One of the most popular questions I get asked during the 4 Weeks to Wellness Program is around snacking. For sugar-free snack recipes and brands, yes. But also around why I chose not to put any snack options in my weekly batch cooking menus.
When it comes to meal planning, there’s a lot of confusion around the when and how. Some doctors advocate for many smaller portions, others for three balanced meals a day.
Personally, I fall in the latter camp.
If your blood sugar is stable because you’re eating plenty of filling, balanced meals (packed with protein, healthy fats and fiber) you should be able to get through the 4pm slump at your desk without sticking your head into the office vending machine and inhaling its contents.
But every body is different, and of course these things take time and plenty of baby steps (which is what my course is all about).
If you’re a big snacker and find you’re hungry all the time in between meals, there’s a lot of work to be done and a road map to get you onto firmer ground. Starting with a mini vice detox (i.e. eliminating alcohol, added sugar and caffeine from your life for just a week) may seem like more than just a baby step. Yes, it can be downright painful. But it’s the best intervention you can take for your blood sugar and to begin moving your diet in the right direction.
When we snack, often times that means store bought options. And packaged food almost always means added sugar. It’s a line item in 80 percent of the grocery aisle, with hundreds of different names. Which means that when we snack because of unstable blood sugar, we are often perpetuating the problem by eating things that destabilize it further.
I’m going to break this down for you even more in a future post. For now though, I wanted to give you a list of my favorite sugar-free snack brands for making over your pantry and ways you can stock your fridge with easy to prepare low sugar recipes.
If you decide to do a mini vice detox on your own, I want you to be prepared. Removing added sugar removes a lot of your snacking options. And it may take you longer than the week to realize that you don’t need all of them in the first place.
Especially since it’s back to school season, we want to set ourselves up for success at home as much as possible! Read on for some of my favorite low sugar snack brands, recipes and strategies. Keep in mind that though many are free of added sugar, not all are completely sugar-free.
Make sure to read labels and take into consideration not just the line items on the list, but also how many grams of sugar overall you’re consuming on any given day. As less sugar will likely lead to less overall snacking. Reducing your cravings, and leaving a lot more emotional freedom to eat whatever you want, and however much you want at meals.
If you need a helping hand in that department, I have plenty of worksheets and label reading primers in my course!
With health and hedonism,
p.s. Also check out my post on how to detox your pantry from hidden sugar!
The Best Low Sugar Snack Recipes
Roasted Carrot Jalapeno Salsa with Pepitas: Turns out carrots make an amazing base for a salsa, plus they pack a subtly sweet punch that can help satisfy a sugar craving!
The Best Guacamole: ‘nuff said
Deviled Eggs: Deviled eggs are an amazing option for a snack-y craving and these ones are easy to whip up. Just be sure to check the label on your mayo and mustard to make sure there is no added sugar in either.
Green Goddess Avocado Dip: Whip this dip up if you need a break from guacamole, but want something delicious for your crudités. It also keeps much better without browning than traditional guac, so great for meal prep.
Creamy Black Bean Dip: Dips are your friend when you’re looking for a sugar free snack! They are versatile AND have the ability to make any boring carrot stick or tortilla chip the belle of the ball. This Creamy Black Bean dip is no exception.
Sweet Potato Fries: Use this recipe to make a delicious vessel for all of the dips you’ll be whipping up. Note that the aioli has sriracha, which has added sugar. Swap it for a different hot sauce like harissa.
Twigs in a Blanket: This is one of the most popular recipes in the FMP archives, and for good reason. It’s easy, healthy, and delicious. Just be sure the prosciutto you pick up does not have any added sugar.
Blistered Shishito Peppers: These look restaurant quality, but are actually extremely simple to whip up, and are a great addition to any snack platter or grab and go situation in your fridge.
Artichoke Hummus: This recipe couldn’t be easier, and it’s a crowd pleaser too. Toss all of the ingredients in a food processer and you’re good to go!
Somali Pirate’s Booty Popcorn: Self-popped corn is an amazing option for a sugar free snack. All of the crunchy satisfaction, none of the mystery ingredient labeled “butter.”
Kale Chips: This is less a recipe, and more a method–gone are the days of soggy but somehow also burnt kale chips.
Roasted Chickpeas: Roasted chickpeas are similar to roasted kale. They’re delicious when they’re perfectly crispy, but can be hard to nail. This recipe makes obtaining the illusive crispy chickpea foolproof.
Banana Bread: This is an awesome option for a fruit-sweetened, but still delicious snack. The recipe uses bananas instead of sugar or a sugar alternative but still manages to be one of the very best banana breads in the game.
Coconut Fat Balls: There’s a reason fat balls (otherwise known as bliss balls or energy balls) are all over the web. They’re yummy and an great source of energy. These can be made totally sugar-free if you omit the dates.
Carrot Fries: A delicious alternative to sweet potato or white potato fries!
The Best Added Sugar-Free Store Bought Snacks
Epic Jerky– Most store-bought jerky has some sort of added sweetener, which is a bummer. Epic is a great option if you’re craving something that packs an umami punch but omits the random sugar. Their meats are well sourced, and if they do add an element of sweetness to their product, it’s usually with maple syrup, honey or dried fruit. My favorite variety that is completely sugar free are these venison sticks.
Keto Carne – If you’re trying to limit your sugar overall, best to go with something that’s completely sugar-free like Keto Carne.
Thrive Market Paleo Snack- Savory Flavor– Think of this as a savory trail mix. It has dried banana chips, nuts, and delicious savory spices. Sounds strange but is actually extremely delicious.
Simple Mills Almond Flour Crackers– When you’re looking for a store-bought crunchy cracker without the added sugar, Simple Mills is the way to go.
GimMe Organic Roasted Seaweed– Dried seaweed is one of my favorite ways to satisfy a salty/crunchy craving, but still get something green in. It’s also a great source of iodine for those of us who are thyroid challenged.
Lara Bars– These are a good option for an on the go snack, just be mindful: some of the flavors have chocolate, which includes added sugar. If you’re trying to limit your overall sugar intake, you’re better off opting for something savory as the whole fruit still packs a big sugar punch. I like the minis for portion / sugar control.
Homemade Sugar-Free Snack No-Brainers
Veggies: Carrots (baby or whole), celery, cucumbers, and bell peppers are all great options for sugar-free snacks. Add some chopped veggies to your weekly meal prep and you’ll have them on hand in the fridge for easy grab-and-go snacking.
Fruit: Keeping a fridge and fruit bowl well stocked with nature’s candy is a surefire way to keep those pesky sugar cravings at bay. Going seasonal is best when it comes to fruit. For the fall, local apples are my favorite, especially dipped in almond butter.
Hard Boiled Eggs: Sprinkle some salt and pepper on them for an easy protein-packed snack!
Rice cakes: While most sandwich bread has some form of added sugar (even if it’s a negligible amount) brown rice cakes are a safe bet as a vehicle for mashed avocado, nut butters and berries.
Nuts: My go-to for keeping it simple on the snacking front and making sure I’m not making myself hungrier with my choices, is a fiber and protein-packed handful of nuts. Roasted almonds (especially those yummy tamari almonds) are my favorite.
What’s your favorite sugar-free homemade snack or store bought brand? Let me know in the comments section!
Need help getting your sugar consumption under control? My 4 Weeks to Wellness Course might just change your life. With a month’s worth of recipes that are gluten, dairy, corn, soy and refined sugar free, not to mention tasty AF, it’s a perfect way to explore your food sensitivities and balance your blood sugar for good.