Love it or hate it, pumpkin spice has become a flavor that’s synonymous with fall – especially the ubiquitous Starbucks pumpkin spice latte, which isn’t vegan and doesn’t even have real pumpkin! But there’s another flavor that’s taking some of the autumnal spotlight: Maple. Not just for pancakes anymore, maple is having a moment and there’s no time better than fall to enjoy this soothing sweet flavor. Here are a handful of my favorite maple-flavored snacks that are available year round and just so happen to be vegan.
Maple Flake Cloud Log – $4.49
I discovered this log-shaped chocolate bar while visiting Vermont and instantly fell in love with the milk chocolaty, not-too-sweet maple taste and creamy texture. Made by Chocolate Hollow, a vegan “schmilk” chocolate factory in Vermont, the Maple Flake Cloud Log filling has a whipped, cloud-like texture made of macadamia white-chocolate creme with maple flakes and toasted walnuts. Other organic ingredients include fair-trade cocoa butter, fair-trade sugar, macadamia meal, fair-trade cocoa liquor, soybeans, maple flakes, walnuts, vanilla and hazelnut extract.
Nada Moo Maple Pecan Ice Cream – $5.99
Most people might not think of eating ice cream during the cooler days of fall (although in LA that doesn’t necessarily apply), but this maple pecan vegan ice cream from Nada Moo really does conjure up the flavors of the season. Unlike icy sorbets or other non-dairy ice creams, this organic coconut milk based treat will even have non-vegans swearing it’s “just like regular ice cream!” Smooth and creamy and deliciously sweet with a pronounced maple flavor and crunchy pecan pieces, Nada Moo’s Maple Pecan is ridiculously good. Like eat-a-whole-pint-by-yourself-in-one-sitting-good.
Sap! Maple Seltzer & Soda – $40 for case of 24
Another discovery from one of my Vermont visits, Sap! Maple Seltzer and Sap! Maple Soda were a fast favorite. Made from 100% pure maple sap straight from the maple trees of Vermont, these organic drinks offer a healthier alternative to sugary sodas. Maple sap offers many health benefits with more than 46 naturally occurring electrolytes, antioxidants, vitamins, minerals and nutrients. While the soda has 80 calories and 18 grams of natural sugar, I prefer the seltzer water, which still has subtle maple sweetness but just 40 calories and 9 grams of sugar.
Whether you’re on the go, at the office in need of a mid-afternoon snack or at home craving a post-dinner treat, Justin’s snack pack with pretzels and maple almond butter is convenient and satisfying. It’s not particularly maple-forward but you can taste a hint of it and the pretzels give a nice sweet-and-salty combo. (Just be warned that the maple almond butter can be a little thick and hard to stir.) Each pack has two grams of fiber, three grams of sugar and five grams of protein.
Trader Joe’s Maple Leaf Cookies – $3.29
As far as store-bought cookies go, Trader Joe’s is a pretty good bet. These cute maple leaf-shaped cookies are filled with maple cream (made with real maple syrup) and taste even better when dipping into a hot cup of tea. A cozy vegan maple-flavored treat on a cool fall night!