Big time snacker here. Why else would I start a company dedicated to the art of the munch?
That being said, a big sweet tooth comes with a need to monitor my sugar intake, so I am constantly on the hunt for new healthy snacks without the added sugars, artificial ingredients and that can adequately satisfy my cravings.
Simply put, consuming too much added sugar can cause weight gain increase your risk of conditions like obesity, heart disease, and diabetes. According to the Harvard Medical School, eating too many added sugars increases the chance of dying from heart disease, even if you aren’t overweight. The health benefits are straightforward - less added sugars is better for your heart and can be helpful in avoiding weight gain and subsequent weight loss.
Cutting those added sugars may seem like a daunting task when looking for healthy snack options on grocery shelves today as they are seemingly stocked with sugar snacks. Furthermore, it’s a hassle to have new snack ideas every day to make sure you don’t overdose on one healthy snack.
So here are some of my favorite healthy snack ideas and natural snack recipes that have no added sugars, artificial sweeteners or sugar alcohols. What's better than healthy snacks that are sugar free and outta this world delicious!
Best part is that majority of the below can be made in 20 minutes or less!
My Favorite Natural Sugar & Sugar Free Snacks
1. Roasted or Air-Fried Chickpeas or Edamame
Both of these bite-size veggies are commonly mistaken for peas but are actually part of the legume family. When roasted or popped into the air fryer they can also be the perfect crunchy and healthy snack!
The best part is that you can be extremely versatile with your choice of seasonings each time you make these!
For some inspiration, here are some options to season before the roast:
Classic: Just Sea Salt
Hot: Garlic Powder, Sea Salt, Chili Powder, Onion Powder and a pinch of Cayenne Pepper.
Some Spice: Turmeric & Ginger
Smoky: Smoked Paprika & Cumin
50g of Chickpeas: 182 Calories, 3g Fat, 30.5g Carbs, 8.5g Fiber, 5.5g Natural Sugar, 9.5g Protein
50g of Edamame: 61 Calories, 2.5g Fat, 5g Carbs, 2.5g Fiber, 1g Natural Sugar, 5.5g Protein
Gluten Free, Plant-Based, No-Added Sugar, Whole-Foods, Low-Sugar, Nut Free and Low-Fat
2. Greek Yogurt Parfait w/ Berries & Granola
I have had a parfait almost every morning for breakfast since 2020 and don’t believe I will ever give it up. Now this could either be a full meal or a great snack depending on your portion sizes - but will always be delicious.
Make sure to get the plain or unsweetened greek yogurt from your local grocery to avoid the added sugars and keep it low-calorie. As an Austin, TX resident I usually get the HEB Non-Fat Plain Greek Yogurt, but occasionally go for the Cashew Cultured Yogurt at Trader Joe’s when I want a dairy free or plant-based yogurt. Another option if you’re looking for extra protein would be the Oikos Triple Zero, which is sweetened with monk fruit!
The unsweetened yogurts are great because adding berries and other toppings will give you all the natural sweetness you need and allows you to get a variety of flavors every day!
Strawberries, raspberries and blueberries are incredibly sweet, rich in antioxidants and are lower in sugar than you’d imagine. Per 100g, raspberries only have 4.4g of sugar which is less than a typical single serving size of flavored yogurt.
Other great options to add to your yogurt snack:
Bananas, Apples, Flax Seed, Chia Seeds, Hemp Hearts, or a sprinkle of chocolate chips (a few ain’t going to kill you).
You could stop there for a great snack, but if you’re a fan of textures, make it a full parfait and add some granola into the mix. Shelves are stocked with varieties of granola and while many have a ton of added sugars, there are new options out there that are low-sugar and gluten free to choose from!
1/2 Cup of Non-Fat Plain Greek Yogurt, 1/4 Cup Blueberries & 1/4 Cup Wildway Dark Chocolate Sea Salt Granola: 230 Calories, 11g Fat, 23g Carbs, 3g Fiber, 14g Natural Sugar, 16g Protein
Whole-Foods, No-Added Sugar, Low-Sugar, Optional Plant-Based, Optional Gluten Free Low-Fat, Oil-Free, Optional Nut-Free (Pending Granola Choice), High Protein
3. Fresh Fruit & Nut Butter
A simple, yet efficient and tasty combo to get a sweet treat in with all natural sugars. Sliced fresh fruit is delicious when paired with nut butter. The sweetness from the fruit will satisfy your sweet tooth while the protein and healthy fat from the nut butter will keep you satisfied.
There are so many delicious nut butters to choose from—cashew, almond, peanut, hazelnut—the list goes on! Just make sure to choose a natural nut butter without added sugar!
There is a ton of variety to go around, but here are some combos to get you started:
Apple with Peanut Butter
Banana with Almond Butter
Strawberries and Pistachio Butter
If you'd like it to be a bit more filling you can also top a piece of bread or toast with the nut butter and fruit!
1 Apple w/ tbsp Natural Peanut Butter: 190 Calories, 8g Fat, 29g Carbs, 5g Fiber, 20g Natural Sugar, 4g Protein
1 Banana w/ tbsp Natural Almond Butter: 185 Calories, 8g Fat, 30g Carbs, 4.5g Fiber, 14.5g Natural Sugar, 4g Protein
100g of Strawberries w/ tbsp Pistachio Butter: 115 Calories, 7g Fat, 12g Carbs, 4g Fiber, 6g Natural Sugar, 4g Protein
Whole-Foods, Optional No-Added Sugar, Low-Sugar, Optional Plant-Based, Optional Gluten Free Low-Fat, Good Source of Protein
4. Roasted Sweet Potato w/ Cinnamon
The sweet potato does have natural sugars in it, which make it sweet but it’s also loaded with an antioxidant called glutathione that helps nourish your immune system. Sprinkle some cinnamon on top to make the sweet potatoes taste even more delicious!
If you want to add an extra layer of sweetness you could also sprinkle Whole Earth Allulose Brown Sugar for a zero net carb sugar substitute. (What is Allulose?)
1 Medium Sweet Potato w/ .5 tsp Cinnamon: 106 Calories, .2g Fat, 22g Carbs, 5g Fiber, 7g Natural Sugar, 2g Protein
Whole-Foods, No-Added Sugar, Low-Sugar, Plant-Based, Gluten Free, Nut Free and Low-Fat
5. A Low-Carb Tortilla with Homemade Chocolate Hazelnut Spread
Low-carb tortillas are now widely available at most groceries (Ex: Mission’s Carb Balance), are sugar free and made with extra dietary fiber to reduce total carbs!
Nutella is rich, creamy and absolutely delicious. That being said - it includes a WHOPPING 20g of sugar per tablespoon! Instead, you can roast your own hazelnuts at home, throw in some cocoa powder and some powdered allulose and accomplish a homemade chocolate hazelnut spread that tastes amazing.
For an afternoon treat I often take the low-carb tortilla and spread the chocolate hazelnut spread, fold and munch.
Changing it up:
Add some sliced bananas, raspberries, crushed hazelnuts or pistachios into the wrap before the fold.
Throw the tortilla onto a pan to warm it up quickly or put in the air-fryer for 5 minutes.
1 Low-Carb Tortilla w/ 1 tbsp Homemade Chocolate Hazelnut Spread: 172 Calories, 13g Fat, 22g Carbs, 17g Fiber, 0g Natural Sugar, 7g ProteinDiet Friendly:
Whole-Foods, No-Added Sugar, Low-Sugar, Keto Friendly, Optional Plant-Based, Optional Gluten Free Low-Fat, Good Source of Protein
6. Celery & Nut Butter topped w/ Goodies (AKA: Ants on a Log)
An oldie but a goodie. This wildly popular combo from my childhood is a great option as it provides a crunchy hydrating bite with low-calorie celery, healthy fats and protein with the nut butter and some sweetness with the dried fruit.
Changing it up:
Choose different nut butter - Peanut Butter is the classic, but try some almond or macadamia nut butter next time
Dried fruit options range beyond raisins! Try dried cranberries, raspberries or blueberries
Shave some Nebula Dark Chocolate an added flavor profile!
1 Stalk Celery w/ 1 Tbsp Natural Peanut Butter & 1 Tbsp Raisins: 152 Calories, 8.6g Fat, 16.3g Carbs, 2.5g Fiber, 8g Natural Sugar, 5g ProteinDiet Friendly:
Whole-Foods, No-Added Sugar, Plant-Based, Gluten Free, Good Source of Protein
7. Veggies & Hummus
We don’t get nearly enough veggies in our day to day and they make a great snack.
I always keep a bag of baby carrots around with a rotating flavor of hummus in the fridge to change it up week to week. While carrots are my go-to, I have occasionally gone for the bell pepper or cucumber options as well.
Great thing about this is variety with hummus options - you can choose classic, olive, spicy, roasted pepper, jalapeño - this list goes on and on. Add a little sea salt to the hummus as an added touch.
3/4 Cup Baby Carrots & 2 tbsp Classis Sabra Hummus: 110 Calories, 5g Fat, 13g Carbs, 3g Fiber, 5g Natural Sugar, 2g Protein
Whole-Foods, No-Added Sugar, Low-Sugar, Plant-Based, Nut-Free, Gluten Free, Low-Fat, Good Source of Protein
8. Homemade Protein Chickpea Cookie Dough
I haven’t done this many times before, but my friend Morgen is a massive fan and raves about her homemade protein chickpea cookie dough from Skinnyfitalicious all the time!
Throw some chickpeas, natural nut butter, protein powder, plant-based milk, maple syrup, vanilla into a food processor - add some chocolate and you have a rich cookie dough like texture treat!
Mix it up by changing nut butters: peanuts, almonds, cashews or even macadamia
Make it healthier by opting for a sugar free syrup!
1/4 Cup Chickpea Cookie Dough: 215 Calories, 7g Fat, 26g Carbs, 4g Fiber, 11g Natural Sugar, 11g Protein
Whole-Foods, No-Added Sugar, Low-Sugar, Keto Friendly, Plant-Based (pending protein), Optional Gluten Free (pending protein) Low-Fat, High Protein
And...If you're looking for something even quicker or on-the-go.
Try some Nebula Snacks chocolate bars that are zero sugar, dairy free and out of this world delicious!