Do you crave a warm cookie during the middle of the day? Would you rather wrap up your day with a decadent cup of ice cream? Sweet and salty cravings are quite natural when going through life circumstances and dealing with stress. We all have them; some can gain control over them better than the others.
Ever wonder why it’s so hard to stop eating these unhealthy foods when we know they aren't healthy? All these so-called unhealthy foods trigger dopamine and release these chemicals in the brain that are similar to those caused by highly addictive drugs. This makes it extremely difficult to gain control over eating these foods; you can never stop with just one bite.
It’s something I struggle with too and would love to share with you some strategies to choose healthy alternatives that can satisfy unhealthy food cravings.
Here’s a list of 10 healthy alternatives to satisfy unhealthy food cravings:
Baked fries instead of French Fries
Craving french fries? Try these alternatives below. My favorite is turnip fries. Simply cut them up, add your favorite seasonings and bake in the oven at 400 degrees for 10-20 minutes. If you have an air fryer, that works too. Here's some other baked/grilled options.
Sweet potato Fries
For detailed recipes, you can check out this Healthy French Fry Alternatives blog.
Kale Chips instead of Potato Chips
There are many healthy alternatives for potato chips that are so simple to make. Kale chips are my got-to for a healthy alternative. Chop up kale, add seasonings (salt & pepper) and a little olive oil and bake in the oven at 400 degrees for 10 minutes.
You can also try it with beets, turnip, carrot or taro. Here's a recipe link for some healthy chip alternatives.
Spiralized vegetables instead of Pasta
Spiralize vegetables using squash, zucchini, cabbage. You can get a Spiralizer on amazon and it’s a must-have gadget in the kitchen!
Here’s a link to healthy pasta alternatives.
Lettuce wraps or Cauliflower flatbread instead of regular Bread
Bread is a tricky one for sure! The soft and fluffy texture of warm bread is hard to replace. However, these alternatives seem to work just fine. Try them next time you are craving a sandwich.
Cauliflower pizza instead of regular Pizza
We have so many healthier alternatives for pizza. You can try any of the following options.
English muffin pizza
Looking for recipes? Try these 12 healthy recipes to satisfy pizza cravings.
Cauliflower Rice or Quinoa instead of White Rice
Rice has been a staple food in my life and it's a hard one to avoid. I’ve been using cauliflower rice for a while now and don't really miss rice that much.
Replace any recipe that calls for rice with cauliflower rice.
Try this Cauliflower fried rice recipe.
Replace rice with healthier grains like quinoa or Millet.
Dark chocolate instead of regular Chocolate/ Cookies
Try dark chocolate with at least 70% cacao. Ghirardelli intense dark chocolate is a good option. I like that it comes in single serving bags and that for sure helps with portion control.
Use Cocao Nibs instead of chocolate chips.
Mix some nuts with cocoa nibs for a healthy sweet fix.
Almonds instead of Croutons
Try almonds for crunch instead of croutons in a salad.
Baked fruit instead of traditional Apple Pie
Bake apple slices with cinnamon sprinkled on top at 400 degrees for about 10 minutes. You can experiment with other fruits. I also like to replace apples with peaches.
If you are looking to add a little more flavor and ingredients, try this healthy apple pie recipe.
Frozen Fruit or Chia Pudding instead of Ice Cream
Frozen fruit is a good option to satisfy ice cream cravings.
Blend it into a frozen fruit mousse by adding a little bit of cinnamon,vanilla flavor and coconut milk to the blend. Top it off with some nuts or Chia seeds for a sweet and crunchy snack.
Next time you have sweet or salty craving, try some of these tactics and recipes. It may not be a perfect fix at first; once you are consistent with using healthy snacks, you’ll reset your taste buds and before you know it, a healthy habit is formed!!
What’s your favorite healthy snack alternative? Would love to hear from you!