Look, I love ice cream alright? As healthy as we may be, we all have that one special junk food we just can’t resist. With just a little effort we can enjoy our favourite junk foods without the guilt that comes along with finishing a quart of ice cream in one sitting (just… for example). To be honest some of these recipes take less effort, and are MORE cost effective. Why buy a tub of ice cream for $7.00 when you can make the same delicious ice cream with 40 cents worth of bananas? Food is medicine, so let’s try healthy alternatives to the foods that aren’t making us feel any better.
1. Nice Cream!
Eat this: Nice Cream
Ditch that: Ice Cream
Nice cream is a great alternative to ice cream because like ice cream it can be made into any flavour you can imagine. Even better nice cream is vegan and only has one ingredient: frozen blended bananas! Add different flavour combinations like cookies & cream, vanilla, peanut butter, strawberries, etc. If you’re still skeptical a quick google search for nice cream will bring you hundreds of different recipe flavours!
2. Kale Chips
Eat this: Kale Chips
Ditch that: Potato Chips
Most of us have heard that kale chips are a great alternative to potato chips, but many are hesitant to give this one a try, but trust me it’s worth it! Kale chips are crunchy, light, packed with flavor, and salty if you add a little bit of sea salt.
Eat this: Tea or Carbonated Water
Ditch that: Soda
The bottom line is that sodas like Coke, Pepsi, Sprite, Nestea, Root beer, 7-up (the list could go on forever) contain a ton of sugar! If you’re the type of person who loves their soda for the bubbles then try carbonated water. If you have a coke every time you need a caffeine burst try tea. Tea can give you a burst of energy and can be sweetened naturally with honey if you’re looking for something sweeter.
4. Roasted Chick Peas
Eat this: Roasted Chick Peas
Ditch that: Corn Chips
If you’re a lover of corn chips but are looking for a healthy alternative roasted chick peas are crunchy, flavourful, and will cut calories big time! I just drizzle some chick peas in olive oil, cook at 400 for 30 minutes, throw on some sauce or seasoning (I use Frank’s Buffalo), cook 5 more minutes and you’re done!
5. Roasted Nuts
Eat this: Roasted Salted Nuts
Ditch that: Croûtons
If you’re junk food style is anything like mine you too have found yourself at the bottom of a bag of croûtons without a salad in sight. For salads and junk food alike croûtons can be replaced with roasted salted nuts to cut carbs in half (not to mention you’ll feel more full).
6. Chocolate Stuffed Raspberries
Eat this: Chocolate Stuffed Raspberries
Ditch that: M&M’s
Who knew stuffing chocolate chips into raspberries could satisfy a chocolate craving so well? Try dark chocolate chips for an extra healthy snack!
7. Fresh Fruit
Eat this: Fruit!
Ditch that: Fruit Juice
A list on healthy alternatives to junk foods would be incomplete without mentioning fresh fruits and vegetables. If you’re craving fruit juices like Fruitopia for example you’re body is telling you it needs a little sugar which can be found in fresh fruit. It’s usually best to stick to whole fresh fruit as fruit juices can be packed with sugar. Even store bought or pre-made smoothies can be loaded with extra sugar and excess calories so if you’re more into smoothies try and experiment with fruits and vegetables at home!
8. Frozen Yogurt Bites
Eat this: Frozen Yogurt Bites
Ditch that: Frozen Yogurt
For Fro Yo lovers add some fresh fruit to your yogurt and freeze for a delicious experience. Use blueberries, strawberries, pineapple (the possibilities are endless here) coated in vanilla fat free Greek yogurt, and freeze.
9. Milk & Chia Seeds
Eat this: Milk & Chia Seeds
Ditch that: Pudding
Pudding for me is a nostalgic junk food that’s needed every once in a while. Long gone are the days we could eat pudding for dessert without any health repercussions! But lucky for us you can get the same effect from mixing milk and chia seeds. Adding fresh fruits and vegetables only improves the experience with this one.
10. Chili Lime Almonds
Eat this: Chili Lime Almonds
Ditch that: Spicy Chips/ Corn Chips
Chili lime almonds take ten minutes for a HUGE batch. Simply add some almonds and oil to a pan, sprinkle with chili powder and salt and toast for 5 minutes. Then add in lime juice and some cilantro if you’re feeling fancy and you have a long lasting spicy “junk food”.
11. Light Caramel Frapuccino
Eat this: Iced Passion Tango Tea, Iced Latte, Light Caramel Frappuccino
Ditch that: Starbucks Frappuccino
Some of our favourite drinks from Starbucks and other coffee chains can reach 800 calories without us even realizing. Not all coffee drinks are bad to drink, but there are many healthy alternatives. Try a few of the alternatives above but if you’re stuck on that double chocolate chip frapp then try ditching the whip cream, swapping whole milk for skim/soy, and add ice.
12. Carrot Fries
Eat this: Carrot Fries
Ditch that: Fast food fries
You would be shocked to find out how close of a stand in carrot fries are for potatoes. They’re hearty like potatoes, and they do well with aggressive seasoning.
13. Zuccini Chips
Eat this: Zuccini Chips or Fries
Ditch that: French fries, or chips
Another great alternatives for the regular old french fry are zuccini fries or chips! You can toss zuccini rounds with olive oil, salt, and pepper and bake until crisp. You can also add some panko to long stips of zuccini for a fry alternative.
14. Veggie Dogs
Eat this: Veggie Dogs
Ditch that: Hot dogs
Hot dogs have been linked to certain cancers, unhealthy additives and processed meats like hot dogs have been linked to increased risk of heart disease making hot dogs a food we all need to ditch. Ditching hot dogs is easy, just switch over to the veggie or vegan brand of hot dogs at your local grocer. Let’s be honest hot dogs don’t gave the same hearty taste found in many meats, so veggie dogs really do hit the mark. A common alternative many vegans use is carrot dogs for an extra health boost.
Eat this: Hummus
Ditch that: Ranch
Hummus has garbanzos, olive oil, tahini (sesame seeds), garlic and lemon. The garbonzo beans add a little bit of protein where ranch is mostly empty calories with very little nutritional value. For an even lower calorie dipping sauce mash some fresh avocados into guacamole.
16. Sweet Potato Nachos
Eat this: Sweet Potato Nachos
Ditch that: Nachos
Instead of high calorie, low nutrient tortilla chips, use sweet potato chips as the base of your nachos instead for a boost of health benefits and flavour.
17. Cheddar Popcorn
Eat this: Freshly Popped Popcorn
Ditch that: Buttered Popcorn
Buttered popcorn has so many empty calories for the little nutrients it provides. Instead of buying buttered popcorn try unbuttered and unsalted popcorn, or make it yourself. If you’re looking for a little more flavour add dill, or cheddar seasoning.
18. Chocolate Avocado Cookies
Eat this: Chocolate Avocado Cookies
Ditch that: Chips A’hoy
Chocolate avocado cookies add a great source of healthy fat to the recipe with avocados. Switch to whole wheat pastry flour which is a good source of protein and fiber, as well as coconut sugar and cocoa powder.
19. Banana Split
Eat this: Banana Split on a Stick
Ditch that: Banana Split
Freeze a banana on a stick dipped in dark chocolate and covered in rolled oats for a hand held alternative to a banana split. For an extra healthy alternative you can add homemade vegan whipped cream and a cherry on top.
20. Frozen Fruits
Eat this: Frozen Fruit
Ditch that: Popsicles
Popsicles will be tempting in the summer months to come but rest assured a healthy alternative is available. Frozen fruit is so delicious and refreshing in the summer time with no guilt associated with sugary popsicles. You can also try healthy alternatives to the usual popsicle brands such as Ruby Rockets made with organic fruits and vegetables.