With the holidays approaching, the season of baking has begun. Whether we’re attending a holiday party, or having guests over, or baking cookies for Santa, there is the expectation of sweet treats.
I am all about celebrating the season and I love having a little treat. But I also know plenty of other people will be providing sugar laden desserts.
There is a lot of research out there about the harmful affects of sugar. The book Sugar Detox Challenge provides 21 reasons which could cause you to consider cutting back on your family's sugar intake. Here are just a few:
Sugar uses your body’s stores of essential vitamins and minerals during digestion. It's therefore known as the "anti-nutrient". So, even when you think you are eating enough healthy foods, you’re really losing more than you’re putting in if your diet contains a lot of sugar.
Sugar contributes to weight gain, and not just because of the empty calories. When you eat sugar, your body responds to the spike in blood sugar level by producing insulin to bring it back down. Once it comes down, it drops too low, telling your body that you need to eat in order to bring it back up to normal levels. So, you end up eating even when your body doesn’t actually need nourishment.
Sugar also feeds yeasts in the digestive system, including Candida. This causes everything from lowered immunity and general fatigue to eczema and even depression.
With all the information out there on the harmful effects of sugar, I don’t want to be another person adding sugar to the mix. So here are some recipes for sweet treats that you can enjoy over the holidays with no sugar added!
Chocolate Lava Cake
1 egg, room temp
3 Tbsp cacao powder
1 Tbsp non-dairy milk of choice
2 Tbsp coconut oil or butter, melted
½ tsp vanilla extract
2 Tbsp powdered sugar substitute (such as Swerve), or pinch stevia, to taste
¼ tsp baking powder
Pinch sea salt
Whisk ingredients together. Coat a mug or ramekin with cooking spray. Pour batter inside.
Heat for 1 minute and 30 seconds in the microwave, or until set. If you prefer a gooey center, undercook your cake so the center is giggly and the outside perimeter is firm (about 1 minute in microwave). Let cool for 5 minutes before inverting onto a plate.
Optional Drizzle: Melt ½ tablespoon coconut oil or butter with ½ tablespoon almond butter. Stir in ½ teaspoon cacao powder and 10 vanilla stevia drops. Drizzle on top.
Cinnamon Butter Cookies
2 cups almond flour
½ cup butter, room temperature
1 tsp cinnamon
½ tsp baking soda
1 tsp vanilla extract
1 tsp liquid stevia, or sweetener of choice, to taste
Pinch sea salt
Preheat oven to 300°F.
Add everything to a bowl and mix well. Spoon 14 heaping tablespoons onto a nonstick baking sheet. Press tops to form round circles (batter will spread a bit, so give yourself room).
Bake for 18-20 minutes.
This recipe was slightly modified from the recipe for cinnamon butter cookies on Keto Size Me.
1 cup (12 large) Medjool dates
1/2 cup chocolate protein powder
1 Tbsp unsweetened cacao powder
1 Tbsp coconut oil, melted
2 Tbsp nut/seed butter
2-3 Tbsp unsweetened almond milk (this may vary depending on dough consistency. 2 Tbsp is a good place to start)
Add the dates to a food processor or high-speed blender and process until they break down enough to start rolling around the food processor in a big ball.
Add all the remaining ingredients and continue processing until fully combined, scraping down the sides as needed. The dough should stick together easily when pressed without being overly sticky.
Using a heaping tablespoon, scoop out the dough and roll each portion into 1-inch balls. If desired, coat with extra cacao, coconut, or nuts.
Store truffles in a sealed container either in the fridge or at room temperature for up to a week.
Raw Brownie Bites
2 cups walnuts
1 cup medjool dates pitted
1 half avocado cut into small chunks
2 Tbsp honey
1/4 cup coconut oil
1/2 tsp pure vanilla extract
1/2 cup unsweetened cocoa powder
1 pinch salt
Crushed chocolate chips
Add the walnuts and dates to the food processor and pulse for a minute or two until they are finely chopped and begin to stick together.
Add in the remaining ingredients, except the toppings of course, and pulse until all the ingredients are blended together. The brownie "dough" will stick together and be moist.
Remove the brownie "dough" from the food processor and form into a ball. Break off small chunks of the "dough" and roll into small bites ("balls").
Roll the "balls" in the toppings of your choice (or sprinkle if using sea salt). Once rolled, place the brownie bites in the fridge. This will allow the coconut oil to firm-up creating a yummy fudge-like brownie.
I really hope you try these recipes for a happy and healthy holiday season!! Let me know how you like them in the comments.