If you’re looking to cut down on sugar but still want a sweet treat, these healthy sweet snacks are perfect for you! Although refined sugar can be incorporated into a healthy diet (it’s all about balance after all), whole-food sweet snacks can be used as effective tools, or as part of a transition plan, to help you reduce your total intake of refined sugars and build long-term habits. In fact, these naturally sweetened sweet snack ideas can help to satisfy a sweet tooth in a much healthier way while increasing your fiber, protein, and nutrient intake at the same time.
Healthy Sweet Snacks to Satisfy a Sweet Tooth
1. Yogurt + Berries
Whether you enjoy plain yogurt, Greek yogurt, Balkan yogurt, or Skyr, a bowl of yogurt topped with your favorite fruit and a drizzle of honey or maple syrup is a quick and easy sweet combo. Not only can it help to satisfy a sweet tooth, but the yogurt will provide additional protein, which can help to balance your blood sugar and reduce additional cravings.
2. Energy Bites
Made with dried fruits, nuts, and/or seeds, energy bites or energy balls are the one-bite versions of a handful of trail mix. Not only can you make energy bites yourself, like these dark chocolate cherry energy bites or these carrot cake energy bites, but you can easily find pre-made energy bites in most major grocery stores, just be sure to read the label so you know exactly what they are made of.
3. Apple “Cookies”
Apple “cookies” are a fun name for apple slices covered with toppings and, let’s be honest; sometimes encouraging others (or yourself) to eat a healthy snack is all in the sales pitch. Simply slices apples into rings, remove the core, spread with peanut butter, almond butter, or sunflower seed butter, and sprinkle with toppings of your choice.
4. Homemade Muffins
When it comes to baking, homemade is not the same as store-bought. When you bake from scratch, you can control exactly what and how much goes into the recipe, and this is especially true for muffins. Yes, homemade muffins will still contain sugar but you can control the type of sweetener and how much you use, which will allow you to control the overall sugar content. For example, these oatmeal blueberry muffins are made with maple syrup and are packed full of rolled oats for an extra boost of blood sugar-balancing fiber.
5. Chocolate Yogurt Dip + Fruit
Chocolate yogurt? Ya, it’s a thing, and a tasty one at that! By simply combining some plain yogurt with some cocoa powder and a bit of honey or maple syrup, you can easily create a chocolate yogurt dip that can be served with fresh fruit to create one of the best healthy sweet snacks on the list. Not to mention, it’s kid-friendly too!
6. Smoothie Bowl
While smoothies are great, there is something a little extra satisfying about a smoothie bowl when you are looking for a sweet treat. By simply adding less liquid to any smoothie recipe, you can easily create a rich and thick ice-cream-like texture that you can layer with toppings. Whether it’s a green smoothie bowl or a chocolate smoothie bowl, you can create any combo of flavors and top it with extra fruit and crunchy items like granola, nuts, and seeds.
7. Banana Bites
Whether you slice them lengthwise or into rounds, bananas are naturally sweet and high-fiber vehicles for a number of tasty toppings including almond butter, nuts, dried fruits, shredded coconut, or homemade granola. Not to mention, you can also dip them into a bit of melted dark chocolate and freeze them for a deliciously healthy sweet snack that works for adults and kids alike.
8. Homemade Granola Bars
Much like homemade muffins, making your own granola bars is a great way to control the type and the total amount of sugar per serving. Whether it’s a no-bake granola bar or a baked oatmeal bar, by simply making your sweet snacks from scratch you can control the total amount of sugar and quality of your treats.
9. Banana Ice Cream
This one-ingredient sweet snack is so easy to make! Simply peel and freeze bananas, then add them to a blender or food processor and blend until rich, creamy, and smooth. The frozen bananas will create a thick ice cream-like texture that you can eat as is, but once you’ve got the basics down you can create fun and funky flavors like chocolate peanut butter banana nice cream.
10. Fruit Popsicles
Not only can you easily find 100% fruit-based popsicles at most major grocery stores but they are really easy to make at home. Simply blend up your favorite smoothie recipe, pour it into popsicle moulds and freeze. Once frozen, you’ve got yourself a family-friendly healthy sweet snack and the flavor options are endless. From strawberry smoothie popsicles to chocolate fudgesicles, there are so many different ways to satisfy a sweet tooth with popsicles, which are especially satisfying on a hot summer day.
11. Homemade Frozen Yogurt
Got fruit? Got yogurt? Perfect, that’s all you need to make a healthy homemade frozen yogurt! Just add both ingredients to a blender, blend until smooth, pour into a container, cover and transfer it to the freezer. Once frozen, scoop into bowls for a refreshing sweet snack complete with protein, fibre, and healthy fats.
12. Dried Fruit
Whether it’s raisins, dates, figs, dried cranberries, dried apricots, or dehydrated bananas, or strawberries, dried fruit is a concentrated form of natural sugar that is packed full of flavor. Dried fruits can be enjoyed on their own or added to your favorite healthy sweet snacks, such as yogurt or muffins, but just remember that they are a concentrated form of natural sugar, so a little bit of dried fruit goes a long way.
13. Sweet Toast
Although toast is often only considered a savory dish, topped with cheese, eggs, or avocado, toast can be a vehicle for any flavor and, with the right toppings, it makes a delicious sweet snack. Whether it’s a combination of butter, cinnamon, and honey; ricotta cheese, shredded coconut, and chocolate chips; or cream cheese and strawberries, there are so many different ways to turn a humble piece of toast into one of the best healthy sweet snacks in the business.
14. Homemade Turtles
Not only are homemade turtles delicious but they are fun to make and cute to look at! By simply combining a Medjool date with a few pecans and a drizzle of melted chocolate you can easily create a homemade version of the oh-so-popular candy. Plus, they store really well in the freezer, so you can make a batch, freeze them, and you’ll have healthy sweet snacks ready to go whenever you need them.
15. Frozen Grapes
Although can certainly eat them raw, frozen grapes are a fun way to mix things up! Simply add grapes to an airtight container or plastic bag and place them in the freezer. Once frozen, they taste like natural candy! You can certainly use red or green grapes, however, green grapes seem to be the most popular choice for flavour and texture.
16. Popcorn + Cinnamon + Honey
Although it may sound odd, trust me, it works! Simply cook some popcorn on the stovetop with butter (no salt!) and, once cooked, sprinkle with cinnamon, drizzle with honey and give it a cook shake until every piece is well coated. This sweet, warm, and crunchy snack is a family-friendly treat that is perfect for a movie night or an afternoon snack.
17. Sweet Stuffed Sweet Potatoes
Think sweet potatoes are just a side dish? Think again. Essentially the deconstructed version of sweet potato pie, sweet stuffed sweet potatoes are a great way to use up leftover sweet potatoes or a funky way to try a new dessert. Once baked, sweet potatoes become extra sweet and fluffy and can be topped with everything from almond butter to yogurt to granola to chocolate chips and much more!
Although applesauce is a popular snack for children, it works for adults too! Not only can it be consumed on its own but it’s great paired with fun toppings like granola, chopped nuts, or fresh fruit, and can easily be found in single-serving formats, which are perfect for days when you are on the go. If you are buying prepared applesauce, be sure to read the ingredients and opt for unsweetened versions without added sugar.
19. Frozen Yogurt Bark
Just as the name implies, frozen yogurt bark is yogurt that has been frozen to create a bark. It’s very similar to chocolate bark; it’s just cold and made with yogurt! Simply spread yogurt evenly across a parchment paper-lined baking sheet, cover with toppings of your choice, transfer to the freezer until solid, and then break into pieces to serve.
20. Dates + Tahini
Dates, specifically Medjool dates, have a rich caramel-like taste and a soft, chewy texture making them a delicious sweet snack. Although they can certainly be eaten on their own, pairing them with a bit of tahini helps to bring out a lovely combination of sweet and savory flavors, and provide a touch of healthy fats at the same time. Not a fan of tahini? No problem. Peanut butter, almond butter, cashew butter, or any form of nut or seed butter will work just as well.
21. Homemade Cookies
Along with muffins and granola bar, making your own cookies is a great way to control the total amount of sugar and quality of ingredients in your snacks. For instance, these homemade oatmeal peanut butter cookies contain 7 grams of sugar per cookie, while these store-bought oatmeal peanut butter cookies 11 grams of sugar per cookie, along with refined sugar, vegetable oil, and additives. Seriously, just making your own baked goods can make all of the difference.
22. Dark Chocolate
Not all chocolate is created equal and, although this may seem like a small swap, it can make an impact over time. By simply opting for chocolate with a higher percentage of cacao, ideally 70% or more, you can quickly reduce the overall sugar content of this sweet snack. In fact, many chocolate bars and milk chocolate bars are labeled as candy, not chocolate, since they contain more sugar per serving than actual cacao.