Let’s face it, most of us crave junk food at some time or another. I LOVE treats. I make no apologies or secrets about it! I also believe life is meant for living and enjoying (not for diets and deprivation!). In fact, I don’t recommend prohibiting certain foods you love because you’ll just end up binging on it or craving it later anyway. The key is to redirect those ‘not so great choices’ into healthier options. One of my tips is a quote from Michael Pollan, “Eat all the junk food you want as long as you cook it yourself.”
What’s so great about taking a few extra minutes to make your favorite foods yourself is that it really doesn’t take longer (especially if you count the time spent running to the ice cream shop, bakery or store) and not only will you have leftovers or enough to share, it’s also less expensive and SO much healthier for you!
Disclaimer: these are still ‘treats’ and not meant to be eaten all the time and every day.
Below are 5 of my favorite go-to junk food ‘healthy’ treats.
1. BROWNIES: Recently, I wanted brownies so I made them myself. They were faster and easier to make than you think. Preheat the oven, stir up a few key ingredients in a bowl, and pour it in a baking dish. Viola! Homemade, fresh, chocolatey and delicious brownies! AND…they were by far healthier and less expensive than anything I would have purchased in a store or bakery. I made them with gluten free flour, applesauce in place of oil and raw cacao powder in place of processed sweetened cocoa powder. They were also vegan! Recipe will be posted on my Facebook page shortly.
2. FRENCH FRIES: When I’m craving fries, I also make my own. I’ve been doing this for years (WAY before I was a health coach) THAT’s how good they are! I cut up some wedges of sweet potatoes, toss them with oil and salt and pepper and pop them in the oven to bake. They are thick cut, super hearty and very tasty!
3. ICE CREAM: When I want ice cream and can hold off going to my favorite vegan ice cream shop in NYC, Lula’s Sweet Apothecary, I quickly and easily make my own. I see what organic frozen fruit I have in the freezer (like peaches or strawberries) and whip whatever flavor I’m in the mood for in my Vitamix (you can add a touch of vanilla and sprinkling of sugar)! I ended up with sorbet but could have added nuts like cashews or almonds for an ‘ice cream.’ In less time than it would’ve taken me to walk to the closest ice cream shop, I had my own HEALTHY and cheap sweet treat!
4. PUDDING: Craving creamy pudding? Try my chia pudding recipe (for a vanilla option, take out the spices and add a bit more vanilla instead! You can also make a chocolate version). It’s sweet and delicious, and has all kinds of health benefits!
5. KALE CHIPS: Want potato chips? Try kale chips instead! My kale chip recipe is in this article.
Making food yourself is more affordable (yes, even if it’s organic!) and healthier. Cooking junk food yourself takes some thought and time so realistically, you won't be eating it every day or very often. What junk food do you love that you can make a healthier version yourself? I’d love to hear your favorites!
image via QuarryGirl