9 delicious healthy treats
Craving a treat but don't want to ruin the diet? Try these ideas for heart-healthy savoury snacks and healthy desserts.
1. Try yoghurt-dipped strawberries
Instead of chocolate biscuits
These are a healthier alternative to chocolates or biscuits. They look beautiful, and will be more nutritious, as well as being lower in saturated fats, sugars and calories.
You can make them by dipping fresh fruit into plain yoghurt combined with a little honey and vanilla extract, then place on a tray or on grease-proof paper while in the freezer until the yoghurt has set. Cherries and banana chunks would also work well.
2. Try home-roasted veg
Instead of a bowl of chips
Roast up sliced sweet potato, parsnips, carrots or celeriac and eat them instead of a bowl or side of chips. Cut them into large pieces, so that they absorb less fat.
You don’t need to put loads of oil in the baking tray – instead, rub the veg with no more than a tablespoon of vegetable oil in total before placing them in the oven.
3. Try fruity filo
Instead of stodgy pudding
Let’s face it, British summers can still be cold, windy and wet, leaving you in the mood for comforting food. Try cinnamon-flavoured apples baked in filo pastry, this will bring you the same satisfaction with none of the guilt.
Filo pastry is lower in fat than traditional pastry, provided the layers haven't been brushed with lashings of butter and then drenched in syrup baklava-style. Instead, use it to make small tartlets filled with apple pieces as a healthier apple pie, or try our healthier raspberry and apple strudel recipe.
4. Try popcorn
Instead of a high calorie snack
Have some popcorn, either plain or spiced with paprika, chilli or rosemary, for a lower-fat, lower calorie alternative to crisps and roasted nuts.
5. Try fruit and custard
Instead of cake and ice cream
Serve baked or stewed fruit (such as apples, pears or plums) with low-fat custard. You can top with fresh berries and prepare individual pots to serve easily if you are feeding a group.
6. Try sticks and dips
Instead of crisps and creamy dip
Have breadsticks and vegetable sticks (crudités) with a spoon of healthier dips such as reduced-fat hummus or tzatziki. Make sure you choose reduced-fat dips though, as regular versions can be high in fat.
Or make your own hummus – you don’t need to use much oil – or tzatziki with low-fat yogurt. For something different, try crunchy chicory leaves for dipping. Any of these will make a healthier alternative to crisps and tortilla chips with creamy dips.
7. Try unsalted nuts
Instead of roasted salted nuts
Choose unroasted, unsalted nuts like cashews and almonds to control the amount of salt that you are eating. Nuts are nutritious and contain a healthy type of fats, but they are high in energy (calories), so keep an eye on how much you eat. A small handful is enough.
8. Try frozen smoothie lollies
Instead of ice cream
A frozen smoothie lolly can replace a heavy and stodgy pudding, and might be more what you feel like after a big dinner. A frozen smoothie is also a refreshing alternative - make your own following our recipe for a frozen treat that is low in fat and lower sugar than traditional ice cream.
9. Try asparagus with poached egg on toast
Instead of eggs Benedict
Treat yourself to a heart-healthy Sunday brunch. Instead of eggs Benedict, which is high in saturated fat, and salt, try a seasonal alternative with in-season asparagus and crusty wholemeal toast. Poach one or two eggs and steam the asparagus then pile onto the toast, for an easy meal that will start your day off right.