5 sweet-but-healthy natural alternatives to sugary snacks

5 sweet-but-healthy natural alternatives to sugary snacks

Sugar is a tricky one. A lot of the forms it ends up taking are just straight up heinous, but we don't see it as inherently problematic, even though current consumption levels absolutely are. We literally need glucose, a form of sugar, to function, so it has that going for it. So what's the issue? 

Our current diets suffer from a chronic lack of balance.

The modern diet sucks, plain and simple. And our nutritional turmoil can best be characterised by our unhealthy relationship with the sweet stuff. Breakfasts, lunches, dinners, most of them are chock-full of it – it's legitimately hard to get away from, especially considering how easy it is to consume without realising

Actually combating the above requires a complete dietary reset. And while we we're more than happy to suggest tearing the whole thing down, the unsexy truth is that change is that revolution happens in stages.

So instead we’ll be helping you make instant progress by cutting out something a bit more bitesize: the sweet-tooth sating sugary snack. We've rounded up a selection of natural alternatives that we think are way more scrumptious, while having a fraction of the sugar count and bundles of nutritional goodness. 

Dried Hawthorn Berries

Dried hawthorn berries

Hawthorn Berries come from the stunning, thin-branched Hawthorn tree. They’re cherished bits of fruit within the Chinese culinary world, and it’s not hard to see why. Almost functioning as a mini apple in terms of texture shape, and aesthetic, they have a sharp, tart taste that invigorates the palette. 

Hawthorn berries are a key part of traditional sweet and sour sauce, but we’re guessing you won’t want to slurp a cup of that in lieu of an evening bowl of ice cream. Instead, we suggest integrating hawthorn berries into a scintillating red jam, perhaps including other berries to jazz it up a bit.

Spread that over some grainy bread or brown sourdough and you’ve got a nutritious, healthy snack that will see you through the twilight of your day.

Buy Dried Hawthorn Berries (100g)

Dried Black Plum

Pile of dried black plums

The plum is one of the most prolific and varied species in the fruit kingdom; the black plum might just be our favourite of them all. Our dried versions are wonderfully sour and offer a much more challenging taste profile compared to the average one-note sugary snack

In terms of usage, you’re limited only by your imagination (and what you currently have in the cupboard). A no added-sugar, gluten-free muffin is an option that works for any time of the day. Whereas a cereal bar with homemade granola, again without sugar, could serve as the perfect midday pick-up. 

Or you can just eat them as is, treating them as little energizing fruit parcels that sidestep the usual calorie and sugar count issues traditional sickly snacks are built on. 

Buy Dried Black Plum (100g)

Dried Orange Peel

Dried orange peel

Dried Orange Peel has a surprisingly complex taste profile. You'd think you know what to expect from the dehydrated version of the ever-faithful orange; you're forced to think again as soon as the citrusy strip hits your tongue. 

Of course, the star of the show is the acerbic eye-opening pop that hits almost immediately. But there’s also a surprisingly earthy element to its taste that keeps us coming back again and again. 

Not only could it add a wonderfully fruity zap to your pre-bed cuppa, you’ll also get to finish the day knowing that instead of giving into temptation, you chose the healthy option instead. After all, there's no greater sleep aid than feeling smug*.

Buy Dried Orange Peel (500g)

Dried Goji Berries

Dried goji berries

After experiencing a shift in perception during the 90s, Dried Goji Berries were dubbed a ‘superfood’. While it no doubt meets that classification – its nutrient-rich nature certainly qualifies it as super – we think even that superlative doesn’t do it justice.

Packed to the cherry-red brim with antioxidants, minerals and vitamins, goji berries serve as a valuable addition to your balanced diet – but not at expense of taste. None of its wholesome, enriching sweetness was lost during our specialised DaoDi drying process.

In fact, there’s added culinary depth; the sweetness is intensified. These are just as good to snack on raw as they are when mingled into a bowl of porridge or yoghurt, and will help satisfy those quick fix sweet snack urges.

Buy Goji berries (100g)

Dried Jujube Dates (Pitted & Sliced)

Pitted and sliced jujube dates

The Jujube Date has a long, storied, delicious history that spans over 4000 years. Native to China, it first cropped up in the middle and lower reaches of the Yellow River. Since then it’s been propagated in various parts of the world, finding particular success in the US. 

We treasure the jujube date for its sour-sweet intensity, a vibrant yin-yang battle of flavours that only seems to increase when snacked on in its dried form. As with goji berries, these nutrient-dense fruits are fantastic straight out of the bag, and don’t require any preparation

If you are going to cook with them, make sure to re-hydrate before by soaking them in water first – and don't forget to share your delicious creation by adding it to a review on the product page! And don't forget we also have two other delicious versions: dried, non-pitted dates and big jujube dates

Buy Dried Jujube Dates (100g)

There you have it – a selection of healthy, fruity alternatives to sugary snacks. For more in-depth dives into how to utilise these naturally wonderful ingredients, check out our blog page.

*Not scientifically backed, but definitely true nonetheless

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