It kicks in around 3 p.m. It’s the middle of the afternoon and your blood sugar is starting to dip. You had your well-balanced lunch, but that was a few hours ago. Though you’re not exactly hungry, you’re definitely in the mood for a nosh. More specifically, you’re craving something sweet.
The midday sweet tooth is a phenomenon experienced by everyone (right?) and must be handled delicately. Sure, you could run down to Starbucks and pick up a cookie. But the health nut inside of you knows there’s got to be a better option. And she’s right.
Choose to forgo the sugar rush and try one of these healthy snacks that are sure to satisfy your sweet tooth.
Chia Seed Pudding
Chia seeds are a snacking powerhouse. They contain fiber, protein, and a number of other essential minerals. More importantly, they can easily be turned into a sweet treat. Soak two tablespoons of the seeds in a cup of almond milk for at least 10 minutes and store it in the fridge. When the craving hits, reach for this chia pudding mixture and sprinkle with a dash of cinnamon.
Almond Butter and Apples
The key to smart snacking is getting a balance of protein and fiber. The combination of all-natural nut butter that’s sweetened with honey and juicy apple slices gets that ratio just right.
If you need a little more sweetness, top it off with an additional drizzle of honey or sprinkling of coconut shavings. Stash Justin’s Almond Butter Squeeze Packs ($12 for a 10-pack) in your desk to be prepared for your next snack attack.
Greek yogurt has the protein part going for it, but on its own, it can be rather tart. Add a few of your favorite fruits to make it sweet tooth–satisfying.
Fage’s Total 0% Greek Yogurt ($1) makes enjoying the classic fruit-yogurt combo even easier because they pack a variety of fruits in a sealed portion of their single-serving cups. Low-calorie, fat-free, sweet, and convenient—all the makings of a perfect midday snack.
Dark Chocolate Rice Cakes
One of the toughest parts about selecting a sweet snack is finding one that’s not chemically processed and overloaded with sugar. Element took the guesswork out of that with their Organic Dark Chocolate Cakes ($28 for a box of sixteen). They’re topped with premium Italian chocolate or fruit frosting (flavors include Sweet Vanilla Orange, Dark Chocolate, and Strawberry ‘N’ Cream). And you won’t find any preservatives, high-fructose corn syrup, trans fats, or gluten lurking in the label.
Good, old-fashioned trail mix never fails. Make it yourself to control the proportions of dried fruits, nuts, and seeds in your mix. You can also add dark chocolate or yogurt chips to bump up the sweetness level. Even if you’re not prepared to whip up your own batch, you can easily find this Berry Bounty Trail Mix ($4) by 365 at your local Whole Foods.
Then again, sometimes you just want a cookie. Make it a gluten-free, artificial sweetener-free, vegetarian, Non-GMO cookie you can indulge with minimal guilt. Olly Nutrition's Protein Bar Cookies ($8 for a 4-pack) come in all of your typical cookie varieties, but you get 12 grams of protein along with your chocolate chip, Birthday Cake, or peanut butter goodness.