This post has been in my drafts fooorrrever (read: since last October) and for whatever reason, I’m just getting around to posting it now.
All throughout last September, Bob and I went sugar-free. Most of the time, it was pretty easy to do, but some days were admittedly more difficult than others. The first week, we went out to dinner and hadn’t ordered dessert-which we almost always do. “This sucks,” Bob told me when we got home. “What can we eat that’s sweet?” Luckily, I anticipated that both of us would want a treat, especially on a Friday night when we tend to stay in and watch movies (prime snacking time!). Instead of completely cutting us off, I decided I would make us healthy desserts that were sweetened with natural ingredients like dates, cinnamon, real maple syrup or raw honey. Avocado Chocolate cookies were on the agenda that night and they did just the trick. The ingredients were few, the recipe was easy to follow and the cookies were done in no time. I knew that with a little foresight and some easy, healthy dessert recipes in my back pocket, we’d do just fine in our month-long no-sugar diet. And we did.
I started becoming more mindful of what was in my food. I had to be careful about the products I was buying. For instance, I had to make sure that the sandwich buns I bought were made without any added sugars (very hard to find, by the way) and I couldn’t allow myself any condiments like ketchup or bbq sauce unless I made it myself. The first week was rough and it felt very restrictive. But after that, I made sure to plan every single meal, right down to the snacks, each week and it was smooth sailing from there. The planning is what worked best for me. I’d highly recommend doing a month-long sugar detox. If you’re totally committed and prepared for it, then that’s more than half the battle! And you’ll feel healthy and energetic throughout and afterwards, which I think is reason enough to do it. My best advice is to just prepare, prepare, prepare.
This is a list of the goodies we enjoyed that month. The best part? They’re delicious and you wouldn’t even know that they contain zero sugar. The second best part? They’re good for you.
1.) Raw Brownies
Raw brownies are pretty much identical to that time I made brownie bites. Make ’em sans the sprinkles of course.
Notes: The cashews can be replaced for raw pecans, almonds, Brazil nuts, walnuts or even a mix. I don’t recommend peanuts, as the flavor is too overpowering. I’ve had the best results with cashews or pecans. You can roll them up into little bites (as pictured above) or you can leave them flat in the pan and cut them into squares. This will last up to a week (perhaps a little over) in the refrigerator. I’ve gotten some great feedback on these brownies—everyone loves them!
Recipe (adapted from The Kitchn):
3-5 frozen bananas, sliced
1-2 teaspoons good vanilla extract
A dash of cinnamon
Toss frozen bananas,vanilla and cinnamon into a high-powered blender.
Pulse the bananas for a bit, as not to overwork your blender. Then blend until you get a smooth, frosty consistency.
Serve immediately. It melts quickly!
Notes: This was Bob’s favorite of the month and if you’re an ice cream fanatic and you like bananas, then you’ll go nuts for this stuff. You can leave it simple or you can throw whatever into it and transform it into a sundae. Bob really liked it with these paleo coconut macaroons we found at the store, but a topping of melted peanut butter sounds heavenly to me.
3.) 3-Ingredient Raw “Caramel” Dip with Fruit
Notes: I love this dip most with bananas and apples, as I find those fruits to be most compatible with the caramel-like flavor. It’s quick to whip up and it lasts for about a week in the fridge.
4.) Avocado Chocolate Cookies
Image and recipe by The Smoothie Lover
Notes: Mine came out a little flatter than what’s pictured above but they came out great regardless. No avocado taste whatsoever. These cookies are soft and uber-chocolaty with a partly-cakey, partly-fudgy texture (the best of both worlds!).
5.) Cherries & Chocolate Smoothie
1 cup of homemade almond milk
3/4 – 1 cup of frozen sweet dark cherries
1/4 of a frozen banana
2 heaping tbs of raw cacao powder or unsweetened cocoa powder
t tbs raw honey or maple syrup
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
Blend all ingredients in a blender. Taste and add more of anything to your liking.
Notes: This is basically a Cherry Garcia in smoothie form. Who wouldn’t love that?