When Sweet Cravings Attack

Craving sweets is only human. We’ve all been there. The problem with giving in to those cravings, of course, is that added sugar is a high-calorie, low-nutrient form of food and there are good reasons that both the USDA and the Nationals Institutes of Health recommend limiting how much added sugar we eat. Our bodies often don’t seem interested in the research on what’s best to put into them once hunger strikes, so a little advance planning can go a long way to helping us cut down on added sugar.

Bananas and Strawberry
Bananas and Strawberry / Ralph Daily / CC BY 2.0

Make fruit your first choice. Fruit has the sugars your tongue wants, but whole fruit also has fiber and nutrients that added sugar is lacking to make sure you’re giving your body calories that are useful for fueling and strengthening your body.

Fruit fights hunger better with a friend. No, you don’t need to go eat bananas with your BFF. But a banana will help you stay full longer if you back it up with a small portion of protein and fat, such as a tablespoon of natural nut butter, which will give you more sustainable energy until your next meal.

Don’t get caught off guard. It’s hardest to make a good choice about your sweet cravings when you’re really hungry with no easy healthy food on hand. If apples and peanut butter are your favorite snack, slice a few up, toss them with lemon juice, and divide them into snack containers with a tablespoon of peanut butter added in.

Try a healthy sweet replacement. It requires a bit of advance planning, but try making up a large batch of banana-based Dark Chocolate Dairy-Free Ice Cream. Divide it into half-cup portions, freeze, and enjoy with a tablespoon of walnuts (3 Guiding Stars) for a nutritious snack that will hit that sweet tooth just right.

Dark Chocolate Dairy-Free Ice Cream

Print this recipe | Get the full nutrition facts

Chop up a few bananas and keep them in the freezer so that you can whip up this “ice cream” at a moment’s notice.  So easy, so fast, so yummy.

Tip: As bananas ripen, they convert starch to natural sugars, so using bananas that are very ripe will give you the sweetest treat.

Servings: 1 (129 G)

Prep Time: 10 min.

Cook Time: 40 min.

Ingredients

  • 1 banana, frozen, chunked or sliced
  • 2 Tbsp. cocoa powder

Directions

  1. Puree the frozen banana in a food processor until it is completely smooth.
  2. Working quickly, add cocoa powder and continue to blend until thoroughly combined.
  3. Refreeze mixture in an airtight container for half an hour for best texture.
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