With Halloween officially on the horizon, it seems you can’t step foot in a supermarket or drugstore without being bombarded by bags and bags of candy. That’s pretty scary stuff if you’re trying to eat healthy and cut back on empty calories, sugar and fat.
The good news is that there are plenty of substitutions you can make to satisfy your cravings without derailing your healthy diet. Here are six sweet swaps for a healthier Halloween:
If you’re craving Skittles…
Opt for dried fruit instead. Dried blueberries, cherries, strawberries, pineapples, apples and mango all pack a sweet and chewy punch while also dishing out fiber, vitamin C and a whole host of other good-for-you nutrients. Just make sure to choose unsweetened varieties since sweetened fruit often contains as much sugar as candy!
If you’re craving Reeses Peanut Butter Cups…
Reach for a Dark Chocolate Peanut Butter Bar, which uses real, creamy peanut butter and rich dark chocolate to deliver the classic flavor combo you’re craving—without all the sugar and empty calories. This delicious tribute to a sweet treat staple boasts healthy fats, plant-based protein, antioxidants, fiber and more. Choose a mini bar, and you’ll get all of that for less than 100 calories.
If you’re craving ice cream…
Try a cup of slightly defrosted frozen blueberries, strawberries or grapes. You’d be surprised how sweet they taste when they’re frozen. If these don’t quite do the trick, try making your own “Nice Cream,” by blending a frozen banana (unpeeled) with a cup of your favorite fruit, Greek yogurt, or a scoop of your go-to protein powder, and a splash of milk or milk alternative to keep the mixture moving. The end result is a delicious and creamy cold treat that is far more nutrient-dense than the calorie laden alternative. Healthy hint: Add a handful of spinach or other greens to the mixture before you blend—it adds a tremendous amount of nutrition and its flavor is undetectable thanks to the sweetness of the fruit.
If you’re craving an Almond Joy…
Satisfy that craving with Zing’s Dark Chocolate Coconut Bars, which contain real dark chocolate, high quality almond butter, almonds and rice crisps, plus macaroon-style coconut and organic agave syrup. They taste almost exactly like the sweet staple, but instead of all the calories, fat and sugar, they’re packed with fiber and plant-based protein. You can opt for the full-sized bars or stock up on the mini bars, which are perfect for kids—or adults who just need a little something to satisfy that sweet treat craving.
If you’re craving M&Ms…
Opt for dark chocolate covered nuts, pretzels or raisins. You’ll get the crunch and just enough chocolate to satisfy your craving, but with less sugar and more fiber and free radical-fighting antioxidants.
If you’re craving a Peppermint Patty…
Choose a Zing Dark Chocolate Mint Bar featuring roasted almonds dusted in cocoa, real almond and cashew butter, fresh peppermint and real dark chocolate. They taste just like the classic candy, but get an added antioxidant boost from the dark chocolate, plus lots of plant-based protein, fiber and healthy fats. They’re also available in minis.