Better ways to satisfy your sweet tooth

Looking to satisfy your sweet tooth in a more nutritious way? There are many sugar alternatives that are much better for the body than highly-refined sugars that are being used in the processed food industry these days. In fact, a lot of the processed, white sugar that’s out there normally does more damage than good.

  • Tuesday, June 3, 2014 2:35pm
  • Life

Jami Scott

 

Looking to satisfy your sweet tooth in a more nutritious way?  There are many sugar alternatives that are much better for the body than highly-refined sugars that are being used in the processed food industry these days.  In fact, a lot of the processed, white sugar that’s out there normally does more damage than good.

As someone who has always had a tendency towards sweet foods, but also incredibly sensitive to the effects of white sugar, I have spent a lot of time looking for ways to satisfy my sweet tooth in a more natural, plant-based way.  Here are my top tips for your sweet cravings:

• Make a sweet spread.  Using any dried fruit you like (apricots and dates are great), soak in hot water for 20 minutes to 1 hour.  Then, drain off almost all liquid depending on what consistency is desired, and whiz it up in your blender until smooth.  What you’ve got is a paste you can spread on toast, or use in cooking and baking.  Make a larger batch and store in the fridge for a few weeks.

• Honey is a whole food sweetener.  The great thing about honey, particularly the unpasteurized kind, is that it contains minerals and nutrients that make it more nutritious than sugar.  Plus, honey is sweeter than table sugar, which means less is required.  I like using honey in baking, and it’s great to use in sauces and dressings.

• Bananas.  Let your bananas sit on the counter until they’re starting to get brown — this is when the sugar content is the highest.  Then, use them in baking by mashing them up or cut them into chunks and freeze them to make a delicious Banana Nice Cream (recipe below).

• Chocolate cravings? A dark chocolate bar has 70 percent cocoa or more so a little goes a long way.  These days, there are more companies coming out with chocolate that isn’t sweetened with sugar, like the brand Coco Polo, which uses stevia leaf.  There are a lot of recipes online for making raw chocolate brownies — try 1 cup of walnuts, 1 cup of dates, 3-4 tablespoons of raw cacao powder, a tablespoon of vanilla and a pinch of salt, mixed in a food processor until starting to clump.  Press them into a pan or roll them into balls – these can be kept in the freezer for a quick fix.

• Fruit.  Local fruit is abound in the Pacific Northwest, and when it’s in season, the taste is phenomenal.  Cherries, stone fruit and berries all make delicious snacks.

 

Banana Nice Cream

http://www.wholefoodsmarket.com/recipe/banana-nice-cream

2 large bananas, sliced and frozen

1 cup unsweetened almond milk or soymilk

2 tablespoons smooth almond butter or peanut butter (read the label to find brands that contain just nuts and no added sugar)

Combine all ingredients into a blender and puree, turning off the motor and stirring the mixture two or three times, until smooth and creamy.  Pour into bowls and serve (this can also be stored in the freezer like regular ice cream).

Learn more at www.wholefoodsmarket.com/healthy-eating.

Jami Scott is a registered holistic nutritionist and the healthy eating associate coordinator for Whole Foods Market, Pacific Northwest region. She oversees a team of Healthy Cooking Coaches who work in stores to help educate people on how to eat less processed foods through the company’s Health Starts Here program. More information on cooking tours, supper clubs and community events is available at wholefoodsmarket.com/healthy-eating

More in Life

Newport High School drama presents ‘Beauty and the Beast’

Performance will run Jan. 12 through Jan. 20 in Bellevue.

Ruby and Ragnar available for adoption in Bellevue

Meet Ruby, a 6-year-old German Shepherd, who would love to be your… Continue reading

Bellevue’s Kindering celebrates the holidays

In 2016, Kindering reported helping more than 4,000 families

Bellevue community celebrates Snowflake Lane this holiday season

Produced and presented by The Bellevue Collection and the Kemper Freeman family,… Continue reading

International Ballet Theatre’s “Nutcracker” on through Dec. 22

Production of classic Christmas ballet is Eastside tradition

W Bellevue insider: 12 holiday tips

W Bellevue’s Insider, Julia Amodt, offers her top seasonal tips for those… Continue reading

First Santa photography business continues to capture his magic within the community

Arthur & Associates Holiday Photographers claims to be the first to take portraits of children with department store Santas.

Newport, Bellevue jazz bands to perform ‘The Nutcracker Suite’

For the first time ever, the jazz bands from Newport and Bellevue… Continue reading

Kirkland Holiday Art Market opens this week | The Eastside Scene

Kirkland Arts Center will be hosting a Holiday Art Market featuring local… Continue reading

Tabletop game enthusiasts to convene for OrcaCon in Bellevue

Hundreds of people have already signed up to participate in a geeky… Continue reading