Everyone experiences that feeling late at night. You suddenly feel the need to venture downstairs, into your kitchen and grab something to gnaw on. Sometimes you won’t even be hungry, but the need for food is too real. If it’s late at night, we all know it can’t be good to stuff our faces (Hello, extra 10lb in the morning). But instead of reaching for the ice cream and fried chicken, go for healthier substitutes to feel more guilt- free.
Something crunchy and still satisfying to always have around the house is popcorn. When it comes to popcorn, try and get the plain kernels. That means no butter, no additives, nothing. If you don’t have a popcorn machine, you can microwave the kernels in a bowl with a plate on top. Just make sure there’s a small crack for the steam to escape! If you don’t like popcorn by itself, you can spice it up with dill, parmesan, Sriracha, etc. The whole idea is to take the oil and butter out of this snack. What’s great about this snack is you can eat large amounts of it. A quarter cup of un-popped kernels makes a giant bowl of popcorn. How many calories is it? Only 200 by itself! Popcorn is also high in fiber and antioxidants. If you always feel like reaching for something crunchy like chips, this is a great substitute.
A substitute for tangy, mild cravings is yogurt popsicles. They will keep you busy for a while (assuming you don’t take big bites out of your popsicles).
The great thing about yogurt pops is you can customize every pop to any flavour you want. Just blend some greek yogurt with any selection of fruits, pour it into a popsicle mould, and freeze. These also last for quite some time because they are frozen.
Yogurt is a probiotic, containing good bacteria that help your digestive system. It is also high in protein, potassium, and calcium. If you’re feeling for something light and tangy tonight, this is the perfect snack to reach for.
A good substitute is dark chocolate. However, make sure it’s consumed in moderation. If you’re not used to dark chocolate, you will have to be patient and let the taste grow on you. Dark chocolate is very bitter- sweet with a rich flavour to it. Dark chocolate is one of the best sources of antioxidants on the planet. It can lower the risk of health disease. It can also curb your really strong cravings. When you feel like something sweet or savoury, substitute it with 2-3 squares of dark chocolate and let it melt in your mouth.
We all have had that random craving for chicken wings or steak in the middle of the night. A good substitute is edamame beans. Edamame beans are packed with protein. 1/4th of a cup is also only 240 calories. If you don’t like the taste by itself, give it a light sprinkle of any of your favourite spices. If your savoury cravings are strong, just microwave a small bowl of frozen beans, and you’ve got a snack in 60 seconds.
The evil of all late night cravings is salt. Too much salt tends to make you bloat because your body feels the need to retain more water. A good substitute for salty, unhealthy foods is olives. Olives are really strong in flavour, making it a great snack to satisfy your cravings. They are a great source of vitamin E, antioxidants, and helps maintain a healthy immune system. If you want some variety, try getting stuffed olives or different colours. Put away those salty chips and substitute it with olives.
What do you crave for late at night?
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