Sugar Free but Still so Sweet

Lots of us are trying to live a healthier life. We have to more exercise, sleep more, eat better! So many things to try and do at the same time! For me, I have found it easiest to take one aspect of my life, change and create healthier habits. As I get that one aspect down, I move on to the next thing on my list.

One way I have improved my eating habits is to change the amount of sugar I eat. While not completely sugar free, I have found that it has made a huge difference in my life to eat less sugar, and more natural sugars instead of refined sugar.

One way I do this is to use natural sugars like honey and real maple syrup instead of white sugar or corn syrup. I love using honey in just about anything. The flavor of honey is so delectable! I fully recommend finding a local source for real honey when you can. If you buy it in the store, make sure you get 100% honey, nothing with added ingredients like corn syrup- totally defeat the purpose of using honey instead of sugar!

Some other ways to reduce your sugar intake: stop drinking soda and most fruit juices. Artificial sweeteners are just that: artificial. Without intending to, I have leaned toward whole foods- fewer additives, less fillers, more real ingredients. When I buy something in a box, I read the ingredients. If I can’t pronounce an ingredient or recognize its source, I’m less inclined to buy it. This really applies with sodas and fruit juices. Soda, especially diet sodas, can be filled with all sorts of artificial stuff that I don’t want in my body! Find 100% fruit juice, or drink water! You can flavor water with cinnamon, lemon, other fruits, and more to make it more interesting.

Another way I avoid excess sugar is to eat fruit instead of desserts. I spent some time in South Korea, and while there they would serve fruit at the end of the meal. You still get the sweetness, but with a lot less calories and fat! And I am totally good with the sugars in fruit instead of refined sugar! Another good substitute dessert is a smoothie. I LOVE smoothies! Blend together some plain yogurt, frozen berries, a ripe banana, and maybe some pineapple, and you have a great dessert or side to breakfast that is fantastically nutritious as well! Another great alternative is grilled fruit. Grilled pineapple is one of my favorite things about summer. So yummy!

While trying to establish the natural sugars habit, I HAD to have some cookies! Being gluten free and sugar free presented a fun challenge. After getting some suggestions for sugar free cookies from friends, this recipe came to fruition. Slightly cakey, still sweet and super yummy, this totally hits the spot without adding unneeded sugar to my diet!

Oatmeal Cookies- Gluten Free, Sugar Free

Yield: about 15 cookies

1/3 c. + 1 T butter or shortening (I used tub butter)

1/4 c. honey

1/4 c. molasses

1 egg

1 t. vanilla

1/2 c. gluten free flour (I used a mix of rice, tapioca, and cornstarch)

1/2 t. salt

1/2 t. cinnamon

1/2 t. baking soda

dash of cloves

1/2 t. xanthan gum

1/2 c. raisins

1 1/2 c. gluten free quick oats

Heat oven to 350 degrees. Grease your cookie sheet.

Mix together butter and honey, until well blended. Add egg and vanilla: mix until everything is binding together.

Add the flour, salt, cinnamon, baking soda, and cloves. Carefully mix until blended. Fold in oats and raisins. Mix until just combined.

Drop by large tablespoon full onto the greased cookie sheet. I got about 15 cookies out of this recipe. Bake at 350 for 12 minutes or until lightly browned. Remove immediately onto a cooling rack.

These were fabulous warm! And the next day. Got a little crumbly, but still super yummy!

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    Brenda Lower
    Monthly Newsletter Contributor since 2015
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