It’s that time of year again. Lent and spring break season are upon us, and if you are like many Catholic (or dieting) college girls, you have decided to give up sweet treats to work on your faith and/or body.
Staying connected with your faith, whatever it might be, is tough in college. So is staying in shape. Abstaining from sugar and instead focusing on healthy snacks is, in a sense, a way to kill two birds with one stone.
But no sweets at all for 40+ days… or more? Think of the cravings, how will you survive? Luckily, there are some killer brands out there producing healthy and sinfully delicious products that will help you satisfy your sweet tooth guilt-free. Check them out:
Founded by two college friends (we love young women entrepreneurs), Wild Friends is a line of nut butters that has grown over the past four years from a kitchen experiment in a college apartment to a successful brand that is currently sold in thousands of stores across the U.S.
What makes Wild Friends so great? First, the nut butters are non-GMO, organic and kosher. The line contains dairy-and peanut-free options, and none of the products are produced with palm oil.
Second and most importantly, the products are fantastic. Offerings like Vanilla Espresso Almond Butter and Chocolate Coconut Peanut Butter are drool-worthy. My personal favorite is the seasonal Sugar Cookie Peanut Butter. A dollop of this deliciousness will send any sweet craving packing. Feeling creative? Try adding some Wild Friends in a smoothie or protein shake.
Wild Friends is available at many grocery stores across the country, and also on Amazon.com so you can get your hands on nut butter gold whenever you need to.
If you are a greek yogurt fan, this is the brand for you. Incredibly think, creamy, and smooth, siggi’s Icelandic-style yogurt tastes fantastic and is super healthy. The yogurt contains no artificial preservatives, thickeners, sweeteners, flavors or colors, and is always made with milk from family farms that do not use growth hormones.
Dessert-like flavors include pumpkin spice that tastes just like pumpkin pie, no joke, vanilla that is speckled with fresh vanilla beans, and fig and lemon zest that is simultaneously citrusy and warm. Siggi’s yogurt can also be transformed into other sweet treats with these recipes.
Nature’s dessert, Medjool dates can be paired with other ingredients in a variety of ways to create sweet and satisfying treats. Packed with fiber, potassium, and vitamins and minerals, the fruit is just as healthy as it is delicious. My favorite brand is Natural Delights. The brand provides dates not only in their natural form but also in a variety of date and nut rolls. YUM.
One of the country’s leading brands of organic packaged foods, Cascadian Farm prides itself on providing customers both healthy and delicious products. These products include cereals, granola bars, frozen fruits, and granolas, to name a few. Cascadian Farm is a real place in the Cascade Mountains of Washington. You can even visit them.
The combination of naturally sweet vanilla and warm toasted almonds makes this granola the perfect snack for satisfying sweet cravings. The granola is organic and contains locally sourced ingredients. Grab a handful or use the granola to make deliciously sweet loaded apple slices.
There is nothing more luxurious than a good cheese and honey pairing. Especially when the honey is really, really amazing. Spoonies, meet Bee Raw Honey, a company celebrated by Oprah, New York Times, Food & Wine, and Martha Stewart Living (to name a few) for its impeccable product offerings and promotion of simple and real living.
Honey is nature’s sweetener, so when you want to reach for an Oreo (or five), try a flavor from Bee Raw’s Raw Honey Collection smeared on a piece of toast, smothered on top of oatmeal, or paired with a rich brie melty from the oven (it’s so good you’ll only need a bite or two to be satisfied). Flavors include Orange Blossom, Cranberry, and Blueberry, to name a few.
Diana’s Bananas were created on a whim: at the Chicago Food Fest in the 80s, someone had the brilliant idea to dunk a banana in melted, high-quality chocolate and freeze it. The result was an incredibly refreshing yet luxurious treat that satisfied without being too unhealthy.
Today, Diana’s Bananas offers several varieties of their bananas in locations all over the country. Trying to be extra healthy? Try the nut-covered banana for some added protein or the dark chocolate variety for a boost of antioxidants. For a sweet twist on your everyday smoothie recipes, replace frozen bananas with a few Banana Babies.
Last but not least: hot chocolate. Because sometimes a sweet craving hits that is so intense, only chocolate will suffice. Luckily, Scharffen Berger cocoa powder exists.
You might be wondering why you would spend almost $9 on a container of this cocoa when you can get a generic brand for a few bucks. The answer is simple: quality. This cocoa packs such a chocolate punch that your hot chocolate recipes will require less of it than they would of other powdered cocoas. More bang for your buck and fewer calories.