There are a lot of “healthy” snacks out there on the market now, but not all of them are actually that good for you, nor are they all satisfying or worth the sticker price. There is nothing worse than trying to bridge that late-afternoon gap between lunch and dinner by trying something new, but ending up with a snack that makes you feel as though it would have been better to eat nothing at all. The following naturally sweet treats are not only actually healthy and widely available throughout the UAE, but tried-and-tested-delicious, too.
House of Pops
If you haven’t treated yourself to a popsicle from House of Pops, order some now. This refreshing ice pop treat is all-natural, hand-crafted, free of refined ingredients, vegan, fun, quirky and delicious – and you can order it to be delivered right to your home. Each pop is 94 percent fruit, from 41 to 167 calories and comes in biodegradable and compostable packaging, even replenishing the earth with a soil nutrient when they degrade. And the flavours! From Mighty Mango to Pineapple Basil to Fancy Choco, with coconut cream and cacao, each pop is bursting with flavour.
Dh20 or a box of 10 for Dh150; HouseofPops.ae
They’ve been around since 1985 and I have to admit, I haven’t paid them much attention. But have you tried their mixed vegetable chips? With a very satisfying crunch, just a hint of saltiness, and a range of veg – green beans, beetroot, zucchini –each handful is a delightful surprise. No wonder they are a favourite of the UAE’s fittest folks.
From Dh9; in UAE stores; Hunterfoods.com
There are a lot of energy balls on the market in the UAE. As someone who makes my own, I find most of the varieties on sale commercially are lacking. That’s why as much as I wanted to support founder Kris Fade – host of The Kris Fade Show on 104.4 Virgin Radio Dubai – I was pretty skeptical when Kibson’s sent a sample of Fade Fit. Wow, was I pleasantly surprised by the date and cocoa balls. They were moist, bursting with chocolate, filling, plus they contain no added sugar, are all-natural and preservative-free.
From 5.25; For sale commercially and through Kibsons; Fadefit.com
This is some seriously healthy snacking. Freakin’ Healthy has a range of options that make filling that afternoon gap until dinner pleasurable and easy. They offer satisfying small-portion Freakin’ Healthy Bites in various flavours of nut and coconut butter; more filling superfood bars (raw cacao and chia seeds; tart cherry and cashew; matcha green tea and lemon), straight-up raw chocolate, zaatar crackers, fruity stars and more.
From Dh4.50; FreakinHealthy.com
I had to give up eating ice cream long ago because it does not agree with my digestive system. And although there are imported options available in the UAE, they are either horribly freezer burned or lacking the proper ice cream consistency or seem like they are trying to be too healthy. Brooklyn Creamery’s new vegan range, made from almond and coconut milk, is suitable for everyone with intolerances, health concerns and following a vegan diet. Every flavour in this small, New York City-born ice creamery is eat-a-whole-pint-happily delicious.
Pots are available in 450ml or 4750ml starting at just Dh25. Available via Deliveroo in Dubai or Abu Dhabi. BrooklynCreamery.ae
Let’s face it: most protein bars are terrible – dry, chewy and loaded with sugar. Barebells bars are popping up all over the UAE and there’s a good reason for that: they are absolutely delicious. Available in eight flavours – caramel and cashew is a winner in my book – with 20 grams of protein and 1.5 grams of carbs derived from sugars (none added). They are packed with flavour.
Dh15; Starbucks and other vendors. Barebells.com
Ann Marie McQueen
Ann Marie McQueen is the founding editor-in-chief of Livehealthy and host of The Livehealthy Podcast. She is a veteran Canadian digital journalist who has worked in North America and the Middle East. Her past roles include features editor for The National, trends writer and columnist for the Canadian newspaper chain Sun Media, and correspondent for CBC Radio.