Healthy Junk Food Swaps: Butternut Squash Fries, Pepperoni Pizza, Chicken Fingers, Boca Burger

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1. French Fries

Make 'Em:
We're betting you saw this one coming a mile away, but we'd be remiss not to mention our beloved Bake-tastic Butternut Squash Fries. And if you want tips on making baked fries with items other than b-nut squash, click here for the 411!

Buy 'Em: LesserEvil Krinkle Sticks are great to keep on hand if you're prone to French-fry snack attacks. Dunk 'em in ketchup to make them seem more like the real deal...

2. Pepperoni Pizza

Make It:
Our favorite way to satisfy a craving for pepperoni pizza is to pound a chicken cutlet flat and top it like a pizza. It works. FOR REAL. If you want more tips on how to make DIY pizzas, you NEED to check out the page for the "You Wanna Pizza Me?" episode of Hungry Girl. VERY helpful!

Buy It: Frozen pizza is pretty much always a safer bet than ordering from a restaurant. Why? You can control your portions with individually sized finds like this one from Lean Cuisine or this one from DiGiorno. We've all played the "oh, I'll just have ONE more slice" game... and we lose every time.

3. Chicken Fingers/Hot Wings

Make 'Em:
Fried chicken pieces are delicious, but why ruin a perfectly good lean protein by submerging it in hot oil? Here are a couple of recipes to help you indulge while avoiding the excess fat: our Kickin' Buttermilk Faux-Fried Chicken and H-O-T Hot Boneless Buffalo Wings. You know, because some like it hot.

Buy 'Em: If the recipes above have you thinking, "But, HG! The point of getting chicken fingers is that I don't feel like cooking anything," hold your lazy horses -- we've got you covered. Morningstar Farms makes great faux chicken treats in both regular nuggets and Buffalo-style veggie wings. We also looooove Lightlife Smart Wings (refrigerated and found in the produce or natural-foods section of the market). Try 'em!

4. Cheeseburgers

Make 'Em:
One of the easiest swaps on this list! If you crave a basic fast-food burger, check out this basic swap of ours from back in the day. And if you want to stock up on great must-have ingredients for burgers of all sorts (plus peruse an enormous recipe roundup), click here!

Buy 'Em: Scoff all you want, but we have big love for Cheeseburger Lean Pockets. If it's fast-food flavor you want BUT HG-friendly stats you need, one of those should do the trick. FYI, a basic cheeseburger from McDonald's has 300 calories and 12 grams of fat, which is not awful if you need a fix. The hard part is escaping McD's without fries and a sugary drink to go with it...

5. Snack Cakes/Cupcakes

Make 'Em:
What's not to love about petite cakes?! Oh yeah, all the unnecessary fat and sugar in store-bought ones. Wanna kill the craving in your own kitchen? Make cupcakes! Check out our latest recipes by clicking here. We love them so much, we cannot choose a favorite. Can't do it.

Buy 'Em: In a pinch? Don't feel like having a whole batch of cupcakes sitting around? No prob. Hostess makes 100-calorie versions of its popular snack cakes. The mini goodies come three to a pack -- not exactly filling, but they'll quiet your craving.

6. Ice Cream Sundaes

Make 'Em:
Stock up on basics like fat-free and light ice cream (click for tips and picks!), light chocolate syrup, fat-free whipped topping, and maraschino cherries -- then you'll be all set when the mood strikes. Wanna get fancy? Try these fun, decadent recipes...

Buy 'Em: If you're thinking of stopping by Dairy Queen to grab a sundae, DON'T! Keep driving 'til you hit the grocery store and grab a pack of these premade sundaes from Smart Ones.

7. Candy

Make It:
OK, these next recipes aren't so much about making candy yourself as they are about making a little of the sweet stuff go a long way. Maximize your candy -- use it in a recipe! These Cocoa Loco Krispymallow Treats are packed with bits of candy, and here are a bunch more ways to stretch your sweets!

Buy It: Have you heard about Skinny Cow's new chocolate candies yet? If you're a candy fan and haven't tried 'em, YOU MUST like the kind by Hershey's.

8. Potato Chips

Make 'Em:
Fine... This is one type of junk food you're probably not going to create at home. If you are prepared to make your own guilt-free crispy potato chips, you're more ambitious than we are, and you beat us to it. (Congrats!)

Buy 'Em: The best picks, hands down, are Popchips, Kettle Brand Baked Potato Chips, and Cape Cod 40% Reduced Fat Potato Chips. As Tina Turner would say, they're "simply the best, better than all the rest." (Um, this is not meant to imply an endorsement by Ms. Turner.)

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It's July 21st... National Junk Food Day! It's no coincidence that we've been blabbing about junk food for this whole email, people!

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*The PointsPlus® and SmartPoints® values for these products and/or recipes were calculated by Hungry Girl and are not an endorsement or approval of the product, recipe, or its manufacturer or developer by Weight Watchers International, Inc., the owner of the PointsPlus® registered trademark and SmartPoints
® trademark.

SmartPoints® value not what you expected? Click here for more info on how the values are calculated, plus more FAQs about PointsPlus® and SmartPoints® values on our website.

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