Wednesday, July 16, 2014

Quitting Sugar & Naturally Sweet Options

I don't know about you guys, but I have one large sweet tooth.  I can't finish a meal without having a dessert, or at least something sweet.  When I was younger I used to be so bad about satisfying my sweet tooth with tons of sugary candy and in addition to that drank my fair share of soda.  We've all heard that too much sugar isn't good for you, but did you know there are 10 ways it can affect your overall health?

The original 10 Reasons To Quit Sugar infographic can be found at

Crazy, right?!  I will gladly do without all of those things.  I have been trying to reduce the sugar in my diet over the last year more so just to "be healthier" than anything else, but these reasons give me even more ammunition. 

Now we know a few things, that nothing is good for you in excess and not all sugars are created equally.  Being able to use natural sweeteners like honey or agave nectar can make all the difference over using artificial sweeteners like high fructose corn syrup or aspartame. 

It's amazing how over time if you have removed the artificial sugars from your diet you can so easily taste and identify if you are eating something with them in it, and how it just can taste over powering and fake.  You don't even want to eat it anymore.

Here are two naturally sweet recipes I use that totally satisfy my sweet tooth.

Natural Lemonade

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Juice 2-3 granny smith apples and 1 lemon.  The sugar from the apples provides the sweetness and you get the taste of a cool refreshed glass of lemonade, which is the best in the summer, without any added sugar, plus all the health benefits from freshly juiced fruits.

Raw Cashew Cookies

1 cup cashews
1 cup pitted dates
1/4 chocolate chips or chunks
1/4 coconut

Using a food processor, start at the top of the list and work your way down.  Throw in the cashews first and grind, then your dates, and then any thing else you would like in your cookies.  My go to is chocolate and coconut, but you could add in peanuts and chocolate or dried cranberries, the options are endless.  Once you have everything broken down use your hands to form small balls about 1.5 in.  The dates act as the glue and sweetener and hold everything together.  If you like a softer cookie you can keep them at room temperature, or you can throw them in the fridge if you like them a little more firm.  To me these are just as satisfying as a traditional cookie, but it's almost like your getting to eat the cookie dough versus a baked cookie, which to me is all the better.  The plus is they are also gluten free, easy win win.

Do you have any favorite naturally sweet recipes?  Please share!

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