OT - Tone-up Tuesday
Happy Tuesday, STalkers! How goes it?
What do you do when you're craving sugar? Do you give in to your craving or do you have a satisfying substitute?
I am a chronic insomniac and caffeine does nothing for me when I’m tired, so I’ve developed a bad habit of using sugar to give me boosts of energy. It’s a habit I need to break, so I need some substitutes.
Prunes have a bad rep. They’re dried plums and naturally sweet. (Much tastier AND moister than raisins, IMO!). A serving of six is just 100 calories.
Try a naturally sweet or spicy tea, like hibiscus or chai. Did you know that Chocolate Tea is real?!
Make a Latte
Steep a chai tea bag in a cup of unsweetened almond milk. Heat the liquid slowly over low heat in a pan with a cinnamon stick and a few cardamom pods. Right before it boils, pour into a mug. Add stevia as needed for sweetness.
Grab some Berries
A cup of mixed berries is only 65 calories!
Try Sweet Veggies
They may not be the first things that come to mind when you want cookies, but sweet-tasting vegetables like sweet potatoes, butternut squash, and carrots are a great choice when you are craving something sugary. Their natural sweetness is concentrated if you roast them. Their nutrient density and high fiber content makes them a great choice to curb sweet cravings.
Make NICE Cream
Nice cream is homemade, soft serve ice cream that is (typically) made with a frozen banana. I want to try this recipe for Stress Relief Lavender Blueberry Nice Cream!
Mix Chocolate with Fruit
Melt one or two squares of 70-80% dark chocolate and drizzle over berries or banana slices.
Keep Healthy Desserts Handy
Peanut butter protein balls are packed with protein and healthy fats. They’re naturally sweet and a good To Go snack.
- Mix 1/2 cup peanut butter, 2/3 cup protein powder, and 3 tablespoons honey in a bowl.
- Roll the mixture into 1-inch balls.
- Roll them in unsweetened coconut or flax seeds, or a few dark chocolate chips.
- Put them on a plate, cover with foil, and place in the refrigerator to harden.
Make Cocoa from Scratch
Homemade cocoa allows you to control the sweetness and calories while still getting the health benefits found in other ingredients. Cocoa powder is high in flavonoids and milk contributes to your daily protein, vitamin D, and calcium needs.
Crack Open a Coconut
Coconut is rich in satiating fats and has a naturally sweet flavor. Try munching on unsweetened coconut chips or shreds or add coconut milk to your coffee.
Fire Up the Grill
Sprinkle pineapple wedges with cinnamon and clove and grill them! Serve warm or chilled with a dollop of low-fat vanilla Greek yogurt and some lime zest. Bonus: protein!
Head for the Freezer
There are quite a few low-calorie/low-sugar varieties of frozen treats on a stick. Some are chocolate covered!
Sprinkle on Cinnamon
Cinnamon has a natural sweetness and can help curb cravings. Bonus: cinnamon may help lower your fasting glucose levels. Sprinkle it on popcorn, oatmeal, in your coffee, or in yogurt and use as a fruit dip.
Say WHAT?? Yep. This recipe is supposed to be dense like a brownie.
Garbanzo Bean Cake
- Process 1 cup of semi-sweet chocolate chips, 4 eggs, 3/4 cup of sugar, and a 19-ounce can of garbanzo beans.
- Bake on 350°F in a 9-inch round cake.
- Cut the cake into pre-portioned slices, wrap individually, and keep in a sealable plastic freezer bag.
Make a Parfait
For a sweet treat that packs on the protein, top a plain zero or two percent Greek yogurt with a few dark chocolate chips, unsweetened coconut flakes, and almonds. Indulge yourself by layering some fruit in there.