Sweet and Savory

by Liz Robins

To discover what’s trending in nutritious snacks, one need look no further than Natural Products Expo West, the world’s largest natural products trade show. Held in Anaheim, California, every March, it’s the epicenter of all that’s new in natural, from food and beverages to supplements and skincare.

Many of the great-tasting snackables on display this year were as noteworthy for the ingredients they don’t contain (gluten, animal products, refined sugar, GMOs and common allergens) as they were for the desirable ones they do (plant protein, healthy fats, fiber, organic and upcycled ingredients).

Here are some of our new favorites that satisfy the snacking urge, guilt-free.

SAVORY

Siete Grain Free Tortilla Chips & Cashew Queso 

You won’t miss the corn in these crunchy chips made from cassava and coconut flours, ground chia seed, sea salt and avocado oil (healthier than canola or other seed oils traditionally found in chips). Use them to scoop up Siete’s cashew-based queso dips (spicy or mild) for a zesty, dairy-free kick.

Cocoburg Coconut Jerky

Behold the ultimate alternative to carb-dense savory snacks. Upcycled, organic coconut meat (a byproduct of the coconut-water industry) has been marinated and dehydrated to yield vegan jerky that’s healthy, incomparably delicious and easy on the planet. It’s also nonGMO, gluten-free and soy-free—as well as paleo- and keto-friendly. Flavors include Original, Ginger Teriyaki and Chili Lime, with more on the way. 

Nick’s Sticks by Wenzel’s Farm

These tasty, gluten-free sticks (2 per package) come in free-range turkey, chicken and grass-fed beef varieties. They’re easy to grab on the go and free from the stuff you don’t want: antibiotics, hormones, artificial colors, sugar, MSG, nitrates, nitrites and the like. Protein-rich, they’re also paleo-, keto- and Whole30-friendly. 

SWEET

Rx Nut Butters

Deliciously simple ingredients make up six tempting nut butters, available in handy little pouches perfect for squeezing on apple slices, toast, yogurt—or straight into your mouth. Try the Honey Cinnamon Peanut Butter or Maple Almond Butter flavors for something different, and stash a few in your handbag for your next long-haul flight.

Lundberg Organic Thin Stackers

If you love chocolate but could use help with portion control (guilty as charged), reach for a single-serving pack of this organic, gluten-free puffed rice snack topped with a thin layer of fair-trade- certified chocolate. Coconut Sprinkle, Cherry Bliss and Spicy Mocha are among the decadent options. 

ReGrained SuperGrain Bars

Made from upcycled grain left over from the beer-making process, hearty ReGrained snacks provide prebiotic fiber to feed the “good” bacteria in your gut. They’re pleasantly chewy, non-GMO and lower in sugar than a lot of bars, too. Try the Chocolate Coffee Stout for a morning or midday energy boost. 

Lily’s Dark Chocolate Covered Almonds

Stevia lends subtle sweetness to this irresistible, crunchy snack boasting 55 percent cacao and less than one gram of sugar per serving. The healthy fats and fiber (thanks, almonds) will help keep you sated and energized for whatever your day has in store. 

ALLERGY-FRIENDLY

Enjoy Life Chocolate Protein Bites

Dairy-free chocolate, salted pumpkin seeds and sunflower-seed spread are a few of the allergy-friendly ingredients that make up these melt-in-your-mouth, gluten-free bites. They’re free from 14 allergens (peanuts, dairy, eggs, soy and so on), FODMAP-friendly, vegan, non-GMO and kosher.

Free2B Sun Cups Minis

All of Free2B’s snacks are free from 12 common allergens, yet they’re as tasty as many conventional confections. Mini versions of the brand’s chocolate-covered Sun Cups are filled with creamy sunflower seed butter and ideal for a worry-free school lunchbox treat or to safely satisfy your own 3 p.m. craving. 

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