Healthy alternative to treats

Did your resolution to eat healthily go well in January? If it did, well done and keep up the good work. If it didn’t, there’s no point fretting about it; simply give it another go. The good news is that these days, there are plenty of alternatives to sugary and fatty treats that will make eating more healthily a lot easier. Here are some mouth-watering suggestions.


Popcorn by itself is a surprisingly healthy snack. It contains lots of antioxidants and fibre, as well as vitamins, folate, niacin and riboflavin. Fibre is an important part of a balanced diet and has been found to decrease the risk of cardiovascular disease. Popcorn is classified as a whole grain - these reduce the risk of type 2 diabetes and hypertension. It has a lower GI (glycemic index), which helps regulate blood sugar levels.

Popcorn becomes an unhealthy snack when it’s covered in butter, salt, sugar, etc. - i.e. all the things that make it taste so good! However, there are ways of making delicious popcorn that isn’t so bad for you, so invest in a hot-air popcorn maker and experiment with healthy flavourings.

If you really can’t do without butter or oil, try olive oil, coconut oil, or a lighter butter. You can create tastier popcorn without adding calories by using pepper, chilli or other spices. Or try grating some cheese or adding a sprinkling of yeast flakes over it for a bit of interest.

Popcorn Maker

Ice cream

With an ice cream maker, you can experiment with frozen yoghurts and sorbets that are a lot better for you than ice cream made with double cream, and they’re just as delicious! And, of course, there are no preservatives, so making your own frozen yoghurt or sorbet gives you better quality dessert too. Search online to find recipes for frozen yoghurt that use 0% yoghurt - you’re bound to find one with the flavours you prefer. In the meantime, here’s our favourite sorbet recipe to use with the Sensio Home ice cream maker.

Lemon and Lime Sorbet

  • 300ml water
  • 150g sugar
  • 75ml fresh lemon juice
  • 75ml fresh lime juice
  • ½ tsp grated lemon zest from unwaxed lemons
  • ½ tsp grated lime zest from unwaxed limes

1. Heat the sugar and water in a saucepan and bring to the boil. Reduce the heat and simmer for three minutes, stirring occasionally until the sugar dissolves. Allow to cool completely.
2. When the mixture has cooled, add the lemon and lime juice and the zest. Give the mixture a good stir, then cover and chill for a couple of hours.
3. Stir the mixture before pouring it through the opening in the top of the unit.
4. Churn for 20-25 minutes to produce a soft sorbet. For a firmer sorbet, place the churned mixture in a freezer-proof container and freeze for a couple of hours.

Nice cream

If you don’t have a handy ice cream maker but do have a blender, try making ‘nice cream’. It all begins with bananas. The basic premise is to freeze the bananas and any other fruit you’re going to need, then blend it. Easy peasy! And as the fruit’s already frozen, you don’t need to wait until you get to eat it. Click here to get some recipe ideas. You’ll be contributing to your five a day, and the best thing is, there’s no fat and no sugar!

Bon appétit!