The picture above is my newest obsession: Pressed Freeze from Pressed Juice. If you live in LA, San Francisco, NYC, or follow IG accounts of people who live in one of the aforementioned cities and eat food, you’re almost definitely savvy to the fact that this exists because, well...if there’s one near you, you know it. If you have no idea what I'm talking about, the Pressed Freeze is a soft serve-like concoction that contains only almond milk, dates, cacao, vanilla bean, and sea salt. It only has 5 (five!!) grams of sugar in a small cup and you can top it with almond butter sauce, cacao sauce, chia seeds, fruit, nuts, and things of that nature.
If you know me IRL (<- that's the abbreviation the kids are using for “In Real Life" ), you know that I'm prone to a formidable sweet tooth. So, the opening of one of these near my work is shaping up to be one of the greatest lifesavers of all time. Unfortunately, they’re also about 7 bucks a pop and I’m already trying to cut down on my designer coffee habit, so this technically takes me backwards.
The point here is that I know what it’s like to feel like a slave to a sweet tooth, which is why I’m about to share 5 of my favorite go-to snacks when I’m having a serious craving, in order from least to most intense.
While I legit have dozens of healthy dessert recipes that I’ve made to ad nauseam in order to guarantee perfection, these are all pretty simple, basic bitch types of treats. Think: something to get you through a sugar craving without going off the rails, and a much better alternative than a handful of those Ralphs brand sugar cookies with the hot pink frosting.
To make the cut, said treats had to meet he following requirements:
- They derive their sweetness from either fruit or a little bit of maple syrup or raw honey ( >1 tbsp/serving), and maintain a respectable degree of nutrient density.
- Must be able to be made in a single serving, because a tray full of warm cookies right out of the oven? Too hard to stop.
- Quick & easy - no one wants to spend an hour trying to quell a sweet tooth.
1. Pimp My Ricecake: Kamut Cakes with Cashew Butter, Strawberries, Hemp Seeds, and Cacao Nibs
Craving level: “Hmmm, I feel like something sweet”
What’s so great about this? Total texture thing. This crunchy/creamy combo is the jam - stack that with the sweet+salty factor and you’ve got yourself a winner.
- 2 Kamut or brown rice cakes
- 2 tbsp nut butter, of choice (Cashew and walnut butter are my favorites, in case you wondered)
- Handful of extra-ripe strawberries, sliced length-wise
- 1 tbsp each hemp seeds and cacao nibs.
Cakes + nut butter + add sliced berries + sprinkle with cacao and hemp seeds= boom.
Sugar: about 3.5 grams
Power foods: Strawberries, Cacao Nibs, Hemp seeds, nut butter
2. Go Greek: Yogurt with figs, raw honey, and walnuts
Craving level: “But I really want something sweet.”
What’s so great about this? You can make it in like, two seconds flat. IMHO, figs are the best seasonal fruit ever, they’re rich in minerals and nutrients, and they’re reminiscent of Fig Newtons, which you know you love. The full fat yogurt is so creamy and makes this super satisfying (don’t you dare even think about buying low fat). Lots of protein and healthy fat to balance out the natural sugars from the lactase, fruit, and honey. Also this is like, so Greek tasting. You can pretend you’re vacationing in Mykonos. Or whatever.
- 1 container of full fat, greek yogurt. Get grass fed and organic if you can find it, with no added sugar. The nutritional info label is going to show sugar, because it's in the lactase found in milk, but check the actual ingredient list to make sure nothing extra is added.
- 2 figs, quartered,
- 1 tbsp crushed walnuts
- 1/2 tbsp, raw honey
Yogurt -> pretty bowl. Top with figs, sprinkle with walnuts, drizzle with honey.
Sugar: about 20g (about half comes from the milk)
Power foods: All of it. For reals - each ingredient has solid health benefits.
3. My Chocolate Peanut Butter Milkshake Brings all the...blah blah.
Craving level: “Ice cream. Now.”
What’s so great about this? It tastes like it's name.
Notes: Everyone knows that almond butter is the favorite child of nutritionists, but sometimes you just want that old school flavor. Feel free to sub nut butter of choice. Use coconut milk for creamier base. Add frozen raspberries and lose the sugar to change this to a PB&J shake. Or do both, the world is your oyster.
- 1 cup unsweetened vanilla almond milk or canned coconut milk
- 1/2 ripe banana (you can throw in oven for a bit to increase sweetness- bake at 200/250 until banana peel turns brown)
- 1 date, pit removed
- 1 tablespoon peanut butter or nut butter or choice + 1 tbsp powdered peanut butter like PB2 for an extra kick (optional)
- 2 tbsp cacao or cocoa powder
- Big dash of cinnamon
- 1 tbsp cacao dark chocolate chips
- pinch of sea salt
- Handfull of ice
- Optional: Scoop of organic chocolate protein powder, or the cream off the top of a can of refrigerated, full fat coconut milk)
Throw all that ‘ish in the blender, minus the cacao nibs/chocolate chips and let it do it's thing. Stir in the chips/nibs. If you’re using the cream from the coconut milk, spoon (lol) it on top once shake is poured in the glass (y’know, like whipped cream).
Sugar: about 12g, + 5g if dark chocolate chips are used in place of cacao nibs.
Power foods: Banana, cacao powder (yup), dark choc/cacao (yup, still), cinnamon, date
4. Oatmeal Cookie for One
Craving level: Cookie monster status.
What’s so great about this? You can eat it for breakfast.
Notes: This is the only recipe that calls for an actual sugar, but rules are made to be broken once in a while and coconut sugar is a little lower on the glycemic scale than refined sugars. Looks complicated, is so simple. You probably have most of this in your pantry.
- 5 level teaspoons organic oat flour (throw oats in a blender until it forms a flour-like consistency)
- 1 tbsp oats (GF, if you prefer)
- 1 tbsp baking soda
- 1/16th tsp baking soda
- 2 tsp coconut oil or melted grass fed butter, such as Kerrygold
- 1/4 tsp pure vanilla extract
- 1 tsp milk of choice
- 1/2 tbsp raisins, optional (I chop them into tiny pieces)
- 1 tbsp chopped walnuts
- 2 tsp coconut sugar
- Big shake cinnamon
- Tiny tiny shake nutmeg -optional. (I heart nutmeg)
Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Combine dry ingredients, then add wet and mix with a fork. Form into a big ball and flatten into a cookie shape. Cook for 7-8 minutes.
Sugar: about 15g; if raisins are omitted you can cut the sugar in half. (Try replacing with fresh blueberries!)
Power foods: Oats, coconut oil, walnuts, cinnamon
5. Do it: Chocolate Waffles with Raspberry Jam and Whipped Coconut Cream
Craving level: “Must. Eat. All. The. Food.”
What’s so great about these? Everything??
Notes: This is a heavy snack; I usually go to this as a meal during a certain time of the month (sorry sorry) - but it’s super satisfying, has plenty of protein and antioxidants, and tastes like such a treat.
If you haven’t had protein pancakes or waffles, do be warned that they taste a bit different from traditional waffles.
- For the waffle:
- 2 eggs
- 1/2 banana, mashed well (really well)
- 1 tbsp cacao powder
- 2 tbsp coconut, buckwheat, oat, or almond flour.
For the jam:
- 1 big handful fresh raspberries, mashed
- 1 tsp chia seeds
Mash with a fork, set aside.
- For cacao drizzle:
- 1 tbsp coconut oil, melted
- 1.5 tbsp cacao powder
- 1 tsp pure maple syrup
*Whisk in a small bowl with a fork, set aside
+ fresh raspberries
+ 1 tbsp cream from the top of a can of refrigerated, full fat coconut milk
1. Pre-heat a coated waffle iron. Combine waffle ingredients in a bowl, whisk until smooth, and add to waffle iron. Ignore the signals from the iron, it will cook much faster because it's egg-based and not flour-based; check every 30 seconds until done. Can also be cooked on a skillet/frying pan as pancakes.
2. Remove waffle from iron, slather with with raspberry jam, top with coconut cream + berries, drizzle with cacao sauce.
Sugar: about 14g; if chocolate drizzle is eliminated, closer to 10.
Power foods: cacao, raspberries, chia seeds, coconut oil