8 Ways to Ensure You Never Miss Junk Food Again
Posted on May 21 2018
Junk food is great, right? It’s scrummy and tasty and moreish, but it’s not always so great for our health. The likes of cheesy pizza, crispy fries and ice cream make it difficult to avoid, but don’t worry! Here are some healthier alternatives to your favourite comfort foods.
Use More Vegetables in Your Meals
On top of simply eating more vegetables, you can sneak extra veg into your meals to make them healthier. You can make fries out of sweet potato, fried rice out of cauliflower or you can make spaghetti out of courgette. How about making a pizza base out of cauliflower? Or what about these cauliflower popcorn bites, they taste just like KFC!
Want a Sweet Alternative?
Homemade baked apple chips are also a great alternative!
Thinly slice your apples and leave them to soak in a bowl of salt water for a few minutes. (This will prevent them from oxidizing!) Lightly rinse the apple slices before patting them dry with a kitchen paper towel and then, place them in the oven to bake until crispy!
There are so many switches and swaps you can make to create healthier versions of your classic comfort foods. Making simple changes to your usual junk food items can keep you feeling light on your feet, whilst still feeling like a treat when you eat.
Get Ready to Spice Up Your Life
You can add some really punchy flavours by creating your own spice mixes. You can use these to season your dishes, and you can even use them to marinade meat in (by combining with a little oil).
It’s super easy to make your own curry powder for a tasty chicken, lamb or vegetarian curry or your own Mexican inspired seasoning for tacos and fajitas.
Can’t Give Up Mac and Cheese?
Processed pasta is not a good thing to eat on a regular basis. Get rid of boxed mac and cheese and make some at home. You can make a velvety cheese-based sauce with added butternut squash. This sweet taste on mac and cheese is sure to be satisfying.
Take it a step further and replace your high carb noodles with a plant-based pasta made out of chickpeas or legumes. The texture may be a little grainier than regular pasta but it tastes almost the same.
You have two good options when it comes to pizza. You can make a pizza bread crust with a cauliflower alternative, but if the classic pizza dough is what you crave for, then why not make it from scratch at home and just switch out what's on top of the pizza instead?
To really add some flavour to your pizza, whip up some smoked veggies. Putting the veggies in a natural gas smoker will ensure you don’t have to load up on cheese or fatty meats to add flavour. Try using eggplant or mushroom as they hold a lot of flavour and texture.
So how do you get started? Have your homemade pizza dough ready - spread it out on a baking pan that has been properly floured - brush the pizza dough with some extra virgin olive oil and sprinkle on your smoked veggies as well as a moderate amount of your favourite low fat cheese. (If you're feeling a little fancy, feel free to mix some black pepper, garlic powder and some of your favourite spices with your veggies beforehand!)
Make a Condiment the Star!
Making your own condiments can be an excellent way to give your meals a flavour boost. Have you tried making your own pesto? You can add that to pasta, or as a yummy coasting for chicken.
Are you a fan of that creamy butter? Avocado is great to spread on toast or flatbread and has a similar texture to butter. You can also try making your own hummus, salad dressing or salsa. It is super simply and healthy in terms of adding some flavour to less exciting meals.
If you can’t resist pizza then try cutting or changing the cheese. You might be surprised with how yummy a pizza is without any cheese – just make sure you add a little extra something to make up for it. That could be herbs like basil or add some extra veggies like sun-dried tomatoes or roasted pumpkin.
If you can’t go without cheese, try using goats’ cheese; it is much more flavourful so you need a lot less. You could also try a spoonful or two of ricotta for a fresh tasting pizza. You can also try reducing the amount of cheese you are using and keep working until you are down to nothing!
Don’t Step Away from The French Fries
The next time you want fries, try baking them instead of deep frying in litres of oil. When at home, try tossing your sweet potato wedges in a bag of olive oil and semolina. This coating will ensure you get a crispy oven chip every time. You can also try using healthy oil like coconut to help reduce your cholesterol levels.
Adding flavour doesn’t have to be too tricky. Once you have done it a few times, it will become a habit. So next time, instead of reaching for the premade salad dressing loaded with sugar, start whipping up your own.
Brittnay is an Australian who lived in London for the past two years and managed to squeeze in 21 trips to Europe & Africa in that time . She is passionate about travel, health and nutrition, you will find her healthy and delicious recipes on The Nut Butter Hub