Dessert. We all love it. I know there are people who say they’d rather eat another baked potato than a piece of cake but I have a sneaking suspicion that if they were really being honest with themselves and there were no consequences to the cake, they’d go for it. Full hog.
I regularly get emails from people wanting to know how to eat more dessert, asking questions such as, “How can I lose weight and still get my fair share of sweets?”
I know this person is in big trouble. The words ‘fair share’ let me know that she feels deprived. It doesn’t have to be that way.
Now don’t think that I’m suggesting that you willy-nilly eat dessert for breakfast, lunch, and dinner. Instead, I’m urging you to rethink the way you approach food and dessert.
Hallie Klecker, my dear friend from Daily Bites, has put together an month-long event called New Year, New You to help us do exactly that. This week’s theme is Swapping Your Sweets. I know a little something about the topic and am thrilled to share my thoughts. Also, make sure to stop by her website for a Natural Sweeteners Gift Pack giveaway!
I could write for weeks about coconut palm sugar, yacon syrup, honey, agave, grade B maple syrup, date sugar and the other unrefined sugars I love to use. (And, yes, they have a form of sugar in them. No cane sugar products and no refined sugar, though.)
Why no refined sugar? Well, here’s the best description I’ve ever read from one of my food idols. Note that honey is specifically being addressed, however I find it to be true for all unrefined sugars:
I can eat dessert made with unrefined sugar in moderation because my body naturally knows when I’ve had enough.
So, how then would I suggest swapping your sweets?
- Go Natural. By this I don’t mean unrefined sugars. I’m talking about fruit. Cut out dessert for two weeks and instead eat fruit. Your palate will change.
- Eat more veggies. Yes, more veggies. Eat them raw, eat them cooked, eat them sauteed. Just eat more. The better your overall nutrition is the less you’ll crave sweets.
- Balance your diet, whatever that means for you.
Once your diet is healthier and your body is no longer jonesing for a cream-filled Twinkie, try adding in sweets made with unrefined sugars in moderation. Who knows, you may not even want the Twinkie anymore.
You might be wondering how this can possibly come out of my mouth, or more accurately from my fingertips, when I love to bake. I’ll let you in on a little secret – I eat my desserts in moderation. Many days I eat none. When I’m testing a recipe I try a small bite. Just because I’m passionate about creating delicious food does not mean that I eat dessert all day long. You shouldn’t either.
When you bake, rethink your recipe. How can you:
- use natural sweeteners instead of refined sugar?
- use fruit for flavor, moisture, and added nutrition?
- reduce the overall added sugar content with stevia or a healthier alternative to white sugar?
- increase the nutritional quality of the dish with superfoods?
Next Thursday, I’ve got an incredible grain-free orange cake for you that demonstrates one way I like to swap my sweets. Until then, browse these other gluten-free recipes for ideas on making your sweets a little healthier:
- Raw Date Truffles
- Zucchini Cookies with a Lemon Cream Cheese Drizzle
- Banana Carob Snack Cake
- Chocolate Strawberry Layer Cake
- Flourless Chocolate Torte with ‘Powdered Sugar’
- Vegan Health Bar Cookies
For more tips on swapping your sweets check out:
- Maggie’s Cookie Dough Milkshake
- Ricki’s Low-Fat Cinnamon Walnut Loaf
- Iris’s Banana Chocolate Chunk Cookies
- Lexie’s Candied Walnuts
Have any tips for swapping your sweets? And, don’t forget to stop by Hallie’s place and enter her give-away!