By Meghen Jones
Unless you’ve gotten through life so far without any type of sugar or fat, it’s well understood that it can be beyond difficult to resist, and sometimes, you just have to satisfy your cravings. But, when you’re trying to maintain healthy and thoughtful eating habits, in addition to a set workout schedule, junk food tends to deflect from those fitness milestones—both big and small.
While treating yourself allows for immediate satisfaction, high caloric foods with loads of fats and sugar can increase your risk factors for type 2 diabetes, heart disease, and cancers. It can also stress your digestive system, leading to a lower quality of life or shorter lifespan entirely. Seriously, nutrition is no joke, and that’s one thing you’ll begin to learn as you mature into adulthood.
So, take a step in the right direction, and start making changes now, as opposed to tomorrow. In support of your health journey, uCribs has comprised a list of 6 Junk Food Alternatives that will contain those cravings for your fatty favs.
There’s nothing like the salty, crunchy goodness of a potato chip. But, sometimes that bag of Cool Ranch Doritos or Lay’s Salt and Vinegar can leave you feeling guilty. Not to mention, chips are essentially empty calories with no nutritional value, and if you do choose to splurge, they must be eaten in moderation. But, how is that possible when you have a whole bag? Well, it may be time you exchange your bag of potato chips for a serving of Apple Chips.
Apples are a good source of fiber that will keep you full until your next meal. They also improve bacteria in the gut and regulate blood sugar. Sprinkled with a dash of cinnamon, these healthy, homemade chips give you that crisp you crave while satisfying your sweet tooth. After one bite, you’ll be addicted to this delightfully satisfying snack!
2 Golden apples, cored and thinly sliced
1 1/2 teaspoons white sugar
1/2 teaspoon Granulated Sugar
1/2 teaspoon ground cinnamon
Cauliflower Pizza Crust
Preserving its reign as comfort food royalty, there’s no denying that our love for pizza isn’t going anywhere soon. Covered with melted mozzarella, savory tomato sauce, and your favorite toppings, it’s hard for your mouth not to water just thinking about having a slice. But as we all well know, pizza is not necessarily the smartest food choice. It’s typically loaded with refined carbohydrates, fat content, and sodium.
Instead, take a spin on your usual pizza go-to by opting for a low-carb alternative—Cauliflower Pizza Crust. Sure, the thought of a cauliflower-based pizza may make you raise an eyebrow initially, but it’s become quite popular in recent years. Like apples, cauliflower contains fiber. It also has ingredients that strengthen bones, boost the cardiovascular system, and prevent cancer. All those things sound pretty great to us, and while a cousin to broccoli sounds like a stretch to most, we’re pretty sure you’ll be surprised by how much you dig it.
1 head cauliflower, stalk removed
1/2 cup shredded mozzarella
1/4 cup grated Parmesan
1/2 teaspoon dried oregano
1/2 teaspoon kosher salt
1/4 teaspoon garlic powder
2 eggs, lightly beaten
Accounting for all the times you’ve purchased chocolate for Halloween, Valentine’s Day, and every “special occasion” in-between, it’s easily the most addictive type of candy. From s’mores with ooey-gooey chocolate to an ice cream sundae drizzled in warm chocolate fudge, it’s definitely a hard vice to resist. Surprisingly, chocolate is known to have many health benefits such as lowering cholesterol and reducing the risk of cardiovascular problems, but these properties are only present in dark chocolate that is at least 70 percent cacao.
So, unfortunately, you can no longer beeline towards your milk chocolate darlings such as Hershey’s or Reese’s. But, if you refuse to skip out on your indulgence of chocolate, then we suggest you try guilt-free Chocolate Mousse. Providing you with a balance of the savory and the sweet, this silky mousse made with Ricotta cheese and cocoa powder will explode in your mouth with its powerful flavor and light, fluffy texture.
1/4 cup Ricotta cheese
1 tablespoon cocoa powder
1/2 tablespoon vanilla extract
1 packet sweetener of your choice
Chia Seed Pudding
Do you enjoy a delectable cup of pudding every once in a while? Honestly speaking, I think most of us do because of the texture, flavor, and variety. And those varieties, ranging from vanilla and chocolate to pistachio and banana cream pie, grant you with the satisfaction you’re craving when it comes to your sweet treat daydreams.
But, keep your health goals in check with some homemade Chia Seed Pudding. And yes, we did just say chia seeds, which are an excellent source of omega-3 fatty acids, fiber, iron, and calcium. Sure, it sounds like one of those healthy snacks that aren’t too great on the taste buds but trust us when we say that this dessert filled with coconut milk, vanilla, and honey is sure to take you to your happy place.
6 tablespoons chia seeds
2 cups unsweetened coconut milk
1/2 teaspoon vanilla extract
1 tablespoon honey
Blueberries and strawberries, for topping
Peanut Butter Banana Ice Cream
No matter the time of year, a bowl of ice cream is the perfect way to end your night after a long, strenuous day. It just lights up all the pleasure sensors in your brain as soon as you take the first creamy, sweet bite. But, we all know how easy it is for two scoops to turn into three, or one bowl into two. So, now, maybe it’s time to part with that Bluebell Bride’s Cake ice cream you have stored in the freezer for an alternative sweet treat.
This recipe for Peanut Butter Banana Ice Cream is sure to hit the spot. Peanut butter is a nutrient high in healthy monounsaturated fats, while bananas are high in potassium, protein, and fiber and can help reduce the effect of sodium on your blood pressure, keeping your heart healthy and strong. This recipe may not be your first choice, but it’s the healthiest way to indulge without feeling guilty about it later. Made with large, ripe bananas, your favorite brand of peanut butter, and a dash of cinnamon, this recipe will make peanut butter and banana your new jam.
3 large, ripe bananas
3 tablespoons natural peanut butter
1/4 teaspoon vanilla extract
Dash of cinnamon
Sea salt to taste