You’ve got a hankering for chocolate, or a calorie-packed muffin, or a sugar-filled vanilla chai latte, or caramel corn… but you know that after devouring your vice, you’re going to feel sluggish, guilt-ridden, and worse-off than when you started. You’re going to crash from the sugar high and you’re not going to get any nutritional benefits from your binge-session.
CollectivelyBeautiful, to the rescue!
Your reliable health-nut/part-time vegan has compiled a list of healthy alternatives to take control over your cravings and avoid the post-pig-out blues.
Chocolate Avocado Pudding
If you find yourself craving chocolate, but don’t want to deal with the regret associated with devouring an entire candy bar or four-pack of chocolate fudge snack packs, try this alternative. It’s packed with omega-3s, potassium and vitamin E, so it’ll leave you feeling satisfied and energized and it has an added benefit of improving the condition of your skin and hair!
What you need:
3 avocados peeled
1/2 cup coconut water
3 soaked pitted dates (soak them for 1 hour prior)
4 Tbsp of honey or agave nectar
4 Tbsp of organic cocoa powder
Combine all the ingredients in a blender and blend until smooth and creamy. You can add a little more cocoa powder if you’d like to really amp up the chocolatey taste and you can even make a double batch and freeze some for later!
(Writers note: I don’t have a blender, but I just minced the dates by hand and blended everything in a large bowl with a whisk… beating the life out of the mixture will give you a great arm workout and help to work out any frustration you might be dealing with, too!)
Super Healthy Confetti Muffins
If you can’t stop thinking about that banana walnut muffin at your local coffee shop, but know that every bite has about 50 calories, try this recipe instead for a vegetable infused mixture that will provide plenty of nutrients and a full serving of vegetables and fruits in every one! The flax and walnuts are great sources of omega-3s, and the vegetables and fruits pump you full of beta-carotene, vitamin A and fiber.
What you need:
1 cup apple sauce
2/3 cup agave nectar
4 Tbsp maple syrup
2 cup grated carrot
2 cup grated zucchini
2 diced apple
¾ cup dried, naturally sweetened cranberries (optional)
3 cups whole wheat pastry flour (different from regular whole wheat flour)
1/2 cup ground flax seed
4 tsp baking powder
2 tsp cinnamon
1 tsp salt
1 small package chopped walnuts
Pre-heat your oven to 375 degrees Celsius. In a small bowl, mix agave nectar, maple syrup & apple sauce, then mix in the zucchini, carrot & apple. In a large bowl, mix the flour, flax seed, baking powder, cinnamon, and salt. Add the wet ingredients to the dry ingredients in the large bowl mix them together well. Scoop the batter into muffin tins, leaving the batter flush with the top of the muffin cup then top with the chopped walnuts. Bake for approx 25 min.
(Writers note: I baked these in my tiny, old, apartment oven and I needed to up the temperature by 15 degrees and cook them for 10 minutes longer. You may need to alter the temperature/time settings depending on your oven. To test if they’ve cooked all the way through, stick a toothpick, fork or straw into the middle – if it comes out clean then they’re cooked!)
“That time of the month” Latte
If you find yourself feeling lethargic when Aunt Flo comes to visit, try this healthy drink to replenish your vitamin B and potassium, relax your mind, and ease your abdominal craps and bloating.
What you need:
1 chamomile tea bag
8-12 ounces of almond milk
¼ cup of soaked and peeled almonds
2 ounces of ginger juice
2 Tbsp of raisins
Heat up the almond milk in a small to medium sized saucepan and bring to a boil. Remove from the heat and add the chamomile tea bag; let it steep for 2 to 3 minutes. Combine all the ingredients in a blender and blend until smooth. You can serve this on ice for a cool treat in the summer, or drink it hot to soothe your body and mind.
Homemade Kettle Corn
So, all you want in the world is caramel corn, but your average ½ cup serving (just about two handfuls) of Cracker Jack or Crunch n’ Munch has about has 120 calories. Try this slightly less sweet and salty version that I developed a serious addiction to while on the road with my Dad and Step-mom last fall. For a two-cup serving you get roughly the same calorie intake as the former option.
What you need:
A large pot with a lid
1/4 cup vegetable oil
1/2 cup popcorn kernels
1/3 cup sugar (brown or raw)
3/4 teaspoon salt
Heat the oil in a large pot over medium-high heat then add the popcorn kernels and sugar. Give the mixture a quick stir and then cover it with a lid. Listen for the popcorn to start popping – pick it up and give it a quick shake every few seconds until popping slows down (about 3 or 4 minutes). Remove the popcorn from heat immediately and transfer it into a large bowl. Sprinkle with salt, serve and enjoy!
Guest writer: Allison Mason