Week 5: Natural Ways To Satisfy A Sweet Tooth

Now that you’re a pro at finding hidden added sugars and replacing them with lower-sugar (or no-sugar) alternatives, it’s time to talk about what it all means for that sweet tooth of yours!

We’d be the last people to tell you that a healthy diet means a diet without sweets. In fact, there is definitely a time and place for sweets in a clean-eating lifestyle. You most certainly can enjoy the ‘real deal’ every once in a while—but we recommend saving that for special occasions, like a holiday or the one time a year your mother or grandmother makes your favorite dessert. Have a small piece, savor every bite, enjoy the moment, and feel no guilt.

But for the everyday sweets craving, you need healthier options that you can enjoy without the side effect of sugar overload. Today, we’re sharing with you no sugar added treat ideas and recipes that are healthier, lighter, and oh so tasty.

Before we jump into the sweet, sweet deliciousness below, we have to remind you that while these are healthier options, treats are still treats, and portion control is still a must.

First up, here are some of our favorite super-quick snacks for when you’ve got the sugar itch:

    1. fruit (fresh, frozen, or dried, without added sugar)
    2. baked sweet potato with a dab of butter, coconut oil, or almond butter, and sprinkle of cinnamon and unsweetened coconut flakes
    3. dates stuffed with almond butter
    4. smoothie made with frozen fruit and plain Greek yogurt
    5. plain Greek yogurt topped with berries, chia seeds, and chopped nuts (To sweeten your yogurt naturally, warm up your berries before mixing them into your yogurt. Those juices work wonders!)
    6. baked apple with a dab of coconut oil and a sprinkle of cinnamon, nutmeg, and a few chopped nuts

If you can hold off those sugar cravings long enough to whip up something extra special, try one of these no-sugar-added sweet treat recipes:

3-Ingredient Strawberry Banana  Nice Cream

This cool summertime treat requires just three ingredients that you probably already have on hand! A high-powered blender works best for this recipe, but the food processor will get the job done, too.

Servings: 4

Ingredients:

  • 3 bananas, cut into chunks and frozen
  • 12-oz. bag frozen strawberries, about 2 ¼ cups
  • 1 tsp vanilla
  • ½ cup unsweetened almond, cashew or coconut milk (plus more as needed to achieve desired consistency)

Directions:

  1. Place all ingredients in high-powered blender or food processor. Blend or process until smooth, stopping to scrape down the sides and adding additional milk as needed.
  2. Serve immediately.

No-Bake Apricot Almond Coconut Energy Bars

Level up your snack game with these vegan and Paleo-friendly, refined sugar-free, no-bake energy bars. They’re a perfectly portable and tasty snack.

Servings: 8

Ingredients:

  • 1 ½ cups raw almonds
  • 1 cup (6 oz. bag) no-sugar-added dried apricots
  • ½ cup unsweetened shredded coconut
  • 2 Tbsp. almond butter
  • 1 Tbsp. chia seeds
  • ½ tsp pure vanilla extract
  • ½ tsp cinnamon
  • ¼ tsp nutmeg
  • pinch of sea salt
  • 1-2 Tbsp. water (add 1 Tbsp. at a time)
  • For a citrus twist, add ½ tsp orange zest and juice from ½ an orange

Directions:

  1. Line a five-by-nine inch loaf pan with parchment paper or plastic wrap. Combine all of the ingredients in a food processor except for the water. Process on low speed for several minutes, stopping to scrape the sides of the bowl as needed.
  2. Ingredients will start to come together after a minute or so. If you feel the dough is too dry, add a tablespoon of water at a time and continue to process until ingredients start to stick together.
  3. Transfer the dough to the loaf pan and press down firmly into the bottom of the pan. Top with coconut shreds (pressing them lightly into the surface) then place the bars in the fridge for 30 minutes or the freezer for 10 minutes.
  4. After chilled, remove bars from pan. Cut into eight bars or squares.
  5. Store bars in refrigerator.

If you want to make bites instead of bars, simply roll your dough into round, golf ball-sized balls instead. Then roll into coconut shreds.

Related: Check out the Healthy Baking center for more dessert-worthy ingredients.

We hope that you enjoy these added sugar-free sweet treat ideas and that they satisfy your sweet tooth! If your cravings get totally out of control, we recommend that you drink a big glass of water, read a book, take a bath, clean the house, eat a balanced meal if you’re hungry, go for a walk, meditate, call a friend, brush your teeth, or whatever it is you need to do to distract your mind, turn off the craving, and win the battle over that little sugar dragon of yours.