6 healthiest vegan sweet treats in Aussie supermarkets

Dietitian Melissa Meier ranks the healthiest vegan sweet treats you can purchase from the supermarket, because plant-based doesn’t always mean healthier.

Plant-based everything is oh-so-hot right now. And whether you’ve jumped on the bandwagon for environmental, ethical or health reasons – or are just curious to introduce some new foods into your diet – you’ll be rapt by the ever-expanding range of vegan alternatives in every area of the supermarket.

One such department that’s exploded in recent times is vegan sweet treats.

I’m talking ice cream, muffins, bliss balls and everything in between. But, don’t be fooled. Just because it’s vegan, doesn’t automatically make it healthy – chocolate is still chocolate, whether it’s vegan or not.

Nonetheless, there are some vegan sweet treats that are healthier than others, which I’ll list for you down below. In case you’re wondering, here’s my criteria…

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1. Is it real food?

Many packaged foods are rife with ultra-processed ingredients, additives and preservatives – and vegan alternatives are no exception. For a healthier sweet treat, you’re looking for an ingredients list made up of foods you actually recognise, not a long list of additives and numbers.

2. Is it low in saturated fat?

A common trap with packaged vegan food is the high level of saturated fat it can contain. That’s because coconut is often used in place of dairy products in order to give a rich, creamy texture.

The problem is that coconut is high in saturated fat, too much of which isn’t good for your heart. I’d encourage you to look for sweet treats with less than three grams of saturated fat per serve.

3. Is it a sensible portion size?

As with any sweet treat, it’s easy to go overboard. Tame your sweet tooth a healthier way by capping portions at 600 kilojoules (about 150 calories) per serve or less.

The healthiest vegan sweet treats

1. Proud & Punch Smoothie Pops Oh My, Strawberry Acai ($8 at Woolworths)

Made with almond milk, these fruity ice blocks are tasty and perfectly portioned.

Per 56g serve:

  • 380kJ (90cal)
  • Less than 1g protein
  • 2.2g sat fat
  • 14.2g carbs
  • 10.2g sugar
  • 5mg sodium

2. Pico Super Dark ($4 at Woolworths)

A rich chocolate treat made with 85 per cent cocoa. A little goes a long way!

Per 20g:

  • 515kJ (125cal)
  • 2g protein
  • 6.4g sat fat
  • 4g carbs
  • 2.8g sugar
  • 2.6g fibre
  • Less than 5mg

3. Kez’s Kitchen Free & Naked Choc Mud Snack Bars (at Woolworths)

Another fruit-based bar, these are made with the goodness of sunflower seeds, chia seeds and tahini.

Per 25g bar:

  • 355kJ (85cal)
  • 2.3g protein
  • 0.5g sat fat
  • 13.7g carbs
  • 10.3g sugar
  • 3.3g fibre
  • 1mg sodium

4. MOJO Activated Kombucha Passionfruit ($4 at Woolworths)

For a sweet thirst quencher, this slightly effervescent drink is good for your gut thanks to its probiotics.

Per 330mL serve:

  • 194kJ (46cal)
  • 0g protein
  • 0g sat fat
  • 8.3g carbs
  • 6.8g sugar
  • 0g fibre
  • 18mg sodium

5. Better Bar Company Fruity Bars Date, Pear and Canadian Maple ($10 at Woolworths)

With a four star health rating, this iced confectionary is made with 75 per cent date syrup and pear puree.

Per 76g serve:

  • 207kJ (49cal)
  • 0.3g protein
  • 0g sat fat
  • 11.7g carbs
  • 10.2g sugar
  • 20mg sodium

6. Table of Plenty Mini Rice Cakes Dark Chocolate ($3.20 at Woolworths)

Another one for choc-lovers, these mini rice cakes have a thin layer of chocolate on top and are *super* addictive.

Per 15g serve:

  • 302kJ (72cal)
  • Less than 1g protein
  • 2g sat fat
  • 9.4g carbs
  • 4.1g sugar
  • 1g fibre
  • Less than 5mg sodium

Melissa Meier is a Sydney-based Accredited Practising Dietitian. You can connect with her at www.honestnutrition.com.au or on Instagram @honest_nutrition.