When that craving hits, all you want to do is feed it…literally. Unfortunately for the average person, cravings involve eating or drinking something that isn’t as healthy as we’d like. Ice cream, chocolate cake, potato chips, the list goes on with unhealthy (but oh so delicious) snacks that you just need to get your hands on. But before you fall victim to the unruly cravings monster, we’ve got a few tricks up our sleeves to help you fulfill that craving without taking the unhealthy route. Read along to see what healthy substitutes you can have when that craving hits.
French fries has to be at the top of our list because who doesn’t crave an order of fries every once in awhile? But your craving can be a whopping 230 calories, just for a small size. You can easily fulfill your craving in a much healthier way.
If the potato is what you are craving, try having a baked potato. Pop that baby in the microwave or oven and you will nearly save yourself 100 calories and it will fill you up. Plus, potatoes have a variety of health benefits, including the fact that they even have more potassium than a banana.
Another great alternative to french fries is cooking up your own, but using carrots instead. They are the perfect potato substitute and go great with a little olive oil, salt and pepper. They taste great and you won’t even miss those heart attack fries that are greased in the deep frier.
A personal favorite, ice cream is a go-to dessert for any given day. Unfortunately, it isn’t the healthiest option to celebrate (or console) with. Luckily we have some pretty popular and delicious alternatives that are sure to hit the spot, even if they aren’t put on a sugar cone.
For one, frozen yogurt has become vastly popular over the years and it is the first great option to switch out your ice cream with. Just be sure you don’t go overboard with all of those toppings options that the shops offer. Stick to having it plain or with fruit and you’re good to go!
You can also make your own ice cream using frozen bananas as your main ingredient. All you have to do is puree them in a blender. There are plenty of delicious banana ice cream recipes out there that you can work with to replicate your favorite flavor.
There’s something extremely desirable about a chip that crunches in your mouth with a hint of salt. Whether it’s the salt that you’re craving or that crispy crunch that you desire, we’ve got a couple options that’ll help you satisfy just what you’re looking for.
Roasted chickpeas are a great alternative for potato chips as they offer the crunch and taste that you just may be looking for. High in protein and fiber, they are certainly a healthier option for you than those greasy chips. Plus, you can easily pick a bag up at the grocery store or even make your own!
Popcorn may be your unsung hero in this category. Just make sure that you aren’t loading it up with butter and salt to turn a completely good snack into a fat-infused heart attack. Plain popcorn is very low in fat and still gives you a crunch to bite into. Flavor it a bit with some sea salt, if you desire.
One of the biggest guilty pleasures around has to be pizza. It’s arguably one of the top favorite food choices out there. But with that pleasure comes a price – a bunch of empty calories. Sure, you can throw a bunch of veggies on top and claim it as “healthy,” but is it really healthy if it still has a pound of cheese, grease and dough underneath it? Luckily, we live in the time where people find ways to satisfy those cravings without losing out on the whole idea of the meal.
Cauliflower crust pizza is totally a thing now, and we have to admit that it does the trick. A nutritional crust that’s also gluten free may be your way of letting yourself indulge on pizza without a ton of added calories. Go light on the cheese and you’re on your way to a healthier you, while eating pizza!
Mushroom bites are another great option to turn your large pizza slice into a healthy and zesty bite. Top a portobello cap with some cherry tomatoes, arugula and a dash of goat cheese, and you’ve got a healthy replica of everyone’s favorite food. The tomatoes and goat cheese will do the trick and not have you feeling guilty afterwards.
Cookies & Cakes
Who doesn’t love to indulge in some baked goods? They’re sweet, delicious and you always want just a little bit more. But although they are all so delicious and melt-in-your-mouth-good, they can become your worst enemy when that craving hits, especially when you’re trying to stay away from sweets.
Granola bars can always be a go-to snack to carry around when that sweet tooth kicks in. Having granola with a hint of chocolate will be your savior when you’re trying to shy away from the pastries. Plus, granola has a great source of healthy fats, something that those high-calorie cupcakes can’t say for themselves. A few chocolate chips added to the mix can fulfill that craving without going overboard with a whole piece of cake.
If you’re a baker and still insist on whipping up a fresh batch of cookies or a beautiful cake, try to swap out those fatty and sugary ingredients for healthier alternatives. Instead of oil or butter, try using bananas or applesauce. If your recipe calls for some sugar, try using natural honey, ripened bananas or maple syrup. Greek yogurt can swap out sour cream, and almond or skim milk can be an alternative to heavy cream. Just by swapping out a few ingredients with more healthy and natural options, you can turn a guilty pleasure into a not-so-guilty treat.