It can be hard to resist munching mindlessly on snacks full of sugar and chemical preservatives, especially while watching suspenseful Homeland scenes. (Raw cookie dough and microwave popcorn anyone?)
Thankfully, lots of healthy brands understand this, and they’re making substitutes for some of the most popular junk-food snacks—from Reese’s Peanut Butter Cups to Nutella and Doritos.
The new snacks use better ingredients like organic dark chocolate and skip gross ones like GMO-packed high-fructose corn syrup. And they still taste delicious. Here are seven junk food faves and their substantially healthier remake… —Lisa Elaine Held
Better: Justin’s Dark Chocolate Peanut Butter Cups
While the calories and fat in these two products are similar, Justin’s cleaner candies are made with organic dark chocolate and actual peanut butter. They also contain less sugar, no scary emulsifiers or preservatives, and are dairy-free for the vegan set.
Better: Food Should Taste Good, Kimchi
It may be an accident, but these kimchi-flavored chips taste a lot like the Nacho Cheese Doritos you ate by the handful in grade school. But their ingredient list is about half the length. And since you’re pretty much eating mostly corn in either case, choosing Food Should Taste Good’s non-GMO product is essential. They also use higher quality oils.
Remember when people thought Nutella was good for you? It’s actually pretty close to eating spoonfuls of sugar, with some vegetable oil to boot. Rawtella, on the other hand, is made with just raw hazelnuts, raw cacao nibs, and coconut sugar, making it a much more wholesome option.
Better: Purely Elizabeth Chocolate Chip Cookie Mix
Where you’re an “eat the dough out of the package” kind of person or just love cookies, we doubt that bleached white flour, artificial flavors, and partially-hydrogenated palm kernel oil are a part of your diet plan. Purely Elizabeth’s Chocolate Chip Cookie Mix is made with organic millet and almond flours, vegan chocolate chips, and coconut palm sugar. They even throw in some chia seeds for a healthy omega boost.
Better: Quinn Popcorn
Microwave popcorn is a must when it comes to Netflix night, but conventional brands come with chemical coatings inside the bag. Quinn Popcorn ditched those chemicals and even made its bags compostable, and its products are made with organic corn, no GMO ingredients, and no preservatives. Plus, they come in culinary flavors like Parmesan & Rosemary and Vermont Maple & Sea Salt. Maybe to be paired with a high-brow French film?
Better: One Lucky Duck Chia Thins
Wheat Thins may not seem like junk food, especially when paired with a delicious wedge of artisanal cheese. But actually, they’re packed with high-fructose corn syrup and chemical preservatives like BHT. Thankfully, One Lucky Duck’s new raw, gluten-free Chia Thins taste suspiciously similar, and they’re made with organic almond flour, flax seeds, chia seeds, and just a touch of organic agave. To be enjoyed with cashew cheese, of course.
Better: Sweetriot 70% Dark Chocolate Quirky Quinoa Crunch
Nestle Crunch comes from nutritionally-lacking crisp rice; Sweetriot’s comes from protein-packed bits of quinoa. It’s also made with organic, fair-trade chocolate, is vegan and gluten-free, and contains one third of the sugar you’ll find in a Nestle. And while Sweetriot’s taste alludes to Nestle’s popular product, it’s high-quality dark chocolate gives it a flavor that’s a million times better.