A lot of people are currently doing sugar-free February. Which is amazing. I hate sugar, I think it is the devil, and I believe the #1 top thing you can do to live a healthier life is to cut out processed sugars. It’s also super easy to do – you need to set the ground rules for yourself, and decide for example whether you include natural sugars such as fructose. I’d recommend allowing yourself to have fruit, honey, wine etc, and cutting out only the sugar found in processed foods – cakes and other desserts, sweets, chocolate, soft drinks, and so on.
However, every once in a while, you can get that craving for something sweet. I’ve found the best way to deal with it is to have something which replicates a dessert item, without actually containing any sugar. Below are my top treats to satisfy that craving.
1. Dark hot chocolate with whole milk. Green & blacks do a sugar-free dark hot chocolate, consisting of 97% cocoa, 3% acidity regulator. It’s quite bitter, but it’s still hot chocolate. Combined with the natural sweetness of whole milk, this makes for a fabulous healthy treat. I have these all the time, they’re amazing. ❤ Alternatively, you could try a cinnamon steamer. Very similar to the hot chocolate, but replace the cocoa with cinnamon. Cinnamon is one of those ingredients that for some reason tastes super sweet without actually containing sugar. You can add some more spices too if you like – cardamom and cloves add a nice wintery touch.
2. Peanut butter with cinnamon on toast. Super simple. Whole Earth does a peanut butter which is 96% peanuts, sustainable palm oil, and sea salt, and it comes in both a smooth and crunchy variety. Topped with a hint of cinnamon, this easy treat is a great replacement for sugar.
3. Figs & dates. I mean. Enough said.
4. Pancakes with cream. Pancakes don’t need to contain sugar (in fact I think the batter tastes better when done without – I used this recipe). Whipped cream doesn’t contain sugar. Does it contain saturated fat? Sure. Is it unhealthy? Maybe. But it won’t get you addicted to sugar like most desserts. For added sweetness / interest, add some honey, maple syrup, coffee, strawberries if you’re in to that sort of thing (I am not), or dark chocolate (I know, it does contain a bit of sugar, but when used sparingly it can go a long way!) I can tell you that some extra thick double cream and just a drizzle of maple syrup* is absolutely amazing.
*note that maple syrup is super high in natural sugars, although it’s still a better option than table sugar, having a lower glycemic index [source]. Obviously consume in moderation. Also watch out for the various products masquerading as maple syrup but which are in fact “maple-flavoured golden syrup”.