Chocolate bars, sweets, cookies, ice cream, and sugary soft drinks: everyone craves unhealthy food from time to time. Most people are aware of the importance of eating right, but sometimes when you think of healthy snacks, you think of bland foods. That doesn't have to be the case. Satisfy your taste buds with these nourishing substitutions for your sweet tooth cravings.
Substitute for Sugary Soft Drinks: Fruit Spritzer
Can't quit a soft drink addiction? Get your fix from a more natural source. Juices such as cranberry, orange, grapefruit, and apple make great spritzers and are good sources of vitamins A and C. Mix 50 percent juice with 50 percent carbonated or soda water. Add a few ice cubes and you'll be drinking a healthier version without all that added sugar.
Hint: While juice is healthier, it still contains a significant amount of sugar. Avoid those that say "from concentrate"--they have hidden sugars that do not require to be listed as an ingredient. Instead, use natural juice without added sugar, and drink in moderation.
Substitute for Sweets: Dried Fruit
There is more to dried fruit than raisins and prunes. Try dried kiwis, pineapples, cherries, peaches, apricots, and mangoes. These tasty morsels will give you a healthy burst of energy, especially when you have that mid-day candy craving.
Hint: Top a salad with these tasty treats! Just make sure to look at the list of ingredients and avoid buying those that have added sugar or oil.
Substitute for Ice Cream: Frozen Yogurt
What could possibly be a substitute for this delicious treat? Non-fat frozen yogurt is so yummy, it almost tastes like the real thing, with far less fat. Natural frozen yogurt shops are popping up all over the place, and many supermarkets carry some in their freezer section. A little goes a long way with yogurt toppings: drizzle honey, sprinkle granola, or top with strawberries and dark chocolate shavings for extra tastiness.
Hint: Sometimes non-fat frozen yogurt contains more sugar and total calories than low fat frozen yogurt. Be sure to check the nutrition facts.
Substitute for Ice-Lollies: Make Your Own
There is nothing more refreshing than a frozen lollie during the hot summer months. Make your own! Just puree one to two cups of frozen fruit and blend in an equal amount of Greek yogurt with a few tablespoons of honey or artificial sweetener. Pour into freezer ice lollie moulds and freeze until solid (about 6 hours). They will keep for up to three weeks--if they last that long!
Hint: If you're short on ingredients, you can make a simpler version by freezing fruit juice in an ice lollie mould.
Chocalate Bars: Granola Bars
Instead of grabbing your favourite high-calorie chocolate bar, opt for a healthy, high-energy snack bar. They're more nutritious and are usually lower in calories. Look for one with 170 calories or fewer, if you are watching calories.
Hint: Some granola bars are filled with unhealthy additives. Making your own gives you control over the ingredients, and makes for a fun family activity.