Chocolate, ice cream, chips and dip, oh my! Chocolate, ice cream, chips and dip, oh my! Chocolate…
That’s the sound of longing during a restrictive fast or renewed plan to make your summer bod happen this time. You’ve been working out, planning your meals and measuring your success.
Yet, the all too familiar chant — Chocolate, ice cream, chips and dip, oh my! — threatens your resolve at every turn. You walk into the coffee shop to meet a friend and spend the first fifteen minutes staring at her gorgeous, chocolately and creamy cheesecake without blinking. The berries on top are healthy, right? Why not indulge?
You can indulge while on a diet, with healthier substitutions in the place of the processed goodies that always get you into trouble. It involves a little creative recipe hacking, such as substituting olive oil over butter. Here are four tasty treats to see you through to the summer with success:
- Chocolate Avocado Pudding
Yes, you can have chocolate. Yes, this chocolate pudding has avocados in it, and it’s rich, smooth and not green like you might expect. Avocados are a healthy fat, and the consistency is fluffy and light while not overwhelming the palette, perfect for pudding.
Scoop out the avocado, chop it into chunks and blend it until pudding consistency is achieved. Add cocoa, agave or honey and almond milk until well mixed. Refrigerate and serve when it’s pudding time!
Next, give chocolate peanut butter avocado pudding a try for an extra protein boost and flavor sensation!
- No-Bake Cookies
For a cookie craving that needs satisfaction STAT, try these no-bake peanut butter cookies. Mix whole-wheat ground graham crackers with raisins, peanut butter and honey in one bowl until well combined. Press down into the shape of a small cookie and lightly coat in unsweetened coconut flakes.
Ready in just ten minutes, these no bake cookies only have 18g of sugar for every two cookies consumed, with 7g of protein. Get your cookie fix and a protein boost! Add cocoa nibs for a chocolate infusion and chill for a firmer cookie.
- Store-Run Fun and Healthy Ice Cream
Sometimes, you don’t have time for homemade health food, and certain days demand ice cream. That’s how it is, and it doesn’t mean you have to skip the store or ice cream to save your diet.
Certain ice cream brands are diet safe, if you treat them as a luxury. Follow the suggested serving size.
Seek out brands that don’t have artificial flavors or sweeteners and meet dietary restrictions: Ben and Jerry’s Pistachio Pistachio has a vanilla flavor with whole pistachios, and So Delicious Cashew Milk Non-Dairy Frozen Dessert Cappuccino offers the taste of coffee without the dairy, for example.
- Dehydrated Chips
Master your sweet tooth and crunchy chip cravings with a dehydrator, and dehydrate your own chips from fruits and vegetables. Dehydrating chips does take prep work, but it will save you time and fitness setbacks later.
Slice fruits and vegetables in a chip-like consistency, about a fourth of an inch thick. Fruits tend to oxidize and may be treated with ascorbic acid or citrus juice. Blanching vegetables for three to four minutes in boiling water helps maintain their color.
Add spices, sweetener or sea salt to flavor. Load your vegetables in the dehydrator without overlapping, and let them dry out for an average of eight to twelve hours. Let the chips cool for at least thirty minutes. Place them in a loose container and shake for several days until the moisture is gone and no condensation appears. Store in a cool, dry place.
Too often, you buy more seasonal produce than you’ll eat. Dehydrated chips are a wonderful way to conserve produce while getting tasty treats out of it. These are perfect for a breakfast snack or dessert. Dip banana chips in your favorite healthy ice cream!
Indulging can be healthy, and you can do it without sacrificing your summer bod plans to processed food and questionable ingredients. Skip the processed chocolate and choose cocoa instead.
Where possible, substitute healthy fats and make your own snacks, such as chips. Healthy store-bought treats may be found at a reasonable price, and healthy ice cream does exist. Reward yourself with a healthy treat from time to time, without feeling guilty and engorged, and your summer bod will look and feel amazing.