5 of my favourite sugar-free sweeties. To make life sweet.

This post has been updated

I know many of you are in the process of quitting sugar, or quit a while ago, or want to give it a go. It helps to have a sugar-free treat or two stored in the house, I think, for those times when you'd normally reach for the bag o' snakes. Like when you're sitting down to watch re-runs of Sea Change. Just saying.

These are my top picks. All of them are healthy. All of them are sugar-free (yes there's a bit of honey thrown in here and there, explained further down - you can always omit).


Via Paleo Mag

This is a recipe I adapted from Paleo Magazine. They call for the cookies to be baked, but I chucked them in the freezer instead and they come out slightly chewy and very delicious.

1 cup almond meal
1/4 cup coconut flakes
3 tbsp raw organic honey*, or to your taste (I found the 1/4 cup called for in the original recipe too much)
2 tbsp grass-fed organic butter, melted and slightly cooled
1 tbsp lemon zest

Mix the almond meal, coconut flakes and lemon zest. Add cooled butter and honey and stir well. Line a baking tray with baking paper, place small spoonfuls of cookie mix on the lined tray and pat down to the size and shape you want them to be. Pop in the freezer for about 1 hour. Store them in freezer in a sealed container, and thaw for a minute whenever you want a little treat.

*Honey often gets plonked into the same boat as other sources of fructose, i.e. that it's the same evil. Yes it contains fructose, about 30%, but studies have shown that raw honey does NOT increase levels of fat in your liver or blood, nor does it increase bad cholesterol. In fact, raw honey - in moderation - has been shown to help reduce high cholesterol. Make sure it's raw. The health benefits are many. More on this soon.




Via blue mountains journal

Wattleseed has been used for a gazillion years by indigenous Australians as a valuable source of protein and fibre. It's also said to have anti-tumour properties. It has an earthy, coffee-ish flavour. I quite like it. 'Tis very grounding.

2 cups full-fat unhomogenised organic milk (I drink raw milk from my local farmers' market) OR home-made almond milk (see below)
1 heaped tbsp coconut butter (oil)
1-2 tbsp raw cocao powder
1 tspn ground wattleseed, or to taste

Blend and serve!



Via dessertstalking

Store-bought almond milk is mostly full of gunk, and sugar. It's actually the easiest thing in the world to make at home yourself. Here's how:

1 cup raw almonds
3 cups water
A blender
A piece of muslin or cheesecloth
A wide-mouthed jug for straining into
A bottle for storage

Soak almonds overnight in water (on the bench top is fine). Next day, peel the skin and discard (skin will make the milk bitter). If you're finding it too difficult to remove the skin, blanch the almonds in boiling water for a minute to loosen them. Place the soaked peeled almonds in a blender with the water, and blend until thick and frothy. Strain through the muslin cloth (folded a few times over) into a wide-mouthed jug, squeezing out as much liquid as possible. Clean out the cloth (keep the meal) and strain again to ensure you remove most of the meal from the milk and it's nice n' smooth for drinking. You can use the meal as extra protein in smoothies, or in cake recipes etc. It's pretty tasteless by this stage, but still full of healthy protein. Store the milk in the fridge, keeps for about 3-4 days.

So for the smoothie:

1-2 cups almond milk
1 vanilla pod, seeds removed
1/2 tspn ground cinnamon
1/2 tspn ground cardamom
optional: small handful strawberries, raspberries, blackberries or blueberries

Blend until smooth. Drink chilled. Cardamom helps improve digestion, and cinnamon helps with sugar cravings and helps to stabilised blood sugar levels. An all-round healthful drink!




Via TasteSpotting

Another recipe I've slightly modified from the good people at Paleo Mag. The original recipe calls for almond butter, which you can feel free to use, but I tried it with hazelnut butter and it was awesome. I omitted the dark chocolate, but a little bit of dark choco every now and then won't bring the house down.


1/3 cup coconut butter
1/4 cup hazelnut butter
2 TBSP coconut flakes
Sea salt
2 tsp honey (optional)
Dark chocolate (optional)
* Almond meal (optional)


Mix all ingredients in a bowl. Spread on a tray lined with baking paper, to whatever thickness you'd like. Sprinkle with sea salt.  Place in freezer for about 1 hour. Keep stored in freezer and thaw for a minute before eating.

* I just made another batch of this butter bark and this time threw in a bit of almond meal. It worked to add some bulk and texture to it, which I loved. Just a thought.

And because, when you're quitting sugar, tea is your friend:



I've taken to mixing my own, that way I can tinker with the ratios to suit my taste at the time (mine changes, don't yours?). This'll make you one cup.

1-2 tspn organic black tea leaves or roobois leaves
1 cinnamon stick, crushed
1 pod star anise
5 cardamom pods, slightly crushed
fresh ginger, sliced, to taste
1 vanilla pod
1/2 cup milk (cow's, goat's, almond, whichever you prefer)
1/2 cup water

Place all spices in a mortar and pestle and grind gently to release flavours. Throw everything in a small pot and bring to a gentle boil. Simmer for 5-10 minutes. Strain. Enjoy.

And... in case you missed last week's post, try my chocolate nut balls and ginger, turmeric and cinnamon tea, both terrific for cravings.



6 comments:

  1. Thanks these are some great looking recipes I will have to try out. I was experimenting with how to make biscuits and they need some work so I might just make the almond lemon cookies soon. Also just recently discovered chai - so delicious - a perfect hot chocolate substitute for cold London nights.

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  2. These are great! I've been meaning to make my own almond milk for ages - might give it a go soon :)

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  3. These cookies are super quick to put together! As is the almond milk, it's so easy and SO much nicer than the store-bought stuff. Have fun!

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  4. Hi Maria,

    I've just found your site and am LOVING it! I started giving up sugar in March and have honestly never felt better. I too suffered from the toxic addiction (why have one square of chocolate when I could eat the whole block?!),and never in a million years thought I would be able to kick the habit. But now that I have I'll never look back, and websites like yours (and recipes like the above) keep me totally inspired so that I don't remotely feel like I'm "missing out" by not eating sugary treats.

    Thank you so much for your fab blog!

    x

    And PS your reference to watching reruns of SeaChange while nibbling on sugary treats totally nails my sugar-addicted-life story! I used to love having a block (family size)of Mint Aero while watching my favourite eps, so it's been wonderful to find healthy treats to indulge in so that I don't have to give up my tv-watching-with-nibbles chill out sessions. Thank goodness for chocolate nut balls!

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  5. Do you find it's ok to just substitute sugar with Stevia in a normal biscuit or cake recipe? Great blog by the way... I'm just starting on my Quit Sugar crusade, so info and recipes like this really help. Thanks! :)

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    Replies
    1. Hi Suzi, yes it's totally fine but you'll need to use much less stevia as it is much sweeter than sugar. Have fun on your crusade, you WON'T regret it!!

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