We’ve always had a special place for junk food in our hearts. Chips, cakes, and cookies are all staple foods in our diets—but that doesn’t mean that we can’t have some healthy balance. By making our favorite junk foods at home using better-for-you recipes from our favorite food bloggers, we can snack on everything we love without feeling too bogged down by preservatives and added fats.
You don’t have to subsist entirely on kale chips to have a moderately nutritious diet. In fact, these junk food recipes all contain wholesome ingredients that ensure that your snacks pack in some nutrients while also satisfying your every craving. For your next snack sesh, look no further than these eight sweet and savory picks for some major munching.
PHOTO CREDIT: Carla Cardello, Chocolate Moosey.
Put down the Lays for the night and pick up a mandoline (not to be confused with the mandolin). With some vinegar and salt, Chocolate Moosey makes baking your own potato chips without any added preservatives easier than ever. In just an hour and 15 minutes, perfectly crispy chips that require just five ingredients will be in your possession. Get ready to start snacking.
PHOTO CREDIT: Katie Higgins, Chocolate Covered Katie
Everyone’s favorite school-cafeteria snack may not be the most wholesome meal option. We love these savory potato bites, but sometimes you’ve got to ease up on the grease. Thankfully Chocolate Covered Katie has come to our rescue, with the healthiest tater tote recipe ever—and it doesn’t even require potatoes. White beans, quinoa, and brown rice flour come together to create a tot that’s just as crispy and delicious as the original favorite.
Photo via Dana Shultz, Minimalist Baker.
Cheese-Its are potentially the most addicting of all snacks, with their bite-size shape and cheesy taste. But that doesn’t mean that you have to cut them out of your diet entirely if you’re going vegan (or just trying to be a little healthier). Minimalist Baker recreates the classic cheddar taste using nutritional yeast, garlic powder, and salt. Grab the food processor and start baking your new favorite savory snack.
PHOTO CREDIT: Eva Kosmas Flores, Adventures in Cooking.
Avocado fries are one of the most irresistible of all fried foods, with their creamy inside and crisp outer coating. Paired with a simple cilantro-lime dipping sauce, Adventures in Cooking’s breaded creations can be made with just some eggs, breadcrumbs, avocados, and oil. Think of these tenders as the healthier cousin of mozzarella sticks and enjoy.
PHOTO CREDIT: Elana Amsterdam, Elana’s Pantry
Twinkies may be the Holy Grail of artificially flavored, preservative-filled baked goods. But Elana’s Pantry proves that these desserts can be made gluten- and dairy-free. Grab some coconut flour to create the fluffy yellow cake and fill them with a simple icing, made from egg whites and agave syrup. You’ll never look at a Twinkie the same way after trying out its healthier version.
PHOTO CREDIT: Jen Nikolaus, Yummy Healthy Easy
As tempting as it may be to snag a pack of Toll House cookie dough for late night snacking, it’s super easy to make your own cookie dough that won’t wreck havoc on your stomach, thanks to Yummy Healthy Easy. Made with just five ingredients, this instant indulgence is actually a healthy sweet that perfectly pairs with your shameful binge-watching. The secret ingredient? Chickpeas.
PHOTO CREDIT: Tiffany Azure, Creme De La Crumb
As a super nutritious grain, quinoa has so much more potential than your average side dish. They may not be the dino nuggets of your youth, but Creme De La Creme’s quinoa-crusted chicken nuggets are just as deliciously crispy and tender. Pair them with a generous helping of ketchup for a classic DIY Happy Meal taste.
PHOTO CREDIT: Melissa King, My Whole Food Life
Some foods are just so perfect that we can’t imagine life without them: pizza, bagels, burritos, and maybe most of all, french fries. Sadly, eating these salted snacks every day would probably result in some Supersize Me-esqe health issues, so we turn to My Whole Food Life for a fry recipe that won’t leave us feeling sluggish. Start preheating your oven and grab a sack of potatoes—you’ll want to make this side dish again and again, they’re so simple to whip up.