RECIPE ROUND UP: Valentine's Recipes without the Sugar Crash
Valentines Day is coming up! Usually known for treats and candy laden with artificial dyes, dairy, gluten and, of course, SUGAR!
The average American consumes roughly 22 teaspoons of added sugar per day- about four times the maximum recommended amount. However, most people aren’t pouring loads of sugar on their food every day, so how the heck is this happening? The truth is, most of our daily sugar intake is hidden in processed or packaged foods in a variety of ways to mislead the consumer – you!
There are more than 60 names for sugar, and on top of that, it’s also added to foods in the form of “syrup”, taking that number to close to 100. For the majority of us, its nearly impossible to identify all the misleading names that may be used, but here are a few clues to tip you off when reading a label:
- The word ends in “ose” (ie/ sucrose, maltose, dextrose)
- It contains the word “syrup” (ie/ agave syrup, brown rice syrup, cane syrup, corn syrup)
- It contains the word “sugar”! (ie/ coconut sugar, raw sugar, brown sugar, date sugar)
Food companies often label their products with unrefined sweeteners or ones that we believe to be “healthy” when in fact this only means the food does not contain white sugar. Unfortunately “unrefined sugar” is still added sugar, and should be consumed in moderation. Some common examples are: agave nectar, coconut sugar, fruit nectar, honey, maple syrup and molasses. Yes, these are preferable to refined white sugar, but still need to be consumed mindfully.
But with one of our favorite sweet holidays coming up, what are some lower-sugar clean treats we love to indulge in? Here's a round up of some of our favorites! Remember to consume them mindfully, sitting down, on a plate (never standing up or out of the baking dish!) and if they start to be a trigger for you, give them away to a friend or neighbor!
- Chocolate dipped Strawberries or Orange Slices- use fresh, organic strawberries dipped in melted ChocZero or Lilly's for a sweet treat. Melt chocolate and then dip washed fruit, chill on parchment lined trays in the fridge
- Three Ingredient Almond Flour Cookies- this gluten free, refined sugar free recipe does NOT sound like it would work, but it does! Cut into heart shapes for a festive treat (pictured)
- Strawberry Donuts from Danielle Walker's Against All Grain- A yummy breakfast treat that gets it's festive color from freeze dried strawberries, not artifical dyes
- Paleo Molten Lava Cake from 40 Aprons. Shockingly easy, always elegant and gluten, grain and refined sugar free!
- Pink Paloma- For a festive cocktail without the sugar! Mix 2 ounces tequila blanco, 4 ounces Grapefruit Spindrift, ½ ounce fresh lime juice, a few drops liquid stevia, to taste.Rim glasses with coarse sea salt and serve, shaken, over ice. Garnish with a fresh pink grapefruit wedge.
- Red Velvet Brownies with Coconut Frosting- Don't let the beets scare you! They provide all of the color, but leave no after taste. Be sure to read the recipe in advance as some ingredients require chilling in advance. If you're not up for making your own frosting, Simple Mills has a compliant version.
- ChocZero Peppermint Bark. Always our favorite. We'll keep stocking up until it's gone for the season.