Quick and Healthy Eats

Naturally sweet treats: delectable desserts without the added sugar

In my last post, I talked about doing a mini reset to get myself back on track with my health and fitness goals by cutting out all added sugar for at least 72 hours. This means I will only consume natural sugars found in fresh fruits and dairy products like milk, Greek yogurt, and cottage cheese so all processed food is off the table, no eating out, and no decadent dessert indulgences. If this sounds impossible or terrible to you, stick with me for a moment and hear me out while I explain what’s going on in this process and why resetting in this way is a helpful tool for success in reaching your health and fitness goals, as well as how it’s actually still possible to eat delicious dessert treats without eating junk that harms your body!

Here’s the thing about sugar. Our brains are hard-wired to love it. Sweet foods activate pleasure receptors and send out reward signals in the brain. That makes it especially easy to over indulge and to turn to sugary treats when we need a mental, physical, or emotional boost. Unfortunately, like any “drug” it’s easy to become addicted to, and over time we need more and more to get the same effect. That means the more refined, processed sugar you eat, the less ability you have to taste the sweetness of natural sugars and the more processed, refined sugar you have to eat to satisfy the craving! P.s. You may not think you’re getting much added sugar but I bet you’d be surprised by the results of a 3 day food journal to track exactly how many grams of sugar you’re consuming and where it’s coming from. If you’re interested in that exercise, leave me a comment or send me a message and we can talk about how to use food journaling to meet your health and fitness goals!

Okay, now let’s get down to business! The title promises you desserts without the added sugar. Here they are! Not one, not two, but three! different dessert ideas to satisfy your sweet tooth without added sugar!

3 ingredient brownie

What you’ll need

1 banana
2 tbsp raw almond butter
2 tbsp cocoa powder

What you’ll do with it

In a coffee cup, mash the banana and mix in the almond butter and cocoa powder. Microwave for 60-90 seconds depending on how “done” you want your brownie. No eggs means you could eat the batter raw if you wanted! I’ve always loved ooey-gooey desserts so I lean more toward just 60 seconds. This is a legit dessert! With both the flavor and texture of a freshly baked brownie you get your chocolate fix without sacrificing a thing!

Banana split smoothie

What you’ll need

1 frozen banana
1/2 cup frozen cherries
1/2 cup Orgain unsweetened vanilla almond milk
1/2 cup plain Greek yogurt
1 tbsp cocoa powder (or 2 tbsp if you want more chocolate flavor)

What you’ll do with it

Enjoy this classically delicious banana split goodness by using a blender to mix ingredients until blended into the smoothie consistency you prefer! I use our little magic bullet for this because it’s the perfect size and then I can drink the smoothie straight out of the cup! Although my 3 year old usually wants to “share” so he gets most of it. ๐Ÿ˜‚๐Ÿ‘ฆ๐Ÿผ๐Ÿ’™
He actually loves this so much he is often the one who requests a post-dinner smoothie and I can always say yes since I have no qualms about letting him sip this naturally sweet treat, even on a daily basis! Also! Great choice for your post-workout snack since both the almond milk and yogurt are excellent protein sources!

Fruit salad with cottage cheese

What you’ll need

Fresh fruit
Cottage cheese

What you’ll do with it

Wash, prepare, and chop whatever fruits you’ll be using. We just use whatever we have handy. Our last batch was strawberries, peaches, bananas, and kiwis. Our 11 month old was delighted by these choices so you know this was a good combo! ๐Ÿ‘ถ๐Ÿผ๐ŸŒ๐Ÿ“๐Ÿฅ๐Ÿ‘He has to enjoy the fruit salad without the cottage cheese because no dairy for him until he hits a year (in a month!?!?!! Stop growing!!!!) but he definitely doesn’t mind. Also, I saw a meme the other day calling fruit salad “nature’s skittles” which was A) for some reason totally hilarious to me and B) completely accurate. So, if you prefer it this way, go with just fruit salad. I like to add it to cottage cheese because my great grandmother used to make Ambrosia as a holiday dessert which is fruit salad with marshmallows and cane sugar and heavy cream and coconut. I love the flavor but I’m not about the sugar content and I discovered by happy accident that the fruit salad and cottage cheese combo has a similar flavor and consistency so it’s a healthy way to feel like I’m really indulging! Do be careful with your fruit intake though! It is still sugar! Go ahead and enjoy this delicious fruit salad but be aware that it contains a fair amount of natural sugar so just choose a reasonable portion and don’t go overboard.

There you go! Three different desserts ๐Ÿจ๐Ÿช๐Ÿง made with only naturally occurring sugars so you can still satisfy your sweet tooth without derailing your health and fitness goals! Maybe try doing the 3 days with me!? See how you feel after 72 hours of only natural sugar! Also, get creative in the kitchen and be sure to let me know about your favorite dessert recipes that don’t involve added sugars or artificial sweeteners!

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