We all want to know what they are. Those unicorn “diet” foods that taste amazing and are really not all that bad for you.
We aren’t nutritionists (obviously; we’ve tried, like, 30 types of cheese puffs in one sitting), but we do know what tastes good. Today we are serving up ten unicorns for your guilt-free enjoyment. Without further ado, here are ten traditionally diet-friendly foods we’ve tasted and genuinely enjoyed (in no particular order).
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- Quaker Everything Rice Cakes
I’ve always wanted to eat Styrofoam, and rice cakes let me get a pretty good textural approximation while also tasting fantastic, being fairly low calorie, and also not being toxic to eat. Don’t eat Styrofoam, kids. But seriously, these Everything rice cakes from Quaker are actually very good. So good, in fact, that Sporked managing editor Gwynedd Stuart took one bite of these and said “holy-moly” out loud. As for how they get Everything seasoning to stick on there, don’t you worry. These things are “positively coated in a tan flavoring powder that has all the elements of Everything seasoning, but ground up real good so it really infiltrates all the crannies in the cake.” YUM!
As a kid, you may have written off cheerios as the boring healthy option, but if that was you, I recommend revisiting this cereal as an adult. Gwynedd describes them as having a delicious “roasty oat flavor” and a noticeable lack of sweetness, which allows you to add whatever you want to get it to your ideal sweetness level (for me that’s going to be blueberries—nothing like Cheerios n’ bloobs). Plus, something I love about cheerios is that you can eat them dry as a snack and there’s both a hint of salt and a hint of sweetness that keeps me coming back for more. All in all, a tasty blank canvas for you to paint all over with your favorite flavors.
- Good Culture Organic Cottage Cheese
I am a cottage cheese fiend. So much so, that I was kind of known for it in college since I was the only person anyone knew who was both under 75 and regularly enjoyed a spoonful of cottage cheese straight from the tub. Do I acknowledge that this is strange? Yes. Am I ashamed of it? Absolutely not. I will sing the praises of cottage cheese until 20-somethings everywhere discover its salty, creamy, cheesy glory for themselves, and Good Culture Cottage cheese is just the one to make people into cottage believers. This stuff is “tangy, it’s creamy, it’s salty, and, more than anything, it tastes fresh” according to staff writer Danny Palumbo, and I couldn’t agree more. Not only that, but this brand specifically is packed with protein, and contains live active cultures (like yogurt) which not only gives it a beautiful funky tang but also purports to help your gut health.
- Halo Top Sea Salt Caramel Keto Pops
Ah, Halo Top. The ice cream that invites you to eat an entire pint while only consuming, like, 300 calories. How? No one knows. Whatever sorcerer invented Halo Top needs to teach me their ways because I, too, would like to become a food wizard. But, alas, seeing as we can’t all be food wizards, the best I can do for you is to simply recommend some good Halo Top products. These Sea Salt Caramel Keto Pops from Halo Top are so McFrickin good that Sporked staff writer Danny Palumbo claimed it “can trick you into thinking it’s just like any other ice cream bar.” This is tough when most Keto Ice creams are rock-hard and gritty. But this Halo Top offering has “a lovely, smooth-ish (for keto ice cream) texture and a delightful salted caramel taste.” Keto people, we found you your dessert!
- Halo Top Chocolate Caramel Brownie
I’ve said it before and I’ll say it again, the people over at Halo Top are sneaky dessert wizards. I am continually amazed by the quality creaminess and flavorful pizazz that Halo Top offers while still being low sugar, low fat, and high in protein and dietary fiber. This is Sporked’s top pick of Halo Top ice cream flavors. Their Chocolate Caramel Brownie is so good that even Sporked staff writer Jordan Myrick, who really wanted to be “anti-this-ice-cream” ended up saying it was “like when you let a Fudgesicle get a little soft…but with brownie chunks,” in the best kind of way. Gwynedd noted its “ample ribbon of caramel and a good distribution of brownie chunks,” and also noticed it was creamier and fluffier than other Halo top Flavors. In conclusion, whether you are trying to get those macros or just low-calorie, high-deliciousness ice cream, choose this one.
- Elevation Salted Caramel Keto Bar
Contrary to what its name may suggest, this is not another ice cream product. No, this bad boy is a keto bar. It’s kind of like a snack bar for people on the keto diet, or people who just want to eat a delicious “sweet, caramelly, and chocolatey” item that’s low in sugar and carbs but high in flavor. Most Keto bars Sporked tried were exceedingly bad, but these were so good that even Jordan, a self-proclaimed “keto-hating, carb-loving sugar monster,” liked them, so I think you will too!
- Caulipower Three Cheese Cauliflower Crust Pizza
If you’ve never had cauliflower crust pizza, you may be skeptical. You may find yourself asking questions like, “Cauliflower crust?!? Would that even hold up? Both physically and as a concept?” To which I would say, that depends on who made it, but this specific Caulipower pizza definitely does hold up. I mean it’s stone-fired for cryin’ out loud. Jordan said that on this pizza, “The sauce is a little sweet and has a nice oregano flavor. The crust-to-cheese-to-sauce ratio is appropriate. The center is doughy while the edges are crispy.” This definitely isn’t “diet food,” but it’s a gluten-free and veggie-packed option we can get behind.
- Nature’s Harvest Stone Ground 100% Whole Wheat Bread
I don’t know about your household growing up, but mine was a whole-wheat-only kind of household. And because the only whole wheat we ever got was thin and a little cardboard-y, I assumed all whole wheat bread was bad, end of story. Not so my friends, not so. I’ve since become an avid home baker and very often make my own sourdough whole wheat bread. But if you don’t have the three hours or the energy to whip up a loaf, this Nature’s Harvest Stone Ground 100% Whole Wheat Bread is an EXTREMELY solid alternative. According to Jordan, this bread is “pleasantly squishy but still has enough structural integrity to be stacked with all sorts of sandwich fixings, from meats to spreads to veggies.” It also has a pleasant sweetness that complements both sweet PB and Nutella-type fixins, as well as savory ones, like ham, cheese, and potato chips). And if that didn’t convince you, Jordan literally called this bread “perfect.”
- Chobani Non-Fat Plain Yogurt
I’ll level with y’all, I used to hate plain yogurt. I wondered, why put yourself through that pain when sugar/flavor would make everything better? And that’s when I came to the same realization as Cady Heron in the last 15 minutes of Mean Girls: “The limit does not exist.” What do I mean by that? Much like many, many people (literally whole civilizations) before me, I realized you can make plain yogurt savory. Now I love it—in tzatziki; with fried eggs, hot sauce, and toast; in place of sour cream to make onion dip; the list goes on. And the best part of this specific nonfat Chobani Greek yogurt: “You can’t tell that it’s non-fat. It’s tart and lemony and deliciously thick with just a touch of salt on the finish. It’s downright decadent for a non-fat yogurt,” according to Sporked editor in chief Justine Sterling. And I trust her with my culinary life.
- Russell Stover Sugar-Free Assorted Candy
Yes, there is even “diet” candy on this list. Now I’ve never had any sugar-free candy before, (read any of the amazon reviews for sugar-free gummy bears and you’ll know why), but these aren’t gummies. No, these are decadent chocolates with no sugar in them. How? Magic (and stevia and maltitol). But these are actually so good that Gwynedd said she probably wouldn’t be able to tell the difference if told they were regular chocolates. Plus these have variety. The package comes with “Dark Chocolate Mint Patties (much like York), Pecan Delights (kind of like Turtles), Peanut Butter Cups (you get it), chocolate-coated caramel, and, […] chocolate-covered coconut.” That last one is apparently like the “sugary, slimy coconut stuff inside a Mounds bar,” according to Gwynedd. Honestly, I’m sold.