The best thing I've done for myself and my health, hands down, is retrain my 'sweet teeth'.
While I don't agree that white sugar and dates are equal in terms of health, I do agree that both can and will have a negative impact if you eat too much.
I am a prime example of this. Prior to my son being born last summer, I was indulging in my favorite 'healthy' cookies, 'energy' balls, and sweet smoothies galore, all foods that would typically be classified as 'healthy'.
Dates and honey, what's wrong with that? So what if I eat an 'energy' ball and feel tired...it can't be the copious amount of dates?...
In all my recipe reading over the years, one of the recurring comments on other food sites has come from those outside the United States, and it says something like, 'anytime I make an American dessert, I always halve the sugar'.
Isn't that interesting? It's also interesting to me that we are one of the fattest nations in the world!
Let's look at something like granola, a breakfast-slash-snack meant to give us energy. Have a gander at some of the typical granola recipes that are most popular, and you'll find an obscene amount of added sweetener. This energy giver thus becomes a bona fide dessert and, ultimately, an energy 'sucker'.
I wanted to create this recipe with absolutely zero added sweeteners, making it what granola was originally intended to be: a source of energy between meals or to get you started in the morning.
If my six and four-year old girls can eat this with glee and ask for more, I figure it can be done by grown adults.
My favorite way to enjoy this is with a big glug of my Homemade Coconut Milk, which adds a nice, natural sweetness, a taste we could all stand to come back to a bit. 🙂
Sugar-Free Cinnamon Coconut Granola
- ½ c. oats
- ¼ c. coconut
- ½ c. pumpkin seeds
- ½ t. cinnamon
- ¼ t. allspice or more cinnamon or pie spice
- couple dashes of sea salt
- 2 T. coconut oil melted
- Preheat the oven to 300 degrees.
- Mix the dry ingredients (oats, coconut, seeds, spices, salt).
- Blitz them in a processor a minute or two to break it up a bit more (optional).
- Pour the oil over the mix and stir until all is coated.
- Spread onto a parchment paper-lined baking sheet.
- Bake 20-25 minutes, stirring 1-2 times.
- Cool and enjoy!
If you'd like to try this out, but worry about the initial sugarless 'shock', throw in a few pieces of dried fruit (raisins, goji berries, cut-up prunes, etc.).
If you'd like to make this grain-free, try subbing the oats for either an equal amount of coconut or pumpkin seeds (or your favorite nut/seed).
Add in some unsweetened chopped chocolate for a (sugar-free) chocolat-y treat!
What food do you think would be the most difficult to make sugar-free?