Fancy a chocolate brownie ball made with healthy ingredients? Picture: Wikimedia Commons.
Fancy a chocolate brownie ball made with healthy ingredients? Picture: Wikimedia Commons.

3 junk food alternatives to curb your cravings

By Sacha van Niekerk Time of article published May 4, 2020

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If you’ve turned to snacking as a distraction from the chaos all around you, you're not alone. A quick scroll through Twitter or Instagram will tell you that everyone has had to adjust their daily routine to suit our new reality. 

Although we’re about to enter level 4 of lockdown, physical distancing remains a reality for most South Africans. Most people will continue with their new routines of baking, snacking and lazily watching home-workout videos whilst firmly planted on the couch. 

Chips, chocolate, sweets and ice cream - there are so many delicious temptations. Luckily, there’s also a variety of deliciously healthy snack alternatives to curb your cravings.

3 junk food alternatives to curb your cravings:

What to eat instead of chips 

Salted peanuts, buttery popcorn fresh from the microwave and greasy chips are staples when being a couch potato. But they aren’t the healthiest of options, especially when consumed in large quantities. 

Instead opt for roasted chickpeas. According to Happy Earth People, “Chickpeas help to increase satiety, boost digestion, keep blood sugar levels stable, increase protection against disease and more.”

@sumaiyadietitian’s recipe for roasted chickpeas:


2 Tbsp olive oil⁣
⁣1 Tbsp ground cumin⁣
⁣1/2 tsp chilli powder⁣
⁣1/2 tsp cayenne pepper⁣
⁣A pinch of salt and black pepper⁣
⁣1 can (400g) of chickpeas⁣
Preheat oven to 180 degrees Celsius
Whisk all ingredients (except chickpeas) together in a bowl⁣
Drain chickpeas and blot with a paper towel to remove excess moisture. Coat thoroughly in the spice mixture⁣. Spread evenly on a baking sheet. ⁣
Place in the oven to roast for approximately 45 minutes, stirring occasionally.

What to eat instead of ice cream

Cold, creamy and delicious, ice cream is everyone’s favourite dessert. Unfortunately it’s super low in nutrients, high in added sugar and calories, and often contains a whole list of artificial ingredients. 

Don’t reach for a pint this time around, instead make your own icy banana popsicles.

@_livefrank’s recipe for banana popsicles


Popsicle sticks or wooden skewers ⠀
Bananas chopped in half ⠀
Coarsely chopped almonds, peanuts, pistachios or other nuts of choice 
Dark chocolate⠀

Place chocolate in a heatproof bowl set over (not in) a pan of gently simmering water. Stir just until melted.⠀
Line baking tray with baking paper⠀
Insert popsicle stick in one end of half a banana⠀
Dip banana, one at a time into melted chocolate ⠀
Sprinkle each banana with nut of choice ⠀
Freeze until both the chocolate and banana are firm

What to eat instead of cake or brownies

Gooey brownies and rich chocolate cake, how can you go wrong? Instead of gorging yourself on too much sugar, try something just as delicious that’s also so much better for you. 

These are adult brownie bites are made with real, whole ingredients. All you need to do is toss them altogether in a blender and, voila, a healthy snack.

@maggreenie’s brownie bite recipe


12 pitted dates
1 cup almond meal
1 cup pecans or walnuts
1/2 cup cocoa powder
1 tbs of pure maple syrup
1 tsp of vanilla extract


Pulse ingredients in food processor until a doughy ball starts to form. 
Roll dough out into bite sized balls.
Top balls with chopped almonds, cocoa powder and coconut shreds. 
Store in the fridge or freezer for future snacking.

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