The Whole30 has been a popular detox since 2009 when its founder Melissa Hartwig began posting on her blog about the eating experiment she had just finished. Over the last nine years, it has only gained speed and is now a popular method of resetting personal health and metabolism. I did the Whole30 for a little over a month about three years ago. It was definitely a good detox, but boy is it a pain to find snacks that you can eat (especially if you’re on a college campus like I was – I do not recommend that). Luckily, there are some truly delicious food options even after you cut out everything that the Whole30 requires. Here’s a list of my top thirty Whole30 snacks!
What Is the Whole30?
The Whole30 was incepted by Melissa Hartwig (as mentioned above), who is a licensed Sports Nutritionist. The program supports the idea that the food we eat has a much larger effect on our general health and well-being than we realize. As such, the Whole30 recommends cutting out a number of major food groups for 30 days in order to give your body time to reset to its natural state. After that point, you can gradually add some things back in – though the program would say you’ll be at your healthiest and best if you opt to keep those foods out of your diet.
The Whole30 cuts out quite a few things, and it’s definitely an adjustment when you’re getting started! Check out the link above to get a full list, but the basics to avoid are these: real or artificial sugars, alcohol, grains, legumes, and dairy. You should also check labels and make sure you’re not consuming any carrageenan, MSG, or sulfates. Keep in mind that while they are very similar, the Whole30 is not exactly the same as a Paleo diet.
Now if you’re like me, you look at that list and think, “What am I supposed to eat!?” It’s a lot of fruit and vegetables, and a lot of meat, eggs, nuts, etc. You can also use many sauces and seasonings – there are Whole30 approved varieties for most of the things you could want. The website cautions against recreating the foods you miss, but I’ll admit that I was guilty of this when I did the Whole30! I ate some really delicious pumpkin pancakes and cinnamon apple-plantain fritters. I didn’t feel that my experience was “compromised,” but if I did it again, I would probably try to stick to the diet a bit more rigidly.
So now that you have a better idea of exactly what we’re talking about, here are some delicious, Whole30 approved snacks for you! I’ve split this into a few categories: fruit, veggies, and treats. There are also some awesome meal recipes that you can use while on the Whole30, but we’ll focus on the snack foods here.
Whole30 Fresh Fruit Snacks
Peach & Turkey Roll-Ups. All you really need for this one is a peach and some Whole30 approved deli turkey meat. The recipe also calls for chives (it’s #4 in the link), but as it says, they’re mostly for show. The crunchiness and the cuteness are worth it in my opinion, but if you’re in a bind and just need a snack, don’t stress too much. You can also substitute pretty much any other fruit for peaches if they aren’t in season.
Fried Green Plantains & Mango-Avocado Salsa. This one verges on recreating a food you miss, but it’s worth it (and Whole30/paleo approved). It’s effectively chips and salsa, just made with delicious, whole ingredients! There are a lot of ingredients, but the keys (of course) are plantains, mangos, and an avocado. See the link for the rest!
Pineapple and Sunflower Seeds. This one literally could not be easier – I’m not sure why I even included a recipe! Just chop up some pineapple, sprinkle with sunflower seeds, and enjoy! The one caveat I will mention with this: be sure that the sunflower seeds you buy don’t have any ingredients that aren’t Whole30 approved. Bon appetite!
Mango Chia Pudding. While a lot of things have to go out the window when you start the Whole30, chia seeds stay! This pudding recipe is made Whole30 friendly by substituting almond milk for regular milk – but be sure that your almond milk is Whole30 approved! You’ll need to combine the chia seeds with almond milk and chill for at least two hours, then top with mango and mint leaves and you’re good to go.
Mixed Berry Coconut Cream Parfaits. This is another slightly more complex recipe, so I’ll let you check the link for the details. Your main ingredients are coconut milk and berries of your choice – the recipe recommends blueberries and blackberries, but I’m personally a fan of adding raspberries and/or strawberries as well (or instead of blackberries – which always annoy me by getting their seeds in my teeth). Enjoy!
Slow-Cooker Applesauce. Applesauce is delicious, but nearly every option you’ll find will have added sugars and other ingredients that you can’t eat during your Whole30 journey. Luckily, this recipe is here to save the day! Just get some coconut oil, a half dozen or so sweet baking apples, and a cinnamon stick and combine them all in a slow cooker. After the apples are softened (which usually takes about 6-8 hours), puree them to make your sauce! If you don’t want the skin on the apples, just peel them in advance.
Banana Pudding. This is another chia-seed based pudding, but it calls for coconut milk and banana instead of almond milk. The recipe offers to add a dash of vanilla extract for taste, but I recommend opting out of that step as long as you’re on the Whole30. All you have to do is combine the banana and coconut milk in a food processor, then add chia seeds and chill.
Apple and Almond Butter Sandwiches. If you saw the article I posted a few weeks ago, you will know that I have sworn by almond butter since I first did the Whole30. It is so delicious and better for you than peanut butter. Also, since peanuts are a legume, you’re stuck with almond butter at least for your thirty days. This recipe also calls for honey, coconut, and cinnamon, but I think it’s delicious just with the raw ingredients.
Sautéed Apples. These are basically a knockoff version of Drunken Apples, and boy do they look tasty. All you need is coconut oil, apples, cinnamon & nutmeg, and a pinch of salt. Check the recipe for the details and serve with a drizzle of coconut milk.
Prosciutto with Melon. There’s not even a recipe for this one because it’s so simple. Cut some melon (I recommend cantaloupe) into slices, top with sliced prosciutto, and enjoy! If you’re serving a snack for friends, garnish with an herb of your choice.
Whole30 Vegetable Snack Recipes
Almond-Crusted Green Bean Fries. Okay, so obviously they’re not actually fries. But the almond coating makes them taste pretty close after they’re baked! Grind up some almonds, beat an egg, mix in spices as desired, and bake those green beans until they’re nice and crispy. See the recipe for more details!
Turkey and Avocado Lettuce Cups. Scroll all the way down for this one – the recipe is the last in a list of five. This is another delightfully easy one – all you need to do is make a little cup of lettuce, toss in some avocado and turkey, and enjoy! I personally think this could be delicious on top of an almond or plantain chip, but I’ve never tried it, so venture at your own risk.
Pizza Kale Chips. This one is definitely one of the more adventurous snack recipes I saw. Kale chips, in general, are a great Whole30 snack, but this recipe walks you through creating a vegan cheese option to get a delightful nacho/pizza kind of taste going. Enjoy!
Cauliflower Hummus. I’m actually not generally a fan of hummus because I don’t love the texture of chickpeas. I do, however, love mashed cauliflower. So this delicious dip is a great choice for me on and off the Whole30! You’ll be including all of the major ingredients of homemade hummus, so the taste is basically the same. Just substitute cauliflower for the chickpeas.
Hard-Boiled Cucumber Bites. This is the same link as the Turkey Avocado Cups, just don’t scroll quite as far. The cucumber bites are exactly what they sound like – sliced hard-boiled egg on top of sliced cucumber. Cucumber slices are a great base for all kinds of Whole30 snacks – dip them in the cauliflower hummus, top with avocado or hard-boiled egg, use them as the base for a delicious salad to get a break from lettuce… Really, the possibilities are endless.
Salt & Vinegar Zucchini Chips. Pretty much exactly what they sound like – thinly slice a zucchini and toss it with olive oil and vinegar. Top with sea salt and dehydrate it to get crispy chips to munch on.
Olives. Nothing special here, just grab some olives to have a delicious, salty snack. Don’t go overboard (they do contain a lot of sodium), but olives are an easy and tasty snack food in a pinch.
Roasted Carrot Hummus. Another delicious dip option is carrot based hummus. This one does also contain cauliflower (it’s the closest Whole30 approved food that gives you that hummus-like texture) but it’ll have a totally different flavor. The hummus is great for dipping any sort of “chip” you cook up, or just some raw veggies.
Baked Sweet Potato Chips. You can also make these up as sweet-potato fries. I really love sweet potatoes, so I also just recommend baking a sweet potato to go with your favorite meal (or just to eat as a snack). This is something you can easily do over the weekend and have to snack on all week!
Guacamole Deviled Eggs. I might be pushing it putting this one in the vegetable category, but boy does this recipe look good. Mash your favorite Whole30 compliant guacamole recipe with two egg yolks and either snack on the rest of the yolks or set them aside. Then, pipe the guacamole-egg mixture into the egg whites and enjoy.
Whole30 Approved “Sweet Treats”
Cranberry-Coconut Energy Bars. This recipe is somewhere between a granola bar and a dessert. You’ll need dates, walnuts (or brazil nuts), cranberries, and coconut. After toasting the walnuts, combine everything in a food processor – then gradually add water so everything sticks together. No baking here – just pop it in the fridge to let it set and you’re good to go.
Almond Cocoa-Mocha Balls. These little beauties have the double bonus of being delicious and caffeinated. That said, probably serve them with breakfast or lunch – they will help to keep you up and you’ll probably want to eat way too many of them. You need dates, almonds (raw!), brewed coffee, instant coffee, and cocoa powder. Enjoy!
Pecan Pie Fat Bombs. Miraculously, these taste like pecan pie without containing even a smidge of high fructose corn syrup. There’s a laundry list of ingredients for this one, so I’ll just let you check the recipe (which also features a cute photo of the chef’s puppy!). Happy cooking!
Roasted Chestnuts. Typically a Christmas staple, sure, but chestnuts are delicious year round. This recipe recommends grilling the chestnuts outside to make peeling them easier, but you can make them in the oven if you don’t have a grill. There’s literally nothing to it except to roast and enjoy.
Chocolate Mug Cake. This might sound too good to be true, but there is a version that you can make that is Whole30 friendly! Be sure that you ignore the optional ingredients that aren’t (like sweetener and syrup), but the bare bones recipe of egg, cocoa powder, and banana will have you set for dessert!
Pumpkin Pie Energy Bites. Remember when I mentioned pumpkin pancakes earlier? This is a similar idea, but made more snackable! Again, we’re looking at a longer list of ingredients, but the taste is worth it. And they only take about an hour total to make (including time to set in the fridge)!
Chocolate Coconut Cashew Bites. The chocolate is back! These bites might as well be cookies, but their main ingredient is Medjool dates instead of anything unhealthy! Along with the dates, grab the titular ingredients: cashews, unsweetened coconut flakes, and cocoa powder. Combine everything in a food processor (but not for too long unless you want a chocolate nut butter), then roll into bite-sized balls to chill in the fridge before eating.
Apple Plantain Fritters. I’m pretty sure this is exactly the recipe that I made a few years ago. So simple, so delicious. Peel and mash up a few plantains, combine with grated apple and cinnamon, and fry up to eat! I ate these for breakfast with some sausage, but would definitely recommend as a mid-morning or afternoon snack. I will say they’re better if you eat them right after you cook them.
Caramelized Pecan Banana Ice Cream. Ice cream, what!? Yes, you can make a Whole30 alternative using coconut milk! Literally, all you need are bananas, butter, coconut milk, and pecans. This definitely falls into the category of recreating foods that you shouldn’t eat, but if you’re willing to go that route, it’s a tasty substitute.
3-Ingredient Brownies. These have a lot of the same ingredients as the mug cake, but also includes my favorite Whole30 staple, almond butter. Combine the ingredients (bananas, almond butter, and cocoa powder), bake for 20 minutes, then cool and enjoy!
Voila! Thirty delicious Whole30 snacks for you to try. A brief note here: if you’re following the Whole30 strictly, I’d recommend sticking to the first two categories. If you’re post-detox and just trying to keep the healthier habits up, feel free to indulge!
Are you a frequent Whole30 dieter or just toying with the idea of trying it? Is there a particular recipe you love that I missed? Or did you try one of these and love it? Keep us up to date in the comments and hit me with any other delicious recipes you have!