My Favorite Vegan Summer Snacks

Here in Los Angeles, Summer hits early and can last until mid-October (not exaggerating). During this sweltering season, it’s important to have healthy snacks on hand that you can make without breaking a sweat. Here are a few of my faves, all of which just happen to be vegan!

-Basil Guac-

This recipe came about from having an abundance of one of the freshest summer herbs there is: basil. Determined not to let any go to waste after a big harvest, I tossed some basil into my guac in place of cilantro. Guys, it’s so good. Think garden flavors meets an already perfect snack, guacamole.

Garden-fresh Basil Guac


2 or 3 ripe avocados

1 Jalapeño ( pitted and diced; reserve a few seeds if you like spice)

1 shallot diced

1/4 cup basil leaves chopped

Juice of half a lime

Dash of garlic powder (optional)

Salt + Pepper to taste

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Slice the avocados in half and scoop out their flesh with a spoon into a medium bowl. Reserve one of the pits (they help to keep the guac fresh).

Add the juice of half a lime. Add a pinch of salt.

Use a fork to mash the avocado/lime/ salt mixture together until just combined (you want this to be a bit chunky).

Add the diced jalapeño and shallot. Mix to combine.

Add a dash of garlic powder (optional but recommended).

Finally, sprinkle the chopped basil leaves into the bowl and use a spoon to gently combine.

Add more lime, salt, and pepper to taste. Store covered in fridge (with one of the avocado pits in the bowl), until ready to serve.

Basil Guac

Enjoy with your favorite chips and a cold beer.

-Mango and Red Quinoa Salad-

This magical combination came about when I was working as a nanny and needed a quick snack in between household tasks. I had some cooked red quinoa and a ripe mango in my lunch bag, so this protein rich, sweet and savory snack was born.

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1 Ripe mango peeled and diced

1/2 cup cooked red quinoa ( I usually make a batch of 1 cup and use what I need)

flaky sea salt ( Maldon is the absolute best)

Fresh cilantro (optional)


Cook 1 cup of red quinoa per the package directions. You won’t need it all for this recipe, so make a plan for the leftovers. Keep quinoa warm on the stove as your prepare the mango.

Peel and dice your mango and place in a bowl.

Stir in 1/2 cup warm quinoa into the bowl with the mango.

Top with flaky sea salt to taste.

Add chopped cilantro if desired.

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Note: This can be served with cold quinoa as well, but the texture of warm quinoa pairs best with the mango, in my opinion.

-Watermelon 3 Ways-

Watermelon is pretty much my summer mascot. What’s not to love about a super hydrating food that replenishes electrolytes, balances acidity in the body, and taste so damn good? Watermelon is a perfect food, and there is always one waiting patiently on the kitchen counter during the summer months.

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1. Watermelon Pops

This is another snack I owe to nannying. I had so much fun making these with two of my favorite toddlers! It was a bonus when they asked for them as a desert since they truly are a guilt free option for kids. On a hot summer day, I come home and walk directly to the freezer for one of these. Instant cool.

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Diced watermelon (at least 3 cups)

High speed blender

Popsicle molds


Place diced watermelon into a high speed blender and pulse until completely smooth.

Carefully pour into popsicle molds and place in freezer.

Allow to freeze for at least 4 hours.


2. Watermelon with Tajin

This is less of a recipe and more of a suggestion to sprinkle some Tajin on your watermelon. Tajin is a salty/tangy seasoning that pairs perfectly with juicy/sweet watermelon.

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Watermelon, diced or sliced

1/4 tsp Tajin (or just sprinkle it from the bottle)


Sprinkle Tajin onto your watermelon and thank me later.

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3. Watermelon / Gin Fizz

Does a cocktail count as a snack? Let’s just say yes. This two ingredient drink is perfect in the heat of summer. Bring it to a picnic or serve it at a party to completely wow your guests. Or, do as I do, and make one for yourself at the end of a long day. Cheers.



1/2 watermelon, diced and blended

Gin (I like Bombay Saphire)


Cocktail shaker


Blend the diced watermelon in a high speed blender until completely smooth.

Fill your shaker with ice and add 1 cup watermelon juice and 1oz of gin.

Shake it like you mean it.

Pour into a glass and enjoy!

That’s it for my favorite summer snacks! Be sure to comment and let me know what you think.

xo, Joi


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Basil Guac

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  1. Hi!! This is Dawny from Philly! These are some great recipe ideals. I can’t wait to try the Mango and Red Quinoa salad! I’ll try to make it this week and will report back! Thanks for the tips!

  2. D’Ana, thanks for sharing these unique takes on traditional foods. I love mangoes and quinoa so I will definitely give this recipe a try. Also, basil instead of cilantro in guacamole sounds tasty. I love the pics too! Great post!
    Xoxo, Mom

    1. Hi Mommy! Thanks for reading my post. I know you will love the mango & quinoa salad. It’s so refreshing and satisfying. I’ll make it for you sometime. 🙂 love you.

  3. Hmmmm…I’m going to have to try the mango and quinoa salad! I don’t like the smell of quinoa, but have never actually tried it! I’ll test it out and report back (hopefully mom brain doesn’t happen)!

    1. Haha! Be sure to cook it with a 1 cup quinoa and 1 3/4 cups of water ratio. Also, make sure you RINSE the quinoa thoroughly before making it. This makes a world of difference. I’ve found that red quinoa has a more full bodies texture than white. I hope you like it!!

  4. That basil guac recipe is temtpting – I may try that this weekend. I’m not a big fan of watermelon but I saw it served with seasonings like that at a food truck in Los Angeles and it looked very tasty!

    1. Hi Felicia! If you end up trying the basil guac be sure to let me know. It’s great spread on toast too!

      Not a fan of watermelon? Feel free to try the Tajin on bell peppers, mango, or even cucumbers instead. 😉

  5. What I would give to live where summer lasts til October! I loved all the snacks, especially the mango quinoa salad. I’ll be sure to try that. Your site is beautiful, btw!

    1. Aw, that’s great to hear! I’m a part time vegan 😉 Trying to help end the whole “all or nothing” stigma around being vegan, some of us need to take baby steps! Hope you enjoy these snacks. xo

    1. I’m so sad that summer is ending because I really want to eat these snack year round. Guess it’s time to start working on my favorite fall snacks. 😉 thanks for reading! Xo

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