Since starting to focus on eating "real food" and making at home from scratch the processed stuff I used to buy, treats have been the hardest. But I even found substitutions for most of those. Here are my favorites.
- ice cream - I tried making it by hand, which worked but took forever. Then I got an ice cream machine for my birthday and have not bought ice cream since. We make ice cream at least twice a week, usually honey/cinnamon or peppermint, and it's so much tastier. It goes great with homemade chocolate sauce (cocoa and maple syrup). We still occasionally go out for frozen yogurt by the ounce, but we do it a lot less now. I usually use organic half and half, mixed with honey or maple syrup and flavored extracts. Yum!
- granola - this has replaced cereal for Jason every morning, and it also makes a great snack at work or when we get home starving before diner is ready. It's also a great topping for the honey/cinnamon ice cream.
- apple sauce - In trying to make baked goods healthier, I started using apple sauce to replace butter or eggs or oil. It works really well, but I didn't want to replace it with processed apple sauce so I started making my own. It is ridiculously easy, specially if you have a slow cooker; it just requires a lot of chopping. If you don't have a slow cooker, check out this stovetop apple sauce recipe.
- whole wheat chocolate chip cookies - the hardest thing was finding a cookie that truly used 100% whole wheat flour. This one works well, but I've made tons of adjustments to make them healthier, like using honey or maple syrup instead of the white and brown sugars. Apple sauce instead of butter works well too.
- whole wheat cut out cookies - This is a great base recipe to make gingerbread cookies or any other flavor hard cookie. Definitely play with the spices to add more flavor as they tend to be a tad bland at first, but the recipe makes a LOT of cookies so I always make less.