While most of us know that sugar in our diets isn't the best thing for us, sugar in excess can literally be life changing. Meaning, if you are already struggling with various health issues, such as high blood pressure, diabetes, heart problems, overweight, cancer...I will stop there. Many serious health conditions can be exacerbated by consuming a lot of sugar, especially the wrong unnatural sugars that are available to us. It just tastes so good!
As you know sugar comes in all different forms, granulated, syrup, honey, nectars, fruit… As I am also sure most of you are aware of is that sugar is sugar, but the different forms make a difference in how your body can utilize them, and how much is needed when adding it to a recipe. Granulated or white sugar can lead to higher blood pressure, inflammation, weight gain, diabetes and fatty liver disease all linked to increased risk of heart attack or stroke. White sugar is higher on the glycemic index, which means it raises your blood sugar levels more quickly. TOO MUCH sugar or sweetener of any type is harmful to our bodies. As for cancer cells, eating sugar does not make cancer cells grow, BUT eliminating it will help slow cancer cell growth. That right there should tell you a lot about the affects sugar has on our bodies
Sweetening our dessert recipes with other types of sweeteners does make a difference, maple syrup, honey, coconut nectar, agave nectar are all sweeter than granulated sugar, therefore you don’t need to use as much in recipes. Maple syrup is lower on the glycemic index and it contains more calcium, iron, magnesium, potassium and zinc, all minerals your body can utilize. Coconut nectar is even lower on the glycemic index making it also a safer option for your health. Dried dates another great option for using in dessert recipes substituting sugar, they have more nutrients, fiber and antioxidants. You see, sugar in any form is sugar, but is does make a difference to your body which ones you choose to consume.
So, if you have a “sweet tooth,” make some healthy dessert options to keep in the house when you need that craving satisfied. This way you won’t go out and buy something you shouldn’t be eating. Your body will be much healthier and as a result, you will be much happier!! Throw out any processed sweet items you might have in the cupboard, make your own sweet treats to have on hand. Yes this means no boxes of Sees candy on Valentines Day! Oh and hold off on those Girl Scout cookies!!!
Almond Butter Cups
¾ cup coconut oil
3 tbsp raw cacao
½ cup almond flour
3 tbsp maple syrup
6 heaping tsp almond butter
Chopped pecans (optional) or any nut of choice
Directions- This recipe makes 6 muffin cups, double the recipe if you want 12
-Melt the coconut oil over low heat, don’t get it too hot. When fully melted add the raw cacao, almond flour and maple syrup. Whisk until well combined and pour into 6 lined muffin, filling only about ⅓ full.
-Place in the freezer for about 5 minutes. After 5 minutes remove muffin tin from the freezer.
-Put heaping tsp of almond butter in each cup along with a sprinkle of nuts (optional). Pour remaining cacao mixter over the top of each cup. You might need to spread the almond butter out a little so you can cover it with the chocolate.
-Place in the freezer and keep frozen until you are ready to eat them.
*I have also used organic sun butter instead of almond butter.
**Just be sure that whatever nut butter you choose there is not sugar or salt added.