Healthy Alternatives for Unhealthy Treats

Everybody likes a little treat now and then, right?  Of course we do.  We are all human, and besides, why not?  We deserve it!  The problem is, most of the treats we reach for are loaded with unhealthy fat, sugar, sodium, additives, and just plain bad stuff.  So, what do you do?  Why not make your own treats?  Yes, you can do it!  No matter what your weakness is, I am sure there is a healthier option for you.  I’m going to show you just a few of them here.

For me, I’ll be honest, I’m a chocolate lover!  I’ve actually managed to keep this under control.  I do not eat a chocolate bar every day, although I remember a time in my life when I did!  Now I only have chocolate when I really want it and I have the good stuff.  The good stuff is anything dark (sorry milk chocolate fans, but darker is better because it has less sugar and more nutrients) preferably organic, fair trade.  I buy a can of cocoa powder and use it as needed.  It lasts a long time.  Here are a few of my favorite, easy chocolate recipes.


Chocolate Peanut Butter Banana Smoothie

1 cup milk (experiment with different nut milks, hemp, etc.)

1 banana (freeze it in advance for a yummy milk shake effect)

1 tbsp natural peanut butter

1 tbsp honey

1 tsp cocoa powder

Mix all ingredients in a blender and serve!

Options:  You may add flaxseed oil, hempseed oil, protein powder, chia seeds, spirulina, or anything else in there if you would like the added nutrition.


Chocolate Nut Spread

1 cup natural nut butter (peanut, almond, cashew, etc.)

1 tsp cocoa powder

1 tsp honey

Heat the nut butter in a small pot over medium heat.  Add the cocoa and honey.  Mix well and chill before serving.

Spread on toast, bagels, or fruit such as apples.


Chocolate Yogurt

1 cup plain yogurt

1 tsp cocoa powder

1 tsp honey

Mix together well and enjoy!


Of course, I realize that not everyone loves chocolate as much as I do.  See the list below for healthier options of your favorite treats.


Packaged Cookies

Bake your own cookies.  Buy a cookbook, search online or use an old family recipe.  To make cookies even healthier, try using a whole grain or gluten free flour and substitute white sugar with a natural sweetener like honey or maple syrup.


Same as cookies, make your own.  If you’re craving candy it’s the sugar you want.  Find a recipe that uses natural sweeteners instead of white sugar.  Honey and maple syrup, unlike sugar, have the energy boost you are looking for, as well as health benefits like disease-fighting antioxidants.  But remember all sugar, even the natural kind, can have a negative effect and should be kept in moderation.

Potato Chips

Can you make your own potato chips?  Of course you can!  Preheat your oven to 400 F, slice a potato (or potatoes) very thin and toss them with oil.  Spread them on a baking sheet and bake for about 15 minutes.  When they are done, sprinkle them with sea salt or other seasonings (cayenne pepper, cumin, dill, etc.) and set them aside to cool.


Want some dip with those chips?  You can make your own version of that too!  Greek yogurt is a great base for dips because it’s thick, creamy and low fat (regular chip dip has about three times the fat!)  Choose organic when you can for an even healthier option.  Add real minced garlic or onion, jalapeno pepper, or chili powder if you like a little heat.  Get creative!


I think you all know where I’m going with this, right?  Make your own condiments.  Yes, you can do this too!  Trust me, ketchup comes from tomatoes, vinegar and other real ingredients.  Not from a bottle.  This goes for mustard, relish and mayonnaise too.  Do you think you are getting a good, healthy food when you buy hummus from a container?  Think again.  Even that hummus is most likely made with genetically modified canola or soy oil.  Making your own condiments is easy once you do it a few times.  Why not start with these recipes here?



1 1/2 cup chick peas (preferably pre-soaked and cooked, however canned may also be used)

3 tbsp tahini

2 garlic cloves (minced or crushed)

1/2 lemon (juice)

1/4 cup olive oil

1 tsp cumin

Combine all ingredients in a blender.  Blend until smooth.  Add water or more olive oil (1 tbsp at a time) until you’ve reached a desired consistency.


Green Vegan Mayonnaisegreen mayo photo

1 cup avocado oil

1/2 cup unsweetened almond milk

1 tsp sea salt

1/4 tsp ground mustard

1 cup raw cashews

1 tsp raw apple cider vinegar

Combine all ingredients in a blender.  Blend until smooth.  Chill before serving.




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