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The Best Healthy Swaps for Every Junk Food Craving

Salted Dark Chocolate Banana Peanut Butter Cups

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Ask any mom: The orange-wrapped peanut butter cups are always the first to get chosen from their kids' Halloween loot. While we love the goodness of nuts, even a "fun-size" version can feel not-so-fun for adults. This recipe combines high-quality burnt toffee dark chocolate by Green & Black's with a combination of super-ripe banana and natural peanut butter to make a no-sugar-added bite!

Get the recipe: Banana & PB Cups

Photo: Abbey's Kitchen

Carrot Cake Doughnuts

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Tempted to pull over at the coffee shop drive-through for a decadent seasonal doughnut? Not anymore! These carrot cake doughnuts are baked, not fried, so they won't leave you feeling weighed down like regular doughnuts. They taste so good, you'd never know they're gluten-free, grain-free, and refined sugar-free.

Get the recipe: Carrot Cake Doughnuts with Maple Cream Cheese Frosting

Photo: Back to the Book Nutrition

Spicy Pineapple Cauliflower Pork Fried Rice

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Forget Chinese delivery—in just 30 minutes you can enjoy a healthier and lighter version of fried rice! Say goodbye to MSG and a load of salt, and hello to big, bold flavor.

Get the recipe: Cauliflower and Pork Fried Rice

Photo: Real Simple Good

Jicama Fries

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Who can resist a box of late-night fries? Feel free to indulge when you have these tasty jicama fries. Jicama looks like a potato, but it's a bit sweeter and crispier, with about 40 percent of the calories and carbs of a potato, plus fiber to keep you full!

Get the recipe: Crinkle-Cut Jicama Fries

Photo: Nutrition à la Natalie

Healthy Beaver Tail Pastries

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A Canadian staple at any carnival or festival, these "Bieber Tails" are a healthified version of the much beloved deep-fried Beaver Tail pastries. This version starts with a Light Flatout Flatbread that delivers 9 grams of protein and 8 grams of fiber in each 90-calorie wrap, leaving you plenty of room for a layer of almond butter and a swirl of homemade healthy Nutella.

Get the recipe: Healthy Homemade Bieber Tails

Photo: Abbey's Kitchen

Healthy Peppermint Patties

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The chocolate and mint combo is a winner every time. This easy recipe has no artificial flavors, is totally dairy-free, and contains 20 grams of sugar less than our beloved candy.

Get the recipe: Vegan Peppermint Patties

Photo: Russell Nutrition

Healthy Homemade Ranch

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Snacking on raw veggies instead of chips is definitely healthier, but dips can add a boat load of calories and fat to each bite! Opt for making your own ranch dressing at home with wholesome ingredients that will actually enhance the taste and benefits of your veggie snack.

Get the recipe: Homemade Ranch Dressing

Photo: RDelicious Kitchen

Dark Chocolate Candy Bar

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Any chunky chocolate bar is a friend of ours, but we're BFFs for life with this version thanks to the antioxidant-rich dark chocolate and fiber-rich nuts. It also skips the artificial flavors and colors, which are often hiding in store-bought candy bars.

Get the recipe: Dark Chocolate Chunky Bar

Photo: Jenna Braddock RDN

Healthier Orange Julius

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A beloved childhood drink, these so-called "smoothies" are basically desserts in a glass, leading to a quick sugar high and inevitable crash. This version packs a combination of healthy fat, fiber, and a good dose of protein to keep you satisfied all morning long.

Get the recipe: Healthier Orange Julius

Photo: Smart Nutrition

DIY Gatorade

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Attention Gatorade guzzlers: While sports drinks may seem like a healthy choice, they're usually loaded with a ton of added sugar, plus artificial colors and flavors that you just don't need. Skip the bottled stuff and make your own with this recipe using coconut water, citrus, and raw honey.

Get the recipe: DIY Gatorade

Photo: Coconuts & Kettlebells

Better-for-You Nutella

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Let's be honest: Even though it's marketed as a healthy breakfast choice, store-bought Nutella is and always will be dessert. The (delicious) stuff has about 5 teaspoons of sugar per 2 tablespoon serving, plus non-sustainably sourced palm oil and artificial flavors. Skip the store-bought version and make your own with less sugar and a few simple ingredients!

Get the recipe: Homemade Chocolate Hazelnut Spread

Photo: Wellness Mama

Gummy Bears

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Need a sugar fix? These DIY healthy homemade mini gummy bears are made with real fruit and no refined sugars or dyes. Mix and match your favorite flavors for a healthier blast from the past snack.

Get the recipe: Gummy Bears

Photo: Healthnut Nutrition

Homemade Spicy Black Pepper Beef Jerky

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Most store-bought beef jerky is loaded with corn syrup, sugar, soy, and additives. Thankfully, you can make your own delicious, healthy, and protein-packed beef jerky in your own oven using simple savory spices.

Get the recipe: Homemade Spicy Black Pepper Beef Jerky

Photo: The Rising Spoon

Vegan Jamaican Patties

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Buttery pastry and fatty meat.... Unless you're still rocking the metabolism of your college-age self, these kinds of foods probably have become an occasional treat. Not anymore! This better-for-you version swaps out the questionable ingredients for an all-vegan filling and pastry.

Get the recipe: Jamaican Patty

Photo: Edgy Veg

Zucchini Pad Thai

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Skip the carb fest with Thai takeout. This zucchini noodle pad thai is lower in sodium and sugar than your standard bowl of noodles, way lower in empty carbs and calories, plus it's gluten-free!

Get the recipe: Pad Thai

Photo: Honestly, Morgan

Homemade Cheez Whiz & Homemade Velveeta

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Why it's healthier: Store-bought processed cheese foods are stuffed full of preservatives, hydrogenated vegetable oils, and artificial flavors. This homemade version features bone-strengthening gelatin, milk, and cheese, yet still melts and tastes like Velveeta! Not only is it not junk, it's still tasty and satisfying too.

Get the recipe: Homemade Cheez Whiz

Photo: Nourishing Joy


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