Whether you’re team Snickers or team Milky Way, we all have our moments when a candy bar craving strikes. Maybe it’s when a commercial pops up on TV or you’re at the movies or the airport. While enjoying your favorite candy bar every now and then is harmless, if you get frequent cravings, it’s not a bad idea to try to reach for something a bit more wholesome every now and then. Here are a few sweet things I find always help kick my own craving:
1. A mug of hot cocoa.
I love to make myself a mug of hot cocoa when I am craving something sweet and chocolaty. I don’t reach for the mix, however, which is a little too sugary. Instead, I heat a mug of dairy or non-dairy milk (like almond or oat) then stir in a generous tablespoon of unsweetened cocoa powder. For a touch of sweetness, a drizzle of honey or maple syrup is usually sufficient and a sprinkle of ground cinnamon on top makes it feel special.
2. A sprinkle of cacao nibs.
If you haven’t already gotten to know cacao nibs, prepare to be amazed. Cacao nibs are simply roasted bits of cacao — or cocoa — beans. They have intense chocolate flavor without the added sugar and also deliver a great amount of crunch. You can snack on them straight out of the bag but I especially love to sprinkle them on things like yogurt and sliced fresh fruit like strawberries or bananas for texture and deep chocolate flavor.
3. A handful of trail mix.
The variety of trail mixes that are available at grocery stores never ceases to amaze me but if you grab a bag that’s got some chocolate involved, it’s an easy alternative to a candy bar. Since trail mix is also full of nuts and dried fruit, it delivers the texture and sweetness of many of your favorite candy bars. Snack on a handful and you’re sure to feel satisfied.
4. A healthyish granola bar.
Okay, so a lot of granola bars are basically candy bars in disguise (looking at you Kudos bars of the ‘90s) but there are definitely enough out there that lean away from dessert and more toward wholesome snack. Grab one with a short ingredient list and not tons of sugar — KIND and Purely Elizabeth are two such brands.
5. A square of dark chocolate.
Perhaps the closest thing to a candy bar is plain and simple chocolate itself. Dark chocolate, with a percentage of cacao that’s 70% or higher, boosts antioxidant properties and is much lower in sugar than milk chocolate or candy bars. Since it’s so rich-tasting, I also find just a square satisfies perfectly.