I have a love-hate relationship with dessert. While it is delicious and makes me happy (while eating it), I do not like that I crave it after every meal. I think this is because I grew up eating ice cream after dinner every night, so it became a habit. Portion control is difficult for me when it comes to dessert, so I end up feeling guilty after I eat too much. I cannot keep ice cream in the house because I cannot stop at just one serving.
While I do enjoy a decadent, sugary dessert once in a while, I discovered some healthy snacks that can trick my mind into thinking I’m eating a delicious dessert. Here are some snacks that will satisfy your sweet tooth without expanding your waist line.
1. Fruit. This is the simplest solution to my sweet tooth cravings. I always make sure to bring apples, pears and grapes to work with me for after lunch. Dried fruit is also a great snack to keep at work, especially apricots and raisins since they make a great addition to oatmeal in the morning.
2. Faux Apple Pie. After dinner, I slice up apples, put them in the microwave for three minutes, and sprinkle cinnamon on top. Add dark chocolate or carob chips for an extra delicious treat. You will feel like you are eating apple pie without the extra carbohydrates.
3. Greek Yogurt. There are a couple of different desserts that I love to make with plain, nonfat Greek yogurt. It has 18 grams of protein and just 100 calories in one cup so it fills me up for a long time. Scoop a tablespoon of almond butter into the yogurt and top with carob chips for a faux Reese’s Peanut Butter cup sundae. Another great combination is grapes, chocolate chips and Greek yogurt mixed together for a parfait-like snack.
4. Frozen Bananas. Peel a banana, cut it into two halves, and then freeze. The frozen banana is the perfect cold treat by itself, and is even better with dark chocolate chips and nuts on the side. You can also add frozen bananas to a Magic Bullet or food processer with some milk for a delicious whipped banana dessert.
5. Smoothies. There are tons of healthy smoothie recipes that are a great, filling snack for any time of day. My favorite smoothie recipe is almond milk, banana, spinach, and strawberries. The spinach taste is hidden by the banana, and it adds Vitamins A and K to your diet.
6. Chocolate Popcorn. I love 100-calorie popcorn bags since the serving takes me a long time to eat without many calories. Add cocoa power or a scoop of peanut butter to the popcorn to turn it into a sweet, crunchy snack.