The amount of sugar Americans consume is staggering! If you read labels at all, you know it’s in everything from milk to vitamins even food that is supposed to be healthy. Sugar is one of the worst things you can put into your body. It hinders the immune system, feeds cancerous cells and leads to excessive weight gain. In fact, a recent study says people eat 150 pounds of it a year! That’s one person eating 150 pounds of sugar. With other studies saying sugar is just as addictive as cocaine, it’s no wonder this country leads the way in sugar related illnesses.
There’s nothing wrong with wanting a sweet treat now and then, but I have found some recipes for brownies, cakes and fudge that call for as much as 3 cups of sugar. That’s just crazy! Sugar addiction has become a real and growing issue. Sugar can even impact our relationships because it can impact our behavior.
The good news is, there are several natural options available that are a much better choice. They require a little adjustment to your recipe but taste just as amazing! If you make a sweet treat healthy, it still needs to taste delicious, right?
I’ve listed my favorites here along with a handy conversion chart from my Healthy Lifestyle Guide that you can click on and just print out.
I love using dates instead of sugar because it is such a natural form of sugar. However, let me make sure you understand exactly what I mean by soak and puree. The best way to use dates is to soak and puree them and make a date paste. Otherwise, they just stay pretty chunky.
Step one: soak your dates to soften them so they will be ready to puree. Set dates in a bowl with very hot water. You can use tap water on the hottest setting. The dates need to soak for about 2-30 minutes if they are not soft dates. If they are soft dates, you probably only need about 10 minutes.
Step two: Put the dates in the food processor with about 2 TBS of date water they were soaking in. If you need to add a little more water to make it not so sticky, do so.
If you have extra date paste you can put it in the fridge to use in other recipes. You can even use some of the water the dates were soaking in to sweeten up your smoothies!