I have a sweet tooth that conflicts with my ideology around “everything in moderation.” One bite of a chocolate chip cookie, or cupcake and my mind takes me to a dark and sugar coated place where I must consume every dessert possible so that there is nothing left for me to possibly eat tomorrow. Sound familiar?
There are so many ways to satisfy the craving for something sweet and refined sugar is probably the least healthy way to do so.
In a healthy nut shell: because of its effects on the liver, refined sugar raises blood sugar levels and may contribute to insulin resistance as well as raising blood sugar levels, resulting in negative effects on the metabolic system and energy levels. (For a digestible scientific understanding of the effects of sucrose on blood sugar levels, click here.)
Good alternatives for sweetened baked goods are agave, honey, stevia, and dates. You still don’t want to binge on these sugars, but their effects on the body are much less severe than refined sugar.
Honey: effects on blood sugar levels are similar to sugar but you tend to use less because of its concentrated sweetness.
Agave: lower on the glycemic index than both sugar and honey.
Stevia: all natural no calorie sweetener extracted from the stevia plant.
Dates: easily digestible flesh with simple sugars. (Check out all the health benefits of dates by clicking here!)
Keeping in mind that a balanced meal consists of protein+carb+fat, I find myself throwing a bunch of ingredients into the blender to construct the “perfect” dessert. The recipe below includes measurements, but if you don’t feel like measuring that’s cool. Just keep in mind that the peanut butter and dates are your base and the oats, sweeteners and spices hold the cookie together.
The No Bake Magical Detox Treat
1 cup peanut butter (protein+fat)
1/4 cup almonds (protein+fat)
7 dates (carb)
3 tablespoons, agave nectar (carb)
6 drops liquid stevia
1/4 cup oats (whole grain carb)
1 teaspoon cinnamon
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
big splash unsweetened almond milk
1/2 teaspoon salt
1 tablespoon coconut oil
3 tablespoons honey
2 tablespoons cocoa powder
splash of unsweetened almond milk granola for garnish
1. Place all the cookie ingredients into a blender or food processor.
2. Pulse until the mixture is fine and sticky.
3. Either roll mixture into balls or press into an 8×8 pan lined with parchment paper.
4. Optional topping if making bars: Place all the ingredients (except granola) in a stovetop pan over medium heat. Stir together until all the ingredients have melted together. Spread over bars. Sprinkle with granola.
5. Eat now or refrigerate for later. No need to devour these cookies because they last for weeks!
RELIsh Life is Arielle's life & wellness coaching site. Arielle offer's guidance and empowerment to a healthier more fullfilling life through certified life and wellness coaching, as well as custom cooking classes.