Are you trying out an autoimmune protocol (AIP) or paleo diet, hoping to reduce inflammation, heal your gut, identify foods that trigger symptoms, and boost your energy? Achieving these very desirable results can be challenging when it means giving up so many familiar foods. Having to strike your favorite comfort goodies off the menu, even temporarily, can leave you feeling deprived. Happily, it’s possible to indulge a little and still stay within the AIP/paleo guidelines. Here are 10 of our favorite go-to, non-bland AIP snack ideas and easy-to-follow recipes to satisfy your cravings.
10 Easy AIP Snacks
Source: Lichen Paleo, Loving AIP
This blueberry crisp is an easy to make snack or dessert during blueberry season or at any time of the year! While some berries are excluded from AIP and paleo diets, blueberries (which happily are available nearly year-round) are welcomed. Blueberries are high in fiber, antioxidants, and vitamin C. They are also helpful for digestion, treating and reducing inflammation, and preventing conditions like heart disease and cancer. Blueberries are at their most delicious when fresh, but frozen berries are nearly as good. Eat this tasty crisp alone or pair it with coconut cream or yogurt. It is also paleo and totally AIP compliant!
Ingredients: blueberries (fresh or frozen), lemon juice, coconut oil, cassava flour, arrowroot starch, coconut sugar, unsweetened coconut shreds, salt
The contrast of salty and sweet in these energy balls will have your taste buds standing at attention! Enjoy crispy-tasty flecks of plantain chips in a delicious but not-too-sweet fruit mixture. These snacks are a great pick-me-up to boost your energy at any time, but we especially appreciate them after a long day. You can easily make substitutions if you need them for AIP compliance or allergy concerns.
If you are allergic to coconut, you can either omit it completely or throw in some extra plantain chips to make up for the loss of texture. While the coconut does make for a more chewy bar, it isn’t essential for holding everything together.
If you’re following the AIP, make sure to choose dried fruits that haven’t been coated in vegetable, canola, sunflower, or safflower oils, as these are not compliant. It’s best if you choose unsweetened dried fruits wherever possible.
The amount of salt you add will depend on the saltiness of the plantain chips or strips you use. If your plantains are salted, taste the mixture in the food processor before adding any salt, just in case!
Ingredients: dried black mission figs, dried golden raisins, dried tart cherries, strawberries, or apricots, plantain chips or plantain strips, shredded unsweetened coconut, ground cinnamon, fine sea salt
Source: Healing Family Eats
Looking for a new tasty breakfast option? These AIP-style overnight oats are for you! They take just 15 to 30 minutes to prepare before you head off to bed, and will be ready and waiting when you get up.
Note that tiger nuts, included in this recipe, are not actually nuts but rather are small root vegetables. They are rich in nutrients, promote digestion, reduce blood sugar levels, boost the immune system, and help improve heart health. You may be able to find tiger nuts in your local organic shop or supermarket, but you may need to plan ahead and order them online.
We love topping this delicious breakfast treat with coconut yogurt and fresh fruit!
Ingredients: tiger nuts, toasted coconut flakes, carrot, Granny Smith apple, raisins, ground cinnamon, ground mace, collagen (optional), coconut milk, sea salt
Source: Flash Fiction Kitchen
Craving a toasted bagel slathered with your favorite schmear, but wheat is off the table? This is one of the first AIP recipes to come close to the consistency of a “real” bagel — harder on the outside and deliciously chewy on the inside! Top these bagels with dried onion and garlic, poppy or sesame seeds (non-AIP/reintroduction), or alternative cream cheese for a different flavor. They are great for a quick snack or a scrumptious breakfast.
Ingredients: cassava flour, tigernut flour, tapioca flour or arrowroot starch (optional), baking soda, cream of tartar, grass-fed gelatin, sea salt, olive oil, apple cider vinegar.
Carrots are a great source of antioxidants, vitamins, minerals, and fiber and are allowed in both AIP and paleo diets. They are naturally sweet and satisfying by themselves, play well with others, and are easily enhanced with herbs and spices. These yummy roasted carrots keep in the fridge forever, which makes them perfect for a grab-and-go weeknight kitchen situation or a vegetable side. Top them off with green olive dressing made with either avocado oil or extra virgin olive oil.
Ingredients: heirloom carrots, avocado oil, garlic powder, fine sea salt, green olive tapenade or green olives, lemon juice, salted capers, cilantro or parsley, garlic
Source: Gutsy By Nature
Sweet potatoes, which can be white, orange, or even purple, are high in fiber and antioxidants. They are also rich in carbohydrates and have a relatively high glycemic index, but even if you have to watch your blood sugar they can have a place in your AIP or paleo diet.
These easy oven fries, made with any variety of sweet potato, are crispy and delectable! Have them as a quick snack or as a side at lunch or dinner. Keep in mind that oven temperatures will vary and so will the cooking time, so the sweet potatoes can take anywhere from 30 to 45 minutes to finish.
Ingredients: sweet potatoes (any color will do), lard, salt
Shrimp sometimes get a bad rap nutritionally because they contain cholesterol, but studies have shown that in moderation they can be a healthy source of protein and other nutrients. What matters most, health-wise, is how they are prepared. These eggless coconut shrimp are crispy, crunchy, and addictive! A simple three-stage breading process gives the tasty little crustaceans a perfect texture. Pair them with the included pineapple ginger dipping sauce for an extra pop of flavor.
Ingredients: peeled deveined tail-on shrimp, fresh or frozen pineapple chunks, tapioca starch, full-fat coconut milk, cassava flour, shredded unsweetened coconut, fine sea salt, garlic powder, lime juice, honey, ground ginger, coconut aminos
Source: Don’t Eat the Spatula
What is life without chocolate? Going without what is for many of us almost a daily necessity can be the hardest part of an AIP or paleo diet. Chocolate is excluded from the AIP diet because it comes from a seed and contains chemical compounds thought to be hard on the intestinal tract. And while it’s technically allowed on the paleo diet, it’s often combined with additives that aren’t.
Fortunately, there is a well-known and much-loved chocolate substitute: carob, which comes from a bean rather than a seed. Carob is also high in fiber, low in fat, is a good source of antioxidants, and contains no caffeine.
We love the rich dark chocolate taste of this carob mug cake. Just pop it in the microwave for 90 seconds, and you are good to go! Perfect fluffy goodness and no mess — what more could you ask?
Ingredients: cassava flour, coconut flour, carob powder, coconut sugar, baking soda, sea salt, maple syrup, coconut milk, avocado oil
Source: Unbound Wellness
Anyone else miss the “Cake Batter” ice cream flavor from Coldstone? This recipe is for you! It is gluten-free, dairy-free, and can be made paleo-friendly. Enjoy this no-cook decadent vanilla cake batter!
To make this recipe AIP-friendly: For nut-free/AIP, tiger nut flour would be the best substitute for the almond flour. It is grittier than almond flour, so be sure it’s well sifted! Also, use coconut oil instead of ghee, and shredded coconut instead of sprinkles.
Ingredients: almond flour (see below for AIP swap), coconut flour, maple syrup, vanilla extract (sub vanilla bean powder), ghee (sub coconut oil), sprinkles (sub shredded coconut)
You may already be a fan of coconut butter, made with nothing but coconut meat and delicious enough to incorporate into baked goods or even just pour over fresh fruit. If so, wait until you try toasted coconut butter! It is rich with flavor and has an unbeatable nutty depth. Add a dash of sea salt and try pairing this yummy manna with apple or banana slices.
Ingredients: unsweetened coconut flakes or chips, sea salt