Starbucks finally came out with a vegan option on their menu. But it’s not a pastry or muffin or cookie or a cute bistro sandwich, it’s falafel with guacamole. I don’t want to sound ungrateful but falafel is not exactly what I was hoping for when I emailed Starbucks several times in the past 15 years to add a vegan menu option. And avocado is kind of a weird thing to pair with it. However, there is something to be said for Starbucks Chickpea Bites and Avocado Protein Box.
Starbucks Chickpea Bites and Avocado Protein Box Review
Okay, so it took me months to actually try this because I thought it was a ridiculous option at a coffee shop (if I want falafel I’ll go to a middle eastern spot). For this reason, I waited for a moment that I needed an easy on-the-go meal rather than something that I specifically wanted to pair with my coffee. That day came last week. Let me review each element of Starbuck’s vegan protein box:
The chickpea bites
These are actually way more yummy than I expected. I fully thought they’d be dry, crumbly falafel wannabes. However, they totally had a cafeteria chicken nugget vibe going on. I say cafeteria because since they’re packaged and cold they don’t have that crispy finish. The outside is a nicely seasoned breading, and the inside is soft and slightly moist and holds together nicely. Not dry at all. Really a lot like a casual chicken nugget from my childhood. I enjoyed it a lot.
Even the thought of packaged guacamole makes me sick so I did not expect to like this at all. I opened the container just a tiny bit because I expected to try a little and not have the rest, but I ended up finishing it! It is absolutely nothing like fresh guacamole, but it didn’t have any gross weird packaged guacamole taste. It tasted like the fresh ingredients listed, just a smooth avocado, lime, jalapeno, garlic and salt—nothing else. Somehow it tasted fresh despite being packaged. I didn’t love it but I was definitely able to finish it without getting grossed out.
The carrots and snap peas are fresh and crisp. I especially liked how crunchy, juicy and lightly sweet the snap peas were. It was a nice accompaniment to round out the meal. The veggies were also good for dipping in the avocado, because the chickpea bites weren’t quite strong enough to be dipped without coming apart a bit.
The nuts and seeds
I was full after the meal, so it’s convenient that the nuts and seeds are packaged in their separate little bag for later. I actually forgot I had these and found them in my bag on a camping trip and ate them on a short hike. It’s about a handful or so of sunflower seeds, almonds, pepitas and dried cranberries. Not the freshest or most crisp nuts in the world, but it was a nice, balanced pick-me-up.
Total fat: 37 g
Cholesterol: 0 mg
Sodium: 710 mg
Total carbohydrates: 43 g (13 g fiber, 7 g sugar)
Protein: 15 g
Chickpea Bites [Chickpeas, Water, High Oleic Sunflower Oil, Breadcrumbs (Whole Grain Wheat Flour, Distilled Vinegar, Malted Barley Flour, Yeast, Sea Salt, Leavening (Sodium Bicarbonate), Spice Extractive), Chickpea Flour, Contains 2 Or Less Of Rice Starch, Yellow Corn Flour, Salt, Spices, Sugar, Guar Gum, Vinegar, Onion Powder, Garlic Powder, Corn Starch, Dehydrated Parsley, Toasted Sesame Oil, Maltodextrin, Cultured Dextrose, Natural Flavors, Citric Acid, Corn Syrup Solids, Extra Virgin Olive Oil, White Distilled Vinegar, Food Starch Modified, Lemon Juice Concentrate, Tapioca Dextrin, Lemon Juice Solids, Breading Set In Vegetable Oil], Avocado Dip [Avocado, Sea Salt, Onion, Garlic, Jalapeno, Pepper, Lime Juice], Dried Fruit And Nut Mix [Unsalted Roasted Almonds, Dry Roasted Pepitas, Oil Roasted Sunflower Seeds (Sunflower Seeds, Sunflower Oil), Dried Cranberries (Cranberries, Sugar, Sunflower Oil)], Carrots, Snap Peas
Overall better than I expected but still NOT something I want with my coffee. It’s kind of doesn’t make sense for this option to be at Starbucks, but if I ever want a quick, easy, healthy, on-the-go meal that’s under $7 I would get this again for sure. But the odds of my thinking to stop at Starbucks for lunch is very unlikely so I’m not sure how often I’ll actually think to do it. It’s probably a great option for parents to grab for their kids’ lunches too while they’re ordering their morning coffee.
Starbucks thank you for the chickpea nuggets but please add a vegan bakery item! It’s seriously not difficult I promise. You’re wayyy behind pretty much every local coffee shop and several chains at this point (Peet’s, Argo Tea, Think Coffee, Whole Foods Cafe, etc.). And also, please switch to 100 percent Fair Trade or Direct Trade! I have no choice but to opt for my local coffee shop (Holsem <3) so that I can have FAIR TRADE coffee with a delicious vegan muffin. Or I just brew my own fair trade coffee and bake my own pastry at home. Make a bold move into a more humane realm, Sbux. These baby steps are appreciated but not enough.