We’d love to be the kind of people who eat carrot sticks as snacks, but try as we might, this just does not seem to be the case 90% (okay, 99%) of the time. When we’re at the office, it’s especially difficult to resist the siren song of the processed foods we’ve been mindlessly shoveling into our mouths to bridge the gap between lunch and dinner for most of our lives. So, while we do think it’s important to add clean, veggie-oriented snacks into the mix, we know you can’t always satisfy midday cravings with farmer’s market finds. For the days when nothing short of your favorite guilty pleasure will do, we’ve compiled a list of recipes that offer a healthier take on classic snacks; here, seven junk-food dupes to bookmark, stat.
Cheez-Its are delicious, and anyone who thinks otherwise is either fake news or has tastebuds that were cultivated after the '90s. However, the ingredient list on these addictive little guys reads like a science experiment, so if you love them like we do, we suggest trying out this healthier (and vegan!) version from one of our favorite online chefs. They're made with just nine ingredients, all of which we recognize, and will definitely curb your craving for the OG salty snack. (Note: If cheese snacks are your thing, you can also try homemade Goldfish crackers—recipe here.)
Recipe author: Minimalist Baker
Churros are a marvelous invention, but there is no world in which you should be eating them regularly. You can, however, try this recipe for churro popcorn as a healthy alternative that offers the same flavors without all of the fried fat. As a bonus, this snack takes just minutes to make.
Recipe author: Oh, Sweet Basil
We don't know why, but absolutely nothing compares to the feeling you get when a coworker shows up midday with a bag of peach gummy rings to share. While this duped recipe doesn't exactly qualify as a health food, it does use real fruit rather than the ingredients in Peachie-O's, which include corn syrup, sugar, gelatin and a bunch of artificial flavors and colors.
Recipe author: The Mama's Girls
Healthy Vegan Cookie Dough
You haven't lived until you've eaten cookie dough straight out of the package (whether that's due to PMS or because you're living in 2017 and are literate enough to read the news). In any case, spooning raw-egg-coated sugar into your mouth is not a good idea, but curbing the craving with this nutrient-packed dupe is. It's got lentils in it, you guys, and it still tastes delicious. Sometimes, the internet is truly everything.
Recipe author: Yup It's Vegan
Healthy Homemade Oreos
If you are a certain type of person, you're definitely rolling your eyes at this recipe. We get it—sugar-free Oreos are not really a thing. Are they? Well, these don't taste exactly like Oreos, but if you're used to eating unprocessed foods, that's a good thing. They're sweetened with honey and vanilla and have actual nutritional value thanks to the inclusion of whole foods like dates and cashews. We know you might be skeptical, but we promise they're worth a shot.
Recipe author: The Good Food Goddess
Baked Chili Cheese Fritos
If you know what Frito Pie is, we have good news—you could use these no-fry Frito cheats and some homemade chili to DIY your own healthy version of that decidedly unhealthy (but delicious) treat for fall. Or just pack these solo as a snack for when you're craving something crunchy.
Recipe author: Minimalist Baker
Sweet Potato Candy Corn
We admit that this one is a bit of a stretch, but still. Candy corn is gross (in a good way) and definitely not good for your body, whereas these homemade candies use über-healthful sweet potatoes as their base. We don't know what would happen if you tried to give them to trick-or-treaters, but we do know that a handful at snack time will be more filling than a bowl of the original sugar-and-dye-filled snack.
Recipe author: Real Healthy Recipes