When junk food cravings hit, it’s hard to reach for an apple when you really want a Milky Way bar.
Junk food is delicious, but every bite can come with at least a little guilt if you’re trying to eat healthy or watch your weight.
But not all hope is lost! With just slightly more effort than it takes to get to a drive-thru and order, you can make some “junk food” that is low on guilt and high on taste.
In honor of National Junk Food day on July 21, we have four easy junk food recipes you can make this afternoon to satisfy your sweet and salty cravings.
MICROWAVE POTATO CHIPS
As wild as it may sound, you can absolutely make a crispy potato chip in the microwave. Here’s EatingWell.com’s recipe:
You need 1 1/3 pounds of Yukon gold or red potatoes, 2 teaspoons of extra virgin olive oil, a 1/2 teaspoon of salt and some cooking spray.
You want to start by washing the potatoes, then slicing them super thin. The easiest way to make sure they’re sliced thin enough is to use a mandolin to get them to about 1/8 inch.
Toss the sliced potatoes into a bowl with the olive oil and salt and mix well.
Spray the cooking spray on a microwave-safe plate, then arrange a single layer of the potato slices on the plate. Microwave uncovered on high for two to three minutes (keep an eye on them!) until the potatoes start to brown. Then flip them over, microwave another two to four minutes until they’re crispy. Voila! Fresh, homemade potato chips!
Repeat until all of your chips are cooked. They’ll keep for about three days in an airtight container. Yum!
ALMOST KIT KAT BARS
“Give me a break,” you might be thinking. “There’s no way!” But there is a way, and it involves chocolate.
ThriveMarket.com has a great recipe for Kit Kat bars without any refined sugar. The recipe calls for homemade chocolate hazelnut spread and Paleo-friendly cereal flakes, but you can use Nutella and regular cereal flakes if you want too.
Here’s what you need for the bars: 3/4 cups of chocolate hazelnut spread, 1 tablespoon each of butter, coconut oil, coconut milk and raw honey and 2 cups of cereal flakes.
For the topping, you need 1/3 cup melted coconut oil, 4 tablespoons maple syrup, 1 1/2 tablespoons coconut sugar, 1/3 cup cacao powder, 1 teaspoon vanilla extract and 1/4 teaspoon sea salt.
Mix all of the bar ingredients together in a bowl until they are mixed evenly and the cereal flakes have broken up into smaller pieces. Press the mixture into an 8-by-8 baking pan lined with parchment paper and make sure its event.
Mix the topping ingredients together in another bowl, then pour over the mixture and spread it evenly. Freeze for about four hours, then cut into Kit Kat-sized pieces to serve. Store in the fridge.
This recipe from DashingDish.com has a few more steps than the other two recipes, but it’s so delicious that you won’t even care. Plus these are a hit with kids.
Gather your ingredients: 1/2 cup each of shredded mozzarella cheese and pizza/tomato sauce, 20 Turkey pepperonis, 24 wonton wrappers, 1/8 cup Parmesan cheese, 1 teaspoon basil and oregano mix or Italian seasoning, 1/2 teaspoon garlic powder and a pinch each of a sweetener like sugar or stevia and black pepper. You can also add diced chicken breast or Italian sausage (about 1/3 cup of either) if you want.
Preheat your oven to 450 F and cover a large baking sheet with parchment paper or foil sprayed with cooking spray.
Mix your sauce in cheese in a bowl. Cut the pepperonis into quarters and mix them with the cheese and sauce. Finally, add the seasonings to the bowl and mix well.
Get a bowl of water and set it next to your mixture and wonton wrappers. Put about a tablespoon of the mixture into the center of the wontons. Then dip your finger into the water, trace your finger on two sides, then fold your wonton in half so that the dry sides meet the wet sides. Press the edges together to “seal” the wonton.
Repeat until all of the wontons are filled. Arrange them on the baking sheet and give them a light coating of cooking spray and Parmesan cheese. Bake for about 10 to 15 minutes or until they’re golden brown.
EASY BANANA “ICE CREAM”
If you love bananas, then you’ll love this extremely easy recipe. It’s my immediate go-to when I’m craving ice cream but don’t want to splurge on Halo Top for a guilt-free treat.
Slice a banana or two into 1/4 inch slices and arrange them on a plate or baking sheet. Put them in the freezer for at least an hour.
When you’re ready for ice cream, take the banana slices out of the freezer and pop them into your blender. Blend until the bananas are creamy and smooth.
You can enjoy your banana “ice cream” as is, or mix in peanut butter, chocolate, Greek yogurt, strawberries or other foods.
WHAT ARE YOUR FAVORITE HEALTHY RECIPES FOR JUNK FOOD?