Sweet Treats Made Healthy
If you have decided to cut back on refined sugar but really have a sweet tooth that needs attention, read on to learn how to beat those sugar cravings with a healthier replacement.
Chocolate comes in many varieties including; milk, white and dark with many delicious mixed flavours in-between. Not all chocolates have the same nutritional values, and many are laced with high amounts of sugar and fat making our bodies crave them even more.
Here's the lowdown on chocolate:
Choose dark to lighten your load: Dark chocolate not only has less sugar, calories and fat content but it also contains more of the good stuff. The bitterness can put off some people, but if you experiment with different percentages of dark chocolate you might find the perfect one for you, 65%-70% Dark are the most popular.
You can get vegan friendly versions of dark chocolate and some are available in your local supermarket.
Cocoa is a good choice: Cocoa contains Flavanols, which are naturally-occurring compounds found in a number of commonly enjoyed foods, including apples, pears, tea, cocoa, grapes, and blueberries. Cocoa flavanols have been proven to support and preserve healthy brain function. Get the benefit by choosing the least refined and modified versions of your chocolate.
Portion control: Eating smaller portions of dark chocolate is the best way to satisfy your sweet tooth without the guilt. Portion it out when you buy a bar or purchase snack size bars ready to go.
Ways to beat those cravings:
Make your own Raw Chocolate:
What is does raw really mean in this instance? Well, it means it is made from organic and natural ingredients and contains less sugar than regular chocolate.
Ingredients: Serves 6
1-cup coconut oil (extra virgin if possible)
¼ cup cacao powder
2-4 tablespoons of rice malt syrup, maple syrup, honey or molasses.
Top Tip: You can also dissolve coconut sugar with a small amount of hot water to create a runny paste.
Using a microwave proof bowl melt the coconut oil, this won’t take long so keep an eye on it.
Once liquefied, add in your cacao powder and sweetener of choice and mix until combined.
Add toppings of choice and either spread onto a baking sheet and freeze, then break it up like chocolate bark or pour into small patty cases and freeze.
Once set you can keep them in the freezer ready for your cravings or in the fridge for 5 days.
Ingredients: Serves 4
- Flesh of 2 ripe avocados (240g)
- 1/2 cup chocolate chips OR cocoa powder
- 1/4 cup to 1/2 cup milk of choice
- 1 tsp pure vanilla extract
- 1/8 tsp salt
- Pinch stevia OR 2-6 tbsp sweetener of choice (See recipe directions)
**You have two options for this recipe: The version with the chocolate chips will be richer; the version with the cocoa powder will be lower in fat and sugar.
If using the chocolate chips, carefully melt them before beginning.
For both versions, combine all ingredients in a blender or food processor until completely smooth.
Use less milk for a thicker mousse and more for a thinner/creamier result. If using chocolate chips, use only 2-3 tbsp sweetener of choice or pinch stevia. If using cocoa powder, use the higher amount of sweetener.
The final Spray:
If self-regulation is not in your vocabulary, why not try a ‘Sugar craving release spray’? These release the sugar craving and help to reduce your intake of sweets, chocolate and sugar overall. The active ingredients include things like peppermint leaves and fennel seeds.