Everyone has a bit of a sweet tooth, especially when they’ve been cooped up in the house for longer than usual. When you spend most of your time indoors, your craving for sweet snacks grows exponentially.
While there’s nothing wrong with indulging in comfort food, it’s important not to let the habit derail your efforts to eat healthily. The good news is that there is a way to have your cake and eat it. You don’t have to swear off sugary treats for the rest of your life. You just have to find healthy snacks to enjoy when the craving hits. Here’s a list of tasty recipes for five healthy alternatives to your favourite sweet treats:
What better way to start the day than with a muffin, especially one that boosts heart health? Research has found that consuming whole grains such as bran seed can lower your risk of heart disease by up to 30%. When combined with other heart-healthy foods, whole grains can reduce cholesterol and blood pressure.
Have you ever found yourself using copious amounts of sugar to sweeten a dish? The solution to this problem is honey. Honey has more fructose than glucose. Fructose tastes sweeter than glucose, which means a small amount of honey can do as much as a large amount of sugar. This makes Honey Roasted Oat and Nut Granola a great way to start the day on a sweet note.
You’d be hard pressed to find someone who doesn’t enjoy a good popsicle. On the hot summer days that cause you to sweat until your shirt clings to your chest, it’s not uncommon to crave a popsicle or two. Keep this recipe in mind when you want something to cool you down without wreaking havoc on your blood sugar levels.
Can’t keep your hands out of the cookie jar? Join the club. When it comes to irresistible baked goods to nibble on, cookies are in the top 5. But if you want to enjoy a cookie or two (or three, or four) make sure they’re as good for your stomach as they are for your heart. Luckily, this recipe contains a healthy amount of raisins, which are packed with phytonutrients (plant compounds that contain antioxidant and antimicrobial properties).
We’ve already explained the health benefits of adding raisins and honey to your diet. Close your eyes and imagine a treat that combines both ingredients. Now open your eyes and stop imagining, because such a treat exists and is quite easy to prepare. If you have 150 minutes to spare and a pantry of common baking ingredients (including Flora margarine), you’re in the perfect position to bake Raisin Bread.
There’s no reason your comfort foods can’t be part of a heart-healthy diet. You can have your cake and eat it too. Not convinced? The proof is in the pudding.