pepper, fresh or roasted

For basil hummus add to base recipe:

  • 1 cup fresh basil leaves



As mentioned above chips are one of my guilty pleasures. The crunch and salt make a perfect snack combo. However, these tasty delights are often deep fried in hydrogenated oil, which is oil that wrecks havoc on our body, and shouldn’t be consumed on a regular basis. 

Yet the crunch, salt combo is something we still desire! These kale chips are the perfect upgraded substitute. As with any recipe, take this and adjust the ingredients to match your desired craving. Make it sweet or savoury. I provide some options below. 

Coconut-Sea Salt Kale Chips


  • 1 large bunch of kale, washed and de-stemmed
  • 2-3 Tbsp coconut oil, melted
  • 1 – 2 tsp sea salt


  • Place kale in large bowl.
  • Add coconut oil and salt.
  • Massage into kale leaves. 
  • Place on dehydrator sheet and spread into a thin layer of leaves. 
  • Dehydrate at 115 degrees F for 10 – 12 hours.
  • To store, place in a large container or ziplock bag. Will keep about five days. 

Cheezy Kale Chips


  • 1 large bunch of kale, washed and de-stemmed
  • 1 cup cashews, soaked 2 hours or more
  • 1 red bell pepper
  • 1 lemon, juiced
  • 1 tbsp nutritional yeast
  • ½  tsp. sea salt


  • Place cashews, pepper, lemon juice, nutritional yeast and salt in a high speed blender.
  • Blend until smooth. 
  • Place kale in a large bowl.
  • Pour sauce on kale leaves.
  • Massage kale to ensure sauce covers all leaves.
  • Place on dehydrator sheet and spread into a thin layer of leaves. 
  • Dehydrate at 115 degrees F for 10 – 12 hours.
  • To store, place in a large container or ziplock bag. Will keep about five days. 



Cheese and crackers is a party snack favourite for many people. However, store bought crackers are often loaded with hydrogenated oil and preservatives and dairy…well, I will tell you all about that in a future blog. Let’s just say you’re better off without it. 

This cheeze and crackers recipe is a fan favourite at my events. Most people don’t even realize it’s not cheese. As a matter of fact, I have had many cheese lovers convert once I make them this, and other plant-based cheeze, recipes.

Baked Almond Feta Cheeze


  • 1 ½  cups almond meal or flour
  • ¼ cup fresh lemon juice
  • ½ cup filtered water
  • 3 tbsp extra virgin olive oil
  • 2 cloves garlic, minced
  • 2 tsp fresh dill
  • 1 ¼ tsp sea salt


  • Preheat oven to 375 F.
  • Blend all ingredients in Vitamix until smooth. You will need to use the plunger to ensure all ingredients are blended thoroughly.
  • Pour 1 Tbsp of mixture into each space of a mini muffin tin that has been greased with coconut oil. 
  • Bake 20 minutes until golden brown. Allow cooling before removing from the muffin tin.
  • Serve with Oregano Dill Kale Crackers.


Oregano Dill Kale Crackers


  • 1  cup ground flaxseed
  • 3  cups filtered water
  • 2 cups buckwheat soaked overnight, then drained
  • 1 bunch kale, finely chopped
  • 1 cup coconut flour
  • ¾ cup nutritional yeast
  • 2 tsp oregano
  • 2 tsp dill
  • 1/8 tsp sea salt
  • 1/8 tsp black pepper


  • Mix the water and ground flaxseed in a bowl. Set aside
  • Process soaked buckwheat in food processor until they are a fine meal. Remove and place in a large bowl.
  • Add nutritional yeast, coconut flour, oregano, and dill to almond meal.
  • Mix in kale.
  • Add flax and water mixture. Mix well by hand.
  • Spread ¼ inch think on dehydrator sheet.
  • Use a pizza cutter to cut lines in the dough in nite size pieces. 
  • Set to 115 F and dehydrate for about 8 hours.
  • Flip after 4 hours.
  • Break off bite size pieces and serve. 
  • Store in a large container or ziplock bag. 



My mom used to make these tasty cookies on a regular basis although they were full of butter and corn syrup, which we now know to be very hard on the body. With this upgraded recipe you will be able to enjoy these tasty treats guilt-free! 


  • 3 cups dried, organic coconut flakes
  • 1/3  cup coconut oil, melted
  • 1 ½  cups raw cacao powder
  • 1 Tbsp vanilla powder
  • 1 cup maple syrup
  • ½  tsp sea salt


  • In a large bowl, combine all the ingredients and stir well to combine.
  • Using a small melon baller spoon rounds of the mixture onto dehydrator sheet. 
  • Refrigerate until cookies are solid or dehydrate at 115 F for 10 hours.

Optional ingredients:

For superfood chocolate macaroons add to base recipe:

  • ½ tsp black maca powder
  • ½ tsp Harmonic Arts 14 mushroom blend
  • ¼ tsp schizandra berry powder
  • Top each macaroni with 1 goji berry


For almond macaroons use base recipe and replace:

  • Raw cocao powder with almond flour/meal
  • Vanilla powder with almond extract



Energy balls seem to be very popular these days. They are a tasty, nutrient-dense snack you can take on the go. Here are a few of my favourite energy balls… 

Almond Energy Balls


  • 1 cup dry oatmeal
  • ½ cup raw cacao
  • ½ cup raw almond butter
  • ½ cup ground flaxseed
  • 1/3 cup honey
  • 1 tsp vanilla powder or extract


  • Place all ingredients in a food processor until thoroughly mixed.
  • Spoon about 1-2 Tbsp of mixture into your hand and roll into balls. 
  • Line a container with wax or parchment paper.
  • Place all balls in the container and refrigerate until solid. 

For peanut butter chocolate balls use recipe above and replace:

  • Raw almond butter with peanut butter

Hemp Balls


  • 8 Pitted medjool dates
  • 1 heaping Tbsp raw cocao powder
  • 3 heaping Tbsp hulled hemp seeds (1 Tbsp for balls and 2 Tbsp for decorating)
  • 1 heaping teaspoon coconut oil pinch Himalayan salt
  • ½ tsp vanilla extract or powder


  • Process dates, cocao, 1 Tbsp hemp seeds, coconut oil and vanilla in a food processor fitted with an “s” blade until mixture starts sticking together.
  • Shape into 1-inch balls and roll in reminder of hemp seeds. 
  • Place in container lined with parchment paper.
  • Refrigerate for an hour or so until solid. 

I hope you enjoy these tasty snacks! Stay tuned for more recipes just like this in future blogs. If you enjoy these recipes and want more please check out my cookbooks by clicking here. 

Until next time…


Rachel Joy Olsen