Don’t worry, you can still devour some sweet treats. We’ve got your back

Image: So you’re giving up refined sugar?

Via: Lisa Linder

Sugar. It’s kind of a love-hate relationship. 

 

We love how it seems to perk us up from the 3pm slump, if only temporarily. How it sweetens cakes and biscuits, and how it makes the medicine go down – in a most delightful way.

 

But of course we know, deep down, that shovelling 3 tsp into a cup of tea isn’t great for our health.  According to NHS guidelines, added sugars shouldn’t make up more than 5 per cent of our calorie intake each day – that’s around 30g, or 6 tsp, for an average adult. And the government is even planning a ‘sugar tax’ on some fizzy drinks, due to be introduced in April 2018.

 

To cut down on refined and added sugars, try skipping the granules from hot drinks and, where possible, cook meals from scratch so you can control exactly what goes in. Natural sources of sugar, like fruit, provide more nutrients and a slower release of energy.

 

Trendy ingredients like cacao, which is less processed than cocoa, can also infuse recipes with a chocolatey flavour. Getting a healthier sweet fix should make you less likely to scoff a whole packet of choc-chip cookies in desperation. So, if sweetness is your weakness, try these alternative treats.

 

Pear and parsnip cake

When you think about it, parsnips do have a natural sweetness. Why didn’t we think about putting them in a cake before?

 

Banana and date flapjacks

These flapjacks are infused with the sticky, caramel sweetness of medjool dates and banana.

Chocolate orange porridge

Chocolate for breakfast? When we're talking about porridge made with raw cacao powder, you absolutely can. And look at all that fruit – how good are you?

 

Blackberry, hazelnut and spelt cake bites

The sweetness in these tasty bites comes from the fresh and dried fruit and a drizzle of honey.

 

Pristine Black Forest parfait

When healthier sweet treats are this pretty, who needs the sugar bowl?

 

Blueberry burst smoothie

A peppy blend of beetroot, green tea and ginger, this should perk up even your groggiest mornings.

 

Blueberry lemon mousse cake

Getting its lilac hue from blueberries and decorated with geranium flowers, there's nothing fake about this cake's beauty.

 

Spiced apple thins

Just apples and cinnamon make this simple snack – perfect to keep sweet cravings at bay.