11 Gut-friendly AIP Snacks
AIP, or autoimmune protocol, is a diet that both heals and soothes the digestive system. Certain foods, stress, and environmental toxins can all cause the tight junctions of our intestinal wall to loosen over time, which is referred to as “leaky gut” or hyperpermeability. This allows toxins and larger food particles into your bloodstream which then causes a whole host of issues such as chronic fatigue, migraines, skin conditions, and autoimmune disease.
Starting a new diet can sometimes feel challenging, so it's helpful to have some snacks on hand that you know won't ruin your progress. That's why we've compiled a list of 11 options for you to choose from as a reference. If you are prepared, you are much more likely to stay on track!
The Best AIP Snacks
Avocados are total superstars on the AIP diet. They are loaded with fiber and healthy monounsaturated fat to help keep you feeling satiated, and they are super high in vitamins and minerals. If you are missing dairy, avocados can give you the creaminess you are craving. Add avocado to your smoothie, blend it with softened dates and carob powder for a tasty pudding, Make a simple avocado dip by mashing avocado with a little sea salt, onion, garlic and a squeeze of lime juice. Serve with plantain chips!
Plantains, the cousin to the banana, are full of resistant starch, which means that the carbohydrates resist digestion in the small intestine and become excellent food to nourish the good bacteria in your gut. Plantains are gut-nourishing friends to those of us navigating the AIP diet. Plantain chips are readily available in most supermarkets, and if you see fresh green plantains, try making tostones: peel plantain with a paring knife and cut into 1-inch slices. In a skillet over medium heat, add 1 T. coconut oil and the cut plantains. Cook plantains for two to three minutes on each side, until nicely browned. Remove plantains to a paper towel lined plate, and with the bottom of a glass, smash them. Return the plantains to the skillet and brown again on each side. Return to paper towel lined plate and sprinkle with salt.
3. SWEET POTATOES
Sweet potatoes are yet another holy grail of AIP. Sweet and starchy, yet full of fiber and antioxidants, sweet potatoes are the side-dish superhero’s on AIP. When you need a crunchy snack, reach for sweet potato chips, but be sure to find the brands with only three ingredients if you can: sweet potatoes, coconut oil, and sea salt. That’s all that is needed! An AIP compliant ranch dip is a delicious choice with sweet potato chips.
Blackberries, blueberries, raspberries, and strawberries are not only loaded with powerful antioxidants and fiber, but they are also lower in sugar than fruits like apples, pineapple and grapes. Fruit is always a preferable snack over processed and packaged foods, but berries really win the prize for the most nutritional bang for your buck. Reach for organic berries at the supermarket when they are on sale–the delicate skins of berries tend to retain the pesticides that are sprayed on conventionally grown berries. A bowl of mixed berries is not only beautiful, but it’s a nutritious and satisfying AIP snack!
5. PASTURE-RAISED TURKEY STICKS
It can be difficult to find meat sticks without black pepper or other nightshades, so THANK YOU to Paleo Valley for making delicious AIP compliant turkey sticks! They come in two flavors: Original and Cranberry Orange. They are made with happy, healthy pasture-raised turkeys, organic spices, and they are fermented, which means they contain gut-friendly bacteria. When you need a savory, salty protein snack, these are convenient, healthy and nourishing. Find them at paleovalley.com
This friend of the charcuterie board is an excellent AIP snack item to keep on hand. Simple, salty and satisfying, olives get a thumbs-up as a whole-food snack. Olives contain heart-healthy monounsaturated fat. Look for brands that are cured only with salt if you can find them, and make sure to avoid the ones that are stuffed. My favorite variety is Castelvetrano–great texture and flavor.
7. KALE CHIPS
We all need more leafy greens in our diet, and when you can get them in the form of a crunchy snack, all the better! Kale is rich in cancer-fighting compounds, loaded with vitamins and minerals, and full of fiber. Finding kale chips that are AIP compliant in the supermarket can be challenging as most of them contain either seeds or nightshades. Make your own kale chips easily: wash a whole bunch of curly kale and dry thoroughly. The drier you can get the kale, the crispier it will be. Tear it up into fairly large pieces (it will shrink in the oven), toss with avocado oil, and place each piece on a parchment-lined baking sheet with space in between the pieces. You may need to do a few trays to avoid overcrowding. Bake at 350 degrees for 10-15 minutes. Sprinkle with salt, let cool, and enjoy!
8. SEAWEED SNACKS
Seaweed is very high in vitamins, minerals and a great dietary source of iodine. You can find dried seaweed snacks in most supermarkets but look for the brands that roast the seaweed in avocado oil instead of sunflower oil. The plain version should just be seasoned with sea salt, which is all that is needed to make this snack delicious!
9. COCONUT YOGURT
Coconut is a wonderful way to substitute dairy while on the AIP diet, and fermented coconut milk makes the most beautiful, creamy, dreamy yogurt. You can make your own if you are brave, but you can also find brands at most health food markets that contain just a few simple ingredients. We love Culina, and if you go for the Plain version, you can sweeten it with berries, a drizzle of honey or whatever you choose! This is a satisfying way to nourish the gut and feel satiated!
10. COCONUT CHIPS
Coconut chips are available at most supermarkets, made with just a few simple ingredients, and give you the satisfying crunch you crave. They are an AIP snacking staple and also make a great topping for salads, yogurts or smoothies.
Frozen berries, coconut milk, collagen peptides, and a dollop of coconut yogurt can be a filling, antioxidant-rich, gut-nourishing, satisfying and quick AIP snack. Blend all until smooth and enjoy this easily digestible and delicious concoction. Sneak in some fresh organic spinach to up the nutritional value even more!
AIP SNACKING, MADE EASY
If you are on an AIP journey, it may feel frustrating at times to stay on track. Preparation is key, and now it’s easier than ever to gather compliant snacks and foods to keep on hand. We applaud you for making this effort to heal your body, and we wish you happy AIP snacking!