>> Thursday, December 5, 2013
You know all about my previous and present struggles with sugar (and so-called detoxes). For me, completely cutting it out (a suggestion I've received many times) just isn't an option. I fail. So, I've slowly developed a taste for less sweet treats that are intended more for fueling my body than spiking my glucose levels.
I still eat traditional desserts -- and often -- but if I keep what we have at home in check, I'm in a better place. Take these energy chunks, for example.
// TIP 4: Learn to Love Alternatives
At the start of each week, I like to make up a batch of homemade energy bars or chunks or some other healthed-up snack/dessert option. I make enough for the entire week so I'm not tempted to get out all my baking gear out of desperation on, say, a Wednesday night. That way, if I'm craving something chocolate-ly, and I always have that craving, I have a (healthy) option already on hand.
What I make changes from week to week, but I love playing with this basic Chocolate-Peanut Butter recipe for energy chunks and then modifying it for whatever ingredients I have in my pantry.
CHOCOLATE ALMOND BUTTER ENERGY CHUNKS
What you'll need . . .
- 1 cup steel cut oats
- 1/2 cup walnuts
- 1/3 cup unsweetened coconut flakes
- 1/2 cup natural almond butter
- 1/4 cup maple syrup
- 1/4 cup cocoa powder
- Put all ingredients in a food processor and pulse until blended, but still chunky.
- Add more almond butter if batter is too stiff.
- Drop heaping tablespoonfuls onto a cookie sheet lined with parchment paper.
- Keep in an airtight container in your fridge.
From a purely caloric standpoint, you might not be saving much here. But if your main goal is to feel great, have more stable blood sugar, and consume simple foods (good goal, btw!), making alternative treats is in your favor. You can get the healthy fats, etc. you need, all while feeling satisfied + avoiding the brain fog associated with eating too much pure sugar.
Here are some more ideas:
- Cookie Dough Balls*
- Double-Chocolate Granola-ish Bars
- Nutella Balls
- Cocoa-Hazelnut Energy Chunks
- Maple-Walnut Energy Chunks
- Marathon Chunks
- Chocolate-PB Energy Chunk
- Cacao Energy Chunk
- Runner's World Energy Bars
- Choc-PPB Energy BARS
And don't underestimate the power of adding things INTO a recipe versus taking them away. You can toss in flax meal, nuts, dried fruit, oats, or a number of other good ingredients to make a treat more wholesome.
At very least, you can make small batches in a pinch:
- Half Dozen Chocolate Chippers
- Half Dozen Brownie Cookies
- Half Dozen Peanut Butter Cookies
- Half Dozen GF Chocolate Chippers
- Half Dozen Chocolate + Peanut Butter Cookies
How do you make treats healthier? What's your favorite recipe?
(If you're catching up, check out tip #1: stock up on frozen veggies + tip #2: buy greens and actually USE them + tip #3: create simple, go-to meals.)
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