Plant-Based Sweet Trilogy
It just hit me that I haven’t done a post on sweets in a long time. It’s definitely time for a couple of delicious sweet treats. Put away that ice cream pint! There are better ways to satisfy those pesky sugar cravings. Check out these sweet suggestions for fun, simple snacks that will leave you feeling satisfied without the sugar crash. But before we get to the recipes, let’s have a little chat about sugar.
To put it simple, added sugar is the single worst ingredient a modern diet. Sugar, due to its high amount of the simple sugar FRUCTOSE, can wreak havoc on your metabolism. Today, you find all sorts of allegedly “healthy” sugar-based sweeteners on the market, which often times are even worse than sugar.
Here are 5 allegedly “healthy” sugars that are actually quite harmful:
AGAVE NECTAR/ SYRUP: It is a very popular sweetener especially in the more health oriented community. It is touted as a healthy alternative to sugar because it has a low glycemic index (The glycemic index (GI) is the potential of foods to lead to rapid spikes in blood sugar). But the harmful effects have much more to do with the fructose content of a product than with the GI. You see, fructose doesn’t cause rapid sugar spikes but leads to insulin resistance in the long run which in turn will lead to chronically elevated blood sugar levels and insulin levels. Regular sugar has a 50% fructose content, agave nectar 70%-90%!! A recipe for disaster. You might want to get some more detailed information about the major unhealthy effects of fructose, I recommend, once again, Dr. Lustig’s talk on sugar.
RAW ORGANIC CANE SUGAR: Don’t be deceived! Organic and raw or not, it is still sugar.Your body will digest it just the same and break it down into fructose and glucose. Same metabolism, same effect.
EVAPORATED CANE JUICE: What a fancy name for…SUGAR! For your body it is just the same as sugar.
BROWN SUGAR: Brown sugar is simply sugar colored with molasses. Molasses are a by-product during the process of refining sugar and is sometimes added at the end to the refined sugar to change its color. Molasses do contain a small amount of minerals, but this doesn’t make up for the negative effects. Once again, it’s just another name for sugar.
COCONUT SUGAR: This sugar is derived from the sugary juice of the coconut plant after the water has evaporated. It contains a small amount of fiber and a few nutrients BUT also contains a whole lot of fructose. It contains a small amount of free fructose, but 75-80% of it is sucrose, which is half fructose.
Altogether, there are over 50 different names to hide sugar in products. Your body doesn’t know though, whether it’s organic or has a fancy name. The sugar will be broken down by your body in glucose and fructose and will eventually reach the liver. Once you have looked at the fructose metabolism and its negative health effects, you will agree that fructose is nothing more than a dangerous poison (Dr. Lustig’s words).
As a consequence, I rely on mostly natural sweeteners in my recipes such as dates (in the form of date paste), bananas, apple sauce or dried fruits. These are unrefined naturally occurring sugars in low quantities. The outcome is delicious and will satisfy whatever sweet cravings you have!
1. GOJI SQUARES
Goji berries are the most nutritionally dense fruit on Earth. They contain all essential amino acids and also have the highest concentration of protein of any fruit. Gojis are also loaded with vitamin C, contain more carotenoids than any other food, have twenty-one trace minerals, and are high in fiber. They really are a superfood. Whether eaten alone or combined with nuts and other dried fruits they make a fabulous snack.
2. SWEET CASHEW STUFFED DATES WITH FIGS
This delicious treat is whipped up in no time and will satisfy your sweet cravings! Feel free to top the dates with some of your favorite chopped nuts. Wonderfully sweet, dates are one of the most popular fruits of Arabian Peninsula. They, indeed, are concentrated sources of essential nutrients, vitamins and minerals. When eaten, they replenish energy and revitalize the body instantly. For these qualities, they are being served to break the fast during Ramadan month since ancient times. Plus, the fruit is also rich in dietary fiber, which prevents LDL cholesterol absorption in the gut and works as a bulk laxative. It, thus, helps to protect the colon mucous membrane from cancer-causing chemicals binding to it in the colon. What else can you ask for?
3. LITTLE CHOCOLATE COFFEE CAKES
One can not write a post about sweet treats without including a chocolate recipe- here it is!
Nothing brings out the aroma of chocolate more than coffee. This cake is absolute oil free, dairy free and sugar free- so why is it still so delicious? The answer is simple. You don’t need any of the above ingredients to make a great dessert!
Hope you’ll enjoy my sweet little delights.