We all know that refined sugar isn’t the best thing we can feed our bodies. From spiking our blood sugar, causing inflammation and disrupting a healthy gut microbiome, refined sugars, whether that is in the form of white flour or white sugar, is a highly processed ingredient that can easily be found in many beloved foods that we turn to for a well-deserved treat or much needed comfort.
Cakes, bread, pastries, and essentially every dessert contains sugar and or flour. With our health in mind, know that you don’t have to completely forgo sweets. Try these healthier swaps for foods that contain refined sugar and flour.
Swap ice cream for bananas
Bananas are arguably the health world’s most beloved not-so-secret ingredient when it comes to healthier desserts. Bananas have the magical quality of making anything creamier and sweeter without the use of refined sugar or any dairy product.
Ice-cream is a favorite among many. Unfortunately, though, the mix of sugar and dairy doesn’t sit well with most people especially when you indulge in it frequently.
Instead, try this healthier sweet-swap for ice cream, using bananas as your base!
Simple Mint Chocolate Chip Ice Cream
- 4 large bananas, sliced and frozen
- ½ teaspoon mint extract
- ¼ cup unsweetened chocolate chips
- Blend together frozen bananas and mint extract until creamy and smooth.
- Transfer mixture into a freezer-safe container.
- Fold in chocolate chips
- Serve immediately or store in the freezer.
Swap white flour for buckwheat flour
Refined white flour is the standard when it comes to baking homemade cakes and pastries. If you’re avoiding empty sugary calories or you’re allergic to gluten, you can opt for buckwheat flour instead to enjoy yourself some homemade pastries.
Buckwheat flour is an ideal flour replacement for sweets such as pancakes and cookies. It’s gluten-free and full of fiber, giving you an excellent option to enjoy sweets without spiking your blood sugar as much as a refined flour counterpart would. Buckwheat flour is easy to work with, is mild in flavor, and can be used the same way you would white flour.
Try this simple vanilla chia seed cookie that will help satisfy your sweet tooth and show you just how easy it is to work with buckwheat flour in place of white flour.
Vanilla Chia Cookies
- 1 cup buckwheat flour
- 1 cup almond flour
- 4 tablespoons maple syrup
- 5 medjool dates, pitted
- 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
- 3 tablespoons of chia seeds
- 2 tablespoons of coconut oil
- Preheat your oven to 180 degrees Celsius, fan on.
- In a food processor or blender, mix together all your ingredients until well incorporated.
- Roll about a tablespoon worth of cookie dough into a ball, then flatten it down into a cookie circle onto a baking sheet.
- Bake your cookies for 25-30 minutes or until slightly golden and leave to cool.
Swap creamy fillings for nut and seed butter
The combination of cream and sugar is one of the most surefire ways to make a dessert truly indulgent and leave people wanting more. Custards, clotted cream, whipped cream, cream cheese etc. all feature sugar and form of dairy.
You can still enjoy these types of desserts but swapping cream for nut butters and sugar for natural sugars. You get all the richness and sweetness but with the added benefits of plant nutrition in a dessert with a lower glycemic index than a conventional sugary counterpart.
To see just how rich nut butters and natural sugars can make a dessert, try these simple almond butter slices which taste like a truly indulgent dessert without the guilt.
Almond butter squares
- 1 cup almond meal
- 10 pitted medjool dates
- 2 tablespoons of creamy almond butter
- 3 tablespoons coconut oil, melted
- 4 oz tahini or any choice of nut or seed butter
- Pinch of sea salt
- 5 tablespoons Greek yogurt
- 4 tablespoons cacao powder
- 1 tablespoon maple syrup
- Line a baking dish with wax paper.
- Blend together base layer ingredients until sticky and well incorporated.
- Spread the mixture evenly into the baking dish.
- Mix together the filling ingredients until well incorporated and spread on top of the base layer.
- Mix together the topping ingredients until well incorporated.
- Place the topping over the filling.
- Put your almond squares in the fridge for at least 2 hours or when it has firmed up before serving.
For those who are or aren’t conscious of their sugar intake, make any sugary treat a little more guilt-free by taking Ceylon Cinnamon. These organic cinnamon capsules help keep blood sugar levels stable and help your body metabolize sugar more efficiently!