5 Healthier Alternatives to Your Favorite Junk Foods

sugar cravings
Photo Credit: Lucas Ottone

March 24, 2021

By Betsy Andrews

Fact: We are a snacking nation. This is even more true now, with COVID-19 keeping us at home and noshing to relieve stress. Chances are, the snacks most of us are reaching for are filled with sugar or high fructose corn syrup, salt and unhealthy oils, and artificial additives. But there are healthier snacks out there! Many use organic ingredients, recycled packaging, and other sustainable practices. Often, these better-for-you treats are made by small companies that need your help right now to stay afloat.

So, whether you’re hankering for chocolate pudding or movie-theater-style popcorn, try one of these healthier snacks.

1. Just the Cheese Crunchy Toasted Cheese

If Cheez-its are your jam, why not try Just the Cheese? This one-ingredient snack food (plus chiles for the jalapeño version) comes from a Wisconsin family that makes their own cheddar, then bakes it into crunchy, savory bites. Yum!

Buy It: Just the Cheese 4-Flavor Sampler Pack, $10

2. St. Benoit Creamery TCHO Chocolate Pot de Creme

If you’re craving chocolate pudding, St. Benoit Creamery TCHO Chocolate Pot de Crème is thick, dark chocolate extravagance in a 3.5 ounce jar. Made with pasture-raised milk and TCHO’s 66% Fair Trade cacao, it’s also certified organic.

Buy It: St. Benoit Creamery TCHO Chocolate Pot de Creme, $3

3. LesserEvil Organic Himalayan Gold Popcorn

Instead of a buttery binge on Netflix night, reach for LesserEvil Organic Himalayan Gold Popcorn. Air-popped, non-GMO kernels coated in coconut oil, Himalayan salt, and botanical extracts have the flavor of movie theater popcorn. And if it’s sweet you’re craving, the Himalayan Sweetness variety is a healthy ringer for caramel corn.

Buy It: LesserEvil Organic Himalayan Gold Popcorn, $20 for 5 bags

4. Base Culture Brownies

Move over, Hostess! Let yourself eat cake with Base Culture Raspberry Brownie. Grain-, dairy-, and preservative-free, this fruity, chocolatey Paleo treat is made with honey, cashew butter, raspberry purée, coconut oil, and other whole ingredients. Well-spiced and spongey, the Nutty Pumpkin Bread is delicious, too. Each bar has 5 grams of protein, so if you’re looking for a snack that will also quell big hunger, this is a good option.

Buy It: Base Culture Raspberry Brownie, $32 for 20 bars

5. Picky Bars Drizzle

Missing your ice cream parlor sundae? Skip the processed toppings with loads of added sugar, and lavish your ice cream with Picky Bars Drizzle. Vegan, organic, and soy- and gluten-free, this luxe dessert sauce oozes with nutty, spicy, warm flavor. Made from sprouted almonds and the antioxidant-rich superfood maca and spiced with cinnamon, vanilla, and a touch of coconut sugar, it’s a decadent dip for fruit and a sensational spread for toast, too.

Buy It: Picky Bars Drizzle, $16