10 healthier treats

Enjoy delicious snacks without the guilt with these healthier subs for popular indulgences

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apples woman

Satisfy your snack attack

On the hunt for tasty new snacks? If you’re watching what you eat and can’t exactly fit indulgences such as apple pies or mega-cranberry muffins into your eating plans-or at least not every day-try these 10 healthy (and yummy!) recipes and food finds to satisfy your cravings.

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apples cheddar

Instead of: Apple pie with a slice of cheddar cheese

Swap it for…
This Apple Cheddar Crunch snack from Natalie Brown, a registered dietitian in White Rock, B.C. Mix 2 tbsp. of sugar with 1/2 tsp. cinnamon to toss with one thinly sliced apple. Load slices onto Whole Grain Ritz crackers and top with grated light cheddar cheese and melt in the microwave.

What’s in it for me?
Only 70 calories, 3.5 g. of fat for two of these crackers, plus you’re one step closer to taking in your seven to eight servings of fruits and vegetables for the day.

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Instead of: The mid-afternoon cranberry lemon muffin

Swap it for…
Some Fruit Nut Crunch you made at home. Preheat your oven to 350 degrees and mix 1/4 c. peanut butter, 1/4 c. brown sugar, 1 tsp. ginger and two tbsp. of water in a large bowl. Add 4 cups of mini-shredded wheat cereal and toss. Spread out on a single layer on a greased baking sheet and bake for 18 minutes. Cool and add one cup of dried cranberries.

What’s in it for me?
A fibre boost from the cereal as well as an antioxidant kick from the cranberries. Brown also notes that at 2/3 cup, the snack will cost you 180 cals. And 3 g. of fat. Much yummier than pre-packaged 100-calorie cookie packs!

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Instead of: A grande Cinnamon Dolce Frappuccino from Starbucks

Swap it for…
A grande Cinnamon Dolce Latte made with sugar-free syrup so you still get those fall cinnamon and brown sugar flavours.

What’s in it for me?
Trade in your grande Frappuccino, which weighs in at 370 calories and 14 g. of fat, for a latte at only 180 calories-you’ll save almost 200 calories. Swap out the 2 per cent milk for nonfat and your calorie count drops to 130 calories and zero grams of fat.

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Instead of: A slice of good, old-fashioned apple pie

Swap it for…
A cup of Apple Pear Sauce-wait, stay with us here. Peel and core four apples and two medium pears, cut into small pieces and place in a saucepan. Squeeze two tbsp. lemon juice overtop and pour in 1/2 cup unsweetened apple juice, 1 tsp. cinnamon and 1/8 tsp. nutmeg. Boil, cover and simmer until tender (about 15-20 min.). Mash or blend.

Need the pie part? How about making that into a quick Apple Cobbler? Top two graham crackers with 1/2 cup of the sauce, microwave for 15 seconds and sprinkle with cinnamon.

What’s in it for me?
Vitamins A, C and K from apples and vitamins A, C, K and folate from the pears.

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Instead of: A Tim Horton’s Maple Pecan Danish

Swap it for…
A Maple Dip Donut

What’s in it for me?
With the danish costing you 290 calories and 12 g. of fat, your swap shaves off 80 calories and 4 g. of fat since the doughnut packs only 210 calories and 8 g. of fat. Better yet, split the doughnut with a friend and cut the calories in half instantly.

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Instead of: A slice of pumpkin pie

Swap it for…
A Banana Pumpkin Smoothie, suggests Brown. Whirl one cup of one per cent milk, 1/4 to 1/2 c. of canned pumpkin, one ripe banana and a dash of cinnamon.

What’s in it for me?
A hit of potassium, magnesium and vitamin A from the banana and from the pumpkin, plenty of vitamins C, A, K and more magnesium and potassium. (And don’t forget the calcium benefit from the milk!)

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Instead of: A mug of hot chocolate with whipped cream and marshmallows

Swap it for…
A mug made with non-fat milk, no whip, no marshmallows. Better yet, Brenda Arychuk, a registered dietitian in Edmonton suggests making a “steamer” that’s all flavour and no guilt. Take sugar-free syrup that you bought from your local coffee shop (usually available in a number of flavours) and add enough syrup for flavour to a microwaved or frothed cup of non-fat or low-fat milk. And on top shake on some spices-Arychuk suggests cinnamon, nutmeg or cardamom on your vanilla steamer.

What’s in it for me?
For about 250 mL of skim milk, it’s about 85 calories per cup-or if you need a bit of fat in your milk, a one percent cup of milk only takes it up to 100 calories. “Milk is a great source of calcium and vitamin D, vitamins A, D and B12, riboflavin, zinc, magnesium, potassium and protein,” Arychuk says. (If you don’t drink milk, the recipe still works well with fortified soy, rice or almond milk.)

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Instead of: A big plate of snacky nachos with a DVD on Friday night

Swap it for…
These “Taco Bits” from Brown. In the scoop-shaped baked nacho chips, add a small spoonful of cooked extra lean ground beef, turkey or soy. Top with chunky salsa and some grated cheese and cook in a 400 degree oven until melted.

What’s in it for me?
Only 50 calories for two pieces-plus you control the portions by laying out exactly how many bits you’d like to eat beforehand, rather than mindless munching while watching Nick & Norah’s Infinite Playlist.

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Instead of: those hard granola bars you’ve been noshing on during road tripping season.

Swap it for…
Your own chewy cereal bars that are preservative free. Spray a square pan with cooking spray. Microwave 3/4 c. light corn syrup and 3/4 c. peanut butter in a large bowl for 90 seconds, then stir until blended. Add in 3 c. of Shreddies, 1/2 c. dried apricots, 1/4 c. dried cranberries and 1/2 c. almonds. Mix, press into a prepared pan and refrigerate until firm.

What’s in it for me?
A small calorie save-30 calories and two grams of fat compared to a traditional crunchy granola bar. But yours are preservative free, packed in antioxidants thanks to the dried fruit and save you 55 mg. of sodium as well.

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Instead of: chips and dip for Saturday afternoon book club meetings

Swap it for…
Hummus, a Mediterranean chickpea spread, and a healthier cracker. Arychuk uses up her dry pita bread this way by cutting it into pieces and drying it in the oven on a cookie sheet at 100 degrees Fahrenheit. Or if crackers are your thing, she suggests Wisecrackers Roasted Garlic and Rosemary Crackers.

What’s in it for me?
No trans fats for one, the kinds you’d find in handfuls of chips. Plus beans are a good, filling source of fibre and protein.

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