If you’ve got a sweet tooth and you’re looking for healthy options, you may feel like you’re going to be stuck with artificial sweeteners. Don’t despair! There are healthy options that can help you through your cravings for sweets that don’t have artificial ingredients. Often, you don’t really need more than 2-4 ingredients to make a killer sweet snack.
Fruit may be your best friend when you are fighting off sugar cravings. The problem is that when I buy a bunch of fruit at once about half of it ends up going bad unless I freeze it. Thankfully, frozen fruit is great in smoothies, particularly bananas. My smoothie recipe goes like this:
- 2 frozen bananas
- 1 cup yogurt (complementary flavor with no artificial sweeteners)
- 1 cup frozen berries
- 1 cup complementary flavor juice or smoothie mix
Throw everything together in a blender and blend until it’s drinkable. It makes about 3 small servings.
Another thing you might consider working with is dark chocolate. It’s generally considered healthy in small quantities. If you can’t handle the bitterness, you could work with strawberries. That could be as simple as slicing up a strawberry or you could go through the trouble of melting the chocolate and making your own chocolate covered strawberries. I wouldn’t go the chocolate covered strawberries route, though. If you go through the trouble to make them, you’ll feel like eating all of them. I think it might be better to keep it simple. A sliced strawberry with grated dark chocolate on top is quick, simple and healthy.
One sweet snack that I love is a sliced apple and almond butter. You can even go the lazy route and buy the apples pre-sliced. As long as you don’t go crazy with the high-fat almond butter you can keep this snack healthy. I normally measure out the almond butter first to make sure I’m getting the right serving size.
Until this point, we’ve only gotten your freezer involved in a tangential way. Now we can talk about popsicles. You can make your own out of leftover smoothies or out of juice. There are also some perfectly good and healthy brands you can buy at the store. Popsicles made with real fruit can be as low as 70 calories each. They have vitamins and all kinds of good healthy things. Remember, this isn’t just about calorie counting, it’s about health. Look for brands with real fruit and maybe even yogurt.
Natural foods have a lot of sweetness. It’s just a matter of finding the combinations you like and finding them in a convenient package. Candy bars are just easier sometimes. But if you think about it, a handful of berries can be amazing. Which one actually makes you feel better? If chocolate really wins that competition, then sprinkle chocolate on top of berries. For me, the healthy food actually makes me feel better, but the unhealthy food is easier. That’s why keeping my freezer stocked with fruit has been such a helpful tool. I can just eat them as they are or combine them to make something new. I hope these ideas have been useful. Good luck and happy eating!