Sunday, January 12, 2014

25 Sweet Treats that Won't Break the Bank

I don't know about you, but I enjoy being able to eat sweets. They're comforting, delicious, and are definitely a part of our culture. The problem isn't that we include these sweets in our diet, but that we make an entire batch of cookies, or a cake or pie, or dig a little too much out of that ice cream container, and then our beloved sweets start sabotaging (or completely derailing) our efforts to be healthier or lose weight. Trust me, I know!

In an effort to find some healthier options to satisfy inevitable cravings without overindulging, I've come up with a list of 25 dessert ideas that won't break the bank when you just can't say no to that sweet tooth.

1. Berries.
Top them with a little Truvia or whipped cream, or put them in greek yogurt for added protein. Berries are a good choice because they are low in sugar and great sources of fiber.

2. Other fruits.
While other fruits contain more sugar than berries, they are still a great source of fiber, vitamins, and minerals. And there are so many to choose from!

3. Chocolate Covered Strawberries.
Need to fix that craving for chocolate? Dress up your strawberries in some rich dark chocolate to satisfy that urge while also getting in some extra antioxidants.You could also try bananas here, or raspberries.

4. Smoothies.
Hot outside? Need a to-go breakfast? Put down those poptarts and mix up a smoothie. There are a million different combinations of flavors, and you can sneak in veggies and even protein powder if you wish. Here is one site that lists 54 smoothie recipes to get you started:

5. Chocolate Milk or Hot Cocoa.
In moderation, chocolate milk hot or cold can be just enough of a sweet to satisfy cravings. Try going light on the powder/syrup, or using a reduced sugar version. For added flavor, add a dash of cinnamon to make mexican hot cocoa! Just keep serving size in mind with this treat and you'll be set.

6. Frozen Greek Yogurt Drops.
Simple and delicious. Put your favorite flavor of greek yogurt in a bag, cut a small hole in the tip, drop onto a wax-paper lined cookie sheet and freeze. Just pop them off once frozen and enjoy!

7. Cinnamon Toast.
This one is simple enough. Butter your favorite toast and sprinkle cinnamon sugar over top for a crunch, salty-sweet treat. Be careful though! It's easy to overindulge in if you put too much sugar or eat more than one or two pieces.

8. Pudding or Jell-O.
Either make your own or buy it in the pre-made containers to satisfy your craving for something sweet and creamy. Freeze a portion of it to make a homemade pudding pop!

9. Apple Slices Topped with Nut Butter.
A small to medium apple is the perfect size for this treat. Dip in or spread on nut butter of your choice for an added protein punch.

10. Frozen Yoplait Whips Yogurt.
This brand and type of yogurt makes for a really delicious frozen treat!

Frozen Yoplait Whips Yogurt (these seriously taste like ice cream when they are frozen!)
Frozen Yoplait Whips Yogurt (these seriously taste like ice cream when they are frozen!)
11. Baked Apple.
Either hollow out, slice, or cube an apple. Top with brown sugar and cinnamon and bake (or microwave) until tender.

12. Sugar Coated Almonds or Pecans.
They sell several flavors of these at grocery stores, from chocolate to cinnamon sugar to butterscotch. Portion control with these are important, as they are pretty high in fat. 

13. Kettle Corn.
A bag of Kettle Corn still has less calories and sugar than a fat slice of cake, and satisfies that need for crunch too. Try topping with cinnamon or drizzling with dark chocolate for added flavor and sweetness.

14. S'mores.
This is another one of those treats where portion control is important. One graham cracker sheet split in half, with a marshmallow and a square of your favorite dark chocolate, baked or microwaved until warm and melty. Yum!

15. Fun Size Candy Bar.
These little guys are harmless until you eat 5 of them in a row! Pick one and leave the rest somewhere out of reach to reduce the chance of going back for more.

16. Chocolate Covered Nuts.
As mentioned with the sugar coated almonds above, portion control with this one is very important, as it's easy to keep munching on these guys until they're gone!

17. Banana with Cinnamon and Honey.
Slice up a banana, drizzle with honey, and sprinkle with cinnamon for a rich, indulgent treat without the guilt.

18. Applesauce.
Choose an unsweetened or all-natural applesauce, and sprinkle with Truvia and cinnamon for flavor without being too sweet. Try heating it up in the microwave for added comfort!

19. Cereal
Either with milk or plain, one serving of cereal can satisfy a sweet and crunchy craving all in one go. Just make sure to stick to one portion size, and try to avoid high-sugar cereals like lucky charms. Some good choices include Chex cereals, Special K, Kashi, Life, and Mini Wheats.

20. Low Carb Peanut butter Cookies.
These cookies sound rich and look easy to make. I would use Truvia instead of Splenda or Sugar (Ihate the aftertaste of Splenda!). You could also add a mini chocolate piece or hershey's kiss to the center of each cookie to kill two cravings with one cookie. Click here to see the recipe, courtesy of Heart of a Country Home.

21. No Bake Raspberry Lemon Cheesecakes.
This recipe from My Baking Addiction's Blog looks delicious and light! I would use Truvia sweetener instead of the sugar to make it a little lighter, and would also try it with strawberries, blueberries, and blackberries! Making these in smaller jars ensures that you won't take too big of a slice of this delicious cheesecake. Take a look at her recipe here.

22. Vanilla Cupcakes for Two.
Thank goodness I stumbled across Bakergirl's blog, because now I can get a cake fix without eating an entire cake in two days. These little guys have so many variations...add frosting on top, put chocolate/caramel/peanutbutter chips in them and dust with powdered sugar, drizzle with melted chocolate, add 2 tablespoos of cocoa powder for chocolate cakes...the possibilities are endless! See her recipe for these babies here.

23. One Bowl Chocolate Chip Cookies for Two.
This recipe, also from Bakergirl's blog, is my saving grace. Because when I make a batch of cookies, I usually eat half the dough and then wonder why I feel like crap. Hey, everyone has their weaknesses. Anyway, check out her wonderful recipe here.

24. Rice Crispy Treats for Two.
This small batch of Rice Crispy Treats, as featured on Dessert for Two's blog, is a great way to get a sweet, gluten free treat without eating an entire batch. Check out her recipe here.

25. Microwave Brownie in a Mug.
This easy brownie in a mug was featured on No. 2 Pencil's blog. You can see the recipe by clicking here

I hope you enjoy these tasty sweet treats! I know I will :)

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