If healthy junk food sounds like an oxymoron to you, that’s because it is! By definition, junk food is high in calories but low in nutrition content. Of course the obvious ones are candy, cookies, potato chips, and soda. These days, with clever marketing there are many products out there masquerading as healthy food, when they are really junk food! Let’s bust some myths:
Just because something is organic, does not make it healthy.
Organic refers to the way in which things are grown. In order to be considered organic, food:
• Must be produced in a way that supports ecological balance and conserves biodiversity
• Cannot use synthetic pesticides or chemical fertilizer (but can still use approved pesticides and fertilizer)
• Cannot be processed using irradiation or genetic engineering
These are all good things! However, it is not clear that organically produced food has more nutrients than conventional. As for organic candy and organic mac and cheese and organic Doritos? If it looks like junk food, and tastes like junk food, then it probably is.
Just because something is gluten-free, does not make it healthy.
Gluten is merely a type of protein. Just because it’s not in something doesn’t all of a sudden make that food healthy. There are healthy gluten free foods (like fruits, veggies, fish, beans, brown rice, quinoa) and there are unhealthy gluten free foods (many candies, soda, and potato chips). So those gluten free cookies and bagels you’ve been snacking on? Not healthy.
So, what is some healthy “junk food” you should snack on?
The good news is food companies know that we want healthy snacks. Each Harmons has two dedicated healthy checkout lanes packed with healthy treats. Here are some of Harmons Dietitians’ favorites:
• Sahale Seasoned Nut Mixes
• Dried bean snacks like Seapoint Farms edamame
• Perfect Bars
• Graze Trail Mixes
• Kind Bars
• RX Bars
• Prana Trail Mix
• Bare Fruit Chips
• The New Primal Jerky
• Superseedz Flavored Pumpkin Seeds
Barnana Chewy Banana Bites
Even though traditional cookies aren’t healthy, this is a legitimately healthy recipe that makes delicious and chewy cookies. With no added sugar and the ability to easily customize, this is a winner. Add some cocoa powder or peanut butter to make them extra decadent!
Makes 12 cookies
This recipe comes from a Harmons customer. She attended the “Shop with a Dietitian for Cancer Prevention” event and shared this recipe with us as a healthy, but sweet treat that does double duty as breakfast.
2 ripe bananas
1 cup old fashioned oats
¼ cup chopped dried fruit (any kind, preferably unsweetened)
¼ cup chopped nuts (any kind)
Favorite combos: strawberries and peanuts, cherries and pistachios, blueberries and pecans, cranberries and walnuts.
Preheat the oven to 350 degrees. Line a cookie sheet with parchment and spray with cooking spray, or use a silicon baking sheet.
In a large bowl, mash the bananas. Add the oats, fruit, nuts, and mix all ingredients together until evenly combined. Form into cookie shapes.
Bake for 15-20 minutes. Let cool until the cookies stay together when picked up.
Nutrition Information: Serving size: 1 cookie; Calories: 70; Total fat: 2g (0g saturated); Sodium: 0 mg; Total Carbohydrate: 12g; Dietary Fiber: 2g; Sugars: 4g; Protein: 2g
Want a fast breakfast? Pair 2 cookies with 1 cup 1% milk for: Calories: 240; Total fat: 7g (1.5g saturated); Sodium: 105mg; Total Carbohydrate: 35g; Dietary Fiber: 3g; Sugars: 22g; Protein: 12g
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