How hard is it to say no to candy?
If you have a sweet tooth, then you know how hard it is to kick the sugar cravings out of your life and to try choosing a healthier alternative. It’s not an easy task, and it requires a lot of commitment. Moreover, it takes time and a huge amount of willpower to fight temptation, and seriously now, can you hold back when you pass through an aisle full of candy?
Let’s face it: Candy has been popular since we were children, and most of it looks so delicious that even adults are tempted to buy it. Unfortunately, most of them are made of sugar and artificial flavors, which can lead to a lot of health issues like obesity, type 2 diabetes, and even the risk of cavities and enamel damage.
I know that you might not be ready to give up sugar completely, but you can always opt for some guilt-free alternatives to candy that can satisfy your teensy cravings! Let’s discover them together.
1. Homemade popsicles
A healthy and delicious alternative to candy is homemade popsicles. These things taste so good that you will want to make them over and over again every time you want something sweet with no sugar added. To prepare them, you only need some fruits that you love, water or some orange juice, or milk in case you want them more creamy.
Blend them together, and after that, pour the mixture into popsicle molds made of simple plastic cups and place a Popsicle stick in the middle of each one. After that, freeze them overnight. Yummy! I can’t wait to make myself some for the weekend ahead.
…psst! You can also trick your grandkids with these awesome homemade popsicles by telling them they are as good as any candy from the supermarket. I can guarantee they will take the bait!
2. Energy balls
These tiny balls are usually made with ingredients full of nutrients and healthy fats that can help you feel satiated for a long time. They’re also extremely tasty and could easily replace any candy that can be found in regular stores. Dried fruits, nut butter, flax seeds, and oats are usually the most common ingredients that are used to make these energy balls.
Just be careful because they have a lot of calories, so try not to eat more than one or two per day. Before you start digging through the internet or your cookbooks, give our recipe a try!
Coconut-dusted energy balls
- 1/2 cup of raw almonds
- 1/2 cup of raw walnuts
- 1 cup of raisins
- 3 pitted dates
- 1/2 tsp of cinnamon
- 1/2 tsp of vanilla extract
- 1 cup of shredded coconut
In a blender, finely chop the almonds and walnuts. Next, add the remaining ingredients, excluding the coconut, and pulse until a sticky mixture is obtained. With your hands, make 1-inch (2.5-cm) balls, then coat them completely with the shredded coconut.
3. Fresh fruit
Unlike candy, fresh fruits are low in calories and very high in fiber. They’re packed with a lot of nutrients and vitamins that can provide the necessary amount of antioxidants your body needs, and a lot of them are pretty affordable to buy from your local grocery store. Not to mention that most fresh fruits, especially those high in fiber, like oranges, apples, and berries, can help you reduce inflammation.
Did you know that 150 grams of fresh strawberries only have 46 calories but provide the necessary amount of daily vitamin C? That’s great!
Let’s not forget about bananas, which, aside from being delicious, are high in potassium and, together with grapes, make a good combination, especially frozen, because you can mix them into delectable smoothies. So instead of eating candy this holiday season, try one of these nutritious options that are still sweet and filling. Your body will give you thanks by giving you more energy, regularity, and a general feeling of well-being.
4. ‘Nice cream’
Who doesn’t love good, creamy ice cream? But a lot of us back down because a lot of them are full of sugar and artificial flavors. But you can make your own “nice cream” in your kitchen with only two ingredients and the milk of your choice (coconut or almond milk). Here’s a super easy recipe to get you started:
Strawberry-banana “nice cream”
1 large, peeled frozen banana
150 grams of frozen strawberries
Start by cutting the strawberries and the banana into small pieces, then put everything in a food processor until it blends smoothly. Are you ready to eat one of the best and healthiest snacks ever? I can guarantee that it’s better and also full of nutrients compared to candy or brand-name ice cream.
5. Sugar-baked chickpeas
Garbanzo beans, often known as chickpeas, are high in protein, fiber, vitamins, and minerals. That’s why it’s no surprise that they’re often recommended by a lot of nutritionists to include in your daily meals. Only 160 grams of cooked chickpeas cover the necessary amount of fiber and high-quality protein that your body needs per day. Furthermore, they might improve heart health and lower your risk of developing certain illnesses, like Type 2 diabetes.
Try this easy and delicious recipe for a treat made with chickpeas.
- 1 cup of cooked chickpeas
- 1 tbsp. of olive oil
- 2 tbsp. brown sugar or another sweetener of choice
- 1 tbsp. of ground cinnamon
- 1 tsp of salt
Bake the chickpeas for 15 minutes at 400°F (204°C) in the preheated oven. Meanwhile, combine the other ingredients (salt, cinnamon, and sugar) in a bowl. After removing the chickpeas from the oven, cover them with cinnamon and drizzle them with olive oil. Bake a further 15 minutes after thoroughly coating.
6. Baked apples
Apples are one of the most affordable fruits that anyone can have in their house because they are high in soluble fibers that can help you have a normal but also healthy digestion, and one of the biggest properties of apples is that they can help you lower high cholesterol levels. Your sugar cravings are kicking in again, and all you want to do is eat candy or a whole bar of sugar. Well, whenever you feel like munching on something, apples are a very good option.
And you have the opportunity to either eat them fresh or bake them. To make some tasty baked apples, all you need are two or three medium-sized apples cut into chunks and placed on a baking sheet. Add a bit of melted coconut oil and cinnamon on top of them and bake for 30 minutes in a preheated oven at 350°F.
7. Avocado-chocolate pudding
Since I discovered avocado, my life has been so great. I can eat it with boiled eggs or on top of my favorite toast, and recently I discovered a simple recipe that contains avocado but is more like a treat for my sweet tooth. Can avocado be combined with chocolate and taste delicious in the end? The answer is yes, and that helped me ditch candy completely. Besides the fact that avocados are a great source of fiber and healthy fats, they can also provide vitamins C, potassium, and folate.
Recent studies have shown that the fiber contained in avocados helps you reduce your appetite, which means you will feel satiated for a long period of time after eating one avocado for your lunch. That’s why it’s usually included in diets that help you lose weight. However, you can also make a delicious creamy pudding out of just two ripe avocados, cocoa powder, milk, and a sweetener of your choice.
- 1 or 2 ripe avocados
- 1/4 cup of cocoa powder (without sugar)
- 3-4 tablespoons of your choice of milk
- 1/8 tsp. salt
- 1/4 cup of your preferred sweetener
Combine all the ingredients in a blender and blend until everything is completely smooth. In my case, I used 3 teaspoons of almond milk to make its consistency even smoother. And this is also recommended if you don’t use any type of liquid sweetener. If you make it, don’t forget to leave us a comment on whether you loved it and how it turned out.
8. Homemade gummies
Gummy bears are usually the most popular snack for kids because they are super tasty, and they come in various shapes and colors, ready to pop into your mouth. And let’s face it, they are tastier than candy. In most cases, these gummies are made from gelatin, a food additive made by cooking collagen. Did I just say collagen?
We all know how many health benefits collagen offers for our body, especially for our skin and joints. Collagen is usually found in animal parts such as chicken skin or beef bones. Getting back to our gummies, most of the store-bought versions contain a lot of added sugar compared to ones that you can make by yourself with healthier ingredients like honey and fresh fruit juice.
Check out this recipe for some tasty tart gummies:
3/4 cup of cherry juice or any other juice you like
1/4 cup of freshly squeezed lemon juice
2 tbsp. of raw honey
3 tbsp. gelatin
How to do it:
The juices must be heated in a saucepan to a warm but not boiling taste. Once the heat is at its lowest setting, whisk in the honey and allow it to completely dissolve. The gelatin should now be whisked in 1 tbsp. at a time, only adding more once the first batch dissolves. After roughly 10 minutes of stirring, the gelatin is already completely dissolved. Remove the heat until there are no lumps left, just liquid, and carefully pour the liquid into the gummy molds.
If you don’t have molds, you may also use a lightly greased 8×8 inch baking dish or a little muffin pan loaded with mini liners. Depending on the size of your gummies, refrigerate for 1-2 hours before popping them out to enjoy!
Candy is mostly loaded with additives and lots of sugar. That’s why you should avoid it as much as possible. Whether chocolate, milkshakes, ice cream, or doughnuts are your favorite indulgences, I promise that after you try any of these healthy candy substitutes, you’ll kick that sugar craving out of your life completely. Even though these are healthier options, you still need to properly control your portion sizes because some of the recipes are still high in calories, and if you are trying to have a balanced meal, it is recommended to eat everything moderately.
You may also enjoy: Is Fast Food Really That Bad? These Interesting 7 Facts Say YES.