But first, a bit of definition: "Free foods," in my opinion, are those that have 25 calories or less per reasonable serving. "Almost free foods" have 25 to 60 calories per reasonable serving. Portion control is key here. While 2 cups of popped, 94% fat-free microwave popcorn may contain only 40 calories, if you eat the entire bag you'll end up with closer to 200 calories -- definitely not an "almost free" food situation.
For your convenience, we've compiled a list of premade snacks and recipes below that do not include any animal products, whether it be cheese or honey. We do, however, have some “cheesy” snacks on the list including vegan “cheese” kale chips and vegan “cheese” dill chips. Both of these vegan snacks use nutritional yeast to recreate that uniquely “cheesy” flavor.
“You might assume that you can’t eat pulses like chickpeas, beans, and lentils on the keto diet. But you totally can, especially in smaller portions," says Amy Gorin, RDN, owner of Amy Gorin Nutrition in the New York City area. "Pulses are a good source of satiating protein and an excellent source of filling fiber—and research shows that eating them daily can help your overall health and can even help you lose weight." Roast chickpeas and toss with oil (for added fat) and spices (to amp the flavor).
This CL-perfected stovetop technique makes smoking food easier than ever (though the salad is still tasty if you choose not to smoke the grains), and smoke is such a fun flavor to apply to unexpected ingredients like barley. A sweet vinaigrette, earthy beets, and the intense citrus twang of grapefruit balance the robust smoky hit of the grains for a memorable salad. To make sure you're getting the whole-grain version of barley, look for hulled, and skip past pearled.
If you're craving something sweet and sinful, grab this mini pack of jelly beans. With just 4 calories in each bean, they're the slimmest way to enjoy cotton candy, toasted marshmallows, and strawberry shortcake. As an added bonus: Jelly Belly uses real fruit purees to flavor their beans. It's still candy in every sense, but it's certainly the lesser of many sugar-loaded evils.