5 Delicious Ways to Make Junk Food Less Junky

Junk Food

At one point we all realize we can't live on the donuts and pizza we all loved as kids, and have to make the smarter (but less fun) decision to fuel up with healthier fare like sweet potatoes, salmon and vegetables. Although we know a balanced diet will lead to better performance on and off the field, the cravings for something a little more sinful remain. Seriously, can anybody ever truly get over the occasional hankering for a thick brownie or a slice of 'za? Anyone who says "yes" is a liar.

To help those of us (i.e., all of us) who still want to indulge from time to time,  Anna Sward of proteinPOW.com found a way to mix the rich tastes of your favorite childhood foods with body-smart ingredients. Here are five of her delicious recipes, along with nutritional breakdowns showing that, yes, they actually are good for you. Or at least they're not as bad as the traditional version. Try one today or head to proteinpow.com to check out more.

3-Ingredient Protein Pizza

Protein Pizza

Photo via proteinpow.com

  • ½ cup liquid egg whites
  • 1 tbsp. coconut flour
  • ½ cup gluten free oats
  • Dried rosemary, thyme and basil to taste.

Directions:

1. Blend everything together.

2.  Add some coconut oil, or a low-fat cooking spray to a pan and heat the pan.

3.  Add your batter to the pan and spread it around with a spatula or spoon. If you like your crusts really thin, spread the batter thinly. If you like your crusts thicker, fry the whole thing up as a thicker pancake. As soon as you add the batter to the pan, reduce the heat to medium-low.

4. When you see bubbles start appearing on the batter surface, flip it.

5. Once your "crust" is ready and cooked on both sides, add pizza sauce and your toppings, ending always with cheese and herbs (I like using dried rosemary, thyme, and/or dried basil.)

6. Use the oven broiler to melt the cheese. If you want the edges to crisp up, brush some extra virgin olive oil on them.

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Nutrition Info (for the crust—the toppings are up to you!):

  • Calories: 323
  • Protein: 23 g
  • Fat: 5 g
  • Carbs: 41 g

Whey Protein Biscuits

Whey Protein Biscuits

Photo via proteinpow.com

Ingredients:

  • 1/4 cup ground almonds
  • 1/8 cup flour
  • 1/4 cup vanilla whey protein powder
  • 3 tbsp. light tahini
  • 1 tbsp. dark agave syrup
  • 1/4 cup water
  • 1/2 tsp. maple extract

Directions:

1. Mix everything together until you form a thick dough you can shake with your hands. If it's too crumbly, add a bit more water.

2. Divide the dough into four balls and flatten them out on a non-stick cookie tray.

3. Bake at 375 degrees F for 15-20 minutes, or until they're cooked through.

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Nutrition Info (Per Biscuit):

  • Calories: 144
  • Protein: 12 g
  • Carbs: 3 g
  • Fiber: 9 g

Almond & Chocolate Protein Donuts

Almond and Chocolate Protein Donuts

Photo via proteinpow.com

Ingredients:

  • 1/4 cup vanilla protein powder
  • 1/4 cup almond flour (a.k.a. ground almonds)
  • 2 tbsp. coconut sugar
  • 2 tbsp. almond milk
  • 1 whole egg
  • 1/2 tsp. baking powder

Directions: 

1. Blend all ingredients until you get a sticky dough.

2. Stick the dough inside a donut pan, ideally a silicone one.

3. Bake at 355 degrees F for about 15 minutes, or until they're cooked through.

4. Let the donuts cool completely before removing them from the donut pan.

5. Melt 2 squares of dark chocolate with 1 tsp of coconut oil. Pour on top of the donuts and add some chocolate sprinkles on top! You could also sprinkle them with slivered almonds.

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Nutrition Info (for donut without toppings):

  • Calories: 472
  • Protein: 43 g
  • Fat: 21 g
  • Carbs: 28 g

White Chocolate Raspberry Protein Bars

White Chocolate Raspberry Protein Bars

Photo via proteinpow.com

 Ingredients:

  • 2 tbsp. coconut flour
  • 3 tbsp. almond milk (or any milk of your choice)
  • 1/4 cup vanilla whey protein
  • 1/2 tsp. vanilla powder (optional)
  • 1 small bar of sugar-free raspberry white chocolate (get it here)

Directions:

1. Melt the chocolate.

2. While the chocolate is melting, mix the milk, coconut flour, whey and vanilla until you get a sort of dough you can shape into bars with your hands.

3. Once the chocolate has melted, add it on one side of the bars, then place that bar chocolate-side down on baking paper or tin foil. Cover the other side of the bar with more white chocolate. Be sure to coat the sides too.

4. Repeat step three for the other bar, then transfer both bars to the fridge for an hour to set the chocolate.

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Nutrition Info Per Bar (batch of two bars):

  • Calories: 206
  • Protein: 16 g
  • Fat: 11 g (mostly from the coconut flour and cocoa butter)
  • Carbs: 15 g (out of which 4g is fiber, so net carbs are 11 g)

Deconstructed Protein Brownies

Deconstructed Protein Brownies

Photo via proteinpow.com

 Ingredients:

Directions:

1. Blend all ingredients and bake for about 35 minutes at 300 degrees F

2. Slice brownies into rectangular building blocks, then build a tower by layering them with casein and water.

3. Bulldoze the tower with your fork and individually transform each brownie tower into a sandwich.

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Nutrition Info (without Casein):

  • Calories: 91
  • Protein: 12 g
  • Fat: 2.5 g
  • Carbs: 5.8 g

Photo Credit: Getty Images // Thinkstock

Topics: PROTEIN | NUTRITION | WATER | CALORIES | FOODS | COCONUT | ALMONDS | VANILLA | WHEY PROTEIN | FLOUR