Gowri Chandra
September 20, 2016 4:40 pm
glutenfree_sugarfree / www.instagram.com

Sometimes, eating sugar got us like Jessie Spano on caffeine pills.

The struggle is real.

The next time you’re in that 4 o’clock sugar binge and you decide you don’t want to feed the cookie monster, here are six no-sweetener-added alternatives. Note that these items aren’t necessarily desserts – because sometimes, a salad can offset a sugar craving. Yup, it’s counterintuitive, but perhaps just what the doctor ordered.

Don’t worry though, we’ve got some sweet stuff for you on this list, too. Not that you need it – you’re sweet enough as it is. 😉

1. All-Day Glow Green Smoothie

There’s something about consuming greens that resets our system to crave healthier foods. This smoothie does the trick – it combines lettuce (yes, really), parsley, coconut water, and mango – among other things – and is utterly refreshing. It’s also lightly sweet.

Gone are the boring old days of banana, strawberries, and soy milk smoothies (no offense, bananas, strawberries, or soy milk. We love you!). Now make this recipe, STAT!

2. Dates + Almond Butter

Okay, seriously, we could eat these all day. Never a simpler recipe there was, and they’re just what they look like: a dried date stuffed with a generous dollop of almond butter (preferably raw almond butter).

Dried fruits are great because they provide fiber and sweetness, which helps to mitigate the rapid blood sugar spike that consuming just sugar by itself causes (even if it’s “natural” sugar like fruit juice).

So, eat these nature’s candies, and go run that marathon! Because you might feel so inspired afterwards. Oh – and if you want an extra kick, sprinkle cinnamon, dried coconut, or even goji berries on top. The possibilities = endless.

3. Buffalo Hummus + Veggies

When you’re in the spinning black hole of a sugar craving, sometimes you need to do the opposite of what you feel. In these trying times, eating something heavy and grounding can help.

Cue this plant-based buffalo hummus, which we’re totally noshing on right now. (Though the recipe is vegan, it’s pictured above garnished with cheese, which you can add in if you like.) It’s not sweet in the least, but it is satisfying. Instead of making that 4 p.m. cookie + Starbucks run every day at work (yeah, we’ve been there), try switching your sweet to savory and snacking on this instead.

“I totally regret eating that hummus,” SAID NO ONE EVER. What are you waiting for?

4. Sweet Potato Toast with Almond Butter + Banana

Have you caught the sweet smelling wind of this trend yet? Sliced, baked sweet potatoes are the hottest paleo poster child RN.

We’re not knocking it until we’ve tried it. It looks really good.

No recipe here! Just slice up your orange beauties and pop them into the oven for twenty minutes at 400 degrees (Fahrenheit). Put copious amounts of almond butter and sliced bananas on top. Inhale.

5. Roasted Butternut Squash Smoothie

Roasted butternut squash? In a smoothie? Heck to the yeah!

We’re convinced this recipe is the new pumpkin spice latte, smoothie-fied. It includes butternut squash, banana, almond milk, cinnamon, and lots of other yummy things. The only thing it doesn’t have? Sweetener. All the sweetness comes from the butternut squash, and its sugars become extra gooey and caramelized when you roast it.

It’s autumn in a glass.

(And, if you’re wondering, it doesn’t taste gritty. Just make sure you roast your butternut squash enough and add enough almond milk so it can blend up well! Enjoy!)

6. Raw Chocolate Pudding with No Added Sugar

How can you talk about ways to kick sugar without including a chocolate recipe? You just can’t.

We’ve made this recipe, and we can tell you: It’s awesome. There’s no added sugar or stevia or agave, simply bananas (make sure they’re really ripe with brown spots!) to provide sweetness.

It’s no-bake, and takes just minutes to whip up in a blender. Put it in a mason jar and bring it to work for a snack to make your co-workers jelly.

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