I thought this might be a fun thread to start. I am currently 5 months pregnant and like a lot of pregnant (and non-pregnant!) women, I have massive cravings at times for food I know is not the best choices for me and my baby. Lately I've been challenging myself to come up with alternatives and have really been enjoying the process of experimenting with good food (and not feeling guilty about wolfing it all down either!). I will warn you, I am NOT a calorie counter. I eat when I'm hungry and I an conscious about what I eat (I try to only eat food that provides vitamins, minerals, healthy fats, and unprocessed foods). I am also a vegetarian (you don't have to be to post your recipes) so a lot of my alternatives focus on alternatives to deserts and my incredible sweet tooth I often experience.
So here are some alternatives I've made and really enjoy. I am not suggesting it's a good idea to eat a lot of these ideas all the time but in a moment of craving some junk food, I don't feel so guilty when I eat my healthy alternatives!
"Chocolate Ice Cream" Alternative: Freeze any over ripe bananas you've got and save them for this recipe. Note: you must have a decent blender or it won't make it ice cream smooth. I use a vitamix. Put in 2-3 frozen bananas, 3-4 fresh dates (or soaked dried dates), 2.5 tablespoons of cocoa powder or raw cococa nibs, and if you want, a teaspoon of vanilla extract. Blend until smooth. It's just like creamy soft serve chocolate ice cream without the processed sugar or dairy fat. Plus, bananas are AWESOME for you during pregnancy, so many vitamins, and minerals as well as dates. High in fiber too! I don't feel guilty when I eat a whole big bowl of this.
Chocolate Pudding Alternative: Take 2 avacados, 4-5 fresh dates (or soaked dried dates), 2.5 tablespoons of cocoa, and a teaspoon of agave or honey sweetener. Again, tastes just like chocolate pudding. You will also need a high powered blender for this recipe to make it smooth. Yes I know avacados are high in fat but it's a good healthy fat and as long as you aren't over indulging, there is no need to feel guilty as they are also high in a lot of nutrients.
Orange Julius: When I am wanting a smoothie / milk shake kind of drink, I often mix either yohgurt or almond milk (for a dairy free option) in with some orange juice (or just oranges!) and some dates (can you tell I use dates a lot?). Because I have a high powered blender, I also usually add one handful of spinach. It turns the smoothie green, and you're getting all the benefits of eating the leafy green but it tastes so similar to an orange julius, you can't even tell you're eating spinach.
I would love to hear other people's ideas. I will post more as I come up with more! I am having a lot of fun playing with Chia seeds right now as well as yohgurt from the farmer's market (I can trick myself into thinking I am eating strawberries and cream cake!)