Healthy Changes to Your Favorite Treats
As we are working our way through these unusual weeks, most of us are finding that we suddenly have more time on our hands. With our lives at a standstill, for the time being, stress can ensue, which can lead to indulging in our favorite treats. Although they taste out of this world, there are simple changes we can make to allow for our favorite treats to provide some health benefits with little to no difference in taste! There are so many recipes out there calling for unhealthy ingredients that can be detrimental to your overall health when eaten in large amounts over time. Obviously, we love treating ourselves every so often and deserve to, but when it becomes a regular occurrence, there are many ways we can make healthier decisions.
A favorite among many! However, one slice of pizza from popular chains can rake in almost 400 calories. The easiest change you can make is by creating your own pizza at home. Pre-made dough is available at nearly every local grocery store with an abundance of flavor options from classic, whole wheat, wholegrain, garlic, and beer. Whole wheat or multigrain crust is a great way to incorporate fiber and healthy grains into your meal. At home, you can choose the number of toppings you want as well, ranging from veggies, different meats, or the traditional cheese and pepperoni. Olive oil and pesto are wonderful substitutes for tomato sauce, especially if you are concerned about your sodium intake. One serving of tomato sauce can cover up to 20-25% the total amount you are recommended daily.
One of the most versatile desserts out there, cookies consist of a few simple ingredients like butter, sugar, flour, and eggs. Although they are indulgent bite-sized goodies, the number of calories in one bite can be surprising depending on the ingredients used. There are a significant number of alternatives you can find in your kitchen to put in place of the butter, eggs, or sugar. Below are a few examples of some substitutions you can use in some of your favorite cookie recipes!
- Apple sauce (½ amount of butter used)
- Vegetable oil (¾ cup for every 1 cup)
- Greek yogurt (½ amount of butter used)
- Banana (1 egg = ¼ banana)
- Flaxseed (1 egg = 1tbs + 3tbs water – wait until viscous then add)
- Oil + baking powder + water (1 egg = 1tsp oil (your choice) + 2tbs water + 2tsp baking powder)
- Honey (¾ cup for every 1 cup)
- Maple syrup (¾ cup for every 1 cup)
- Stevia (1tsp for every 1 cup)
Here are some additional useful substitutions for your favorite indulgences:
- Greek yogurt
- Cottage cheese
- Baked instead of fried
- Baked thinly sliced fruit or veggies
- Fruit juice popsicles
- Frozen greek yogurt