Recipes to Replace Your Favorite Junk Foods
Junk food means different things to different people. For some, it means sweets such as cookies or cake and to others it’s pizza, chips or other savory fare.
No matter what your favorite junk food is, we spend about $374 billion on it annually across the globe. This type of spending shows high consumption of foods that are not in our best interest from a health perspective.
According to the American Heart Association, the maximum amount of added sugars you should eat in a day is 150 calories (about nine teaspoons) for men and 100 calories (six teaspoons) for women. For example, one 12-ounce can of soda can contain 140 calories from sugar.
This category of junk food can cause harm to all parts of your body and mind. It has been shown to deteriorate memory, increase the risk of dementia through diabetes, make it more difficult to control appetite and cause cravings. Some studies have even shown that eating foods high in sugar and fat can change the chemical activity of the brain making it more dependent on the foods and increasing the risk of depression.
The good news is that there are healthy alternatives, or ways to make your favorite foods less harmful to your body and mind. Check out one or more of these tasty alternative recipes.
- Zucchini-Carrot Dark Chocolate Chip Cookies – This recipe allows you to sneak some vegetables into a favorite dessert.
- Chickpea Chocolate Chip Peanut Butter Cookies – The chickpeas in this recipe give extra protein.
- Sweet Potato Protein Cookie – Sweet potatoes are a nutritional powerhouse making this cookie recipe packed with protein.
- Blueberry Lemon Greek Yogurt Muffins – Your favorite blueberry muffin might sound healthy, but there is a good chance it is not. Check out this recipe for a healthier take on it.
- Nutritious Rainbow Oatmeal Muffins – This muffin recipe allows you to include different food groups by adding both fruit and vegetables. A perfect recipe for kids to try something new.
- Broccoli Cheddar and Quinoa Cornbread Muffins – These make for a great breakfast or snack and are easier to customize by adding your favorite vegetables, meats and cheeses.
- Roasted Cherry and Brie Pizza – This recipe uses fresh Michigan cherries as a healthier pizza topping with fresh flavor.
- Cauliflower Pizza Crust – By replacing the typical pizza crust you can cut the calories of one slice of pizza from about 175 calories to only 50 calories.
- Rainbow Veggie Pizza – This pizza not only tastes great, but encourages kids and adults to eat as many colors of fresh produce as possible.
- Homemade Greek Yogurt Ranch Dip – This tasty alternative can be made in just minutes. Pair it with your favorite vegetables or one of the pizza recipes listed above.
- Whipped Avocado Dip – A different, simple way to enjoy those fresh avocados.
- Skinny Buffalo Chicken Dip – This recipe makes just a few modifications to the classic recipe that is popular at tailgates and family parties.
Other Favorite Junk Foods
- Banana Swirl Ice Cream – This one ingredient recipe is the perfect way to use up those over ripened bananas you might have at home.
- Baked Buffalo Cauliflower Bites – An alternative recipe for chicken wings to serve as an appetizer or a simple snack.
- Baked Zucchini Fries – The number one eaten vegetable in the United States is the potato in French fry form. Replacing the potato with zucchini makes this a light dish when you are craving fries.
Did you try one of these healthy alternatives? Comment below with which one you enjoyed most!
If you liked this post, you might also enjoy:
- Helping Your Kids End Their Junk Food Habit by Changing Your Shopping Habits
- 4 Michigan Foodie Instagrams to Follow Today
- Banish the Blahs! Five Food Tips for All-Day Energy at Work
Photo credit: A Healthier Michigan