Is there a way to have your dessert and eat it, too?
These five ways will tame your sweet tooth and your monster sugar cravings, while keeping you on track with your healthy eating plan. We all need treats and shouldn’t deprive ourselves of them – just make sure that what you put in your mouth is doing something for you!
- Fruit. Yes, I know, fruit sounds boring, but it can make a really great dessert. Slice up an apple and put a little cinnamon on it. When peaches are in season, slice up a fresh peach and flavour it with a sprinkle of stevia and some whipped coconut cream (see below). Or take a banana, make a slit down the length of it and slide a few pieces of dark (70%) chocolate inside the skin. Bake the banana in its skin in a hot oven or barbecue for 15 mins until blackened, scoop out and devour!
- A square of a dark chocolate bar. To get the benefit of the dark chocolate, it should contain at least 70% cocoa. If you really want to spice things up, spread a little almond butter or natural (sugar-free!) peanut butter on it.
- Almond Butter. Speaking of almond butter, it’s great on a piece of GF toast, or sliced apple and even raw sweet potato (according to one of my clients). Just slice and spread. And yes, if you look at the ingredient label, it has fat in it, but it’s the kind of fat that’s good for you. This fat stays in your body longer than sugar, and keeps you satisfied for longer.
- Banana Soft Serve Ice Cream. You’ll wonder why you didn’t try this one years ago – it is simple to make and costs almost nothing. Take ripe bananas (the riper the better), peel them and put them in the freezer. When you would like some ice cream, put one in your food processor (or high speed blender) with a few tablespoons of milk or milk alternative, and grind it up until it resembles the texture of ice cream. Add a little peanut or almond butter, cinnamon or cacao nibs. YUM.
- Replace ingredients and be inventive (coconut is king!). Use stewed fruit, xylitol or stevia (from healthfood stores) to replace sugar. Here is another favourite: coconut cream. Put a can of coconut milk in the fridge for a few hours. Open and scoop out the top solid white layer of coconut, leaving behind the watery liquid (this can be used for other recipes later). Whip up the coconut cream with an electric mixer and enjoy with fresh or frozen berries.
Experiment to see what works for you and your family. Any of your own ideas are gratefully received so I can pass them on. Thank you.