So, as I posted about earlier in the month, I’m taking the month off from sugary treats. Though I’m not eliminating 100% of the sugar intake from my diet, I am taking big steps towards drastically reducing it. And in the process, I’m trying to assuage my sweet tooth with snacks that are still sweet, but naturally so.
This has actually helped me take a close look at my snacking habits. Several times throughout this first week of sugar-free eating, I’ve had the urge to go and grab something like cookies or candy – and then I realize, I’m not even hungry! I just want sugar. Every time that happens, it’s like a reinforcement of the reasons why I started this project in the first place!
Anyway, it has been somewhat hard for me to find snacks that satisfy my sweet tooth without using any kind of added sugar – and that includes, for my purposes anyway – avoiding artificial sweeteners and even natural sweetening agents like honey or stevia.
So I thought I’d put together a little list of the things I’ve found that help me get a little sweet treat in my day, using natural sugars only. Maybe it’ll help you swap out some healthier snacks for your high-sugar choices!
Snacks I eat during a month of no (added) sugar:
- Frozen grapes – it seems weird, but just the act of freezing the grapes makes them seem like so much more of a treat! I prefer the green ones, because the combination of sweet + tart + icy is just right, for me.
- Hot apple cider – Apple cider, at least the kind I buy, is 100% fruit juice. Juice can be high in natural sugars, so you’ve gotta take this one in moderation. But hey, I figure it’s still a lot better than reaching for those chocolate chip cookies, right? So for me, heating up a mug of cider and adding a dash of pumpkin pie spices (or cinnamon, nutmeg, etc.) is just the ticket to treating myself after dinner.
- Smoothies – These help me stay fuller longer and give me a little bit of sweetness in my day. I’m using plain Greek yogurt combined with orange juice, frozen strawberries, and a fresh banana for mine. The banana brings up the sweetness factor and the Greek yogurt is a good dose of protein without any added sugar.
- Fruit – After a meal I like to finish with something sweet, so I’ll have a piece of regular ol’ fruit to help satisfy that craving. The key, for me, is to keep a good variety on hand and to have a fruit bowl on the kitchen counter so I can grab it easily.
- Almonds – Almonds are filling, but they also have a nice satisfying natural sweetness to them. I pair a handful with a glass of milk, a slice of cheese, or a fruit for a healthy and filling snack.
- Tea – I like my hot tea with spices, such as cinnamon or nutmeg. The cinnamon helps it feel like a sweet treat with just a splash of milk, even without adding sugar (which was my usual custom before this sugar-free month).
- Cheese and crackers – Okay, not sweet, but this is still a snack I go for during this month. I like Triscuit crackers because they don’t have any sugar added; I pair them with a slice of mozzarella or colby cheese.
- Chips and salsa – Another savory favorite for me.
- Celery with nut butter – You can purchase nut butters that don’t have any sugar; this is an easy one to swap out, too – instead of celery, try apples, bananas, or carrots.
So – what are YOUR favorite healthy (sugar-free) snacks? Share them with me in the comments – it’s gonna be a long month!