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8 Craving Crushers

These snacks will appease your sweet tooth or your hankering for salt—and with less than 200 calories, they should be illegal

by Cassandre Cadieux

Want to give in to your cravings without feeling guilty about blowing your daily calorie intake? These eight snacks will crush your cravings and keep you satisfied.

Stephanie Furlan, Toronto, 2011.

On days when I’m feeling down, I find myself mostly craving chocolate. The comforting richness of milk chocolate can make any glass half full and give a positive outlook to life. When eating a whole chocolate bar just isn’t an option, try some of these sweet options on for size:

• 1 cup of strawberries with 1 tablespoon of melted semi-sweet chocolate chips:
By melting the chocolate chips in the microwave, it is possible to dip the strawberries into the chocolate, satisfying the craving and making you feel like you’re being pampered. This snack is approximately 120 calories and contains just 4 grams of fat, making it impossible to turn down.

• Irresistibles Frozen Yogurt Mini Bar in a Dark Chocolate Coating:
These 90 calorie frozen yogurt treats are found at most grocery stores (including Food Basics at Pape Avenue and Cosburn Avenue), and with only 5 grams of fat, they will have you begging for more. With a choice of chocolate, vanilla, or strawberry frozen yogurt, covered in a dark chocolate shell, these mini bars will quickly become a favourite for any snack or dessert.

• An apple with 1 tablespoon of peanut butter:
The creamy goodness of peanut butter will add an extra something special to the natural sweetness of the apple. This snack is around 170 calories, with 8 grams of fat, and will turn your regular fruit into a rich, creamy snack.

• Special K Fruit Crisps:
These bars, available with both strawberry and blueberry filling, are similar to Pop Tarts, but without the sugary icing and empty calories. One package of two bars is only 100 calories and contains 2 grams of fat. They can become a staple in any daily routine, curbing a voracious sweet tooth.

Some days I crave nothing more than salt, usually meaning bags of chips and lots of fat. Here are four snacks I have discovered to satisfy my salty desires:

• Pop Chips Sea Salt and Vinegar Chips:
These chips have finally made it to Canada and are a good substitution to the regular potato chip. This potato snack is popped instead of baked or fried, and for 28 chips contains only 170 calories and 5 grams of fat. For a person who cannot live without potato chips, this is the perfect alternative.

• Orville Redenbacher Smart Pop! Buttery Flavour Mini Bags:
These small bags of microwave popcorn taste much closer to movie theatre popcorn than any other kind of “smart popcorn.” With only 100 calories and 1 gram of fat per bag, there is nothing better for salty, buttery goodness.

• Pistachios:
These nuts will satisfy the craving for salt and have fewer calories than a lot of the more traditional nuts. Thirty-five pistachios contain approximately 133 calories, 11 grams of natural fats, and will offer a challenge by having you peel their shells. By concentrating on separating nut and shell, you will eat slower and will probably be full before you eat all 35 nuts.

• Quaker Crispy Minis:
When potato chips just aren’t an option, try these rice cake alternatives. With multiple flavours including butter popcorn, ketchup, salt and vinegar, and, my favourite, sweet chili, there are only about 90 calories and 3 grams of fat for 12 mini cakes.

These snacks are all relatively inexpensive and easy to find! Say goodbye to over-controlling cravings and hello to these smart, healthier alternatives.

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