With Valentine’s Day just behind us, chocolate, candy and sweets seem to be everywhere you turn. A raging sweet tooth can be difficult to control, especially around holidays that encourage sweet treats to celebrate. If this is your struggle, I encourage you to check out this post on five ways to fight off sugar cravings, then come back here and pick back up where you left off.
One of the best ways to fight sugar cravings is to opt for natural sources of sugar or start to reduce the overall sugar in your diet. Using natural sugar sources is one of my biggest hacks in making junk food favorites healthier (like in these double chocolate sweet potato brownie muffins or this chunky monkey banana bread recipe). Sugar is still sugar, but when consuming less of the highly processed kind, your cravings will start to change.
Here are 5 sugar swaps for a healthier sweet treat:
White or brown sugar swapped for coconut sugar. Coconut sugar is quickly becoming mainstream and can be found in most grocery stores. It is an equal substitute for white or brown sugar and a healthier option because it is low glycemic, meaning it won’t spike your blood sugar levels. It is slightly nutty in flavor and adds a delicious sweetness to any recipe!
Corn syrup swapped for maple syrup, molasses or coconut nectar. Corn is one the top three genetically modified foods in the United States and found in many highly processed foods. To achieve a similar “stickiness” in a recipe, try swapping corn syrup for maple syrup, molasses or coconut nectar.
Sugar swapped for fruit puree. Fruit puree is an excellent replacement for processed sugar. This swap might slightly affect the overall texture, but the general rule of thumb is to replace sugar with a fruit puree (like applesauce) in a 1:1 ratio and reduce liquid by 1/4 cup for every 1 cup of fruit puree added.
Reduce the overall sugar content by a third. Some might think it’s not possible to reduce the amount of sugar in a recipe since baking is a “science”, but most experts will disagree. It is widely accepted that you can reduce the overall sugar by a third without noticing a difference.
Milk chocolate swapped for dark chocolate. Did you know that those percentages on the outside of the chocolate wrapper actually mean something? The higher the percentage, the more cacao content and less sugar is in the chocolate product. Dark chocolate not only contains more antioxidants, but is also lower in sugar.
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