Written by Melinda Hershey, Health Educator
Put down the ice cream pint! There are better ways to satisfy those pesky sugar cravings. Check out these sweet suggestions for fun, simple desserts and snacks that will leave you feeling satisfied without the sugar crash.
Yes, you can make fat-free, sugar-free soft-serve at home! You only need two things: frozen bananas and a food processor. Sweet and simple on its own, you can also top with dark cocoa powder, nuts, or sugar-free caramel sauce before you devour it.
These sugar-free muffins make quick, portion-controlled snacks that will bust your sugar craving without wreaking havoc on your waistline. You can easily tweak this simple recipe to suit your tastes and dietary preferences. Don't like white flour? Use whole wheat pastry flour instead. Not crazy about blueberries? Substitute chopped apples, raspberries, or blackberries. The sky's the limit!
Apples are delicious raw, but warming them takes the texture and flavor up a notch and makes for a quick and easy comfort food.
Core an apple and put it in a microwave-safe bowl. Stuff the middle with dried fruit and nuts of your choice and pour a few tablespoons of water over the dried fruit to soften it. Dust the apple with cinnamon (and a sprinkle of artificial sweetener, if desired). Microwave on high until the apple is tender, about 5 minutes, and let it stand for 5 additional minutes before digging in.
Love gummy, chewy candies like licorice or gummy bears? Satisfy your cravings with dried fruit instead. It's a great way to get in some nutrients while quelling your sweet tooth. Just beware of portion sizes since dried fruit is highly concentrated, it contains more calories per ounce than fresh fruit. Additionally, make sure to select varieties that say "no sugar added" on the label, as many dried fruits are made with added sweeteners.
Skip the drive-thru and whip up a faux frosty at home for a satisfying dessert without the sugar crash later on.
Sugar-free candy is a great way to get a taste of the sweetness you crave without the added sugar and calories. Keep a portion-controlled package of sugar-free sweets on hand to satisfy your cravings in a pinch.
Trail mix is one of the easiest snacks to throw together. Simply mix up your favorite nuts, dried fruits, and sugar-free cereals and store in an airtight container. Try pretzels, nuts and raisins for a sweet and salty combination, or add in some plain shredded wheat for a boost of sugar-free fiber.
Love the taste of pumpkin pie but not all the calories? This crustless pumpkin pie recipe is a comforting, sugar-free, and low-fat way to enjoy the health benefits of pumpkin.
A sliced crunchy apple mixed with smooth, creamy peanut butter is always a winning combination. Make sure to choose the natural variety of peanut butter, as conventional brands tend to be filled with hidden sugars. Sprinkle raisins on top for added chewiness!
Who doesn't love the classic sweet-and-salty snack combination? Munch on this kettle corn for the crunch and flavor that you crave without all the added sugar and fat.
This dip tastes so decadent that you won't even realize it’s sugar-free! It's a great vehicle for fruit, graham crackers, or pretzels. Try experimenting with different flavors of yogurt for even more variety.
When you make them right, smoothies can feel just as indulgent as milkshakes do--without all the calories. Experiment with your favorite sugar-free yogurts, frozen fruits, fruit juice and/or milks. Most fruit smoothies are so sweet and delicious that they don't even need any added sweetener.
Try this peanut butter-banana smoothie, which is sweetened with honey. To make it completely free of sweeteners, omit the honey and use plain or sugar-free yogurt.
This recipe from Chef Meg makes for a sweet, creamy, and crispy afternoon snack, or a great alternative to sugary stuffed French toast.
You will earn 5 SparkPoints