4 treats that won’t break the calorie bank

Chocolate chip cookies

If you’ve recently decided to start living in a healthier way, you need to banish the word “diet” from your vocabulary. That’s because overall wellness isn’t really about being a stickler when it comes to what you eat, but rather balancing indulgence with hard work. So, you can keep eating your sweets, and enjoying them without guilt—you just may need to change the type of treat, and perhaps the quantity. Here are four healthy-ish treats that are also low in calories, so they won’t throw off your workout efforts:

  1. Frozen chocolate-covered bananas. You can’t go wrong with a fruit-based dessert because the natural sweet already brings the sugar—but paired with fiber. What’s the benefit of eating sugar with fiber versus sugar without? The fiber slows down the digestion of the sugar, allowing it to be released into the body at a slower pace that it’s designed to handle. These chocolate-covered bananas have a little bit of both natural sugar and added sugar, making them the perfect low-calorie indulgence. Simply melt dark chocolate chips, slice up half of a banana, and dip the slices into the gooey chocolate. Then pop them in the freezer for 30 minutes or so, and you have bite-sized treats ready to go.
  2. Skinny brownie batter dip. Okay, so this recipe really has no health benefits, but it is low-calorie and totally tasty. If you’re one of those people who usually licks the spatula when you’re making brownies, this one will probably appeal to you. Grab a box of brownie mix and, instead of mixing in eggs and oil, opt for fat-free plain yogurt and some light cool whip. The resulting mousse-like goo with certainly sate your sweet tooth, especially if you top it with a handful of mini dark chocolate chips, and it won’t add a significant amount of calories to your day.
  3. Vegan cherry chocolate chip ice cream. This vegan “ice cream” skips the dairy in favor of a frozen, blended banana, which brings the sweetness without overpowering the main event: fresh cherries. You should actually start with the cherries: wash, pit, and dry them, then stick them in the freezer for at least three hours. Then cut a banana in half, peel it, and put that in the freezer, too, along with a quarter-cup of almond milk in ice cube trays. Once everything is nice and frosty, throw it all in the food processor until it’s creamy and smooth (with an additional unfrozen quarter-cup of almond milk). Add a dash of dairy-free chocolate chips and dig in.
  4. Skinny lemon blueberry cheesecake bars. If you have the time to really invest in your sweet treat, try these decadent lemon-blueberry cheesecake bars. You craft the crust from crushed graham crackers and coconut oil, while the cheesecake filling is a blend of reduced-fat cream cheese, greek yogurt, a touch of sugar, and a handful of other ingredients you probably already have in your kitchen. Whip in the fresh blueberries, bake, and refrigerate for a couple of hours or overnight, and you have a much healthier version of your typical cheesecake.

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