You’ve spent all day eating really clean…salads, smoothies, hell you took the stairs instead of the elevator – all-in-all you’ve put in a great effort to keep your health goals on track.  If you’re anything like me, all that good work likes to be rewarded, but often the usual cakes and cookies will erase all of your hard work, and leave you feeling bummed out {and frankly who needs that?}.

Here are some healthy snacking tips that will satisfy your sweet tooth, and are packed with necessary nutrients for maintaining a balanced diet and good health.

Eat Fruit:  This may seem obvious, but sometimes a fresh fruit plate is exactly what’s needed to get a variety of flavors, sweetness’s and textures without the nasty sugar crash after.  Fruits are packed with vitamins and immune/health supporting nutrients, making it a satisfying and healthy snack choice. I love going to my local organic market and picking a little of everything, chopping them up and enjoying their freshness.  If  you have more time, and feeling adventurous, you can skewer fruit and grill them lightly.  This caramelizes them on the outside, intensifying their sweetness and flavor.  As an added bonus adding some fresh coconut whip gives your fruit plate or fruit skewers a nice tropical touch.

Try Dessert Smoothies:  A girlfriend of mine made me a delicious dessert smoothie one night, and I wondered by I hadn’t been making them myself all along.  Smoothies are easily customized to your personal taste, and the flavor combinations are endless!  Mix your favorite fruit combination with a nut milk of your choice.  I love using coconut milk.  It’s adds richness and a light sweetness to my smoothies without using dairy or sugar.  Sweeten to your desired level  (if necessary – fruit can be sweet enough on their own) using maple syrup, honey or another natural sweetener.  Blend with a bit of ice, and top with something fun like nuts, seeds and/or dark chocolate chips. My favorite smoothie is a vegan pumpkin pie smoothie.  It has all the gut hugging awesomeness of thanksgiving and autumn while packing a serious nutritional punch.

Make homemade sweet treats:   If I’m in the mood, I’ll eat sweet treats for days, but conventional store bought cookies and muffins leave a lot to be desired when it come to nutrition.  Not to mention the amount of refined sugar used will spike blood sugar levels and invite weight gain.  Over the years I’ve learned to trust a few solid recipes that use healthier sugar alternatives, whole ingredients, but still satisfy my sweet tooth.  The great part about making treats at home yourself is, you can moderate what ingredients are used,  avoid preservatives, unnecessary fillers and use top notch ingredients that help support your health, instead of harm it.  Check out one of my favorite homemade cookie recipes featured in my new EBook “The Picky Eaters Guide: Healthy Sweet Treats”:

*Soft Baked Banana-Chocolate Chip Cookies*

{Ingredients}

¼ cup coconut oil, melted
¼ cup pure maple syrup
¼ cup organic cane sugar
1 tsp baking soda
1 ½ bananas {very ripe}
½ cup unsweetened applesauce
1 egg
1 cup ground steel cut oats {or oat flour}
1 ¼ cups quinoa flour
½ cup semi-sweet or dark chocolate chips
½ cup walnuts, chopped

{Get ‘em Made}

  1. Preheat oven to 350˚F.
  2. Line 2 large baking sheets with parchment paper.
  3. Electric mixer instructions: Add everything except the chocolate chips and walnuts to the mixing bowl. Mix well. Stir in chocolate chips and walnuts on slow speed.
  4. Hand mixing instructions: a) In a mixing bowl add coconut oil, egg and applesauce. Beat until creamy. b) Add maple syrup, organic cane sugar, and bananas. Beat until smooth. c) Add quinoa flour, oats {flour or ground} and baking soda. Mix well. d) Stir in walnuts and chocolate chips.
  5. Drop heaping teaspoons of batter approx 1 inch apart, onto the baking sheets.
  6. Bake for 10-12 minutes, or until cookies are light brown around the edges. Do not overcook {I bake for 11 minutes}.
  7. Remove from the oven and transfer cookies to a cooling rack.

Store in a container with the lid slightly ajar. 3-5 days.

Enjoy getting creative when it comes to indulging in life’s many {sweet} pleasures.  For more sweet treat ideas check out my EBook, like my facebook page, or follow me on instagram @thehumblecitysoul.

Happy+Healthy Snacking!

JJ