Given that I work from home, I don't tend to stop for breakfast or lunch unless I have a work-related meeting. Instead, for better or worse, I snack throughout the day whilst typing away at my computer (and the evidence is all over my once pristine white keyboard). While I do have days where I succumb to the temptations of potato chips and Milka chocolate, my energy wanes too much if I don't reach for more healthful options. I've tried dozens (hundreds?) of different snacks to go along with my fruits, veggies, and grains. Many of my favorites are raw-vegan, and while that may scare those averse to the joys of green juice and hempseed bars, trust that there are some truly fantastic options that won't have you missing Doritos. To boot, as One Lucky Duck's operations manager, Karen McDermott, highlighted when I spoke with her recently, "Eating raw snacks is awesome because you can snack all you want and not worry about all of the 'extra' bad things that are usually hidden in snack foods. Raw foods are so nutritionally dense they satisfy much more than regular snacks, which usually contain lots of artificial fillers."
To that end, here are 10 of the best guilt-free snacks, all of which are high fiber and protein, while being low in sodium and fat and free of fillers and unpronounceable ingredients concocted in a lab. Munch away…
Original Raweo Cookie, $6.99
You’ll never miss the Nabisco original again. Expect a slight coconut flavor (similar to a macaroon) and a chewy texture.
New York Naturals
Vegan Cheese Kale Chips, $7.99
If ever there was a healthy Doritos doppelganger, this would be it.
Blue Mountain Organics
Cacao Crunch Brownie, $5.40
All it takes is organic dates, raw cacao agave, hazelnuts, and golden flax to make these densely satisfying raw-vegan brownies.
I Heart Keenwah
Quinoa Squares, $4.99
Available in Ginger Peanut, Chocolate Sea Salt, Almond, and Cranberry Cashew, each bag is loaded with quinoa, the only grain that’s considered to be a whole protein because it contains all nine essential amino acids. These are highly addicting – even the Chocolate Sea Salt (and I usually don't like the salt-sweet combination).
Milk & Granola Bars, $3.49
Believe it or not, Kraft has a healthy snack. Made with real milk, these bars provide the same calcium as an 8 oz. glass of milk and they’re free of high fructose corn syrup, artificial flavors, colors, or preservatives. They’re meant to be kept in the fridge which adds to their dessert-like quality.
Hummus and Lentil Chips, prices vary
A new line of all-natural hummus and lentil chips that delivers airy, but crispy, mini-bowl shaped chips in a variety of flavors including Hummus Tomato Basil, Hummus Spicy Chili Pepper, Lentil Sea Salt, Lentil Creamy Dill, and Lentil Bruschetta. Surprisingly, Sea Salt is not only my personal favorite, but the flavor with the lowest sodium.
Naked Granola Cookies
Six flavors, $49.88 for 24 bars
The brand’s motto is flavor over filler and you’ll notice it after just one bite of any one of Naked’s six flavors, each of which is inspired by the local flavors of a particular region: Seattle Nights, Maine, California, Key West, Maui, and Down Under. Each serving has about 100 calories and is filled with protein, iron, probiotics, omage-3, and fiber thanks to ample seeds, fruits, and nuts, and no added sugar, no eggs, and no hydrogenated oils.
Chocolate covered bananas, price vary
OK, these aren’t the healthiest (they were prominently featured as a boardwalk snack in Arrested Development, after all) but if you’re looking for an ice cream alternative, these are a great way to go. Raw ice cream (Blue Mountain Organics makes some particularly great ones) is another viable Ben & Jerry’s alternative, but it tends to be very high in saturated fat. Again, given the lack of fillers in raw ice cream, it will be significantly more satisfying, but it’s easy to overdose and end up in a snack coma.
Chips and squares, prices vary
The brand makes heart healthy oatmeal squares, tortilla chips, and potato chips — all of which were proven in more than 140 clinical studies to help fight heart disease. The secret lies in plant sterols, which can be found in fruits and vegetables. Corazonas incorporates these plant sterols via a patented process into their product to help lower the bad cholesterol and raise the good one.