I like to eat some sinful foods during special occasions and I seem to crave them even more outside of the holidays. Although I allow myself to indulge on designated cheat meals every month, I still need to have some backup plans for the times I cannot control my hankering for something fun.
Rice cakes (I like Lundberg brown rice cakes) can be a quick and easy way to silence a craving without consuming too many carbs and calories. There are several ways to use these as a treat for sugar or salt type cravings with varying degrees of sin added to them. If you are watching your diet and you’re on a strict regimen, one of the best ways to eat rice cakes which can satisfy either a salt or sugar craving is to use nonfat cream cheese topped with one of these choices:
- Strawberries or other berries such as blueberries or cranberries
- Salt and peppered cucumber slices
- All natural honey
- Cinnamon and chopped green apple
- Chopped banana chips and dried blueberries or cranberries
If you take the above ideas and replace the cream cheese with peanut butter or almond butter and replace the cucumbers with chopped celery, you will have even more choices which are super healthy. 2-4 rice cakes per sitting should be enough to satisfy your hunger pangs and try to enjoy them only once every few days. The lovely crunch of the cake mixed with the textures of the different toppings is another satisfying effect.
Oats are a secret treat just waiting to happen! These little carb flakes are a high protein carb source and help to regulate blood sugar which differs from other carbs in that they usually cause insulin spikes when consumed.
Oats can replace any type of flour in baking, while preparing pancakes, and even when cooking requires the use of bread crumbs. You can find oat bran which is finely ground, oat flour or steel cut oats. Old fashioned oats are a mainstay in my house. Bob’s Red Mill which is based out of Milwaukie, Oregon is my favorite brand.
A competitor at a show once had these little tea cake looking things and she would put a dollop of peanut butter on them. She had all of us curious, and drooling! Finally someone could not stand it any longer and walked over to ask her about these little cakes. She said she made them just like oatmeal except with much less water, and just enough to thicken them. She said there was protein powder added to them. That was all of the ingredients, just whole oats, water and some protein powder to make a batter like mix for cookies and then she spooned them onto a plate and nuked them! Brilliant! You can top these tasty little things with nonfat cream cheese, nut butters, sugar-free jams and jellies, chopped fruits and cottage cheese. Can you see a pattern here?
Experiment and see what you like. It’s a great way to calm a craving for sweet or salty foods yet keep to a clean and healthy diet. Now, take a teaspoon of carob chips and throw those over 2 oat tea cakes and peanut butter then tell me if that doesn’t cure an intense sugar craving. Enjoy!