Trick your taste buds with these better-for-you alternatives.

By News & Views
April 19, 2016
Ilain Bagwell

French fries, candy bars, cookie dough—nothing ever measures up to the taste of the real thing... until now. Trick your taste buds with these better-for-you alternatives, brought to you by Jackie Newgent, RD.

If you're craving a hot pretzel with mustard

Swap it for: Roasted plantain chips with salsa verde

Peel and slice 3 medium green plantains into 1/8-inch-thick pieces. Toss well with 2 tablespoons of olive oil and ½ teaspoon of salt, then bake at 375°F for 30 minutes. Dry the chips on paper towels and serve with ¾ cup of salsa verde. Serves 4; 240 calories per serving.

RELATED: 10 Delicious and Healthy Ways to Use Chia Seeds

If you're craving banana pudding

Swap it for: Mint-banana "nice cream"

Thaw 2 frozen bananas for 5 minutes, then place in a food processor with 1½ teaspoons of pure vanilla extract and 1/8 teaspoon of pure peppermint extract. Blend until creamy. Add 1 ounce of finely chopped bittersweet chocolate and pulse. If desired, add a scoop of unsweetened cocoa powder. Serves 2; about 290 calories per cup.

Photo: Ilain Bagwell

If you're craving French fries

Swap them for: Oven-baked potato thins

Slice 4 russet potatoes into 18 thin pieces each. Toss with 2 tablespoons of olive oil and 1½ teaspoon of vinegar, then sprinkle with garlic powder, paprika, cayenne, and a pinch of sea salt. Bake at 475°F for 30 minutes. Serves 4, 190 calories per 18 fries.

Photo: Ilain Bagwell

RELATED: How to Eliminate Sugar from Your Diet in 21 Days

If you're craving chocolate chip cookie doughÂ

Swap it for: A Pure Genius Provisions chocolate chunk blondie ($23 for a box of 8; puregeniusprovisions.com)

Made with garbanzo beans, this gooey, gluten-free treat is full of protein. The big chunks of dark chocolate help disguise it as an indulgence.

Photo: Ilain Bagwell

If you're craving nachos

Swap them for: Homemade Middle Eastern nachos

Top 12 whole-grain pita chips with ½ cup each diced tomatoes, cucumber, and red onion, plus fresh parsley, a sprinkle of feta and a dollop of hummus. Serves 1; 330 calories per serving.

Photo: Ilain Bagwell

If you're craving a candy bar

Swap it for: A Kind Plus bar ($24 for a box of 12; amazon.com)

These nut-and-fruit-based snacks give you a sweet fix while also packing fiber and antioxidants.

Photo: Ilain Bagwell