Need to Cut Down on Sugar? 6 Sweets You Can Eat Guilt-Free
Ever notice how after a few evenings of having ice cream after dinner, you start to crave it? You need something sweet the second your fork hits the dinner plate, and before you can assess why you have this craving, you find yourself roaming the cupboards or freezer in search of some form of sugar.
There are more than enough reasons to quit eating sweets and desserts, but when a craving sets in, it can be hard to say no. Before you throw in the towel and binge on a bag of mini Snickers, try eating something that is naturally sweet with no added sugar. These sweet treats will satisfy your sweet tooth without overloading your body with sugar.
1. Frozen chocolate bananas
This is a great way to satisfy a chocolate craving without consuming empty calories. Bananas are full of potassium, vitamin C, and fiber. Use dark chocolate to get your sweet fix while your body enjoys the effect of this high in antioxidants treat. Melt some naturally sweetened dark chocolate and pour it into a tall glass. Peel your bananas and cut them in half.
Line a baking sheet with waxed paper and insert a popsicle stick into each banana half. Dip the banana half into the chocolate sauce and spin it around to get it well-coated. If you want, you can roll the chocolate covered banana into a topping like crushed nuts, granola, or unsweetened coconut flakes. Lay the bananas on a baking sheet and freeze for about 30 minutes. To store, wrap in plastic and freeze for up to two weeks.
2. Fresh fruit
It doesn’t get any better than this, and if a run-of-the-mill apple doesn’t appease your sweet tooth, spend the extra money on an exotic piece of fruit that feels like more of a treat. If you love tropical fruits, try a juicy mango. Mangos contain an antioxidant compound that is found to protect against colon cancer, leukemia, and prostate cancers.
They are also thought to improve digestion, clear the skin, and even increase your sex drive. Raspberries are another healthy splurge to help beat your sugar addiction. Not only are they delicious, but raspberries are thought to decrease the risk of obesity, are chock-full of antioxidants, and help lower oxidative stress that leads to various cancers. Always go organic on fresh fruits for maximum antioxidant power.
3. All-fruit popsicle
If you want to minimize the sugar, calories, and fat from your diet, then skip the ice cream cone and opt for an all-fruit popsicle. You can make this recipe with your favorite fruits. Put fresh fruit, lime juice, and some agave syrup in the blender to mix.
Then, pour the mixture in ice pop molds or use paper cups with skewers or popsicle sticks. Freeze for at least eight hours and grab a shot of sweet deliciousness whenever a craving hits. You’ll get the vitamins and antioxidants from the fruit and a little jolt of sweetness from the agave syrup.
4. Dark chocolate
If you’re a chocolate fiend trying to get your addiction under control, skip the candy bars and Hershey’s kisses and eat a square of dark chocolate instead. Dark chocolate has lower levels of sugar and fat in comparison to milk and white chocolate, and if you select a bar with a high cacao content (try for 65% or higher) you’ll be eating your fill of antioxidants, flavanols, vitamins, and nutrients.
5. Banana ice cream
If you crave something sweet and creamy, this guilt-free treat will keep you satisfied. Peel and cut a ripe banana into thick slices and put them in an airtight container or freezer bag. Freeze for at least two hours before removing and placing in a blender or food processor.
Blend until the mixture has the consistency of soft serve ice cream. You can eat the mixture as-is for a softer version or put the mixture back in the freezer to get a solid, more traditional ice cream consistency. For a bit of flavor and variety, add some cocoa powder, chocolate protein powder, almonds, cinnamon, or a tablespoon of peanut butter. Get creative!
6. Fruit leather
For a sweet little treat that you can pack along with you, try fruit leather that is made from fruit purée with no added sugar. Stretch Island makes a variety of the snack that gives you a half serving of fruit with no added sugar.
If you want to bust out your cooking skills, you can make these two-ingredient fruit leathers that use honey as a sweetener rather than sugar. Try adding chia seeds for protein, skipping the honey, and using spices like cinnamon for different flavors and textures.