8 treat foods that don’t have sugar

today I was playing a little game in my brain.  I thought about the notion of coming up with 10 treat-esque foods or common dessert ingredients that don’t have sugar.  Could I do it?  Hmm…..as my mind wandered down the grocery aisles of my imagination, here is a list I came up with.  Granted, I’m not saying all of these are fat free or dairy free, but they are sugar free.  I even upped the antey and gave an example of how you could use it to make a treat:

 

#1: real whipping cream.  Here’s a thought: whip it up with cinnamon and stevia.  Place 1-2 tbsp over berries and you have a really low sugar dessert with NO sugar in the topping.

#2: cocoa powder.  I LOVE cocoa powder.  I’m talking about Chatsfield’s, Wonderslim, or other high quality baking cocoas.  Mix with No sugar almond milk and you have low sugar hot cocoa.

    

 

#3: Almonds – they are naturally sweet in essence.  I like them lightly toasted and sprinkled with a little cinnamon, cardamom and nutmeg.  Yum!

#4: Greek yogurt.  This type of yogurt doesn’t have any sugar grams at all, but watch the fat, as it can be really dense.  There are low fat versions, which I think are the best.  You can mix some cocoa powder and almonds into your yogurt for a really low-sugar treat.   Sweeten with stevia and you are still at ZERO sugar grams

#5: Coconut – the milk and the flesh are sugar free.  You can blend coconut milk with ice for a smoothie, or even just eat the flesh as is and enjoy a natural sweetness.

#6: Egg whites: no, not normally a dessert, but whipped up with a little orange zest and cream of tartare (what is that exactly – check here for the answer), they make a nice meringue topping.  I like the taste of meringue by itself, even without a pie.  Just like whipping cream, you can put it on berries for a really low sugar dessert option

#7: Buckwheat pancakes: Okay, this one has 2grams of sugar, but that is nearly nothing.  I prefer Bob’s Redmill Brand because I only need to add water, an egg, and some oil or butter.  You can add vanilla, cocoa, or spices for added flavor and still stand at just 2 g of sugar, plus you are getting a boatload of fiber in.

#8: Good Earth tea: this can seriously satisfy, especially on a chilly night.  It really doesn’t even need any sweetener, and this is coming from a girl who ALWAYS loves to sweeten her tea. 9

So, I would just love to come up with a couple more options that don’t have sugar.  Any ideas, folks?  Even items that have just a few grams of sugar would be beneficial.

I will leave you with this chocolate pudding recipe to inspire your creativity!!

Happy Off-White eating,

Rebecca

Chocolate Pudding

2 cups fresh coconut meat (young coconut if available

¾ cup coconut water; at room temperature.

 (Use the water from the inside of the coconut. *Coconut water is now available at most natural foods stores too.)

1/3 cup agave nectar

½ cup cocoa powder

2 tablespoons vanilla extract

¼ teaspoon sea salt

 

In a high speed- blender or food processor, puree all ingredients until completely smooth; stopping to scrape the sides as necessary. Transfer to a bowl and chill for firmer pudding, or eat straightaway. Try this with raspberries and fresh mint, or chopped nuts.

 


Is your diet sustainable?….is MY diet sustainable??

Def’n sustainability (per Wikipedia):
Sustainability is a characteristic of a process or state that can be maintained at a certain level indefinitely. The term, in its environmental usage, refers to the potential longevity of vital human ecological support systems

In recent years an academic and public discourse has led to this use of the word sustainability in reference to how long human ecological systems can be expected to be usefully productive…………

When I ride the bus into work, I like to take advantage of the time and do a little light reading.   I was getting into my favorite magazine, Body + Soul  (check it out!). Eco-friendly living and sustaniable “anything” is a big trend these days.  Its all over the cover and in just about every section of articles.    It got me to thinking:

We often focus on bringing Earth back into balance and that focus is usually outside of ourselves.  I ride the bus to help “save the environment”.  I recycle to “protect the Earth”, etc.   Sustainable products are all about using resources in a way that preserves them for the long haul and not just for my immediate gratification (like can I schlep a canvas lunch bag to work everyday, even w/its food stains, in place of a plastic bag which I just toss out).

However, what about looking at sustainability, based on the def’n above, in terms of nutrition.  Hmmmm, now here is some food for thought.  Is my diet sustainable?  If I did what I do regularly every day, could I exist in wellness when I’m 60?   how about you: Is what you are eating/not-eating/how you are eating it something you could keep up for the long term without demise or collapse?

If no, then it is not sustainable.  Maybe we’re missing the mark a bit by keeping the sustainability articles focusing on just landfills, water bottles and bamboo floors.

Let’s do a case study.  Let’s use me.

Say that every day I stop for a hot chocolate (my dirty little secret: I love the JUNK hot chocolate. I try and just drink it at home w/my recipe (1st post in recipes)   Let’s say I exercise regularly, have about 5 lbs to lose (put on during the last 5-7 yrs of living a 9-5 lifestyle and being moderately attached to my little sugar fix, as well as some MAJOR sugar benders  each day) , but no drastic health challenges. I’m currently 31 yrs old. Because I get a good dose of sugar/fat/possibly HFCS and possibly trans fats daily, these certainly add up with time.  Not to mention the hundred to several hundred calories of nothing I am consuming (nothing except pure enjoyment and inner peace, that is).

Could I do this indefinitely and still prosper? Probably not. I might be able to do it forever, but prosper I would not. Those 5# could easily double in a year, simply by eating 100 calories/day (esp of non-whole foods like hot chocolate and dairy-based foods). Over the next 40 yrs, that is another 20lbs. No good.

Then there is the long term effect of sugar.  Pretty much it is the anti-sustainability substance.  It’s like an oil spill in the ocean, or holes in the ozone. And who knows what 40 yrs of regularly ingesting chemicals (like the “natural flavors” found in packaged foods”) will do. And what about the crowding out of wholesome foods, more water, herbal tea, or other options that actually ad to health.   Sure, today nothing is wrong, but what about when I reach 65?  What about the desire for sweet that tends to perpetuate when I get my hands on a hot cup o’ cocoa.  where will  those leave me in 20 yrs?  Do I want to keep chipping away at my wellbeing over some crappy product made by Nestle?

So, again, ask yourself: is what you’re eating today going to sustain you tomorrow? If I was a rainforest, would the foods and habits I’m putting into my system yield maximum growth in the future? Would my eco-system flourish indefinitely? What am I eating, that when added up, could make a big impact on my health?

Maybe we need to direct a little attention to our own ecosystems and focus there while doing our part to keep our planet well. We are part of the Earth, anyway. What we do to ourselves (microcosm) is a reflection of what we do to nature (macrocosm).

This isn’t even about weight loss or gain or looking good . Those things come when we care for ourselves.  I find the focus on weight or size totally unispires me.  What really drives me to stay well is the feeling I get when my body/mind are nourished.  I didn’t even know what this felt like until I was willing to get past the sugar coma I placed myself in and try some real food.  Nature produces beauty when it has the natural, clean, resources to do so.  My body does the same thing and no calorie counting is required.   Remember what happened when you fed your plant Coca-cola for your 3rd grade science project? No good. Nope. Not sustainable in the least.