When you’re craving something sweet, there are a lot of different roads you can go down. Unfortunately, many of those routes involve shiny, mass-produced treats with polysyllabic ingredients that wouldn’t necessarily be your first choice in any food lineup. That’s why we put together this list of the moderately sugary snacks that help us get through our days. When we’re starting to feel sluggish and begin to question why we chose to get out of bed, these are the things we reach for — from stuffed dates and dried mango to gluten-free cookies that taste like cake and come with little sprinkles on top.
We’re recommending these products because we actually use, and like, them. Things you buy through our links may earn us a commission.
A Semi-Sweet Chew
Numa creamy coconut snacks are perfect for when you want to chew on a little something that’s almost indistinguishable from candy. These taffy-textured snacks have significantly less sugar than your average candy, however, and they’re dairy-free and made with easily comprehensible ingredients such as egg whites and coconut oil.
A Two-Ingredient Wonder
There are two (and only two) ingredients in this snack, and they are as follows: walnuts and red dates (AKA jujubes). The walnuts provide crunch, with some fat and protein thrown in, while the dates round things out with their sticky sweetness. It’s an ideal combination and a marvel of modern engineering, and there are few treats out there that are both better and simpler.
A Classic Way To Eat Your Mango
Dried mango is an all-time, top-ten, world-class bite, and there are plenty of brands to choose from (such as Trader Joe’s and Whole Foods). Ask Staff Writer Anne Cruz, however, and she’ll tell you that Philippine Brand is superior to all others. (It’s “not too leathery” and “almost juicy in the center.“) As an added bonus, these dehydrated fruit strips will also provide a significantnt amount of your daily recommended vitamin C.
A Bar Of Chocolate That's Mostly Just Chocolate
A good pinch of salt will enhance just about any food, and this vegan chocolate bar is a prime example of this culinary principle. Sweetened with coconut sugar and made with fair-trade cocoa butter, this is a candy bar you can eat one square at a time without having to worry about any ingredients you can’t immediately identify. Everything is organic, and that hint of salt will help keep your tastebuds fully stimulated.
The Protein-Packed Option
If you’re looking for another snack with a lot going on, try lemon noosa. This yoghurt is thick and silky in a luxurious sort of way, with a touch of wildflower honey and some lemon curd tucked away on the bottom that adds a hint of tartness. It’s sweet, it’s tangy, and it has 11 grams of protein to help you get stuff done post-snack time.
An Unlikely Cookie
Sprinkle-covered birthday cake-flavored cookies are probably the last things you expected to find on this list, but hear us out. Partake’s cookies are vegan, gluten-free, and non-GMO - and they also don’t have soy, peanuts, or tree nuts. Obviously, these are great for folks with certain dietary restrictions, but they’re also perfect for anyone who wants to eat some sweet, crunchy vanilla-forward snacks (that happen to look fun and festive).
A Super Deluxe Trail Mix
Trail mix is an unimpeachably delicious food. So if someone approached you and asked you to try a fancy, cheffed up trail mix, you might be a little skeptical. But, turns out, if you add ingredients like maple syrup, sea salt, and cinnamon to your mixed nuts and berries, they wind up tasting even better. That’s what Sahale does, and we suggest you pick up a variety pack of their trail mixes for when you need a quick bite that goes above and beyond.
A Snack For Every Mood
As we’ve explained several times on this guide, the best snacks have layers to them. They’re complex and multifaced, which is exactly how we’d describe Boom Chika Pop’s kettle corn. Its sweet/salty combination is a quintessential flavor hack, and the whole bag contains only four ingredients (popcorn, sunflower oil, cane sugar, and sea salt). This kettle corn is also non-GMO, and it’s the ideal thing to mindlessly pick at throughout your hike or work day.