No season is better served with snacks than summer. It’s a time of great movement and activity, so refreshments must always be on hand. I’m not talking about a platter of hors d’oeuvres or charcuterie, but those little pocket-sized morsels of goodness that sustain you between meals. Several brands have sprouted up in recent years with a new-found dedication to making healthy treats. Gone are the preservatives, chemicals, and corn syrups of yesteryear. Modern munchies have organic ingredients—often so few that you can count on one hand—and are void of the complex, genetically engineered foodstuffs commonly found in the convenience store snack aisle.
We rounded up a handful of brands that are redefining snacking in the 21st century. Below are healthy food options that are legitimately delicious, because we’ve noshed on them ourselves, and they’ll keep your friends and family smiling as you scoot through summer.
Crispy Green Freeze Dried Fruit Snacks
With a full serving of fruit in every easy to tote bag, these brilliantly flavored, 100% fruit treats are the perfect summer snack. The nut-free, fat-free, and cholesterol-free fruit snacks contain only 55 calories per serving and come in flavors like crispy apple, mango, asian pear, banana, cantaloupe, pineapple, and tangerine. It’s real fruit and really tasty.
Traditional candy fare is chock full of hydrogenated oil, GMOs, and corn syrup. Luckily, Unreal Candy is on an “unjunking” crusade, offering up alternatives to M&Ms, Snickers, and Reese’s Peanut Butter Cups without the nasty ingredients, but all that craveable flavor. Their candy has less calories and sugar than the popular brands, and contains no more sugar than a serving of fresh fruit. You can find them in leading retailers like Target and CVS, as well as local health food stores. And this summer you’ll find them in flashy new packaging!
Down to Earth Trail Mix
Trail mix is a classic summer snack. Down to Earth removed the M&Ms and jacked up the nutrition factor by adding organic ingredients like dried blueberries, coconut, pumpkin seeds, and sea salt. Don’t worry, the blend includes raisins and supplements your chocolate fix with dark chocolate chunks. Just as delicious as the trail mix of old, and a lot better for you.
This creamy avocado spread tastes better than restaurant guac, and contains no chemicals or preservatives like the usual of tub of “mostly avocado” grocery store guacamole. To boot, the guacamole has a freezer life of three months! Wholly Guacamole is available in eight savory flavors like ranch, spicy, and homestyle. The 100-calorie snack packs make this dip the perfect on-the-go summer snack.
Dark Chocolate and Sea Salt Kind Bars
A DIR favorite, these Kind bars are like kryptonite for our editor Brandi. Let’s face it, anything with chocolate and sea salt is guaranteed to be to die for, and when paired with crunchy nuts and a ton of fiber, this low-calorie treat is hard to pass up. The 40g serving size is only slightly less than your average candy bar, and it contains no trans fat or cholesterol. There’s something for everyone in the newer Nuts & Spices line.
Angie’s Boom Chicka Pop
Popcorn is not the most glamorous snack these days, but if you throw it down at a party or family gathering, you know it’s going to be scarfed. Angie’s Boom Chicka Pop is the healthiest popcorn around, and it might be the tastiest, too. With ingredients you can count on one hand—popcorn, sunflower oil, and sea salt—and only 35 calories per cup, you’re gonna boomchicka snack all summer long.
Luna Carrot Cake Bar
Simply put, this is dessert in a wrapper. These Luna bars combing the decadence of carrot cake with natural and healthy ingredients. The bar is 70 percent organic and contains carrots, cinnamon, white soy chips, raisins, and vanilla icing. There are no artificial or genetically engineered ingredients, no hydrogenated oils, and it’s a great source of protein and fiber.
Images via pitchengine.com, hipfoodiemom.com, facebook.com, luna.com, mngirlinla.com, outsideonline.com, and adrianamler.com
July 3rd, 2013