“At home I serve the kind of food I know the story behind.” -Michael Pollan

It’s National Junk Food Day. At the Y, we’re here to coach you through it!

With a little training and practice, a fresh, juicy peach can trigger the same satisfaction as a doughnut. It’s all about taking steps toward betterment; therefore, let’s choose to indulge in foods that are so tasty, we won’t miss the cake and candy.

Here are our top 2 recipes that pack the flavor and satisfaction of your favorite junk food!

  • Instead of potato chips: Homemade Vegetable Crisps


    • Parsnips
    • Carrots
    • Beetroot
    • Spicy salt
    • 1 teaspoon sea salt
    • ½ teaspoon fennel seeds
    • 2 dried red chilies


    Preheat oven to 150ºC/gas 2-3.

    Scrub the parsnips, carrots and beets. Using a mandolin or the thick slicer on a grater, slice each of the veg at an angle into long pieces – they really shrink in the oven.

    Place veg slices in a single layer on baking trays – keep the veg separate. Place the carrots and beetroots in the oven for about 2 hours; after 30 minutes add the parsnips. Remove when dry, crisp and cooked.

    Crush the salt, fennel seeds and chili in a mortar (or a coffee grinder), and sprinkle over your crisps. Serve hot or cold.

  • Instead of chocolate cookies: No-Bake Chocolate Fudge Cookies


    For the wet ingredients:
    • 3 tablespoons (45 mL) virgin coconut oil
    • 2 tablespoons (30 mL) sunflower seed butter*
    • 1/4 cup (20 g) unsweetened cocoa powder
    • 1/4 cup (60 mL) pure maple syrup, or to taste
    • 1 teaspoon pure vanilla extract
    For the dry ingredients:
    • 7 tablespoons (50 g) gluten-free rolled oats
    • 6 tablespoons (35 g) unsweetened shredded coconut
    • 2 tablespoons (25 g) chia seeds
    • 1/8 teaspoon fine sea salt, or to taste


    1. Line a large plate with parchment paper and set aside.
    2. In a medium pot, melt the coconut oil over low heat. Whisk in the sunflower seed butter, cocoa powder, and maple syrup until smooth. Remove the pot from the heat and whisk in the vanilla.
    3. Add the oats, coconut, chia seeds, and salt into the pot and stir well until combined. The mixture will be thick, dense, oily, and gel-like (from the chia seeds), but this is normal. Swear.
    4. Using a retractable ice cream scoop (approximately 2 tablespoons/30 mL) or simply a spoon, scoop the dough and place the mound onto the plate, leaving a bit of space between each cookie.
    5. Place the cookies in the freezer to set for about 10 to 15 minutes, until firm, or simply chill in the fridge if you have the patience.
    6. Store leftover cookies in an airtight container in the fridge for 1 week, or freeze them for up to 4 to 6 weeks. These cookies have the best texture/flavor straight from the fridge (rather than the freezer) so I prefer to store them in the fridge.