Top 5 Healthy Office Snacks That Taste Sweet But Are Low In Sugar
"Three thirtyitis" is an actual thing! Your concentration drops, usually around the 3.30 pm mark in the afternoon, and you start craving sugar. There are a few reasons behind it such as low blood glucose levels, from not eating good quality food during the day (or just not eating at all). Or it can happen as a subconscious excuse to procrastinate due to mental exhaustion. All you feel like having is a sweet treat and if you give in to the temptation, you will end up on a sugar high followed by a huge energy slump and more cravings. Not to mention it will hinder any fat loss efforts.
So clearly, candy bars and lollies are out. What about protein balls, bliss balls and other healthy snacks? Most snack balls are commonly made from dates, nuts, coconut and other natural ingredients. However, did you know that one date has more than one teaspoon of sugar? Yes, it’s a natural sugar and yes, dates contain fibre, vitamins and minerals, but if you are trying to get leaner then sugar is just sugar when it comes to insulin response and fat loss. Combine dates with nuts and honey and voilà, you just ate an equivalent of a piece of cake when it comes to calorie, sugar and fat content. The situation is about the same with many ‘clean’ protein and snack bars. They are date-based and contain more sugar-derived energy than you need unless you are a marathon runner in training.
Don’t worry we’ve researched for you and found the top five afternoon snacks that taste sweet but won’t send you on a sugar roller coaster.
Almond Flour Berry Muffin
Blueberry muffin with your afternoon coffee… so tempting. A regular blueberry muffin has around 350 kcal, 55g of carbs and around 30g sugar!!! That’s a total disaster when it comes to the sugar content. But, you can have your cake and eat it too... quite literally. Our almond flour blueberry muffin contains only about 161 kcal and 7g carbs of which 4g is sugar. It’s a win-win situation
Recipe (makes 4-6):
- 1 cup almond meal
- 2 eggs
- Stevia (again, sweeten to your liking)
- 1 teaspoon cinnamon
- ¼ teaspoon baking soda
- ½ teaspoon apple cider vinegar
- 1 cup berries (optional)
- Combine almond flour, baking soda, stevia and cinnamon in a bowl
- In a separate bowl, combine the eggs and vinegar
- Stir the dry ingredients into the wet ingredients (time to add berries if you wish), mixing until combined
- Scoop into muffin cups and bake for 15min, or until slightly browned around the edges
- Let them cool and enjoy!
Quark mini – cakes
Quark is an Eastern European soft cheese with a mild tangy taste that has a similar texture as cream cheese (depending on a brand) and nutritional values of cottage cheese! How good is that! It’s very low in lactose so it won’t irritate your stomach. Quark can be added to sweet and savoury recipes and it’s commonly used to make yummy cheesecakes. You can buy it cheaply in Aldi and if you want to be more fancy get the Blue Bay European Quark or other brands available in Harris Farm and specialty stores. We use a tiny bit of lupin flour in our baked treats because it’s high in protein and fibre, low in fat and carbs and free of gluten.
These simple and quick mini cakes will have around 60 kcal each, less than 1g fat, less than 4g carbs and nearly 10g protein.
Recipe for 3 mini cakes:
- 200g quark from Aldi
- 2 egg whites
- 2 teaspoons of lupin flour
- Stevia (as much or as little as you taste buds like)
Beat the quark, egg whites, stevia and flour until smooth. Pour in cupcake forms and bake on 180 Celsius for 20min. Let it cool, then refrigerate.
For different flavours, you can blend in some berries or raw cacao.
Dark chocolate bark
Dark chocolate is a great source of antioxidants and contains minerals such as magnesium, iron, zinc and selenium just to name few. Most people find it too bitter though and so we came up with an idea for you to make it taste better without adding sugar or having to purchase fancy (and often expensive) versions. Each piece will contain roughly 170 kcal, 2.6g carb, 0.2g sugar, 16g fat, 3.2 g protein,
- 100g dark chocolate (100% cocoa)
- 1 tsp butter or ghee
- 1 handful of crushed raw mixed nuts (around 38-30g)
- 1 tbsp stevia
- Pinch of cinnamon
- Line a baking tray or a large plate with aluminium foil.
- Melt the chocolate in microwave or on the stove (don’t burn it! Keep stirring it) then add melted butter/ghee and stevia and stir throughout.
- Pour over the tray or plate and distribute evenly.
- Sprinkle with nuts and cinnamon.
- Let it cool in the fridge then break into 5 pieces.
If your self-control isn’t that great and you’d find it hard to stick to one piece of the chocolate bark, we have a solution for you! Chocolate dipped strawberries!!! They are low in calories and sugar and high in fibre and vitamins. One medium strawberry has 12 calories, 2.8g carb and 1.7g sugar. Have three pieces for your snack! For the dipping sauce use the chocolate recipe above, dip only half of each strawberry, let it cool in the fridge then pack into your lunchbox.
If you can’t be bothered making your own, there are always Chief Bars! They are low in sugar and carbs and have the added benefit or collagen, which is double to triple the amount comparing to other collagen bars on the market. Each bar contains 206-223 calories, around 2g of sugar, 11g of collagen and 4g of fibre (values vary per bar slightly).