Got a sweet tooth? I know from experience - a bingeing habit and a sugar addiction are a combo made for trouble. On my journey towards healthier eating, my love for sugar has been the biggest barrier I’ve needed to tackle. One of the best ways I’ve found to do that? Find naturally sweet alternatives!
And no - I don’t mean fruit. Ugh. I can’t tell you how many blogs I read that told me to eat fruit, nature’s dessert. Or even worse: sweeter vegetables, such as sweet potato.
I wanted to scream: "Are you kidding me?? People! Don't you understand that I have an addiction to white sugar? This is not going to do the job!"
I mean I love a melon and all, but seriously... Anyway, I don't have to explain it to you, you get it.
No, I’m talking about proper, indulgent sweet treats. The real deal. The stuff that could actually (dare I say it?) replace that super processed stuff you're currently eating.
Spoiler alert: some of these recipes do contain fruit. 🤣
So without further adue, here’s a collection of my best and most favourite treats, complete with the sweetness but without the kill-you-slowly, super-addictive refined sugar.
Hot tip: if you don’t want to use honey, you can use bananas and dates to sweeten just about anything. For recipes with milk, simply blend the milk and dates or bananas beforehand, to make a sweet milky base.
1. Dates with nut butter
Cut open a date and spread your favourite nut butter in the middle (I have a preference for almond or cashew) like a sandwich. Sprinkle with cinnamon and chia seeds to make it even healthier, and shove it in your mouth.
2. Golden Mylk
Also known as a Turmeric Latte, Golden Mylk can be made as sweet as you like. It’s super simple and quick to make. You’ll need:
1tbsp Honey (go for raw)
Chuck it all in a pan and heat over the hob until it’s the right temperature. Pour into a mug, and enjoy!
3. Hot cacao
Along the same lines as Golden Mylk, a hot cacao is your healthy version of a hot chocolate. The basic recipe is:
100% pure cacao powder
Raw honey to sweeten
Milk or water
But I like to add hemp seeds, cinnamon and a date to mine (I basically just blend the whole lot together and then heat on the stove).
4. Trail mix with nut butter
I love to prep myself a little trail mix to take with me for a mid-day snack. Grab a jar, throw in some nuts and seeds, dried raisins and cranberries for the sweetness, add some nut butter (cashew and almond are my faves) and cinnamon powder, and close the lid. You can even add some honey or chopped dates for that extra sweetness. It’ll shake around and mix up in your bag throughout the day, so that when you’re ready to eat it it’s a delicious gooey mix! Don’t forget a spoon ;)
5. Sugar-free baking
Imagine having a sugar craving and being able to actually grab a piece of cake. Well, you can! Bake yourself some nice no-sugar-added treats ahead of time. All you have to do is google your favourite treat, add the words “sugar free” and behold all the recipe options that appear for you. A couple of my faves (they’re both insultingly easy to make):
Sugar free banana bread
Sugar Free Flapjacks (love to play around with adding different bits and bobs into this recipe - like raisins)
6. Your own chocolate syrup
I've saved the best for last, folks. I owe the inspiration from this recipe to my friend Lise, a nutritionist I met in Mexico. You can also tweak this one to your liking, but essentially, it goes something like this:
coconut oil (melted)
You can add banana to make it sweeter, honey to make it even more so. Nut butter to tweak the flavour. Throw it all in a blender / food processor depending on how liquid the mixture is. Blend, and you'll end up with the most delicious, decadent chocolate mixture ever. In fact, I do recommend doing it in a food processor if you have one because if you're lucky you might end up with a chocolate mousse! (it happened to me once, by accident).
Drizzle this over strawberries, and... voila!
There you have it! You can play around with these combos, mix and match, and create your own.
Do you have any I can add to this list? If so, leave a comment or get in touch!