A Vegan’s Guide to Vending Machines

We’ve all been there. Stayed too late at work, forgot to bring healthy snacks, desperately need to cram food into our mouths. The vending machine starts to look like an angel come to rescue us from our hunger pains, but navigating the choices gets tricky for a vegan. Oreos, chocolate chip cookies, even Chex mix—all nixed. So what can a vegan safely snack on?  


Crackers. Triscuits, wheat thins, and Ritz are all perfectly fine choices for vegans.

Chips. Although chips flavored with ranch dressing, sour cream, or cheddar cheese are out, vegans can munch on classic potato chips. (Just choose baked for a slightly healthier snack!)

Candy. Believe it or not, a lot candy isn’t vegan. It can contain gelatin, which is typically derived from bone marrow. But hard candy, like jolly ranchers or lifesavers, as well as licorice, skittles, and Sweedish fish, are all safe vegan choices. (There’s a longer list here.)

Pretzels. Another great vegan option! But avoid honey mustard or any yogurt- or

chocolate-covered varieties.

Trail Mix. As long as there aren’t any chocolate chips, GORP (good ol’ raisins and peanuts) or any other dried-fruit-and-nut mix is a delicious vegan pick-me-up.

Granola Bars. Beware! Many contain honey, nonfat milk, or even whey protein, all of which come from animals. (Always avoid Quaker Chewy bars!!) Yet a few Nature Valley flavors, such as Crunchy Apple Crisp, Pecan Crunch, and Peanut Butter Granola, are all viable vegan alternatives.


Or if you’re on top of things and remember to bring your own snack, these moist muffins are just the ticket for either a mid-morning or mid-afternoon snack. (Or both!)



Lemon Blueberry Muffins

adapted from The Joy of Vegan Baking

makes 12

I make a half-batch on Sunday evenings and bring one a day, which leaves the last muffin for me to enjoy hot out of the oven!

2 c. flour

1½ tsp baking soda

½ tsp salt

zest of 2 lemons

1 c. sugar

1 c. nondairy milk

¼ c. canola oil

1 tsp vanilla extract

1 tbsp vinegar

juice from 1 lemon

1½ c. blueberries

  1. Preheat oven to 400°. Lightly spray 12 muffin cups with nonstick cooking spray.
  2. In a medium bowl, mix together flour through lemon zest. In a large bowl, whisk sugar through lemon juice. Add the flour mixture, and stir until just incorporated. Gently fold in the blueberries with a rubber spatula. (This prevents the berries from staining the batter purple!)
  3. Evenly distribute the batter between the prepared muffin cups. (I filled my muffin cups rather full, but since the muffins didn’t rise much, it was fine.)
  4. Bake at 400° for 18-22 minutes, or until tops are golden. Cool in the tin for 5 minutes, then turn out onto a wire rack to finish cooling. Serve warm or store in an airtight container for 3-5 days once cool.




May 31, 2011. Tags: , , , , , , , , , . Have a Heart.


  1. Cyndi replied:

    Okay, I just bought bluberries, and am going to try to make this tonight. You have inspired me!

    • foods for the soul replied:

      I promise you’ll enjoy them, especially with the fresh lemons off the trees! I’ve made them with regular milk before, and they tasted delicious then too. You can always sprinkle a tiny bit of sugar on top of each one for a sweet little treat.

  2. thefooddoctor replied:

    I really like your recipe..lemon adds so much freshness..I bet these taste great!

    • foods for the soul replied:

      Thank you! I grew up spoiled; with three lemon trees in our backyard, I could have sweet lemon treats all year round. These muffins were just as good as all of those childhood baked goodies!

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