When you switch to a mostly plant-based diet, shopping for healthy, plant-based, dairy-free or fully vegan items can be overwhelming. After hitting the fresh produce aisle, head over to the cheeses, snacks, dressings, and pasta. It isn't always easy to sift through the choices and emerge with a bag full of healthy items to go with your salad or greens. That's why each week the editors of The Beet do the shopping and taste testing for you. Here we recommend our favorite items (and the ones we buy ourselves). Some are treats or indulgences, but they are healthier treats, so decide for yourself how many or how often to eat.

Lucy's Favorites

1. Gr8nola Golden Turmeric "Superfood" Granola (or any other of their flavors)

Sometimes you eat granola and think: This is a cookie by another name. Too sweet! Then there's "clean" granola, made by Gr8nola. Their flavors include antioxidant-rich Golden Turmeric that has a distinctive spicy undertone that makes you realize this is the real deal. There's enough curcumin in it to turn your bowl orange. Gr8nooal is all-natural, with zero trans fat and cholesterol, no GMOs, and zero added sugar. It's dairy-free, soy-free, and vegan. Erica Liu Williams, the founder, signs each package with her signature message (and we are happy to be able to support female founders and Asian-created companies, especially now).

Founder's story: Erica and her husband, former NFL star Tank Williams, always did a healthy diet cleanse after the Superbowl, and when she realized what was in granola she was inspired to make her own without all the added sugar and calories. This was her first foray and when a friend at Google saw her page she invited Erica to their annual Micro Kitchen fair, an event where Googlers sample various snacks and beverages and vote for what they want in their kitchens. That was the start. Tank has since retired, and Erica went full time into her life as an entrepreneur and now, with Tank's help, Gr8nola is a major success.

Try one or all by getting the sampler six-pack of flavors! The Original, Cinnamon Chai, Black Coco Chia, Golden Spice, Matcha Green Tea & Cacao Crisp. And more new flavors are coming down the pike. Follow gr8nola on IG for an inspiring dose of what love and passion for a healthy lifestyle can launch. Meanwhile, swap out your usual crunch for gr8nola. You'll be glad you did.  Buy yours here.

 

Stephanie's Favorites

1. Bohana Popped Water Lily Seed Snacks

You've probably never heard of this food unless you saw the Shark Tank episode this brand was featured in, but it's about to change the way you snack forever. Popped water lily seeds are the grain-free, vegan, protein-filled treat that you likely didn't know existed. While the seeds on their own taste good and pack lots of nutrients and antioxidants, Bohana has made popped lotus seeds into a crave-able treat, with varieties that include Pink Himalayan Sea Salt, Sea Salt Chocolatey Drizzle, and Sweet Cinnamon Drizzle. These popcorn-like snacks pack four grams of plant-based protein per serving,

If you're searching for a crunchy indulgence that rivals popcorn but packs in 50 percent more protein, 20 percent fewer calories, 67 percent less fat, and doesn't get stuck in your teeth, Bohana is a great alternative, that in my opinion taste even better.

Purchase Bohana popped water lily seeds on the brand's website here

Hailey's Favorites

1. Hampton Sourdough Artisan Breads

The next time someone says, "let's get the bread," they better be talking about Hampton Sourdough, the most delicious Artisan bread baked locally in beautiful Long Island. First, the company sells a variety of different vegan loaves of bread like large and small seed, everything, and plain sourdoughs, as well as focaccia (incredible for sandwichs), and baguettes that were originally created for the celebrity-sighting red-sauce Italian restaurant, Carbone. These loaves of bread are spongey on the inside and crisp on the outside, baked to perfection with the crunchy edges you'll want to peel off and devour before you make your first slice. The quality ingredients are limited to mostly flour, yeast, and water, just like the French do it.

When you purchase your first loaf, or loaves (highly recommend the combo of seeded sourdough and baguette), you will smell the nutty, comforting scent of fresh dough right through the bag before twisting off the tie. The scent fills the air of your kitchen immediately and before you know it, your home will smell like an award-winning bakery.

The picture above is a photo of my avocado toast with pickled onions and matcha siracha sauce, on top of the toasted seeded sourdough that wouldn't taste incredibly delicious with just any bread. The difference between grocery store private label sourdoughs and Hampton Sourdough is mind-blowing. Now, it's much harder to eat a piece of toast or sandwich if Hampton Sourdough bread isn't handy. To experience bread like no other, give it a try for yourself and help support local businesses.

To purchase bread from Hampton Sourdough, click here

Caitlin's Favorites

1. Hope Foods Spicy Avocado Hummus

Snacks are my favorite meal of the day and whenever I'm craving something on the healthier side, I reach for hummus and veggies. My latest find at Whole Foods is Hope Foods Spicy Avocado Hummus.

Hope Foods offers such a wide variety of unique flavors, you will never get bored of hummus. The Spicy Avocado Hummus is my personal favorite for its infusion of guacamole flavors turned into creamy and delicious hummus. This hummus is made with minimal organic ingredients such as garbanzo beans, jalapeño peppers, avocado and tahini.

The Spicy Avocado Hummus is my favorite for its fresh and spicy flavor that tastes delicious as a dip or as a spread on a veggie sandwich. Hope Foods also has other flavors including Original, Sea Salt & Olive Oil, Jalapeno Cilantro, Thai Coconut Curry, Buffalo Bleu, Red Pepper, Black Garlic, and Kale Pesto.

Hope Foods is available at various Whole Foods locations and to find it near you, click here.

Max's Favorites

1. Ben & Jerry Vegan Chocolate Chip Cookie Dough Chunks

For me, it’s impossible to think about making cookies without eating the cookie dough. It’s a natural step in the baking process. With so many cookie doughs containing eggs or dairy, Ben & Jerry’s is cutting to chase with the Vegan Chocolate Chip Cookie Dough Chunks. It’s one of the most addicting snacks that you can purchase, providing the perfect level of indulgence that comes with snacking on cookie dough. The snack is extremely affordable and easy to buy, so any time you need a sweet treat, I highly recommend grabbing one of these sugary bags. If you love cookies (and especially the cookie dough), Ben & Jerry’s developed what many would be afraid to ask for: an unforgiving dessert for those desperate to snack on a plant-based, certified Vegan cookie dough product.