Satisfying and realistic alternatives to deep fried food cravings. Addressing the crunch, the salt, and the sugar.

It hits you like a truck doesn’t it? You been going great on your new lifestyle, and now you can’t stop thinking about that mozzarella stick, fried chicken, or deep fried French fries.

Most people just say brush it off and fight it! But is any one asking what these strange cravings mean? Your body never gives you a signal that isn’t completely well founded.

Most of the time when we crave fried foods, its either one of two things. 1: An emotional attachment to the foods that are associated with release and happiness. 2: It’s a nutritional need in your body and those foods are the only things it knows that can fill it.

We will deal with the later, the former is for another post.

Rather than delve into molecules and metabolic processing rhetoric, we will instead look at the three sensations that make us crave fried foods and describe better and more delicious options for each.

Onward and Upward! 😊

 

The Crunch

That delicious and satisfying crunch….. Ug.

Desiring texture variety within your food is only natural and you should not be shamed for such.

Luckily there are fruits and veggies that have similar sensations that are not expensive at all.

Here are three healthy alternatives that will give you the same satisfying crunch of fried foods without damage to your body.

Nuts

These are great in cans, bags, etc as a good pure taste with refreshing invigorating crunching. You can eat them whole this way orrrrr…..

If you want to get a texture closer to the fried “crunch”, pulse them in a food processor so they are ground into smaller pieces and are more grainier.

My favorite way to eat them, besides trail mix, is the later sprinkled into a salad or buddha bowl.

When mixed throughout a salad, it gives a phenomenally satisfying and fun texture.

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Cabbage

This is so good not only because it is a raw vegetable, but you can get soooo much of it for soooo cheap. That makes it the perfect shameless endless snack.

The most economical way to get cabbage is to buy it by the head for 65-85 cents. It might not seem like much at first, but when you cut it up you’ll realize how much you have.

This vegetable makes a great crunchy fresh base for any salad or entrée, and because of its neutral taste does great with any type of dressing fairly well.

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Apple Chips

I love these damn things. They are sooo delicious!

These not only have the crunch desired, but the amazing sweet savory taste of baked cinnamon apples.

They cost a little more than the other two options, but if you have a sweet tooth, this is definitely a great way to satisfy two cravings in one.

Other than eating them out of the bag by themselves, they make a great pairing with ice cream, brownies, cakes, or even as a killer side with a big salad.

If you’re interested, there is a homemade recipe: Baked Cinnamon Apple Chips 

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The Salt

And then…..the savory and mouthwatering saltiness of fried foods.

This part of the craving is enough to make you want to bring that cheat day forward a whole week.

Instead of causing water retention, blood pressure spikes, and cholesterol issues, you can just have some canned vegetables that will give you the salt you crave as well as nutrients you need.

You might be thinking “Ewww canned vegetables! They have no flavor.” And honestly if you eat them straight out of the can, you are correct. But that’s not how you enjoy the food.

When I use canned vegetables, I put them into a saucepan with a little bit of the water from the can and proceed to season them as I normally would had I cooked them myself. When all the water runs out, turn the heat down a little bit, wait 2 minutes or so, and then slowly drizzle in some olive oil. Cater the oil amount to your taste, its just the finishing touch for your new seasoned canned vegetables.

Now see three canned vegetables that are particularly high in sodium because of the vegetable, and because it’s canned.

 

Artichokes (canned)

I am kind of new to cooking these, but they have a lot of possibilities. Honestly, they a little bit of an acquired taste though. But honestly, once cultivated, totally worth it.

The salt in these is not enough to turn you off, but it is definably enough to satisfy that part of the craving in one 69 cent can.

The artichoke hearts most often seen jarred or canned are also phenomenal sources of plant based protein that are sure to put some weight into whatever dish it is added to.

They are great to add also with grains as a hearty vegetable to add to the texture variety.

If you’re interested, there is a homemade recipe: 5 Minute Canned Artichoke Heart Recipe

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Beets (canned)

Canned beets vs fresh beats. Not going to lie, I prefer the latter. But canned beets are great to put in salads and dishes, but never to eat by themselves.

I find them as a great light but hearty veggie to mix into spring mixes, mustard green salads, rice dishes, and buddha bowls.

They also are particularly good as an embellishing side to an entrée centered dish.

Another phenomenal fact about beets is their amazing antioxidant level. This refreshes your body’s cells and powers it to remove damaged cells and toxins at a much faster rate. This boosts your immune system greatly.

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Mushrooms (canned)

Not going to lie, I slept on these for years. I had no idea the possibilities. Until I tried it last week, I was in the dark.

If you follow the technique above and put your own flair to it, you will quickly realize what you have been missing.

Yes the salt is there, but by putting alkaline acids in them such as lemons, chili power, and turmeric, this can easily become a fast and decadent addition to almost any dish. These loosen up the texture so its not a rubbery as they tend to be fresh out of the can.

These are so versatile that they can be a great weighty portion to a big salad, but still a great addition to a Chinese fried rice dish, or even a hearty sweet potato stew.

Honestly this is a great cheap addition to your palette. You won’t be sorry.

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The fats/ the oil itself

The sugars and fats in the oil itself defiantly cause addiction to fried foods. I would argue that where a large amount of the craving comes from.

There are an abundance of healthy fats and sugars that can be added to a variety of dishes to satisfy that craving and over time stop it permanently.

Here we will explore my personal favorites: Avocodo and Coconut.

 

Avocado

I will continue preaching about avocadoes till I am blue in the face. Honestly I will.

They are sooooo versatile. They can be a dressing, a dip, a veggie to a salad, a healthy spread, or even a healthy tasty sautéing oil.

The most cost effective way to eat these is to divide up the uses. If you buy a bag, have some you will eat whole, and some use to make a dressing or sauce with them at the, with other ingredients of course, so it doesn’t go bad so fast. The reason I say that is because it’s a good way to stretch them throughout the week with several uses throughout.

By embellishing your food in a sauce or dressing, you will not only satisfy the fat/oil craving from fried foods, but also freshen and brighten any meal you eat. It actually will make whatever you’re eating have a lighter feel to it.

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Coconut

You can eat in whole pieces from the plant, or you can use the oil, but are equally as efficient at satisfying the oil/fat craving from fried foods.

For coconut oil, you can fry most things in it while cutting in half the bad fats and detrimental effects you would be sure to get otherwise. It has a very high threshold for heat.

For coconuts pieces, you can drizzle some of them on a salad for a chewy sweet texture that is almost like a dessert. Also you can layer them on top, and throughout, cakes and dessert dumplings.

Really popular in Caribbean countries is coconut milk. No it doesn’t have as high healthy fat content as whole coconut, or coconut oil, but it can be used in soups, rice dishes, and quinoa. The versatility is higher, and the healthy fats in coconuts are still there.

If you’re interested, there is a homemade recipe: Coconut Rice Recipe 

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Conclusion

The foods above are meant to help satisfy your body’s nutrient levels so that your body is nutritionally balanced and does not “crave” anything. No matter what it is.

Another gathering point from this post is not to never eating fried foods again. The point moving forward it just eating them intelligently, moderately, and with discretion.

Health is not about going without, yearning, and suffering.

It’s about balance, ease, and completely wellness. 😊

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Much love, peace, and happiness. 😊

 

 

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Mareka Belcher

Founded by Mareka Belcher an independent freelance entrepreneur and student out to help others find their own wellness and balance.

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