Tuesday, May 21, 2024

The Best Healthy Snacks of 2024, According to BA Editors

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As people who cook, eat, and write about food for a living, we know a thing or two about the best healthy snacks—as nebulous as the term “healthy” may be. Because of all of that aforementioned work-related eating, we’re constantly on the lookout for little treats between meals that also feel satiating and nutrient-rich. Still, we want something more exciting than an apple or a hard-boiled egg and something that feels a little less unhinged than spooning peanut butter or hummus straight out of the container (though we’ve been known to engage in these snacking habits too).

The single most important factor—for us—in a healthy snack is that it simply has to taste good. Beyond that, it’s hard to apply a one-size-fits-all rubric, because sometimes what you want is a meat stick, and other times you want some really good dried fruit. In general, we try to look for things that don’t have a ton of added sugar or artificial sweeteners, and that don’t contain a plethora of stabilizers and protein powders.

We also look for snacks that contain protein from sources like nuts, beans, and meat, as well as healthy fats and good-for-you carbs. Because the point here isn’t weight loss, it’s mixing some nutritious stuff into our diets between making triple-chocolate brownies and BA’s best lasagna.

Could you make your own healthy snacks, like these oven-roasted chickpeas? Yes. But sometimes you just want a quick bite that requires absolutely no effort. All of the snacks on this list are store-bought, and since the market for healthy snacks is constantly growing, we’ll be trying all the newest ones and updating this list on a monthly basis. Read on to see our all-time favorites, as well as the best healthy snacks we’ve tried this spring, or scroll down to see our all-time favorites

Spring Favorites

Unreal Chocolate Covered Prezels

Okay, yes, these are “just”chocolate covered pretzels. But they’re really, really good chocolate covered pretzels. Like, eat the entire bag in a single sitting without realizing it good. What makes Unreal’s chocolate covered pretzels better than every other version of this snack I’ve ever tried? They’re made with perfectly crisp, lightly-salted grain-free mini pretzels, and they’re covered in actual fair-trade chocolate rather than some kind of chalky chocolate-flavored candy coating. They come in milk and dark chocolate varieties, and both are excellent—though lately I’ve been keeping a bag of the dark chocolate ones stashed in my tote bag for snacking emergencies.—Carina Finn

Unreal Dark Chocolate Covered Pretzels

Unreal Milk Chocolate Covered Pretzels

Ashapops

These popped water lily seeds are vegan, gluten- and corn-free, and non-GMO, but it’s their fluffy yet crunchy texture—somewhere between popcorn and cheese puffs—that keeps me coming back for that next handful. To make this super-snack, the seeds from the Indian water lily plant Euryale Ferox are baked and then seasoned with flavorings like Himalayan pink salt to turmeric garlic to chili. The nostalgia-inducing vegan cheese flavor reminds me of the Pirate’s Booty aged white cheddar puffs I used to find in my lunchbox. And while the price can be steep ($32.99 for a 6-pack of Himalayan pink salt), the mother-son duo behind the brand dry-roasts the seeds in small batches, and they don’t skimp on quality ingredients.—Kate Kassin

AshaPops Chili-Lime Popped Water Lily Seeds, Pack of 12

Sonoma Pizza Crisps

You know when you get the perfect bite of pizza, the one that’s mostly crispy, slightly-charred cheese with a layer of sauce still clinging to it? Opening a bag of Sonoma Pizza Crisps is like getting to eat that bite over and over again. These crisp, triangle-shaped snacks are pretty much straight cheese, with natural flavorings that make it taste almost alarmingly like actual pizza. My favorite is the pepperoni flavor, but the tomato basil is a close second. If red sauce Italian food is your love language, you’ll want to stock up on these.—Carina Finn

Sonoma Creamery Pizza Crisps, Pepperoni

Sonoma Creamery Pizza Crisps, Tomato Basil, 2-Pack

RIND Snacks

After lunch, I immediately reach for something sweet and lately I’ve been reaching for RIND’s dried fruit snacks. RIND leaves on the fruit peel to keep the fiber, vitamins, and antioxidants intact, and to create less food waste. I love the added chew, and the fact that organic fruit is the only ingredient. My go-to is the tropical mix, which has pineapple, bittersweet orange, and tangy kiwi. If I close my eyes and eat a bag, I can almost convince myself I’m on a beach vacation.

RIND Snacks Tropical Blend, 3-Pack

RIND Snacks Orange Chips, 3-Pack

All-Time Favorites

West-Bourne

There’s a lot to love about the sustainability-focused pantry goods from West-Bourne, but snacks are where the brand truly shines. The Omakase Berry Butter takes toast or yogurt to a luxurious place, and West-Bourne’s fully compostable, plant-based snack mixes like the Togarashi Crunch are savory, sweet, and umami-packed. We also can’t wait to try the Casa Bosques Pistachio Dukkah Chocolate Bar, which the brand just launched in collaboration with artisanal chocolatier Casa Bosques.

West~Bourne Better Together Bundle

Casa Bosques Pistachio Dukkah Chocolate Bar (2-Pack)

Hu Kitchen

No nighttime routine is complete without a few squares of dark chocolate, and Hu’s fair-trade organic dark chocolate bars are among the best you can get. We love the dark chocolate variety pack, which offers a sampling of flavors like almond butter and puffed quinoa and crunchy mint. The cashew butter-filled chocolate bar is one of our favorites for a quick midday pick-me-up. And don’t miss the hunks, a.k.a. almonds and cashews dipped in dark chocolate, and gems, gumdrop-shaped chocolate chunks that are, well, gems.

Hu Dark Chocolate Variety Pack

Hu Cashew Butter + Raspberry Dark Chocolate Bars, 6-Pack

Dark Chocolate Hunks Variety Pack

Hu Dark Chocolate Gems 3-Pack

Snow Days

Frozen pizza rolls are a peak comfort food. They also live in that wonderful gray area between a lunch-y thing and a snack-y thing. Snow Days has managed to preserve all of the salty, gooey deliciousness of the pizza rolls of your youth in a more nutritious package. The rolls are made with well-sourced ingredients like grass-fed mozzarella cheese and organic tomato sauce, and crust is made from cassava, which makes them ideal for those who might need to follow a grain-free or gluten-free diet.

Snowdays Cheese Pizza Bites

Snow Days Buffalo Chicken Pizza Bites

Ella’s Flats

Ella’s Flats rank high on our crackers hall of fame. The small family-owned brand makes savory crisps just from seeds, from sunflower to pumpkin to flax, and spices like cumin and caraway. Ella’s Flats are sturdy enough to dip into hummus or work as a bread substitute for avocado toast, yet they’re light enough to eat on their own for a protein-and-fiber-packed snack. We also love the Everything or Spicy varieties crumbled into a salad or the Sesame or Hemp ones into a yogurt bowl for an added crunch.

Ella’s Flats Sesame All Seed Savory Crisps, 3-Pack

Ella’s Flats Variety All Seed Savory Crisps, 4-Pack

Ella’s Flats Variety All Seed Savory Crisps Snack Packs

Chomps

If you told us a few years ago that everyone would be walking around eating beef jerky sticks, we’d might not have believed you. But the desire for high-protein, low-sugar, and keto- and paleo-friendly foods has led to an influx of packaged snacks in this category. Chomps offers our current favorite meat sticks in beef, turkey, and venison. These sticks contain no sugar and no fillers, and they also come in a half-size option that can fit in your pocket. This is a satisfyingly savory snack that’s great for when you need to each something filling on the go.

Chomps Variety Trial Pack

Chomps Grass Fed Original Beef Jerky Snack Sticks

Chomps Snack Size Original Turkey Jerky Meat Snack Sticks

Cheerie Lane

This is not the fake-butter-covered, so-salty-you-feel-it-for-days microwaved popcorn of your youth. Cheerie Lane’s popcorn pods contain minimal packaging and come in an adorable corn shape. The pods pop on the stovetop quickly and evenly and come in flavors like classic butter as well as rosemary garlic and tomato basil. For serious popcorn lovers, Cheerie Lane also offers a popcorn of the month club that features exciting new flavors.

Cheerie Lane Harvest Variety Pack

Cheerie Lane Butter & Variety Duo

Cheerie Lane Popcorn of the Month Club

Solely

If you miss the fruit snacks of your elementary school days, you’ll love Solely’s fruit gummies, which are filled with nothing but whole organic fruit and vitamin C. The mango-and-guava or mango-and-orange single-serving packs are perfect to toss in your bag for when that mid-afternoon sweet craving hits. If dried fruit is more your style, we love the brand’s fruit jerky, which packs a whole mango, banana, or pineapple into a single stick, as well as its dried fruit pouches (both of which also come drizzled with 100% cacao if that’s more your style).

Solely Organic Mango and Orange Whole Fruit Gummies

Solely Organic Mango Fruit Jerky

Solely Organic Pineapple Fruit Jerky



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