Enjoying Food Without Sugar

January 2019, I decided that I would try to beat my sugar addiction. After reading a few articles about how bad sugar is for you and knowing how hard it was for me trying to just limit how much I ate, it was time to take a drastic step and quit. Yes it was an addiction. So I got through the first week and the rest is, as they say, history. After a month it became a new way of life. Before purchasing anything I would check the label and if it had any kind of sugar listed, I did not buy it. It’s quite an eye opener; almost everything has some kind of sugar. So when reading labels, I look for sugar and any words ending with”ose” such as fructose, lactose, maltose, galactose, etc. Also, syrups like rice, corn, etc. The first few weeks were interesting but because I never really use much in the way of processed foods and I do enjoy cooking, I found it quite easy to convert. It really became my own challenge. Sugar was the only thing I was giving up. I didn’t have to give up carbs or fats, only sugar. I was still eating fruit and did not worry about the natural sugars in those. Bananas became something I ate or included in my smoothie every morning. I also started using them as a sweetener in making muffins. I did not use maple syrup or honey as I felt that personally I would overuse this type of natural source of sweetness and I still have not had the need or desire to introduce them back into my life. I have become happy with my new lifestyle. My partner has been very supportive in this, enjoys the smoothies and any sugar free baking that I do. He has not cut sugar entirely from his diet, but is eating less than he use to and is amazed at how good sugar free food can taste.

If you would like to follow me on my quest to eat sugar free and healthy foods, I will answer any questions you have and support you on this journey. And yes I am one of those people that could and did eat lots of candy, cookies, cheesecake etc. For example, I could eat a large bag of chocolate covered almonds in a 20 min. car drive on my way home from work late at night. Or it could be a large bag of gummies or licorice all-sorts (yeah, you know the kind, they come in a two bag box around Christmas time…)

Addicted I say.

Decadent Date Bars

Date Filling

  • 2 1/2 cups chopped dates
  • 1 can coconut cream
  • 1 1/2 cup chopped pecans
  • 1 tbsp. pure vanilla
  • 1 1/2 tsp. cinnamon
  • 1/4 tsp. salt
  • 1/8 tsp. cayenne pepper

Crust and Crumble

Preheat oven to 350°f. Grease 9 x 13 glass baking dish with cooking spray or coconut oil.

  • 1 1/2 cups oats
  • 1 cup oat flour
  • 2/3 cup coconut flour
  • 1/2 cup Date Puree
  • 1 tsp. cinnamon
  • 1/2 tsp. salt
  • 1/2 cup melted coconut oil
  • 1 tsp. pure vanilla
  • 1 egg
  • 3/4 cup chocolate chips (sugar free)

In a large saucepan, add ingredients for date filling. Place over medium heat, cook and stir for about 5 minutes, until well combined and slightly thickened.

In large bowl, add oats, flours, date puree, cinnamon, and salt. Blend together. Add oil and vanilla, stir to combine, add egg and stir. In prepared dish, measure out 2 1/2 cups of mixed crust/crumble, and press evenly in bottom of dish. Spoon date filling on top of pressed crust and spread evenly. To remaining crumble add chocolate chips, mix to combine. Crumble evenly over top of date filling and press gently into filling. Bake until done, approx. 30 minutes. Cool and cut into bars.

For detailed photos of the recipe go to Bake With Me, Date Bars

ENJOY☺

Health benefits of Dates

Photo by Riki Risnandar on Pexels.com

A Brief Summary

Dates contain several vitamins and minerals, in addition to fiber and antioxidants. However, they are high in calories since they are a dried fruit.

Dates are high in fiber, which may be beneficial for preventing constipation and controlling blood sugar control.

Dates contain several types of antioxidants that may help prevent the development of certain chronic illnesses, such as heart disease, cancer, Alzheimer’s and diabetes.

Dates may be helpful for lowering inflammation and preventing plaques from forming in the brain, which is important for preventing Alzheimer’s disease.

Dates may promote and ease natural labor for pregnant women when consumed during the last few weeks of pregnancy.

Dates are a healthy substitute for white sugar in recipes due to their sweet taste, nutrients, fiber and antioxidants.

Dates have been claimed to promote bone health and aid in blood sugar control, but these effects have not been studied sufficiently.

There are many different ways to eat dates. They are commonly eaten plain but can also be incorporated into other popular dishes.

Dates are a very healthy fruit to include in your diet.

They are high in several nutrients, fiber and antioxidants, all of which may provide health benefits ranging from improved digestion to a reduced risk of disease.

There are several ways to add dates to your diet. One popular way to eat them is as a natural sweetener in various dishes. They also make a great snack.

It’s easiest to find dates in their dried form, though these are higher in calories than fresh fruit so it is important to eat them in moderation.

Dates are definitely worth adding to your diet, as they are both nutritious and delicious.

https://www.healthline.com/nutrition/benefits-of-dates

Mushroom Veggie Burger

mixed
ingredients
  • 4 cups mushrooms cubed/diced ( cremini or portobello)
  • 2 cans black beans drained, rinsed and mashed
  • 1 cup minced fresh broccoli
  • 1 red onion minced
  • 3 eggs
  • 1 cup oat flour (can just process oats in food processor)
  • 1 Tbsp. Cumin
  • 1 tsp.salt
  • 1 Tbsp. Coconut Amino (soya sauce replacement)
  • 2 Tbsp. minced garlic
  • 3/4 cup fresh grated Parmesan

Sauté mushrooms, in olive oil. 

Mix all ingredients together and with dampened hands form into patties, using approx. 1/2 cup per patty.  Heat cast iron or non stick skillet. Add oil and cook each patty for 3-5 minutes per side or until golden brown and a crust has formed.

Makes 12 patties.

Serve with your favorite burger toppings.  Great with guacamole.

ENJOY

Cinnamon Rolls

  • 3 cups flour
  • 2 Tbsp. baking powder
  • 1 tsp. salt
  • 1/3 cup butter + more to spread on dough
  • 1 cup milk (can use almond, oat, etc.)
  • date puree
  • cinnamon
  • grated apple (optional)

Blend first 4 ingredients together. Using your hands is the best way to do this. Mix in milk to form a ball of dough. Roll out to 1/4″ thick and spread a thin layer of butter on dough. Then spread a thin layer of date puree and sprinkle heavily with cinnamon. Top with grated apple if using. Roll like a jelly roll. Slice into 12 even pieces and bake at 350°F for 15 – 20 min. For larger rolls, slice into 8 pieces and bake a little longer.

Cream Cheese Glaze

  • 4 oz. cream cheese
  • 2 Tbsp. butter
  • 1/4 cup date puree
  • 1/2 tsp. vanilla

Blend together and spread over warm cinnamon rolls.

Blackbottom Cupcakes

Topping

  • 8 oz. cream cheese
  • 1 egg
  • 1/3 cup Date Puree
  • 6 oz. sugar free chocolate chips

Let cream cheese sit out of fridge to soften. To speed this up it can be cut into cubes. Beat well with mixer. Add egg and date puree. Stir in chocolate chips and set aside.

Batter

Just out of oven
  • 1 1/2 cups flour
  • 1 cup Date Puree
  • 1/4 cup cocoa
  • 1 tsp. baking soda
  • 1 tsp. baking powder
  • 1/2 tsp. salt
  • 1 tsp. vanilla
  • 1 cup water
  • 1/3 cup oil
  • 1 Tbsp. vinegar

Mix together all dry ingredients. Add liquid ingredients and mix well. Fill lined cupcake tins approx. 1/2 full with batter, top with cream cheese topping. Makes 24 cupcakes. Bake at 350°F for 20 – 30 min. Check for doneness by inserting a tester in center. Cool and Enjoy.

Light Rye Bread

This recipe makes 2 loaves and uses no rye flour. The ingredients listed will allow you to make up for not having rye flour and also provides the flavors that would come from using a sourdough starter. I found this recipe on ‘texaspuremilling.com’ if you are interested in seeing the original recipe. I have changed a few ingredients and made it sugar free.

Rye Bread
  • 1 Tbsp. dry active yeast
  • 2 cups warm water
  • 1/4 cup shortening or coconut oil (melted)
  • 1/2 cup dill pickle juice (one with garlic and no sugar)
  • 3 Tbsp. whole grain mustard
  • 1 tsp. onion powder
  • 1/4 cup date puree
  • 1 Tbsp. caraway seeds
  • 1/4 cup cocoa powder
  • 5-6 cups flour (can use white or whole wheat or both)

Combine yeast and water in mixing bowl and let sit to soften yeast for approx. 5 min. Mix together the rest of the ingredients except flour and cocoa powder. When yeast is ready add everything together starting with 5 cups of flour and adding more if needed. If kneading with mixer, knead 6-7 minutes until smooth. If kneading by hand double the time. Place the dough in lightly oiled bowl and let rise until doubled, (approx. 1 1/2 hrs.) and divide dough into two equal balls. I like to put one ball in a plastic bag and place in fridge for later use. Form ball into round loaf and place on parchment paper and cover with lightly oiled waxed paper and allow to rise approx. 1 hour.

When ready to bake place a cast iron or stone wear pan/pot in oven and pre heat to 400°F . Remove pan/pot and lift loaf with parchment and place in hot pan. Return to oven and bake for 30 min. Internal temp. should reach 190°F.

Almond Cupcakes

Amazingly Moist

ingredients ready to go
ready for oven
  • 3/4 cup coconut oil
  • 1 cup Date Puree
  • 4 eggs
  • 1/2 cup almond milk
  • 1 1/2 cup almond flour
  • 1/2 cup coconut flour
  • 1/4 tsp. salt
  • 2 tsp. baking powder

Preheat oven to 350°F. Grease cupcake tin or use silicone liners. Makes 24. In one bowl add all dry ingredients and mix together. In another bowl or measuring cup and using an emulsion blender, mix eggs, milk and date puree. Melt coconut oil and blend into wet ingredients. Add wet to dry and mix. Scoop into cupcake tin using 1/4 cup scoop. Bake for 30 minutes. Let cool and Enjoy.

These are also great with fresh fruit topped with whipped cream or coconut cream.

Dairy and Sugar Free Ice Cream

Coffee Ice Cream

Dairy and sugar free berry ice cream
  • 1/2 cup strong decaf. coffee
  • 1/2 tsp. coffee extract
  • 1/2 tsp. vanilla extract
  • 1/2 cup Date Puree
  • 1 can coconut cream

Berry Ice Cream

  • 3/4 cup of pureed berries (strawberries, blueberries, raspberries)
  • 1/2 tsp. vanilla extract (optional)
  • 1/2 cup Date Puree
  • 1 can coconut cream

Mix together using emulsion blender and pour into silicone molds. The best ones to use are long narrow popsicle shape. Freeze and Enjoy.