As I mentioned a couple of weeks ago, I decided to cut out refined sugar with the hopes of seeing how it could benefit how I feel. But with all that said, I know for sure that I always still feel like a treat. I knew it wasn't going to be an easy task. Finding delicious treat recipes without the guilt of loads of sugar was very high on my radar. As it has turned out, it really isn't too hard to find delicious alternatives that satisfy the craving without all the bad stuff added in.
In case you're trying this alongside me, I decided I would share some of my favourite recipes that I have tried so far, as going off a recommendation is always way better than just blindly trying something new. I hope you can find comfort in these treats and realize, like me, that no sugar isn't necessarily synonymous with no good.
Chocolate Stuffed Paleo Blondies. Oh my. These are hearty. The original recipe from Joy Food Sunshine was designed to be paleo, so I'm sure you could do a bit of substituting with some of the other ingredients if anything doesn't appeal to you. I used a mixture of almond flour and oat flour in mine, and they turned out so chewy and flavourful. I didn't add extra chocolate chips, as I couldn't find any chocolate that didn't contain sugar, but I did make the fudgy middle layer and it was worth all the effort. The recipe made only a small pan of blondies, which was perfect for satisfying the craving without going overboard. The almond content (flour and butter) made these feel substantial and carby without the extra guilt. Perfect for a weekend indulgence.
Sugarless Date Squares. I used this recipe from Vitamin Sunshine. I decided to try date squares first, because not only are they one of my favourite baked goods, but they are one of those treats that I have often questioned the amount of sugar in. If you have never made date squares before, they are loaded with added sugar, despite the fact that dates are some of the sweetest natural items on their own. I knew it would be a pretty safe bet to try these and that they would satisfy my afternoon treat craving with just a couple bites. I was right. Turns out they're also a fantastic source of fibre and are naturally gluten-free.
Creamy Peanut Butter Hot Chocolate. I am hot chocolate obsessed. It is the perfect winter indulgence, giving you all the hygge feels without the caffeine buzz of coffee. This was one treat I knew I would miss when I gave up sugar, but I tried this recipe from Tiny Tummy Tales using only a little bit of maple syrup. It was incredible. The peanut butter made it so rich and flavourful. I would actually drink this over the normal stuff any day.
Peanut Butter Chocolate Oat Haystacks. These are an easy no-bake option that come together in a matter of minutes. I actually didn't have very high expectations for this recipe based on the minimal amount of effort required, but I made them on a whim one weeknight when I was really craving a post-dinner treat. Turns out, they ended up being a really satisfying treat to have on hand. The only downside is that they should be kept in the refrigerator or freezer, as they can soften really easily and even get pretty melty if the room temperature is on the warmer side. The cold temperature is satisfying though.
Date Sweetened Ice-cream. I saved the best for last, because ice-cream is my treat. I never even considered the possibility that I would be able to have icecream without sugar, so when I saw this video recipe from Farmhouse On Boone, I died. When I ate some, I also died. This ice-cream is so good. Rich, creamy, flavourful. I don't feel like I'm missing out on anything. I made my version in my food processor because I don't have a blender and used coconut milk with a very high fat content. The fat content is an important consideration when making ice-cream, so don't skimp out if you're going for it. It helps to create the right texture and weight that is necessary for home churning.
I've officially hit the three week mark of no refined sugar. As you can see, I've been finding so many naturally wonderful ways to enjoy my cravings for sweets in the meantime. I've actually been enjoying this process so much and am not sure whether or not I'll fully go back to how I was consuming sugar before. I have seen so many benefits in my mood, skin health, and diet since I cut sugar out, so I'm eager to see how it continues to play out over the next few weeks.
Do you have any good sugarless treat recipes to recommend?