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You just hit that mid-afternoon slump and you’re craving something sweet. It may be tempting to make a beeline for the office vending machine, but you know a sugary candy bar will just make you crash again later. Instead, reach for one of these tasty, naturally sweet snacks that are satisfying and have some redeeming nutritional value.
BarkTHINS Dark Chocolate Pumpkin Seeds
Pumpkin seeds may not be the first thing that comes to mind when you’re craving a sweet snack, but these dark chocolate-covered pumpkin seeds have the perfect mix of salty and sweet to smash those cravings, along with 7 grams of protein and 15 percent of your recommended daily iron intake per serving.
Pascha Organic Dark Chocolate
Dark chocolate is a great sweet snack to keep on hand — unlike milk chocolate, dark chocolate retains the healthy flavanol epicatechin during the manufacturing process. Look for a dark chocolate that’s high in cacao, like Pascha Organic Dark Chocolate with 85 percent cacao that’s sweetened with both organic cane sugar and vanilla bean.
Peanut Butter & Chocolate Popcorn
You don’t have to rely on store-bought snacks to get a dose of healthy sweetness. Make your own sweet snack by dusting air-popped popcorn with some unsweetened cocoa powder and drizzling a bit of melted all-natural peanut butter.
Frozen Chocolate Bananas
Looking for something a little more decadent? Frozen chocolate bananas can satisfy that sweet craving and add some energizing carbs to your day. Simply cut a banana in half, dip it in melted dark chocolate, place it on parchment paper, and freeze until it’s firm. (Or just grab some Dole Dark Chocolate Banana Dippers.)
KIND Blueberry Pecan Bars
KIND has a reputation as one of the best and tastiest nutrition bars in the industry. One of our favorites: the Blueberry Pecan Bars, which combine antioxidant-rich blueberries with the monounsaturated and polyunsaturated fatty acids in pecans.
Cottage Cheese and Fresh Peaches
Cottage cheese is usually more of a salty snack, but add some fresh-cut peaches and you have a mid-afternoon sweet treat. Plus, a half-cup of Organic Valley small-curd cottage cheese has 14 grams of protein.
YQ by Yoplait Yogurt
Fruit-filled yogurts are usually loaded with sugar, but YQ by Yoplait is different — each container has 15 grams of protein and only 9 grams of sugar. Choose from flavors like mango, strawberry, peach, and vanilla, or opt for the plain version (which only has 1 gram of sugar per serving).
Cranberry Almond Energy Bites
This Cranberry Almond Energy Bite recipe proves that good things come in small packages. Each 105-calorie bite offers fiber from chia seeds, flax seeds, and oats — and the naturally sweet flavor comes from cranberries and honey.
Dessert hummus replaces the tahini, garlic, and lemon in traditional hummus with ingredients like cinnamon, mint, and chocolate to create a decadent snack that still offers the usual fiber and protein from chickpeas. Opt for store-bought versions in flavors like brownie batter or snickerdoodle, or make your own.
Frozen Fruit Popsicles
Fruit really is nature’s dessert. Harness the natural sugar in fruits like strawberries, blueberries, and kiwi with homemade frozen fruit popsicles. For a creamier frozen treat, mix in coconut milk or pureed banana.