We’ve got scores of recipes for healthyish snacks, from nutty granola bars to crispy roasted chickpeas. But if you’re seeking out healthy snacks to buy rather than make, allow our editors to give some impassioned recommendations. We reach for these low-sugar cookies, seedy crackers loaded with healthy fats, and actually good plant-based protein bars when we need an afternoon nosh or a pre-workout bite. Registered dietitians, we aren’t—but we do know a thing or two when it comes to snacking.
Since I moved to NYC from Taiwan, I’ve been unable to find one of my favorite fruits—wax apples. When ripe, they’re crunchy, sweet-tart, and refreshing. But recently I stumbled upon them in dried form. Biting into Yun Hai’s dried slices, I immediately noticed the characteristic green taste, like the crispness of spring, followed by a condensed sweetness and satisfying chewy texture. Brooklyn-based Yun Hai sources wax apples from Taiwanese farmers along with pearl guava, golden diamond pineapple, and Irwin mango. For a taste of the best Taiwan, with its subtropical climate, has to offer, try the variety pack. —Jessie YuChen, contributor
North Sea Fish snacks were one of the few after-school nibbles my parents allowed in our house that wasn’t fruit. To my mom and dad, the seafood-based snack was lighter, healthier, and much better for the brain than cookies, potato chips, or pretzels. I was all too happy to eat them, because these incredibly chewy snacks had the texture of soft sticks of beef jerky with just a hint of fish flavor. Their subtle saltiness almost convinced me that they were the type of junky store-bought snacks I craved, despite the fact that the first listed ingredient is actual fish. —Gigi Wong
Made from a core triumvirate of tasty ingredients—cocoa, raw honey, and unrefined coconut oil—Honey Mama chocolate truffle bars are a textural masterpiece. They contain no refined sugar, are paleo- and keto-friendly, and are technically raw. Rich and buttery, every bite is like the middle piece of a brownie batch. They’re also a little chewy like fudge, which I expect we can thank drippy-drizzly honey for. —Ali Francis, staff writer
I’ve tried a lot of healthyish snacks, and let’s be honest, they usually aren’t as good as their added-sugar-and-saturated-fat-filled counterparts. So I wasn’t expecting these low-carb cookies to be delicious—but their rich, nutty flavor and delicate, melt-in-your-mouth texture has me hooked. What, exactly, makes them better for you? The base of these cookies consists of a mixture of 100% organic whole grain flour fortified with Hi-Maize, a fiber-packed resistant starch that’s made from corn. The sweetener is Whey Low, a low-glycemic blend of natural sugars, including fructose (fruit sugar) and lactose (milk sugar). While I don’t know if a “healthy cookie” actually exists, I can vouch that Jane Bakes will certainly satisfy your sweet tooth. —Tiffany Hopkins, commerce writer
The Perfect Bar’s name carries not one single shred of irony. The refrigerated protein bar comes in 12 flavors (some seasonal), but I only need one: Dark Chocolate Chip Peanut Butter With Sea Salt. The peanut butter is smooth and creamy, the texture that of thick cookie dough. Tiny chocolate chip clusters rest on the surface. Not only are they certified organic, Non-GMO Project Verified, gluten-free, and kosher, but their ingredient list also contains a powdered blend of flaxseed, rose hip, tomato, alfalfa, celery, kelp, dulse, carrot, orange, apple, and spinach. Amazingly, you can’t taste a hint of any of these ingredients, but these protein snacks are still vitamin- and mineral-dense and contain 20 superfoods. Lately, I’ve added them to my morning routine: I get up at 5 a.m. I make coffee, fill my water bottle, and grab a bar from the fridge. Even without eating anything else for breakfast, I’m full and happy for hours, thanks to 15 grams of protein and 4 grams of fiber. —Nikki Campo, contributor
If you haven’t tried Mary’s Gone Crackers’s Super Seed line, allow me to introduce you to one of my favorite healthy snacks to buy in bulk. Each flavor (and there are six) features a hearty blend of seeds that are added to the mix of flax and sesame used in their “Original” crackers. The result is a fiber-rich and high-protein salty snack option that was a staple in my mom’s cupboard when I was growing up and fueled me through many a long study session during my college years. Now, they’re my go-to when I want something carby and crunchy that’s not tortilla chips. Dip them in hummus, spread them with cheese, or enjoy straight from the box—they’ve got enough flavor and texture going on that they’re perfectly addictive on their own. —Alaina Chou, commerce producer
When I was about 30 weeks pregnant, I ordered six pounds of Rancho Meladuco Medjool dates and diligently ate two a day. They’re ridiculously plump and sticky-sweet, like the best dark brown sugar, and their texture is so soft and luscious, it’s almost fudgy. Dates this good are meant to be savored slowly and devoured on their own, but occasionally I’ll make what contributor Carla Lalli Music calls an energy sandwich, removing the date pit and stuffing the cavity with peanut butter (or drippy tahini plus chocolate chips if I’m feeling indulgent). —Sarah Jampel, contributor
I can’t get enough of this cheesy popcorn for a few reasons. As far as crunchy snacks go, it’s relatively high in fiber—and it’s simply the best-tasting white cheddar popcorn I’ve had. While other white cheddar popcorn brands can run bland or have a strong artificial cheese taste, Boomchickapop’s kernels have the pronounced flavor of real cheese that’s pleasantly tangy and even a little creamy. Think: Cheetos meet salt-and-vinegar. This stuff is incredible, and I’d gladly eat it every day. —T.H.
Seaweed is an amazing vegetable that has a long history in traditional cuisines from around the world, and it’s now finding its way into everything from hot sauce to burgers. But the simply seasoned and crisp dried sheets from Yamamotoyama have always been my preferred way to enjoy it. They’re sweet, salty, and pleasantly remind me of the beach. They have a variety of micronutrients, ranging from antioxidants like vitamin A to thyroid-supporting iodine—an excellent source if you’ve stopped using iodized salt. A single serving is only 10 calories, but if you’re anything like me, polishing off the whole 8-serving jar in one sitting might be a routine occurrence. —Ryan Harrington, research director
We all know about almond butter and nut butters, but ever heard of their lesser-known cousin granola butter? I start each morning with two scoops of birthday-cake-flavored granola butter from Oat Haus straight to the gob (before I’ve even ground my coffee beans). Of course, you could also spread it on toast or rice cakes, dollop a bit on ice cream, or use it to dunk apples. But I prefer a concentrated hit. Deeply vanilla-y and laced with colorful sprinkles, it tastes almost identical to funfetti cake batter, only it’s made with wholesome ingredients such as oats, olive oil, and maple syrup. At 7 a.m., you won’t know the difference. —A.F.