Today’s eats have been less than exciting. My appetite is still wonky from the stomach bug (read: not hungry until 4 p.m., when I then proceed to inhale the entire kitchen) and my schedule has been very random, making it difficult to eat regular meals. What have I been consuming like it’s my job?
Case in point: the tortilla with peanut peanut + white chocolate chips that I just inhaled, plus a lovely platter of saltines, cheese and strawberries from earlier.
I was texting with my friend Natassia last week about some snack ideas that are void of added sugar. She’s trying to eat a little cleaner these days, especially with the indulgent holiday parties that lie ahead. Since I recently completed a no-sugar challenge and am a big time snacker, I thought I would share some sugar-free snacks that I reach for on a daily basis. Go ahead and just ignore the peanut butter + white chocolate chip wrap from earlier, mmmkay?
- 1. Hummus. Sabra Roasted Red Pepper is my current obsession. I could eat it plain, but also like to dip pretzel crisps and carrots.
- 2. Hard boiled eggs. Enjoy them plain with salt and pepper, or mash up two whites with one whole egg, light mayo and greek yogurt for a protein-packed egg salad.
- 3. Popcorn. I’ve recently fallen back in love with popcorn. I’d forgotten how tasty and filling it is! A go-to is SkinnyPop, but I’ve also been known to pop a bag of plain or reduced fat kernels.
- 4. Natural peanut butter on apples. Such a classic in my opinion. Lots of nut butters have added sugars, so just check the label. We buy Smucker’s Natural Crunchy Peanut Butter with 1 gram of sugar (peanuts have naturally occurring sugars).
- 5. Quest Bars. I recommend these bars to everyone I meet. When I was training for the Miss Illinois USA pageant, they basically saved me from insatiable sugar cravings. Break it in two and bake on a cookie sheet at 350 for 6 minutes. Tastes like a treat!
- 6. Frozen cherries. I could eat a whole bag of frozen cherries. I prefer them over any other frozen fruit. Always look for “no-sugar added” on the label.
- 7. Pecans. This heart-healthy pick is one of the lowest sugar nuts out there. Just keep your serving to 1/4 cup so as not to go overboard with calories or fat.
- 8. String cheese. The only problem with string cheese is that I could eat five sticks!
- 9. Ezekiel bread with avocado + deli turkey. A dietitian’s dream: the perfect ratio of carb:fat:protein. If you’re vegetarian, just omit the turkey. Ezekiel is one of the only brands I’ve found that doesn’t add sugar to their products.
- 10. Lara bars. Yes, they have sugar, but it’s not refined (unless the bar has chocolate chips, which the one in this photo does. Do as I say, not as I do!). The sugar found in Lara bars is naturally occurring in the nuts or fruit ingredients.
As always, check those labels. Many of the snacks listed above likely can be found with added sugar somewhere else in the grocery store. Don’t be fooled!
Questions for you:
- Which is your favorite from the list above? String cheese and hummus for me.
- Anything you would add?
- Where do you purchase most of your groceries? We order online or visit Mariano’s.