If you’ve ever been able to walk in and out of a Trader Joe’s without buying at least one impromptu snack, you’re a stronger person than I am. There are so many good things to grab that even if I’ve already got plenty of snacks in the pantry at home, I inevitably pick one up to try when I am there. My snacks of choice tend to lean sweet due to an inborn sweet tooth. However, I know I won’t feel my best if I munch on a candy bar or something else that’s super high in sugar in the middle of the day. So I am always looking for low-sugar choices that aren’t artificial and also taste great. Luckily, Trader Joe’s has plenty of options — here are five of my favorite:
1. Banana Chips
The selection of dried fruit at Trader Joe’s is overwhelmingly vast but it’s this underrated bag that you should focus your attention on. These banana chips are made from fresh bananas that are sliced and lightly fried in coconut oil. A serving comes in at just 3 grams of sugar and yet the chips taste perfectly crunchy and sweet. Try crushing them up and sprinkling them over plain yogurt or dipping them into peanut or almond butter.
2. Simply Nutty Bars
Trader Joe’s offers three varieties of Simply Nutty Bars: Dark Chocolate, Nuts and Sea Salt; Dark Chocolate, Peanut & Almond; and Dark Chocolate, Walnut, Peanut, Fig & Date. What they have in common, clearly, is nuts and dark chocolate. While most snack bars like these tend to be high in sugar, one Simply Nutty Bar only contains 5 grams. They’re a bit like trail mix in bar form and are the perfect mid-afternoon pick-me-up.
3. Organic Reduced Sugar Strawberry Preserves
There’s chunks of real strawberries inside Trader Joe’s Strawberry Preserves, rather than strawberry juice or purée, so it really does taste more like fruit and less like sugar. While cane sugar is added, it’s added with a light hand so a serving only contains 6 grams of sugar. This is a solid choice to reach for when you want something sweet to swipe on a piece of toast or swirl into plain yogurt.
4. Fair Trade Organic Belgian Dark Chocolate Bar
Yes, chocolate can be a low-sugar choice if you select an extra dark bar like this one. It is 72% cacao, which means it’s very deep, dark, and rich-tasting. This also means it contains less sugar than other chocolate bars, so a serving — about a 1 ounce square — contains just 7 grams of sugar. It’s wise to keep this bar on hand when a chocolate craving hits.
5. Chèvre with Honey
Cheese isn’t one of the first things you think of when you’re looking for a sweet snack but this honey-sweetened goat cheese from Trader Joe’s probably should be. Tangy, soft goat cheese is mixed with honey to create something pretty special that only contains 3 grams of sugar per serving. Try swiping a bit on apple slices or pairing it with crackers.