11 Ways to Indulge Your Sweet Tooth (Without the Cavities)
We've all heard that too much highly processed, refined sugar can have devastating effects on your metabolism and contribute to all sorts of diseases. This is no joke...Here's why:
- The average American adult consumes 22 teaspoons of sugar every day. That adds up to over 130 pounds of the stuff every year.
- Sugar contains tons of calories with no essential nutrients. All it does is cause tooth decay by literally feeding harmful bacteria in your mouth! (Just ask your local dentist.)
- An excess amount of sugar can have a devastating effect on your metabolism.
- Sugar is highly addictive. When you eat sugar it causes a huge release of dopamine in your brain, which keeps you coming back for more.
What many people don't realize is that there are so many healthier, alternative sweeteners and desserts out there that won't damage your health as much and taste just as sweet, if not more!
So put down the donut and the caramel macchiato with whipped cream and caramel drizzle. I'm about to share some of my favorite substitutes with you, starting with some high-quality sweetener alternatives. Let's dive in:
1. Stevia - A plant used by the Guarani people of South America for more than 1500 years
- Tastes about 300 times sweeter than table sugar.
- No calories, no impact on blood sugar and it may even reduce blood pressure.
- Make sure to buy only 100% Whole Leaf Stevia!
2. Agave - Produced from the leaves of the Mexican succulent plant, Agave
- It is about one and half times sweeter than table sugar.
- Lowers the glycemic index more than table sugar does.
- Make sure to buy Organic Agave.
3. Coconut Palm Sugar - From the sap of cut flower buds of the coconut palm plant
- Same sweetness as table sugar.
- Has a low glycemic index and contains some nutrients and fiber.
- Look for labels that say coconut sugar, coconut crystals or coconut palm sugar.
4. Lucuma Powder - Produced from the subtropical fruit native to South America
- Sweet, maple flavor.
- Can help boost the immune system, has no effect on blood sugar and contains nutrients.
- Be sure to buy 100% lucuma powder.
5. Maple Syrup - Made from the sap of sugar, red or black maple trees.
- About 3 times sweeter than table sugar.
- Lower fructose content than table sugar, but don't be fooled it's still sugar.
- Buy Organic pure grade B maple syrup.
6. Monk Fruit (lo han gou) - Made from a green melon that grows in the mountaintops of Asia
- About 200 to 300 times sweeter than table sugar
- Non caloric, no impact on blood sugar and may be anti-inflammatory.
- Buy pure monk fruit or pure lo han gou sweetener.
Okay, now that I've armed you with some high-quality sweeteners, time to share some of my favorite desserts that won't make you run for the hills when you step on the scale. We all have sweet tastebuds that deserve to be satisfied, so please don't deprive them! Here we go:
1. Frozen Fruit Sorbet - or as I like to call it, "Nice" Cream :)
Frozen fruit can be such a treat, especially when blended into a beautiful and vibrant sorbet. Try adding frozen bananas or berries to your blender and blend until you achieve a thick sorbet consistency. If using frozen bananas, add a tiny bit of water, which will help blend into a more creamy "ice cream" consistency.
2. Cherries or Berries with Yogurt and Granola
No longer just reserved only for breakfast, yogurt with berries and granola is a perfect dessert to satisfy those sweet tastebuds, without derailing your health!
Slice up your favorite berries or other fresh fruit and add to a bowl with some non-dairy yogurt like So Delicious or Daiya. Top with a store-bought granola, or make your own! Try our favorite Super Chunky Coconut Granola from our friend the Minimalist Baker.
3. Fruit and Veggie Ice Pops
Bye-bye corn-syrup laden popsicles of the past. Say hello to ice pops packed with real fruit ingredients...and veggies too!
- 1/2 Green Apple
- 1 Lime, peeled
- 1 large handful of Spinach
- 1/2 inch fresh Ginger, peeled
- 1/2 ripe Banana
Add all ingredients to a high-speed blender. Blend on high until completely smooth. Poor into ice pop molds. Freeze for at least 3 hours before eating.
4. Oat, Coconut, Chocolate Delight
Wait a minute, I can still have chocolate?! Yes, you can!
- 1/4 cup shredded coconut flakes
- 1/2 banana
- 1/2 cup uncooked raw oats
- 2Tbsp dark chocolate (at least 70% cocoa)
Mash banana with a fork, set aside. Grate the dark chocolate on a cheese grater to get small flakes. Mix all ingredients together and serve raw.
5. Pumpkin Pie Mousse
No need to wait until Thanksgiving to enjoy the taste of pumpkin pie, now you can have this guilt-free treat all year round!
- 1 can organic pumpkin
- 1 can full fat coconut milk
- 1Tbsp pumpkin pie spice (or to taste)
- Optional: Sweetner of your choice to taste
Mix all ingredients until fully combined. Chill for at least 30 minutes and enjoy!
If you made it to the end of this post without running to the kitchen to make one of these recipes then I applaud you. Now go, treat yourself to a dessert that your body and health will thank you for!
In Health and Happiness,