How to Make Diet-Friendly Snacks and Treats

The biggest problem with diets is that they often tend to be very restrictive and do not allow for some sweet snacks, instead opting for cheat days around the weekend where you can gorge on whatever you want, which is a recipe for disaster. First of all, I don’t like the use of the word “cheat” to describe eating food with higher fat and carbohydrate content, and secondly, I don’t think taking “a day off” from your diet is a good strategy in the long run. In fact, many people see diets as something temporary, a tool you use to get slim. In this case, it doesn’t matter if your food is tasteless or lacking in some nutrients the body craves for, just as long as you get to eat whatever you want on the weekend or when the diet is over.

Well, a diet is not something you do, it is simply a word for all the food you put in your mouth. It can be healthy or unhealthy, but it’s still your diet. This is why I believe that it is best to eat some fat and sugar in moderation, preferably around your workouts, and to get it from healthy sources that provide various other key nutrients as well – namely fruit. With the right ingredients, you can make some delicious snacks, and as long as you get some protein powder in the recipe and don’t overdo it with the portion sizes, you won’t ruin your weight loss efforts.

Almond milk

Almond-Milk
Almond milk is one of those wonderful ingredients that can find its way into many recipes or serve as a refreshment when combined with other snacks, particularly cookies that tend to be dry. You can buy almond milk in stores, but it is very easy to make your own and control what goes in, as most store-bought products have many chemicals in them to make them last longer. The all-natural homemade almond milk can be kept in the fridge for about 3 days, so don’t make a week’s supply in one go.

You will need:

  • 2 cups of raw almonds
  • 5 cups of water
  • 2 table spoons of honey
  • 2 table spoons of vanilla extract
  • 1 large blender

The recipe:

Put the almonds in a bowl, pour water over them and leave them to soak overnight. The next day, take the almonds from the bowl and put them in the blender, pouring 2 cups of water along with them. Blend them up until they become smooth and creamy. Now, add the vanilla extract and honey along with 3 additional cups of water and blend it all some more. Once you are finished blending, strain the almond milk and pour it into a container – I prefer glass bottles or jars, as they don’t affect the taste.

Fruit ice cream

Ice-Cream-Fruit
Show me a person who says he doesn’t like ice cream and I’ll show you a liar. Now, I can’t say for sure that it is the number one favorite snack in the world since, for some reason, no one has actually done the math on this one, but I am fairly certain that no one would turn it down.

You will need:

  • 1 frozen banana
  • 1 cup frozen berries
  • 1 scoop whey protein powder
  • 1 cup almond milk
  • 1 tablespoon cinnamon
  • 1 large blender

The recipe:

Leave a banana in the freezer for several hours. You can buy frozen fruit like strawberries or you can put some fresh fruit in the freezer with the bananas, if you can’t find what you like at the store. Once all the fruit is frozen, put the banana and the berries into the blender. Pour almond milk over the fruit and add cinnamon. Blend it all together until it is nice and smooth and then pour it into a bowl and put it in the freezer for a few hours. If you want, you can make a smoothie by adding more almond milk and keeping it in the fridge instead of freezing it.

Protein powder pancakes

Protein_and_Raspberry_Cookies
A staple breakfast treat, pancakes offer plenty of energy in a tasty package to help you start your day in a good mood. Unfortunately, nutritionists and personal trainers alike often warn against this snack, because traditional pancakes with all the white flour, butter and a gallon of syrup poured on top really aren’t good for your diet. However, with a little bit of creativity and the right ingredients, you can make some very tasty, yet healthy pancakes.

You will need:

  • 1 and ½ cups of whole wheat flour
  • 3 and ½ teaspoons of baking powder
  • 1 teaspoon of salt
  • 1 tablespoon sugar
  • 1 and ¼ cups of almond milk
  • 1 egg
  • 1 scoop of whey protein powder
  • 3 tablespoons coconut oil
  • Small piece of butter
  • ½ cup of ground walnuts
  • ½ cup of chopped blackberries
  • ½ cup of chopped raspberries
  • 1 cup fruit syrup

The recipe:

Take the flour, baking powder, whey protein powder, ground walnuts, sugar and salt and mix it together in a large bowl. Then slowly pour in the almond milk, canola oil and the egg, all the while mixing the ingredients. When you get a smooth paste, add in the raspberries and blackberries and mix it up a little more to get an even distribution of fruit. Oil up a frying pan with some butter and heat it up on medium heat. Now take a scoop of the pancake batter and pour it onto the frying pan. Wait until small bubbles start to form on the surface before flipping the pancake over with the spatula. Lift the pancake a little with the spatula and check the bottom side – when it turns brown, it is time to remove the pancake from the pan. You can use honey or fruit syrup of choice as a topping, as long as you use no more than 1 cup.

Ground almond and blueberry cookies

Grownd_Almond_and_Blueberrie_Coookies
Nothing beats a traditional cookie when you need a quick snack while you are watching TV or working at the computer. Cookies are very easy to prepare and you can bake them in no time. As long as you make a few simple changes to the basic recipe, you can enjoy this tasty snack even when you are on a weight loss program.

You will need:

  • 2 cups toasted almonds
  • 2 ½ cups whole wheat pastry flour
  • 2 cups all-purpose flour
  • 2 teaspoons baking powder
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • 2 cups honey
  • ½ cup coconut oil
  • Small piece of butter
  • 2 eggs
  • 2 teaspoons vanilla extract
  • 1 cup dried blueberries

 

The recipe:

Put the almonds in a blender and blend until there are no large chunks floating around. Next, put the ground almonds in a bowl along with all the flour, baking powder and salt, and then mix it all up.  Take another bowl and put the honey, the coconut oil and about two teaspoons worth of butter and use an electric mixer to mix it all up. Then add the eggs and vanilla extract and mix some more. Now, take the first bowl with all the flour, almonds and baking powder and pour it into the second bowl and stir everything until it is nice and smooth. Add the blueberries as you stir, and then leave it in the fridge for about 30-40 minutes. Preheat the oven to 350oF (about 180oC) and coat your sheet pans lightly with cooking oil. Make small balls from the dough, roughly the size of an average egg, and place them on the sheet pans, leaving a few inches of space in between. Bake the cookies until they just start to turn a golden color around the edges which should take about 15-16 minutes, then remove them from the oven and let them cool down for about 10-20 minutes.

These four recipes are examples of how to convert delicious everyday snacks into healthy meals that you can eat even when you are on a weight loss diet. There are plenty more examples, and if you use your imagination and just swap regular cooking oil for coconut oil, white flour for whole wheat flour, use fresh or frozen fruit instead of sugary toppings or chocolate and swap regular milk for almond milk, you can turn most traditional sweet dessert recipes into diet-friendly snacks. Just remember to keep the serving sizes small.

Nemanja Manojlovic
Nemanja Manojlovic
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Nemanja is an enthusiastic researcher who likes to focus his attention on topics ranging from martial arts, weight loss, fitness and cooking, to interpersonal communication, motivation and productivity. He believes that training the body and the mind consistently is the secret to achieving success, and he enjoys sharing his knowledge and experience with others.

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