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  • Shannon Crocker MSc RD

15 Simple Swaps to Help You Crush Food Cravings

Craving-crusher: popcorn, roasted broad beans and dark chocolate

If you’re eating mostly healthy foods, enjoying a small serving of that food you’re craving isn’t a big deal. In fact, it’s actually a good option to enjoy foods you love, in moderation.

But there are also lots of simple swaps that are better for you, just as tasty, and can help you crush your cravings. Here are 15 of my favourite craving-crushing snack swaps:

Craving a sweet treat? Swap that cookie or ice cream for…

1. Almond Butter Energy Bites – these little bites are studded with mini dark chocolate chips – just the right amount of chocolate in this good-for-you snack.

2. Fresh fruit with a bit of peanut butter – it’s naturally sweet and offers fibre and healthy fats to keep you feeling satiated. I love a few big crisp apple wedges smeared with natural peanut butter and topped with fresh blueberries. The little blues are packed with fibre, vitamin C and antioxidants. It’s a good-for-you version of peanut butter and jam.

3. Dates – they call them nature’s candy for a reason. Dates are naturally sweet, but they’re also rich in fibre and potassium. Fill a couple of dates with almond butter for a tasty little treat.

4. Banana nice-cream -- whirl one frozen banana (cut and frozen in small chunks) in a food processor or good blender until it's nice and creamy. Blend in frozen cherries and a few dark chocolate chips for a banana split version.

Craving a something salty or savoury? Swap salty snack foods for…

5. Hard boiled eggs – top a couple of protein-packed hard boiled eggs with a small dab of sriracha mayonnaise or a sprinkle of citrusy-tasting sumac.

6. Avocado – keep it simple with a dollop of cottage cheese or plain Greek yogurt, a big juicy wedge of lime and a sprinkle of coarse sea salt. The healthy fat in the avocado is digested slowly, helping to keep you satisfied.

7. Whole grain crackers with a spoonful of pesto, fresh roasted turkey, grape tomatoes (try them pan-roasted!), and a thin slice of Parmesan.

8.Loaded hummus – this is like a party in your mouth and a delicious dip that will have you wanting to eat more vegetables (hey, most of us Canadians don't get enough!).

Craving a crunchy snack? Swap potato chips for….

9. Popcorn – pop it, spritz with olive oil, sprinkle it with a bit of sea salt, pepper and granulated garlic. Popcorn’s a whole grain that provides fibre to keep you full. Add dark chocolate and roasted broad beans (see #10) and satisfy a salty, crunchy, chocolate craving all in one!

10. A big handful of roasted broad beans (check out Enlightened Crisps – my new fav crunchy snack! I have no affiliation with them, but I would!) or roasted chickpeas (I like Three Farmers). Both have fibre and protein for snacking satisfaction.

11. Celery – stuff a few pieces with extra old cheddar and a bit of salsa. The celery has great crunch and the tang of the cheese with the salsa will tingle your taste buds.

12. Toasted pita -- cut a pita into triangles, brush with olive oil and sprinkle with sea salt. Toast in a 400 degree oven until crispy. Dip in a garlicky, yogurt tzatziki.

Craving chocolate? Swap that chocolate bar for…

13. Dark chocolate – choose the most flavourful version; a few bites will give you all the taste you desire without going overboard. I keep small squares of high quality dark chocolate around for those times I’m craving chocolate; it’s intense and rich so a couple of bites and my craving is crushed!

14. Kind Bar: Almond and Sea Salt Dark Chocolate -- packed with nuts, a touch of chocolate and pinch of sea salt, this is one of my most favourite packaged snacks. It has 6 grams of protein, 7 grams of fibre and only 5 grams of sugar. Kapow!

15. Chocolate dipped fruit – melt a couple of teaspoons of dark chocolate chips and dip your favourite fruits into it. I love dark chocolate with blueberries, clementines or banana. You’ll satisfy your craving and get benefits of good-for-you foods too!

Food cravings got you over a barrel? Check out my 5 Easy Ways to Crush Food Cravings.

#cravings #healthyaging #healthyeating

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