December is a shit time to go through the process of trying to eliminate junk food cravings because holiday cheer is basically another way of saying give mama sugar and alcohol NOW! And holiday cheer is fully supported, encouraged and busting at the seams this time of year. If you’re trying to stick to your plant powered ways and you seem to be teetering, I’m here on a rescue mission to help you. Give me your hand, I got you with a trusty list of plant based substitutions for sweet and salty cravings. I also have Duct Tape, some coconut aminos, a blender, some drill bits and my cat pants; just in case. You never know what could arise.
If you’re already tits-deep in cookies, cupcakes, cheese platters, wine, candy, and spiked cider, your cravings for these things are going to be a son-of-a-bitch to get away from because the pleasure center of your brain has already been swept away and taken to Disneyland for adults, where everyone is prancing around naked and partying in hot tubs filled with champagne and strawberries. Chocolate is the currency and everyone gets to sleep in before the next party starts.
If you’ve only dipped your toe into holiday cheer it will be easier for you to refuse a ticket to Disneyland for adults, but you’ll still need a backup plan because it’s a tempting place to go when you’re stressed out about getting every little thing done before the fam rolls into town.
The more sugar, junk food and alcohol you party with, the less appealing whole plant foods will be. That’s just the nature of your brain chemistry. So be prepared to stay strong, tell your cravings for junk food to fuck off, and choose foods that are going to help you instead of hurt you. You’re worth it and really, instant gratification lasts but a few minutes. The temptation and cravings are always more intoxicating than the execution.
Here is your new go-to list for when junk food cravings smack you upside the head. The next time it happens, tell those cravings NOT TODAY, SON and reach for one of the following whole food plant based options instead. Adult Disneyland might sound like a good idea, but if you’ve ever swam naked in a hot tub full of champagne with strangers, you know that it can go wrong very, very quickly.
If you’re having sweet cravings.
Whole Food Plant Based substitution: apple slices + nut butter + chopped walnut + raisins
Craving: Ice cream
Whole Food Plant Based substitution: 1 cup unsweetened soy milk + 2 very ripe frozen bananas + 1 cup frozen blueberries + 1/2 teaspoon vanilla extract or 2 tablespoons raw cacao powder // place everything in your blender and blend until super creamy and smooth. This makes a very thick milkshake-like treat. You can either drink it with a very big straw or eat it with a spoon.
Craving: Candy bar
Whole Food Plant Based substitution: dried pitted date + almond butter + chopped pistachios
Whole Food Plant Based substitution: toasted sprouted bread + nut butter + toasted coconut + banana slices + minced dried apricots (instructions and pictures below)
Whole Food Plant Based substitution: small square of 85% dark chocolate or higher
If you’re having salty cravings.
Craving: Potato chips
Whole Food Plant Based substitution: Organic Air Popped Popcorn
Whole Food Plant Based substitution: Cashew Cheese
Whole Food Plant Based substitution: 7 Layer Nacho Dip
Whole Food Plant Based substitution: sprouted English muffins + red sauce + sautéed mushrooms + cashew cheese. Stack everything on the English muffins and bake for 10 minutes in a 375°F (190°C) oven.
Craving: French fries
Whole Food Plant Based substitution: sweet potatoes cut into wedges and tossed with T-Crack. Toss everything together, place in a single layer on a parchment covered baking sheet. Bake in a 425°F (218°C) oven for 15 minutes, flip and bake an additional 15-20 minutes until crispy. Serve with Garlic Paprika Dipping Sauce.
Okay, let’s bring this home and make it real. Tell me in the comments below what your holiday cheer has looked like so far and which of the options above is going to save you from the adult Disneyland walk of shame. #ouch
For when you’re craving a donut and you don’t want to go there…
Toasted Coconut Sweet Treat
Toasted Coconut Sweet Treat
- 2 cups dried coconut, large flakes or shredded (about 115 g)
Toasted Coconut Sweet Treat
- Toasted Coconut
- Sprouted bread, toasted
- Nut butter of your choice
- Banana slices
- Dried apricot, minced (can sub with any other dried fruit)
Let’s first toast up some coconut:
Heat a large skillet over low heat for one minute. Add the coconut to the skillet and spread out in a single layer.
Cook for 4-7 minutes, stirring often, until the coconut gets nice and brown. Watch the skillet closely and stir often because the coconut will go from brown to burnt in a hot second. If you are using smaller shredded coconut, it will cook faster, so really keep an eye on it.
Once most of the coconut is brown, turn off the heat and transfer to a plate to cool.
When the Toasted Coconut is cool, transfer to a container and store on your fridge. It’s easier to make 2 cups of Toasted Coconut so you don’t have to do this every time you want some.
Now let's assemble the goods:
Toast your bread and then immediately spread some nut butter on the warm toast. Top with some Toasted Coconut, banana slices and minced dried apricots. Cut in half and nip that donut craving where it counts!
Wishing you a happy week. May it be filled with showing holiday cheer who’s boss.