It’s after dinner, or in the midst of an afternoon slump, or during a stressful day at work. You need a snack that’s going to get you through. All of a sudden, your sweet tooth is nagging you, demanding you snack on something sugary. But you don’t want to add all those extra grams of sugar and calories to your day. You try to think of options under 200 calories that will satisfy.
You might be at a loss for what to do. Reaching for any one of those treats in such a miniscule portion isn’t going to cut it — probably because, despite how many calories they have, these foods aren’t all that nutritious.
If you’re craving a real treat, you should probably seek one out. Buy yourself a doughnut. Get a chocolate chip cookie. Eat a croissant and enjoy the heck out of it. When you resist your cravings, they only get stronger — often resulting in you eating more sweets later on. A little extra sugar and calories won’t kill you. But if you’re looking for an everyday kind of snack that will satisfy your hunger and your sweet tooth, some of these better-for-you options (that happen to be around 150 calories each) might be what you’re looking for.
You might think of sweet potatoes as an ingredient for savory meals, but you can easily transform them into a nutritious dessert. These adorable snack cups are sweetened naturally with blueberries and honey before they’re sprinkled with cinnamon. You’ll hardly notice you’re eating something good for you.
Regular sushi is great (just don’t stuff it inside a croissant like this ridiculous food mash-up). It’s got salmon, raw vegetables, and all kinds of other healthy ingredients. So why not get your healthy dessert in a roll of sushi, too? These adorable snacks are simple to put together and filled with nutritious ingredients. It does have a bit of Nutella, though. If you’re trying to avoid all the sugars and oils in the delicious spread, consider swapping it for a tasty nut butter or jam.
Each bite of these breakfast muffins is oozing with sweet, syrupy flavor. Unlike your usual French toast, which can be upwards of 600 calories depending on how you make it, one of these muffins is just 150 calories. Feel free to have multiple servings for breakfast! They’re sweetened with fruit, vanilla extract, and spices — no added sugar required.
These better-for-you ice pops are the answer to all your summer dessert cravings. Ice cold, refreshing, and packed with protein — yes, protein — these cherry and cream ice pops are dreamy, creamy, and acceptable to snack on all summer long. Bring one to the pool for a snack that won’t make you bloat.
These easy-to-make snack bars contain oats, healthy fats, and cherries, all of which are bursting with nutritional benefit. Some of the oldest-living people in history swore by oatmeal. If you have time for a little meal prepping, opt for making a batch of these instead of buying store-bought granola bars — those tend to not only be much higher in sugar, but also far more processed.
This snack is the perfect thing to make for a romantic evening or anytime you’re craving something sweet. Get your summer fruit with a dose of dark chocolate, because why not? Dark chocolate is actually really good for you.
Instead of opting for a buttery, carb-loaded slice of apple pie, satisfy your dessert craving with some baked apples. Something incredible happens in the oven when you bake apples. These cinnamon-dusted slices are sweetened naturally — no refined sugar necessary — and still taste incredibly sweet.
If you’re going to eat a power snack like an energy bite, you might as well make one that tastes like cookie dough. But deceivingly, these bites don’t rely on added sugars or artificial sweeteners for their flavor. Instead, they are made entirely of nutrient-dense ingredients like cacao powder and almond butter.
Instead of butter and calorie-dense oils, this recipe relies on mashed bananas, milk, and gluten-free flour — but based on the taste, you’d never be able to tell. This dessert is healthy enough to eat for breakfast.
If you love brownies but hate eating all that sugar every time you crave one, these brownies could be the compromise you’ve been looking for. They’re sweetened with maple syrup instead of refined sugar; plus, each brownie is just 100 calories. They also happen to be paleo, which could be a perk if you’re into that sort of thing.
The best way to eat this rich, decadent chocolate mousse is as a dip for fresh strawberries. It’s far better for you than Nutella or melted chocolate — this dip is filled with avocado for some healthy fats and natural sweeteners such as fresh fruit, maple syrup, and cocoa powder.
Treat yourself to a delightful dessert you can make on your stove — no oven necessary. Despite the fact that these rolls are made from all your typical dessert ingredients (butter, sugar, flour, yum) each one is just 150 calories. No “healthy swaps” that turn out to taste like disappointment instead of dessert.
Instead of using shortening, try swapping the ingredient for cooking oil — shortening could have dangerous trans fats. But once you make that switch, you’ll love this recipe. Unlike the ingredients on some of your favorite candy brands, everything that’s used in this recipe is simple and free of chemical additives. Plus, each cup is just over 100 calories.
These low-sugar cookies are the perfect sweet snack. They’re sweetened with orange juice and dates rather than refined sugar. But honestly, you’d never be able to tell from the warm fall flavors in every bite.
When in doubt, satisfy your sweet tooth with a smoothie. Unlike juices, which have most of the fiber from fruit removed, smoothies contain all the benefits fruit provides. If you know how to make them right, you can make your smoothies taste just like dessert. This smoothie, complete with maca (a superfood you probably haven’t heard of) and cacao, is a great place to start. Then go ahead and try these other tips for better-tasting smoothies.
More from The Daily Meal: