Most of us love it and even though we say we can live without it, we usually end up craving junk food.
I’ll fess up, I love love loooove junk food. I know it’s not good for me, yet sometimes I just don’t care. I love it and I crave it.
And while I know it’s best to not feast on junk food each and every day, I am also a firm believer that you shouldn’t deprive yourself of things you want, and life is for enjoying food, not depriving yourself of it.
Besides, when you deprive yourself of certain foods you only end up binging on them at some point or another. So how do those of us, who love to indulge, meet our healthy lifestyles half way and keep it as lean as possible?
Simple. You make your favourite junk foods yourself!
I know it sounds tedious but when you add up how much time it takes for you to go to the store or through the drive-thru, it really isn’t that different. And besides, it’s cheaper and healthier. And we love cheap and healthy, don’t we?
Now while these are healthier versions of our favourite treats, they are still treats and shouldn’t be eaten every day.
So with that being said, let’s get to the goods, shall we?
Here are 3 popular junk foods and how to make them at home and healthier.
I Scream, You Scream
Which of us don’t crave a big ol’ scoop of ice cream every now and then? It’s a cold, creamy treat that sometimes just hits the spot. But it can be fattening and if you eat it often enough, it can get a little pricey.
So when I am screaming for ice cream, I whip together this quick and easy ice cream recipe. It’s simple, just make sure you have a gallon ziplock bag and a smaller ziplock bag.
In the small ziplock bag combine 1/2 cup of milk, 1 tablespoon of sugar, and 1/2 teaspoon of vanilla extract and mix it all together.
Then fill your gallon sized ziplock bag with ice, crushed preferably but it doesn’t have to be, as well as around 6 tablespoons of rock salt, or regular salt if you can’t find coarse salt.
Put your small ziplock bag, mixed and sealed, into the gallon sized bag containing the ice and salt. Seal the gallon sized bag and shake the whole thing for about 5 to 10 minutes or until your mixture turns to ice cream.
Once it has turned to ice cream, simply take it out of the bag and top it with your favourite fruits, nuts or even a few dark chocolate chips, and voila! Your own batch of ice cream that is not only healthier, but much cheaper than driving to your nearest ice cream shop and paying around $4 for a single scoop.
But what if you are craving salt and not sugar? No worries, I have two easy, and healthy, fixes for those unbearable salt cravings that I too suffer from, more than I care to admit!
I’m sure not a week goes by where I don’t crave yummy, salty, bad-for-me potato chips. But instead of indulging and packing on the pounds, I have become newly obsessed with kale chips!
Not only is kale a superfood and incredibly good for you, but when you bake it, it becomes super crispy! Just like potato chips!
So how do you make kale chips? Simple. Grad yourself a bunch of organic kale from your local grocery store, wash it, dry it, cut off the stems, and cut the leaves about 3 times so you have fairly big, but not too big, slices of kale.
Add all the kale into a big tupperware container, add 2 tablespoons of olive oil, a big pinch of sea salt, garlic powder, and 1/4 teaspoon of cayenne pepper. You can always add in any other spices you might like but this is usually what I stick with. However, feel free to get creative with your spices.
Turn your oven to 400, let it warm up, and shake up your kale mixture until all the leaves are completely covered. Lay down some parchment paper on a baking sheet and poor your kale onto the paper, spreading it out evenly.
You will probably have a ton of kale on your baking sheet but don’t worry, it shrinks down dramatically and will all get evenly baked.
Bake your chips for about 7 minutes before taking them out, flipping and shaking them around to make sure they are cooked evenly and put them back in the oven for about another 5 minutes.
Make sure to keep your eye on your kale chips as you don’t want them to burn but you do want them to crisp up.
Once they are done, take them out of the oven, let them cool for about 2 minutes and enjoy a healthy, and just as tasty, alternative to artery-clogging potato chips.
French Fries…Minus The ‘Fry’
French fries are my vice. I can’t seem to live without them, even though I would love to! So when I’m craving french fries, which seems to be daily…seriously…I make my own, using sweet potatoes and parchment paper.
Simply get a big sweet potato and cut it up into wedges, or smaller depending on your preference, and add them to a big tupperware container. Like the kale chips, I add about 2 tablespoons of olive oil, 1 pinch of sea salt, a few cranks of my pepper grinder, 1 tablespoon of garlic powder, and 1/2 teaspoon of cayenne pepper.
Lay down some parchment paper on your baking sheet and have your oven preheated to 425. Space out your sweet potato fries so they bake evenly and put them in the oven for about 15 minutes on one side. Take them out after those 15 minutes, flip them, and put them back in the oven for about another 10 minutes or until they are cooked to your liking.
For dipping, because I love to dip, I use plain greek yogurt and dice up some green onions. It’s a healthy and tastes almost identical to sour cream. Not only will these sweet potato fries satisfy your french fry cravings but they are healthy, incredibly cheap, and nearly impossible to screw up.
Now that’s my favourite kind of cooking. So next time you have a hankering for all those delicious, yet terribly bad-for-you foods, give one of these recipes a try and save yourself some money and some calories.
Vanessa is a lifestyle blogging babe whose work can be found on various sites around cyberland, including reviews on Triactol , as well as many other lifestyle brands. The best part about her job? She gets to live her best life each and every day.