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Healthy Sweet Snacks

By Sara Ipatenco

Eating sweet foods, such as cookies, candy and cake, can cause your health to decline as well as lead to weight gain. If you enjoy the taste of sweet foods, you can still satisfy that craving by choosing more nutritious foods that have a sweet flavor. Brent Agin and Shereen Jegtvig note in their book, "Superfoods for Dummies," that using nutritious ingredients can help you create healthy snacks that are also sweet and satisfying.

Baked Apples

Apples are naturally sweet and also supply a good amount of fiber as well as some vitamin C. Baking an apple with nuts and spices creates a satisfying snack that tastes sweet without the addition of sugar. Core an apple without slicing it. Combine crushed walnuts with cinnamon, nutmeg and a tablespoon of unsweetened applesauce, and put the mixture inside the apple. Bake at 350 degrees Fahrenheit until the apple is soft. Slice and serve warm.

Fruit Sorbet

Any type of fruit will lend a sweet taste to your snack and will also supply more nutrition than foods with added sugar, such as pies and cookies. Soft fruits such as peaches, strawberries and blueberries make a healthy and refreshing sorbet snack. Annabel Langbein, Chuck Williams and Dan Goldberg, authors of "Williams-Sonoma New Healthy Kitchen," offer kiwi fruit as another alternative. Puree the fruit in a food processor with 100 percent fruit juice. Place the mixture in small bowls and freeze until slushy, but not frozen solid.

Berry, Yogurt and Honey Parfait

Honey is a healthy food that can satisfy your sweet tooth and provide you with antioxidants that may keep you from getting sick. Plain yogurt adds calcium. Berries are naturally sweet and supply fiber and vitamin C. Place a layer of plain yogurt on the bottom of a bowl or parfait glass. Top with a handful of berries, such as blackberries or blueberries, and a drizzle of honey. Create two more layers and chill until ready to serve.

Broiled Peaches and Pears

The sweet flavors of peaches and pears combine for a fiber- and nutrient-dense snack. Cut one peach and one pear into fourths, removing the core and pit. Layer them on a cookie sheet and sprinkle with cinnamon. Nuts will add protein to your snack, so add a few pecans or walnuts to enhance nutrition and flavor. Broil for a few minutes until warm and soft. Serve with plain yogurt for additional protein, if desired.

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