Healthy versions of all junk food classics (sweet treats edition) Pt II

So, you have a bit of a sweet tooth? Well, that’s ok. If you want to eat healthy and look good, you can still enjoy some sweet treats and maintain a balanced diet. Here are some healthier versions of all your favorite candy goods. Muffins, pancakes, ice-cream, cookies and some more…

1. Candy bars and chocolates

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We all know how candy bars can be tempting for a snack on the go. But if you’re making it a habit, please take some things into consideration. These mini chocolates are packed with sugar and fat. This type of sugar contains no nutrients and it can have a negative effect on your health. So why not replace it with a healthier version? Your own home-made granola bars! They’re easy to make and you can use them for an emergency snack anytime. Add nuts, seeds, dry fruits or even some dark chocolate chips. Make a batch and it will last you for a week. Here’s the base recipe.

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Granola bar recipe

-base/ grains:  2 and a 1/2 cup of regular oats

-toppings: chopped nuts, walnuts, almonds, dried fruits, coconut chips, chocolate chips

-binding agents: 1/3 cup of olive oil, 1/3 cup of honey   (some people also like to use peanut butter, nut butter, agave juice, maple syrup and add 1 egg white just so it holds a little better)

-put all of the ingredients into a bowl and knead it real good

-put the mixture into a 9×9 inch pan lined with parchment paper, spread it and press it down firmly (i usually press down the mixture using a glass bottom)

-put it in the oven, bake it at around 320 F (160 C) for half an hour

-take it out, let it cool down a bit, slice into pieces, put it in a container so it can last

Isn’t this great or what? Try it out, customize it. You won’t be disappointed!

*Take note! There are some simpler versions of this recipe where you don’t even need to bake your granola bars

2.Muffins and cupcakes

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With such a variety of tastes, muffins are my favorite types of cake. But you can also try to choose some healthier ingredients for your recipes. You can literally choose from hundreds of delicious, slightly healthier versions. Here is one of them.

Banana berries muffin recipe

-150 g of flour (use whole wheat, all-purpose or a mixture), 2 tsp baking soda, a pinch of salt (add cinnamon or vanilla if you like it);  whisk it all together in a bowl

-1tbsp olive oil (or coconut), 1 egg; whisk it in a separate bowl… then add 2 tbsp of honey, 1 mashed banana, 1/4 cup of Greek yoghurt… stir until smooth

-put these 2 mixtures into 1 bowl, keep stirring, add some blueberries, strawberries and raspberries (i use frozen fruit mix, just let it thaw first for a few minutes at room temperature)

-divide the batter into 8 muffin cups, bake at 320 F (160 C) for 25 min

-put it out, let it cool down, enjoy!

3.Cookies

cookie

There is really no need in buying cookies when you can have your own home-made batch in 15 minutes with only two ingredients! Don’t believe me, take a look!

Banana oatmeal cookies recipe

-1 cup of oats, 2 mashed bananas

-knead the mixture in a bowl (you can also add some raisins,dried cranberries and nuts)

-divide the batter into smaller ball-shaped pieces, line them on parchment paper in a pan, put it in the oven

-bake at 350 F (180 C) for 15 min

-take it out, let it cool down a bit, seal it in a container and it can last up to 1 week

5.Pancakes

pancakes

Pancakes are great and as you may already know, there are plenty of recipes to try out. My favorite healthy option are protein pancakes. Again, with only 2 base ingredients and a bunch of sweet extras, you can’t really go wrong. So here is another one.

Protein pancake recipe

-2 eggs, 2 mashed bananas

-you can also add: 1/4 cup of oats, tiny bit of milk, 1tsp baking soda, (optional flavor zest -cocoa powder, vanilla or cinnamon)

-mix together all the ingredients until well combined

-add the mixture into a greased pan and cook on medium heat until it begins to bubble

-then, flip sides, cook each for about a minute

-take it out, let it cool down a bit, sprinkle with chocolate chips, chia seeds or decorate with strawberries or some other fruit of your choice

-bon apetit

6.Icecream

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Now, I’m not much of an ice cream eater, but if you enjoy frozen sweet treats, icecream actually puts some legit nutritional value to the table. Calcium, vitamin and protein count are pretty decent here. Still, that’s a lot of sugar. But, you don’t have to be an expert to make your own icecream. Actually, you only need 1 ingredient. Can you guess what it is? Banana, of course!!!

Banana ice-cream recipe

-cut bananas into coin slices, put them in an airtight container and freeze for at least 2 hours

-take out frozen banana pieces and blend them well with a powerful processor or blender until you get a gooey texture (this might take some time and strength)

-add mix-ins like peanut butter, blended berries, ground nuts, chocolate chips and any other goodies you can think of

-return it to an airtight container and freeze until solid

-I also like to add some of this frozen goodness into my coffee; trust me, it’s a good combo and a refreshing summer treat

And here are some other interesting options to your sweet menu…

7.Easy jam – mix berries, plums or figs in a small processor, add honey, cinnamon; blend well; and you have your easy made organic spread

8.Chocolate dipped fruits – slice your favorite fruit into pieces, melt some dark chocolate on steam, roll the fruit into melted chocolate, sprinkle with coconut, let it cool down, eat!

9.Chestnut pralines –  1 cup chestnut puree,  1/2 cup butter, 1/2 cup ground walnuts, 1/2 cup chocolate chips, some honey; mix it until smooth, make small ball-shaped pralines and there you have it, no baking required

I hope you like this basic list and it will make you reconsider your options when reaching out to fast food. See you next time with some new interesting topics!

 

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