Cravings can cause a lot of damage to any diet. A sweet tooth craving can be particularly detrimental when you’re craving something like a sugar-packed, fat-riddled candy bar. Take a Snickers Bar, for example: One of these candy bars contains 250 calories, 12 grams of fat, 4.5 grams of saturated fat, and 27 grams of sugar, according to its nutrition facts. Additionally, Livestrong notes that this caramel- and nougat-filled chocolate bar doesn’t contain any vitamins, which play a key role in our overall health.
While it may temporarily satiate you, it’s also providing you with empty calories, carbs, and fat. The good news, though, is there are plenty of tasty treats you can make that will satisfy any sweet tooth and provide you with tons of nutritional benefits. Here are 6 satisfying recipes to cure your cravings without ruining your waistline.
1. Real Food Truffles
Filled with pecans, almond butter, cocoa powder, coconut, chia seeds, and macadamia nuts, these truffles will entice your tastebuds and satisfy your sweet tooth. Real Healthy Recipes creates an energizing, sweet, and salty treat that contains 186 calories, 17 grams of good-for-you fats, 3 grams of fiber, and 4 grams of protein. Why eat a sugar-riddled candy bar when you can reap these tasty benefits instead?
- 2 cups toasted pecans
- 1 cup coconut oil
- 2 cups organic almond butter
- ½ cup coconut flour
- ½ cup unsweetened cocoa powder
- 1 cup shredded, unsweetened coconut, toasted
- 1 cup ground chia seeds
- 1 tablespoon vanilla extract
- ½ teaspoon almond extract
- ½ teaspoon sea salt
- ⅓ cup macadamia nuts, ground
Directions: In a food processor, grind the pecans. Mix in the coconut oil and almond butter. Mix in the coconut flour and cocoa powder. Blend thoroughly. Transfer the mixture to a large mixing bowl and mix in the shredded coconut, chia seeds, vanilla and almond extracts, and the salt. Form small balls with the chocolate mixture. Roll each ball in the ground macadamia nuts. Refrigerate to harden, and store in an airtight container in the fridge.
2. Cherry Almond Coconut Protein Balls
You’ll never need to feel guilty about eating Pop Sugar’s protein balls. The recipe, which yields 18 servings, calls for cottage cheese, raw almonds, rolled oats, cinnamon, and maple syrup, creating a healthy treat that tastes similar to cherry cheesecake. With only 78 calories, 3.6 grams of fat, and 3.7 grams of protein, this is a sweet snack you can feel good about eating.
- 1 cup raw almonds
- 1 cup cottage cheese
- 1 tablespoon maple syrup
- 1 teaspoon cinnamon
- 1 cup rolled oats
- ¼ cup unsweetened coconut
- ¼ cup dried cherries, chopped
Directions: In a food processor, grind the raw almonds until a coarse powder forms. Add the cottage cheese, maple syrup, and cinnamon and mix until a paste forms. In a separate bowl, mix the rolled oats, coconut, and cherries. Add the wet ingredients to the bowl with the dry ingredients and mix well. Form into 18 balls and place on a wooden cutting board lined with parchment paper. Place in the freezer for at least 30 minutes. Allow to thaw five minutes before eating.
3. Chocolate Crunch
When you’re craving something that’s both sweet and salty, the obvious choice may seem like a candy bar. However, consider preparing Eating Well’s chocolate crunch instead. Wheat cereal, pretzels, and almonds are coated in bittersweet chocolate, providing you with a healthy, filling, and superbly satisfying snack. One serving contains 218 calories, 8 grams of fat, and 5 grams of protein.
- 1 cup Wheat Chex cereal, (2 ounces)
- 1 cup pretzel sticks broken in half, (2 ounces)
- ¼ cup salted roasted almonds, (2½ ounces)
- 3 tablespoons bittersweet chocolate chips, melted
Directions: Combine Chex, pretzels, and almonds in a medium bowl. Drizzle with melted chocolate; stir to combine. Spread the mixture on a wax paper-lined baking sheet and refrigerate until the chocolate is set, about 30 minutes.
4. No-Nut Butter Cups
If you’re craving a rich, gooey, and creamy treat, The Washington Post’s recipe is a nutritious way to succumb to your sweet tooth. Filled with sunflower seed butter, honey, coconut oil, and chocolate, these no-nut butter cups use natural and healthy ingredients that will keep you feeling content.
- 1½ cups semi-sweet chocolate mega chunks
- 1 cup sunflower seed butter
- ½ cup coconut oil, liquefied
- ⅓ cup raw honey
- 1 teaspoon sea salt
- ½ teaspoon vanilla extract
Directions: Heat a few inches of water in a medium saucepan over medium heat. Place the chocolate chunks in a heatproof bowl seated on top of the saucepan; once they have melted, stir until smooth. Remove the bowl from the heat; reduce the heat to low and keep the water in the saucepan warm. Spoon a dollop of the chocolate into each baking cup liner in the muffin pan; use the spoon to evenly coat the bottom and halfway up the sides. Transfer to the freezer to firm up, about 10 minutes.
You should have more than half of the melted chocolate left over. Meanwhile, combine the sunflower seed butter, coconut oil, raw honey, sea salt, and vanilla extract in a food processor; puree until well incorporated. Use a spoon to evenly divide the nut butter mixture among the chocolate-lined cups. Return them to the freezer for 30 minutes, until the nut butter mixture is firm.
Use a spoon to spread and completely coat the top of each nut butter cup with the remaining melted chocolate. Return the bowl of chocolate briefly to the saucepan as needed, to loosen it up. Return the completely coated cups to the freezer; freeze until firm, about 15 minutes. Transfer the nut butter cups to an airtight container; store/stack between pieces of waxed or parchment paper, if desired, and refrigerate.
5. Frozen Chocolate Banana Bites
High Heels & Grills has found the perfect solution to satisfying a sweet tooth: frozen chocolate banana bites. These chocolate-covered treats are unbelievably easy to make and only contain 25 calories per serving, creating a snack you can indulge in without damaging your diet. The recipe yields 3 dozen bites.
- 3 bananas
- 1 (12 ounce) bag semi-sweet chocolate chips
- 1½ tablespoons vegetable oil
Directions: Cut the bananas into ½-inch slices. In a medium sized bowl, combine the chocolate and oil and microwave on high for 30 seconds. Stir the chocolate and then microwave in 15 second increments until the chips are fully melted. Place a piece of wax paper on a baking sheet. Dip the bananas in the chocolate and place on the wax paper. Place bananas in freezer for at least six hours or overnight until frozen.
6. 5-Ingredient Vegan Snickers Bar
For those days when you simply can’t resist a candy bar, prepare your own using Minimalist Baker’s recipe. This vegan bar calls for caramel, peanuts, and chocolate, which creates a healthy, gooey, and scintillating snack. The recipe yields 8 bars, with each containing 325 calories, 18 grams of fat, and 37 grams of carbs. The difference between this recipe and a regular Snickers? This delightful dessert is filled with nutritious carbs and good-for-you fats, ensuring you’ll feel full and satisfied after indulging.
- 18-20 pitted dates (about 1 cup)
- 1 cup raw walnuts (or cashews or almonds)
- ¼ cup vegan caramel sauce
- ¼ cup roasted salted peanuts
- 8 ounces (1 cup) bittersweet chocolate, chopped (non-dairy)
Directions: Pulse dates in a food processor until only small bits remain. Add walnuts and pulse until thoroughly mixed and a dough is formed. Transfer dough to a small loaf pan lined with parchment paper or plastic wrap and press into a square about ¼-inch thick. Once sliced, the dough should yield 8 small snickers bars. Pop dough in the freezer to set for 5 minutes. Remove from freezer and transfer to a cookie sheet. Carefully slice into 8 even rectangles. Top with caramel sauce and add peanuts. Pop back in freezer for 15 minutes to harden.
Ten minutes into freezing, melt the chocolate in a shallow bowl. When set, remove bars from freezer and carefully dip each one into the chocolate and scrape off excess with a rubber spatula. Then using a spoon, drizzle a generous amount of chocolate on top of each bar and use your finger or a small pastry brush to coat the bars with chocolate. You will likely have leftover chocolate. Place bars on a baking sheet lined with plastic wrap or parchment and place back in freezer to set for at least 10 minutes. Store in the freezer or fridge to keep fresh until serving.