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Dessert inspiration: added sugar-free recipes

You have finished your evening meal and have a hankering for a little something extra. The problem is, tucking into a typical dessert can mean a heap of added sugar.

Doing this every day, for several reasons, is not ideal.

One. We are all becoming too aware of the problems for consuming excessive amounts of added and free sugars. With the recommended daily limit being 6 teaspoons (25g), we can easily meet that throughout the day before we even get to dessert!

Two. A hit of the sweet stuff after lunch will leave you with a post-sugar slump; dessert after dinner will load your body with the energy you simply won’t use when you head to bed, while also impacting the quality of sleep and possibly being stored as fat. 

Three. There could be other factors driving your post-meal desire, such as habits or culture. Habitual, yearnings for something sweet after a savoury meal (not driven by any actual need for it, no matter what your shoulder sugar devil may be saying!), is not helpful. Culturally, many of us have also made dessert-ing an everyday ritual. Occasionally, say for a fancy meal out or celebrating a birthday, tucking into a bowl of something sugar-laden is fine. But every day? Probably not.

However, we can enjoy a dessert while nurturing our body at the same time. If you are to have something, or wish to change the way you or others around you think about post-meal pudding, check out what our recipe contributor, Victoria, has to say about re-framing dessert, and try these sugar-free recipes below!

Nice-cream
Get some frozen banana (pre-peeled and chopped into sections) into a blender or food processor and blend until you end up with creamy looking soft-serve. We recommend experimenting with flavours by blending in (or adding on top at the end) berries, a scoop of 100% nut butter, plain coconut or Greek yoghurt, or a sprinkle of cacao or cinnamon.

Roasted plum soft serve
Two ingredients (plus a little vanilla) make this a quick, yet healthy, dessert. Yum! 

Get the recipe here.

Apple crumble
Our take on a classic that is gluten-free and without added sugar, but doesn’t lack in flavour (we promise!).

Get the recipe here.

Cheese and 100% seed cracker
Go savoury with a few slices or smears of your favourite cheese, dairy, cashew or otherwise, atop a 100% seed cracker (made at home, or added sugar-free if store-bought) can be deeply satisfying. 

Cup of hot cacao
Sipping a creamy and comforting drink can feel like a big hug. 

Get the recipe here.

Generally, when it comes to dessert, here are some things to keep in mind:

  • Choose to eat real, whole foods whenever possible, including for dessert-style meals. 
  • Try not to eat too late at night. This is no good for digestion, sleep quality or metabolism. 
  • Be mindful of the portions consumed at the main meal.
  • Consider making evening desserts an occasional, not every night, thing. Or if you really enjoy a little something after each evening meal, don’t have a massive helping.
  • When having dessert, eat it mindfully, savouring and enjoying every mouthful, ideally not distracted by a screen.

Finally, if you end up having something super sugary, lose the guilts. Enjoy the dessert for what it is and choose something nourishing at your next meal.

By Angela Johnson (BHSc Nut. Med)

 

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