Giving up sweets can be one of the hardest things to do when trying to live a healthier lifestyle. How can you address your desire for ice cream and candy without actually consuming those products? You can whip up some sweet snacks that are healthy instead! It sounds like an oxymoron, but if you try hard enough, you can put together something dessert-y that’s also good for you. Here are a few you can try for yourself!
Smoothies are great, especially if you are fond of milkshakes. They aren’t quite as rich as their dairy based cousin, but still hit the sweet tooth spot. Simply blend some ice and fruit together, add a little yogurt or protein powder for texture, and voila! It’s like dessert, but healthy. Here’s a list of recipes to get you started!
A humble bowl of blueberries works wonders when you’re craving something sweet. Instead of going crazy with something wildly unhealthy, chow down on some sweet berries and absorb some awesome antioxidants while you’re at it!
3. Raisin bread.
It’s like bread, but with raisins in it. Add a little bit of your favorite cheese spread if you are feeling adventurous. As you know, raisins are pretty sweet, so this will almost be like eating a slice of healthy cake if you prep it correctly.
4. Dark chocolate.
I’m not saying you can go out and eat several bars of dark chocolate, as some might have you believe. A small portion however, will sate your desire for sweets while simultaneously imparting the beneficial effects of dark chocolate upon you.
Surprised? The key here is to lay off the syrup, using fruit alternatives, and making the pancakes out of something healthier than just plain flour. Recipes I’ve seen use anything from whole wheat flour to a cinnamon oatmeal blend.
6. Vegan ice cream.
Turns out vegans like ice cream so much that they decided to come up with their own version that doesn’t rely on dairy or artificial sweetening. What this basically is is frozen, pureed fruit (or pureed cashews in the case of the image). It won’t be as creamy as ice cream, but it will be sweet and smooth. See all of the ways you can make ice cream without any dairy products!
7. Frozen yogurt.
Another ice cream alternative, though a bit creamier in consistency than the vegan option. It almost tastes like its unhealthier cousin (there’s a slight tang), while being far better for you. Top it with fresh fruit (not bits of candy) and you’ll have yourself a satisfying sweet tooth snack.
8. Apple pie without the crust.
This one’s pretty straight forward. All you do is bake the apple pie filling, sans the rich, buttery crust. Sprinkle some cinnamon on top and enjoy!
9. Peanut butter.
I used to do this in college when I craved something sweet and had no access to anything decent. I’d simply grab a spoon and a jar of peanut butter, and dig in. It’s sweet, filling, and even has some protein to help you recover from workouts. Just don’t eat half the jar.
10. Fruit pouch.
You probably see these at your local supermarket. They’re basically little pouches of pureed fruit, that you open with a twist of the cap. It’s like eating an apple, in a much more optimized format. Good if you want a quick jolt of something sweet on a busy day!
11. Sesame bar.
You’ve probably seen these at your local Asian buffet. It’s basically sesame seeds held together by honey. While a bit difficult to eat, and certainly bad for your teeth, honey is fairly healthy as far as sweet products go.
Whether it’s the fruit itself or fig bars, figs fulfill your sweet tooth with a gusto few on this list can match. If you get raw ones, be sure to eat them quickly because they tend to go bad rapidly (I found this out the hard way).
13. Chocolate strawberries.
It’s so good it’s almost unhealthy! Just don’t go too heavy on the chocolate dip and these can be a good alternative to your favorite candy bar.
Greek yogurt has a great, creamy consistency that goes well with granola and fresh fruit. See what all the hipsters are raving about and try one!
15. Vanilla latte.
As a heavy coffee drinker, I usually use lattes or cafe mochas to satisfy my sweet tooth. They aren’t the healthiest drinks in the world, but if they prevent you from consuming a thousand calorie dessert then it’s totally worth it.
16. Protein bar.
My preference is the chocolate peanut butter Zone bars, but there’s tons out there for you to choose. These bars almost taste like candy, except they’re chock full of essential nutrients instead of mostly sugar and fat.
17. Fruit leather.
You’ve seen these at your local Trader Joe’s, I’d bet. It’s basically a healthy alternative to Fruit Roll Ups.
Dean Winchester’s favorite. I like the chocolate variety, but sometimes stray to strawberry. Strawberry yogurt plus granola is awesome, I won’t lie.
19. Whipped yogurt.
I can’t believe people aren’t aware that this stuff exists. Yoplait makes an awesome version of it that’s super cheap and always satisfies my sweet tooth. My favorite flavor is the strawberry, but chocolate and orange cream bar are pretty good as well…
Ah, cereal. Good for breakfast, dinner, and dessert! Any kind will do, though if you go for Cinnamon Toast Crunch I won’t blame you. Pretty much all cereals are better for you than a bowl of ice cream, so have at it! You can even watch some cartoons while you’re eating it.
Do you have any secret sweet-but-decently-healthy snacks you turn to on a daily basis? Share below!
Featured photo credit: Blueberries!/ FromSandToGlass via flickr.com