1. Banana nice cream
Yes, with an 'n.' This ice cream contains no refined sugar, dairy, or any of the other hidden naughties that are probably nestled into your favorite flavor, because it's literally just banana. All you have to do is chop 'em up and freeze them, then blend the chunks, and that totally average bit of fruit magically blossoms into the closest thing you're ever going to get to soft serve ice cream for under 100 calories. It's seriously rich and creamy, and a great base for other flavors too. Add a spoonful of cacao and some dark chocolate chips to your next batch and you can totally thank us later.
2. Homemade health bar
Health bars are amazing but they can be pretty pricey if you've got a one-a-day habit like ours. Learn to make your own, and you can save some cash and customize them to suit your tastes. There are loads of different variations to be found online, but most of them are based around dates or other sweet dried fruits like raisins, nuts, and seeds like chia. Whack your chosen ingredients into a blender, then turn out, leave to set, slice, and serve. They'll keep in a Tupperware for ages, so you can blitz once and enjoy for dayzzz.
3. Frozen yogurt blueberries
You know those yogurt-coated raisins you binge eat because you can pretend that they're healthy, but deep down you know they're secretly just raisins in glorified white chocolate? Well, here is the legit healthy version, and you only need two ingredients to make them! Stick a toothpick in a blueberry, dunk it in yogurt (preferably protein-rich Greek) and put onto a tray lined with baking paper. It sounds fiddly, but once you've got the knack you'll get through in no time, and it's weirdly therapeutic (just us?). Then all you have to do is freeze them, and you've got a no-foolin' healthy snack on hand at all times.
4. Sweet potato chips
We know what you're thinking: why the eff would you bother with the hassle of making your own chips when you could just open a bag? The answer, dear reader, is because they're a whole lot better for you—and nowhere near as tricky to make as you think. Thinly slice your potato, leaving the skin on because that's where a bunch of the nutrients are, then put them in a bowl with a little glug of oil and your chosen seasoning, and toss. Bake in a moderate oven until the edges begin to crinkle, then cool (this takes all of five minutes) then chow down until the last crumb is gone. This works just as well with other veg like parsnip, beetroot, zucchini, and…
5. Apple chips
…apples, because chips don't always have to be savory. Use the same slicing method, but vary the seasoning (you probs want cinnamon rather than salt for these…), then bake at a lower temp (110 degrees Celsius) for a longer time, letting them do their thing for about an hour while the incredible smell fills your kitchen. If you haven't guessed already, a mandolin slicer is your new BFF. Get one and the whole prep process for any healthy chips should take you about five minutes tops.
6. Frozen banana bites
Banana + peanut butter + chocolate + your freezer = a snack made in sweet-tooth heaven. These banana bites are pretty self-explanatory to make. You simply slice, stick together with peanut butter, freeze, and then coat. It's up to you whether you choose to fully commit to the chocolate dip or restrain yourself to a more modest bottom-only dunk, but either way, when they're done, they're a veritable party in your virtuous mouth.
7. Cucumber sandwiches
No, not the claggy, buttery things that everyone avoids in favor of smoked salmon. These sandwiches are crunchy, tasty, totally Instagram-worthy towers of cucumber and your usual fillings. Layer slices of cucumber with ham, cheese, hummus or and that's about it. Once you've gotten over the no-bread weirdness, these will quickly become your new go-to for when you fancy something crunchy but don't want to succumb to carbs.
8. Roasted chickpeas
Salt and vinegar fans, your time has come, because Oh She Glows has got THE BEST recipe for salty, tangy chickpeas. You boil the chickpeas in vinegar for maximum face-twisting sourness, then roll in salt and bake til golden, and they are delish. If you're not a salt-and-vinegar kinda girl but love the sound of roasted chickpeas, try a spicy mix with paprika, or go sweet with honey and cinnamon instead.
9. Frozen grapes
Okay, so this is probably the most basic 'recipe' we've ever given you, but you honestly won't believe how much some time in the freezer transforms these juicy little beauts. To make, rinse your grapes, pat them dry, pop into a plastic bag and freeze overnight. The next day, you'll have a crisp, super sweet, super healthy treat that's almost as good as the candy you're craving. Also, bonus life hack: You can put them in wine to keep them chilled without watering them down (although we can't guarantee the vino is as good for you as the grapes…)
10. Watermelon pops
What's more fun than food? Food on a stick, that's what. Simply dice your melon into easy-to-manage triangles, push a lolly stick through the skin end, and drizzle with some dark chocolate, nut butter or whatever else takes your fancy. You can eat them as is, or freeze if you want something a little more refreshing. Either way it makes melon way more interesting than the plasticy cubes you get in supermarket packets.
11. Banana on toast
The humble banana keeps popping up on this list, because it's a) really good for you and b) really good IN a bunch of different snacks. This time, you don't freeze it, but instead slice it up and put it on a slice of peanut butter toast, opting for rye or wholegrain bread if possible. For extra goodness, top with a pinch of chia. These little seeds might not look like much, but they're full of fibre, protein, healthy fats and minerals. Even just a tiny sprinkle will go a long way to actually filling you up and stopping you from reaching for another unnecessary slice.
12. Homemade hummus
The basis of a good hummus is tahini, lemon, and garlic, so add a small amount of each to the food processor with your chickpeas and then play around until it's just how YOU like it. Serve with crudités like carrot, pepper and cucumber sticks for a protein boost and a few of your 5-a-day.
The buckets you get at the cinema are not good for you, but corn that you pop yourself definitely can be. If you have a popcorn maker, air pop yours, or use a saucepan and a spoonful of coconut oil if you don't have one, shaking regularly over a medium heat until the popping subsides. When it comes to flavors, you can take the sweet or savory route. Parmesan and herbs are just as good as (more) coconut and a drizzle of 80 percent dark chocolate. The key to keeping it healthy is portion control, so have some sealable bags on hand to package up your popcorn as treats you can grab and go throughout the week.
This article originally appeared on Cosmopolitan.com.au. Minor edits have been made by the Cosmo.ph editors.