Using natural ingredients to satisfy your sweet tooth

July 16, 2012

Food, Health, Nutrition, Recipes

Whole-food and natural sugar alternatives can lessen the guilt of eating sweets, while providing you with more nutritious ingredients.

by Stan Kalson — 

Our endless sweet-tooth cravings demand satisfaction. Often, we abandon our guilt about all the calories because this is the season to let go and enjoy. Whole-food and sugar alternatives can lessen the guilt of eating sweets, while providing you with more nutritious ingredients. You can substitute low glycemic sweeteners, such as stevia or xylitol, or honey for white sugar. These sweeteners will not spike your blood sugar like conventional sweeteners. Have fun experimenting with these ingredients, instead of using refined white sugar in your recipes.

Here are a few recipes to try:

Natural Fruit Cake

Ingredients:

  • 1/2 cup dried pineapple, cut up
  • 1/2 cup pitted dates, cut up
  • 1-1/4 cups, diced dried apples
  • 1/2 cup dried apricot halves, cut in quarters
  • 1/2 cup dried cherries
  • 1 cup walnut halves
  • 3/4 cup whole-wheat flour
  • 1/2 teaspoon baking powder
  • 1/4 teaspoon salt
  • 3 eggs
  • 1/4 cup honey
  • 1/2 cup molasses
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract

Instructions:

Preheat oven to 300 F. Combine dried fruit and nuts. Combine flour, baking powder and salt, and add to dried fruit mixture. Stir well. Beat eggs; add honey, molasses and vanilla. Add to fruit mixture and stir until all ingredients are well moistened. Spoon into a well-greased 6-cup tub or ring mold. Bake for one hour. Cool in pan for 10 minutes, then turn onto rack and cool completely. Makes one large ring.

Note: Fruitcake can be baked in a variety of pans, ranging from small muffin tins (baking time will be about 30 minutes) to an 8-inch loaf pan or square. To determine if cake is done, insert a toothpick; when it comes out clean, take the cake out of the oven.

Jellied Holiday Salad

Ingredients:

  • 4 packages plain gelatin
  • 1 large organic carrot, grated
  • 1 15-1/4 oz. can crushed pineapple in its own juice
  • 2 apples cut into bite-size pieces
  • 6 cups organic, unsweetened apple juice

Instructions:

Dissolve gelatin in one cup of apple juice over a low flame. When the crystals are dissolved, remove from heat. In a large bowl, combine grated carrot, pineapple with juice, apples and remaining apple juice. Stir in gelatin mixture and pour into a lightly oiled decorative gelatin mold. Refrigerate until set. Serve with yogurt.

Refrigerator Chocolate Fudge

Ingredients:

  • 1 cup cocoa powder (containing 70% or more cocoa solids)
  • 2 tablespoons whey powder
  • 1/2 cup raw honey
  • 1/2 cup coconut oil
  • 1/2 cup chopped walnuts, almonds, etc.
  • 1/2 teaspoon vanilla
  • Pinch of sea salt

Instructions:

Cream coconut oil, honey, vanilla and salt until smooth. Add remainder of ingredients. Press into a flat pan. Chill to harden. Cut in squares.

Healthy Heavenly Cake (Dairy-, egg- and oil-free)

Ingredients:

  • 1-1/2 cups whole-wheat flour
  • 1 teaspoon baking powder
  • 1/2 teaspoon baking soda
  • 1/4 teaspoon salt
  • 1/4 cup chopped walnuts
  • 1/4 cup raisins
  • 1 cup orange juice
  • 1/2 cup tahini
  • 1/4 cup honey

Instructions:

Preheat oven to 350 F. Combine flour, baking powder, baking soda, salt, walnuts and raisins in large mixing bowl. In a separate bowl, beat orange juice gradually into tahini, then beat in honey. Stir tahini mixture into dry mixture until thoroughly moistened. Spread batter in an oiled and floured 8- or 9-inch square pan. Bake for about 25 minutes until lightly browned on top, and cake tests done. Cool in the pan and serve warm with fruit butter or warm applesauce spooned over each piece.

 

Stan Kalson, founder and director of the International Holistic Center, Inc., has been active in the Greater Phoenix holistic community for 30 years. www.holisticresources.org. 602-287-0605.

Reprinted from AzNetNews, Volume 26, Number 6, December 2007/January 2008.

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