By Joy Bauer, RD
If you're trying to eat well, tempting seasonal sweets can be extra-spooky. But there's good news for your cravings: You can enjoy tasty treats without tricks. I've come up with some delicious options that give you the flavors you love, but with less sugar and added nutrition. Photo by Getty Images
If you're craving Almond Joys
Try this: Make a trail mix that mimics the same flavors. Mix 1 to 2 Tbsp dark chocolate chips, 2 Tbsp unsweetened coconut flakes and 12 oil-roasted almonds (dry-roasted work, too). To pump up the volume, toss in a handful of light popcorn.
Healthy benefit: Almonds contain heart-healthy fats that can help lower cholesterol and ease inflammation.
Related: Discover foods that keep you full longer.
If you're craving Peanut Butter Cups
Try this: Spread 1 tsp all-natural peanut butter on a square of dark chocolate. Eat it at room temperature, or pop it into the freezer for a few hours and enjoy later as a chilled treat.
Healthy benefit: Peanut butter has vitamin E, a powerful antioxidant that's good for your skin, and magnesium, which helps strengthen your bones. One study found that eating a little bit of the smooth stuff five days a week may reduce your risk of type 2 diabetes.
If you're craving Cookies 'n' Creme Bars
Try this: Crumble a small handful of chocolate Teddy Grahams over ½ cup vanilla nonfat Greek yogurt.
Healthy benefit: You'll get a burst of filling protein (the yogurt packs 16 g protein) along with a chocolaty crunch to satisfy your sweet tooth.
Related: Check out 8 calming foods that ease stress.
If you're craving Crunch Bars
Try this: Melt 6 oz dark chocolate and stir in 1 cup puffed brown rice cereal. Spread the mixture on a parchment-lined baking sheet and stick it in the fridge for 30 minutes. Once it's cool, cut into bars and serve.
Healthy benefit: The flavanoids in dark chocolate help open up your blood vessels, which can lead to lower blood pressure.
Related: Try 6 stomach-friendly foods.
If you're craving Junior Mints
Try this: Mix a drop of peppermint extract into a lowfat chocolate pudding cup. Then poke mini-marshmallows with a toothpick and dip away!
Healthy benefit: Low-calorie pudding contains calcium, which can help relieve PMS symptoms and boost bone strength.
JOY BAUER, MS, RD, is the nutrition and health expert for NBC's TODAY show. Visit JoyBauer.com and follow Joy on Facebook, Twitter(@joybauer) and Pinterest (JoyBauerHealth).
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By Joy Bauer, RD