You know all those "eat this, not that" lists that are supposed to give you great substitutions for your high-fat favorites? I want to like those lists but what actually happens is I eat this; then when my craving is none too quelled, I eat that, too. That's a lot of those. Knowing this about myself I usually just opt to eat a moderate portion of whatever bad-for-me food I'm craving. But recently I've come across three craving-friendly substitutes that are actually pretty darn good, so I'm sharing them with you.
More from Elastic Waist: What to do when your pms chocolate craving is driving you to distraction.
My first constant craving is Sour Patch Kids or Sour Gummy Worms. Apparently my body likes to eat acid in the form of sugar-coated gelatin. I'm trying pretty hard to find a biological reason to eat sour candy, but all I can think of is scurvy prevention and citrus fruits--it's a long shot, but I may just go with it. So what's my substitute of choice? Oribit Lemon Lime-flavored gum. This stuff is crazy good. Okay well at first I was like, ewwww, lemon flavored gum. But then, I was like, whoa! lemon flavored gum. It's sour and chewy and really does take the edge off, and it's sugar free.
Can chewing too much gum be bad for you? SELF has the answer!
There's obviously a part of my palate that is still stuck in college, because I love ramen soup. Love it, best food ever. And cheap. Can't get enough of the stuff. Salty, carby, soupy goodness, it's like all comfort food all the time. But, a single packet of ramen soup (which they say has 2 servings, cause they're crazy!) is somewhere around 580 calories. Ramen is drunk food, snack food, and late night study food, not a well-balanced meal, and I'm not keen on spending a third of my daily recommended caloric intake on something that costs $0.23 and has no vitamins, minerals or fiber. That being said, I found the best ramen soup substitute ever. Udon Noodles! I've been buying these pre-boiled packets of Udon noodles with a little spice packet (Ã la ramen) of miso broth, but I've also cooked them up in seafood broth and chicken broth for that authentic college feel. They're great and low in fat and calories. I've also mixed them with some shrimp and bok choy for a real healthy-like dinner.
My last healthy substitute of recent discovery was born more out of laziness than health. It's an idea that's been around for a while now, but I'd yet to try: mashed cauliflower in lieu of mashed potatoes. These are seriously the most amazingly easy thing to make ever. Boil up some cauliflower 'til a fork slides out all easy like. Once the veggies are cooked but not mush, put them in the blender (or food processor if you want to be fancy), a dash of lite sour cream and some garlic salt and these puppies are uncanny in their similarity to mashed potatoes.
Find other easy yet yummy veggie recipes fresh from the farmers' market over at SELF.
Okay, so I've shared my new favorite food swaps with you. Now it's your turn, what food substitutions do you make that actually scratch that snacky itch?
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