Let’s face it, our society is on sugar overload, and dairy-free living doesn’t always help. Many of the convenience foods popping up for our little niche taste amazing, but are packed with added sugars. I’m all for moderation, and enjoying a dessert on most days, but when excessive sugars start sneaking into breakfast and snacks, we have a problem. The following are some of my top picks (honest and unbiased!) for healthy, low sugar snacks to grab on the go and pop into lunch boxes.
All of the following are dairy-free / non-dairy, gluten-free (check for certification), peanut-free (Yay for meeting peanut-safe school policies!), and naturally vegan. But always check with the manufacturer where severe allergies are a concern. Note that some of the following do contain natural sugars from fruit.
Go big or go home was the motto when this top 8 allergen-free snack recently emerged. I mean, why launch just one flavor of gourmet pumpkin seeds when you can release eight all at once? Available in Original Curry, Sea Salt, Coco Joe, Really Naked, Sugar & Cinnamon (still low in sugar), Somewhat Spicy, Super Spicy, and Tomato Italiano, Super Seedz really does offer an option for everyone. Of the bunch, our favorite low sugar snacks were the Sea Salt, Coco Joe and Somewhat Spicy, but all had their virtues. Just a warning: the Somewhat Spicy is “spicy” and the Super Spicy would more aptly be named “fire.” These are sold in big bags and they do have single-serve available, too. For more information, visit their website at wp.superseedz.com
Navitas Naturals makes these tasty fruit and nut bites in three flavors. I sampled the Cacao Goji, which was just lightly sweet and not overly “date” in flavor as similar bars can be. I enjoyed the mild cacao, raisin, date and nut flavors with ever-present sesame seeds and nut slivers throughout. Unlike some bars, the taste doesn’t venture into dessert territory, but rather remains firmly planted in the healthy, but tasty, snack arena. I also like the smaller chunks overall, but their inconsistent sizing can make it challenging to identify a serving. One other quick note: Navitas Naturals offers other unique low sugar snacks in their whole food form, such as dried Dragon Fruit and Yacon Slices. For more information, visit their website at www.navitasnaturals.com
Honestly, I wasn’t a huge fan of Mary’s Gone Crackers until these two new flavors debuted. I mean, I liked them, but they didn’t wow like the Super Seed and Jalapeno. My top pick was the Super Seed, which packs a good dose of flavor and a mild hint of spice, while Tony enjoyed the heat wave of the Jalapeno variety. They are whole grain and gluten-free (think quinoa, brown rice, flax, and sesame), but surprisingly addictive and not overly “healthy” in taste. For more information, visit their website at www.marysgonecrackers.com.
Like a full-size peanut butter cup, but much lower in sugar and with some nutritious ingredients, Buddha Cups can be a near daily snack, if desired. The ingredients are just cacao, almonds, coconut palm crystals, mesquite, vanilla bean, and Himalayan crystal salt (in that order) and each generously sized cup contains just 3 grams of sugar (along with 3 grams of protein and 2 grams of fiber – not bad!). Yet, the cocoa buttery chocolate has a just-sweet-enough taste that melds nicely with the almond butter center. My only complaint is that the almond butter filling was a bit too dry in some that I sampled, but it didn’t dampen the enjoyment factor. For more information, visit their website at www.buddhachocolate.com.
These deliciously seasoned, addictive slices of nori seaweed didn’t last long in our house. Tony and I easily polished them off, vying for every last piece. While I often contend that I should just make my own seasoned nori snacks, it never happens. GimME Seaweed Snacks have stepped in to supplement my laziness with some delicious, portable snacks that are rich in natural minerals. They offer Crumbles (for salads and such) and Sheets (three flavors) in single-serve and family size packages. We’ve had the Sea Salt and Sesame varieties, and both were simply scrumptious. For more information, visit their website at www.gimmehealth.com.
Move over Larabar! Kit’s Organic by Clif Bar somehow edges out the competition with their riff on the no sugar added, date-based fruit and nut bar. I simply love them. These aren’t sugar-free, as they contain natural sugars from fruit, but there are no added sugars and they aren’t overly sweet; landing them a spot in my favorite low sugar snacks. For more information, visit their website at www.clifbar.com.