10 healthy alternatives to your guilty food pleasures

It’s important to have some quick recipes available. All these foods are so delicious; you won’t believe they’re not bad for you.

Photo: Annie Spratt

When you’re living the yoga lifestyle or just looking to be kinder to your body, it’s not always easy to alleviate certain cravings. Sweet, baked goods and fatty foods are some of the things you may unexpectedly crave. That’s why it’s important to have some quick recipes available to stave eating foods that are bad for you.

All these foods are so delicious; you won’t believe they’re not bad for you. They’re actually even good for you.

1. Chia Pudding With Chocolate and Coconut

This dessert is easy to make and has a lot of nutrients too! It has healthy fats, protein, and fiber. Instead of picking up a chocolate bar or blueberry square full of sugar, make this.

1 can of Coconut Milk

1/3 cup Cocoa Powder

¼ cup Chia Seeds

3 teaspoons of Canadian Pure Maple Syrup

2 teaspoons of Natural Vanilla Extract

Throw it all in a bowl and chill in the fridge for a few hours. Enjoy!

2. Peanut Butter and Dates

This is a super fast, easy crave-reducing snack. The nice thing is you can make just one. Just slice open a date, put in some peanut butter and enjoy.

3. Mixed Fruit Crisp

Fruit crisps can be really good for you. Any fruit works and you can add nuts as well to pack them full of protein. They are also quick and easy to make. This is a mixed fruit crisp.

4 cups Gala apples, sliced

1 cup Strawberries, sliced

¾ cup Coconut Palm Sugar

1 Tbsp Tapioca Starch or Flour

½ cup Rice Flour

¼ cup Sorghum Flour

¾ cup Quick Oats

¾ cup Large Flake Oats

1 tsp Cinnamon

½ cup Coconut Oil

Preheat oven to 375 F.

Put all your fruit in a baking dish.

Stir in the coconut palm sugar and tapioca starch.

In a separate bowl, stir in oat flour, sorghum flour, oats, sugar, and cinnamon. Cut the coconut oil into this mixture. Put the crumble over the fruit and back for 30-40 minutes (middle rack).

4. Gluten-Free Cookies

There are a wide variety of gluten-free cookie options you can find online. Whatever you’re in the mood for whether it’s chocolate chip or peanut butter, there are ingredients that are much better for you but still give a cookie the same sugar, fattening sensation when they hit your lips. All the pleasure without the guilt.

5. Lemon Mousse

This is a great dessert for the summer months as its light and refreshing.

½ cup raw cashews

1 cup mashed bananas

½ cup lemon or lime juice, fresh squeezed

2 tsp of natural vanilla extract

½ cup agave

1 tbsp. raw cane sugar

Zest from one lime and one lemon.

Mix together and you have a perfect zesty dessert.

6. Nut Butter Balls

These will fill any craving you have! It has everything in it. Salty, sweet, and a nice texture that makes you feel like you’re eating something sinful. You’re not though. It’s actually an incredibly nutritious snack that fills all your food cravings.

2 cups of salted Natural Peanut Butter/Cashew Butter/Almond Butter

½ cup dried fruit (cranberries, raisins, dates, dried apples, dried apricots etc.)

¼ cup pumpkin seeds

¼ cup sunflower seeds

¼ cup chopped nuts

¾ cup unsweetened coconut

½ cup mini chocolate chips

A drizzle of honey to taste

½ cup quick oats

A sprinkle of turmeric & cinnamon

Put all the ingredients together and combine well. Roll into balls and put into the fridge until they’re firm.

7. Nutritious Mounds Bar

These are no-bake snacks that are way healthier than an actual mounds chocolate bar or baked square.

1 cup shredded of unsweetened coconut

6 ½ tbsp of pure maple syrup

2 tbsp virgin coconut oil

1/2 tsp pure vanilla extract

½ tbsp cocoa powder

¼ cup liquid virgin coconut oil

Combine the coconut, maple syrup, virgin coconut oil, vanilla extract into a food processor to make the filling. For the chocolate coating, mix together coconut oil, cocoa powder and vanilla extract together. The sauce will be thin. You want to pop out the cold filling from the muffin tin and then coat them in the thin chocolate sauce. Throw them back in the fridge.

8. Pumpkin Cookies

These are a great example of how you can make a healthy cookie that tastes great too. These are vegan if you follow the recipe.

½ cup vegan butter

½ cup of organic cane sugar. You’ll need more than this for the topping so keep it out.

¼ cup brown sugar

1 tsp pure vanilla extract

¼ cup pumpkin puree

1 ½ cups quinoa flour + 1 Tbsp unbleached rice flour

½ tbsp arrowroot powder

1 tsp baking powder

½ tsp baking soda

¼ tsp salt

1 tsp pumpkin pie spice

¾ tsp ground cinnamon

1Tbsp unsweetened almond milk

Add the vegan butter to a mixing bowl and mix to make it creamy for about a minute. Add the sugar, brown sugar and vanilla. Add the pumpkin and mix further.

Use a sifter and put it over a bowl. Use a spoon to stir the dry ingredients and sift over butter mixture.

Mix only until combined. Don’t overmix.

Add almond milk and mix and there is a soft dough. Free the dough for 15 minutes.

Preheat oven to 250 degrees.

Roll dough into balls and put on baking sheet two inches apart.

Let bake for 10-12 minutes.

9. Eggplant Parmesan

If you’re craving a schnitzel style kind of meal, this is perfect. It’s vegan and gluten-free.

A peeled and sliced eggplant (should be cut vertically into 8 pieces.

1 cup of unflavoured almond milk

¾ cup whole rice flour

1 tsp apple cider vinegar

½ tsp salt

Freshly ground black pepper

A dash of oregano, parsley, and basil

2 cups ground cashews

Pasta sauce of your choice

A package of vegan cheese

Cooked spaghetti or greens, for the base

Peel and slice eggplant into 8-10 pieces.

Sprinkle the pieces with salt. Allow it to stand for awhile. The salt is going to bring out the water.

Batter Instructions:

Whisk almond milk, flour, vinegar, salt, pepper, and seasonings in a bowl.

Preheat the oven to 450 F.

Rinse the salt off the eggplant with water. Dry with a towel.

Dip the eggplant into the batter and then dip into the cashew crumbs (put crumbs on a plate).

Put on a baking sheet and bake for 9 minutes. Flip and bake for another 9 minutes. Top them with heated pasta sauce of your choice.

10. Cheesy Quinoa

This is a great vegan dinner that is packed full of nutrients.

2 cups cooked quinoa

1 cup vegan cheese

½ cup finely grated yams

Salt and Pepper, Granulated Garlic, and Paprika

2 tsp balsamic vinegar

Mix all above ingredients and chill for 20 minutes. Make a pancake out of the mixture and just add little scoops to a hot pan. Flip when the bottom side is brown.

These recipes can be helpful in keeping you on your healthy path. Not only that, you’ll feel great because you’re not throwing toxins into the body. You can take care of those cravings and enjoy sweet or savory flavours that won’t weigh you down.

This article was originally published on Your Coffee Break.