Seemingly healthy snacks often harbor a ton of hidden sugar. If you’re looking to steer clear of added sugars in your snacks, turn instead to the more satisfying carbohydrates naturally found in wholesome foods such as whole grains, fruits, vegetables, certain types of dairy, and nuts, seeds and legumes. Here are six satisfying snack recipes that don’t contain any added sugars.
Popcorn is one of the most underappreciated and underutilized whole grains. As a whole-grain carbohydrate, it’s a great way to consume fiber. You can air pop it for a lighter offering, or pop it in your favorite fat.
Try topping your popcorn with brewer’s yeast, chili powder or even a spicy curry seasoning mix. If you want to skimp on sugar, skip over the kettle-corn varieties that derive their sweetness from added sugars.
Plain Yogurt With Fresh Fruit
One of the biggest food fallacies is that yogurt is good for you. Certain types of yogurt are, but not all yogurts are created equal! In fact, most commercial yogurt offerings are nothing more than a lot of sugar and a little yogurt. If your “fruited yogurt” has 0 grams of fiber, you can rest assured there’s no real fruit in there.
But if you yearn for yogurt, why not make your own fruit and yogurt parfait using plain (no sugar added) yogurt and adding fresh fruit? You’ll get the vitamin, mineral and fiber benefits of fruit—plus its natural sweetness—on top of the calcium, protein and better-for-you-carbs that yogurt has to offer. Sprinkle with some whole-grain cereal or hemp, sunflower or pumpkin seeds and you’ve got a satisfying snack without all the sugar.
Natural Nut Butter Cracker Bites
When it comes to nut butters, you’ve got to be a sugar sleuth. Many commercial nut butters have added sugars, so be sure to search for a brand with an ingredient list that lists only nuts and, if desired, salt. Now take that natural nut butter and put it atop a whole-grain cracker for a great no-added sugar snack.
When it comes to snacks, do you dig dips? You can spice up your standard hummus recipe by adding edamame (soybeans), which provide a boost of nutrition and flavor without any added sugar. Simply puree a handful of cooked edamame, one can of garbanzo beans and some garlic, lemon juice and olive oil together. Dip your favorite chips or veggie sticks and you’ve got a nutritionally enhanced hummus that steers clear of added sugar.
Tricked-out Avocado Toast
Avocado toast is all the rage for breakfast, but it also makes a great snack any time of day. Take your favorite whole-grain bread base, toast it up and top with smashed avocado. Add lemon juice, sliced tomato and a fried egg or smoked salmon to shake things up. The combination of carbohydrate from the whole grain, fat from the avocado and protein from the egg or salmon is a great way to craft a snack that will keep you fueled between meals.
If you crave a little crunch in your snacks, try roasting your own chickpeas. The key here is to rinse your chickpeas first and then pat completely dry. Roll the garbanzos in some olive oil, add salt and pepper or your favorite seasoning mix, and bake at 400 degrees F for 25-30 minutes or until crunchy.