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May 01 2017

Healthy Treats: Satisfy Your Sweet Tooth

Banana Ice Cream

Eating healthy can be a little bit challenging if you have a sweet tooth. If sweets are something that you typically include in your diet everyday, your body will be more likely to crave them. Eating a few candies here and there throughout the day doesn’t seem like much, it can really add up! If you eat just 500 more calories per day for a week, you can gain a pound of weight. By just eating a regular size candy bar in addition to what you would normally eat, you could be on your way to gaining a pound. However, not to worry, there are some really awesome alternatives to eating those empty calories and simple sugars. Instead, eating foods that contain complex sugars like those found in fruit are a much better option! Fruits contain vitamins, minerals, and fiber that are necessary for a healthy diet and help the body to function to it’s best ability. Here are some healthy treats you can try if you are having a little sweet craving!

Frozen Grape Popsicle

Frozen grapes are super simple and they taste very similar to a Popsicle. All you have to do is get some of your favorite grapes, they can be green or red. Make sure to take the grapes off the vine, wash them, and dry them with a towel. When they are dry, put them in a plastic bag and stick them in the freezer. Once they are frozen through, you can enjoy!

Frozen Banana Ice Cream

Frozen bananas are another easy frozen treat that tastes very similar to ice cream. All you need to do is cut the banana up into small pieces between ½” to ¼” and freeze them. If you want the texture to be like ice cream you can use a food processor or blender to puree the frozen bananas. You can get creative by adding in peanut butter, dark chocolate chips, or other fruits like strawberries to your frozen bananas to give it some extra flair.

 Juice with Club Soda

This is a really good trick if you love fizzy drinks like soda. You can use any kind of juice you like, I typically use orange juice. You will want to fill up your glass with club soda leaving a little room at the top. Then, add a slash of juice. The juice will give you a hint of flavor but you will save on the calories since you are only adding about 1-2 tablespoons of juice and the club soda is calories free!

Mixed Fruit 

Eating mixed fruit as a treat is a really great way to curb a sweet craving. Not only is it sweet, but it is also refreshing. You can include any kind of fruits that you would like. Some of my favorites are pineapple, blueberries, blackberries, raspberries, and strawberries. If there are other types of fruit you like, you can always change up the combinations or add other fruits that you enjoy.

Homemade Applesauce  

Making applesauce at home is really simple and you can control what you put into it. A lot of applesauce at the store has added sugars which make them higher calorie. All you have to do is get some of your favorite apples. I really enjoy gala apples because they are already pretty sweet and you don’t need to add additional sugar. You will need to peel your apples and cut it up into small pieces. Boil the applies and mash them or use a immersion blender once they are cooked. You can add other spices like nutmeg or cinnamon if you want to extra spice and flavor.

Dark Chocolate Dipped Pretzels

If you are one of those people that really love the salty and sweet combination, then dark chocolate dipped pretzels are a really great option for you! Dark chocolate is full of antioxidants, which makes it a healthier alternative to milk chocolate. Pretzels are a good food to eat in moderation. I would suggest using the small pretzel sticks rather than the large one so you can feel as though you are eating more, though in reality, you are eating less.

 

These are just a few of the sweet snacks that I enjoy that help me avoid the sweet treats that are not as healthy. I’ll admit, it’s not always easy to eat completely healthy. By having some treats that taste similar to some of your favorite sweets, you can avoid some of those additional empty calories that you would get from eating something like ice cream or chocolate. Hopefully you will give some of these treats a try and maybe it will become your new favorite sweet!

Contributed by Becca Hof, fitness and wellness enthusiast in the Adult Learning and Development Graduate Program at Cleveland State University, with a Bachelor of Science in Dietetics.

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