Maybe you’re coming to a close on your 21 Day Sugar Detox. Congrats! That’s a seriously huge feat. I am a self-proclaimed sugar addict, and I’ve eliminated it before too. It’s not easy. Today, I find ways to indulge while eating whole, real, sugar-free foods most of the time. If you read my regular posts on the blog, you know my struggle to find balance and the journey I took to free myself from the shackles of food restriction.
The thing about cutting sugar is that almost always means skipping dessert. Sure, it might be what’s best. We don’t need dessert every night after dinner. But what is life without dessert every single day?
If you’re hoping to transition into healthier eating, finding ways to soothe your sweet tooth without skyrocketing your blood sugar and sabotaging weight loss goals can be something of a talent. Fortunately, there are plenty of natural products out there to sweeten things up without the use of refined sugar.
We’ll focus on naturally sweet foods like bananas, applesauce, and dates in addition to natural sugars such as honey, maple syrup, and coconut sugar. Remember: sugar is sugar. This is a fact. The source of your sugar is the important part. The other key? Moderation! If you whip up any of these treats, save some in the freezer to take out when you really want to ward off those cravings or share them with friends. Enjoy!
1. Sweet Potato Brownies from The Healthy Foodie
You might be thinking, “That sounds gross,” but hear me out! Sweet potato provides a natural sweetness, loads of vitamins and minerals from a whole foods source, and a starchy substitute for flour in baked goods. These tasty chocolate squares are sweetened with applesauce and date paste for a jam-packed lineup of sugar-free awesomeness. The frosting on top is loaded with protein from powder, nut butter, and Greek yogurt. This is the ultimate post-workout dessert.
Read the full recipe from The Healthy Foodie here
2. Tipsy Blueberry Banana Bread from So… Let’s Hang Out
This recipe takes on sweetness from bananas (duh) like any good banana bread and the addition of blueberries. Um, yes please. The entire recipe is gluten and grain free to boot. Finally, additional sweetener is limited to just 1/4 cup of honey or maple syrup and a tablespoon of coconut sugar. Evenly distributed throughout the loaf, you can feel pretty good about grabbing a slice of this as your afternoon-pick-up.
Read the full recipe from So… Let’s Hang Out here
3. Chocolate Truffle Energy Bites from Will Cook for Friends
These little balls of joy can be your new best friend. There’s a variety for everyone. The spunky extrovert, the more reserved of the bunch, the deathly sweet pal who’s always there… seriously. The base is made up of nuts and dates so they’re naturally sweet. You can dip and roll ’em in whatever your little heart desires. Pop ’em in the fridge for a grab-and-go energy boost that your sweet tooth with appreciate.
Read the full recipe from Will Cook for Friends here
4. Apple Cinnamon Muffins from PaleOMG
Two measly tablespoons of honey make these just sweet enough. Seriously, that’s all it takes! If you’re missing sweets for breakfast, muffins are the perfect on-the-go pairing to your morning cuppa. You can stash these in the freezer and they’ll taste good for weeks to come. The naturally sweet, low-glycemic addition of apple chunks will be heaven to your tastebuds. Dig in.
Read the full recipe from PaleOMG here
5. Cranberry Orange Scones from Fed & Fit
Yet another perfect accompaniment to a spot of tea or a piping hot cup of coffee. These cranberry orange scones are tangy and naturally sweet. Best part? They come together in a skillet. Just a bit of maple syrup adds the perfect amount of sweetness in addition to fresh orange juice. If you like citrus sweet, these babies are for you.
Read the full recipe from Fed & Fit here
6. Easy Raw Fudge from Detoxinista
Fudge is like, the best thing ever. If you don’t agree, we can’t be friends. Chocolate is life. This stuff is no joke. It’s loaded with healthy fats from nut butter and coconut oil, and it’s pretty low on the sugar spectrum with just 1/4 cup of maple syrup used throughout the recipe. These are the perfect bite to tide you over since the fats are so satiating. Fudge is so rich that it’s more difficult to overeat. These bite sized treats will fare well in the freezer, too.
Read the full recipe from Detoxinista here
7. Sugar Free Dark Chocolate from A Clean Bake
I spend time perusing the abundance of chocolate at the grocery store nearly every time, but the voice of reason pipes up every time I consider purchasing a bar. It says, “You’re going to eat the whole thing. Don’t do it.” Fair. This homemade chocolate uses just four ingredients, and it’s sweetened with stevia so you can eat the whole bar. Okay, it’s better if you share, but still. Some excuses were meant to be made.
Read the full recipe from A Clean Bake here
8. Two Ingredient Banana Bread Cookies from Ambitious Kitchen
When I want something sweet, I opt for a bowl of oats and a banana. It’s the perfect breakfast with add ins, some protein powder, or a scoop of yogurt mixed in to up the protein factor. If you’re more keen to cookies, these guys use the same principle. Just bananas and oats – no sweetener required. You can choose to add in some of that homemade chocolate for some ooey gooey goodness.
Read the full recipe from Ambitious Kitchen here
9. Mango Lassi Popsicles from Jerry James Stone
Maybe it’s just me, but I always want ice cream or popsicles. I think the craving gets even worse when it’s 30 degrees out. It doesn’t make sense, but hey. These popsicles contain just two ingredients, so break out the molds and get it together. The mango makes these sweet enough while the yogurt adds a healthy dose of protein. If you aren’t quite like me, bookmark this recipe for the summer.
Read the full recipe from Jerry James Stone here
10. Magic Cookie Bars (7 Layer Bars) from Bakerita
Put a pile of these in front of me and watch the disappearing act ensue. Both me and the magic cookie bars (because I will be in a food coma, duh). The sugar from these comes from dark chocolate and coconut palm sugar which is used in the caramel layer. Moderation is best put into place when you’ve got a batch of these lying around, but you can feel a little better about indulging.
Read the full recipe from Bakerita here
That’s a wrap! What’s your favorite? If you have your own stand-by recipes, you can always try replacing refined sugar with natural sources like honey, coconut palm sugar, dates or date paste, fruit, and maple syrup. Get creative! Remember, moderation should always be used when it comes to the sweet stuff, but you don’t have to swear off dessert for good. It’s all about balance!
Master your instincts!
Alexandra Barone (aka Alex) is a healthy living aficionado residing in the lovely city of Pittsburgh, PA. She writes about all things real food with a focus on the paleo diet. Alex is free to discuss your fitness goals and schedule you for a 1-on-1 consultation on site at the studio. Please feel free to email her with any questions regarding Primal Fitness Pittsburgh at firstname.lastname@example.org