Sugar is in everything from store bought and homemade snacks to ketchup and salad dressings. It is hard to get away from it. The mere mention of the word dessert has images of sugar dancing in children’s heads! When looking for sugar-free desserts to serve your family, where do you start?
Sugar itself is not bad for us. We in fact need a certain amount of sugar in our diet as it is a carbohydrate the body does use. Sugars have different names because of their chemical structure but in your body most of the sugar that you eat will eventually be broken down into glucose and glucose is the sugar your body uses for energy.
The issue arises when kids are eating too much processed foods or candy that is high in refined sugars. It is everywhere from the play date snack to the school fundraisers and it can be difficult to get your kids to pass on the sugary treats being offered. The idea is to make sure the sugar that is being consumed is naturally occurring, such as that found in fruits, and that the sugary food being consumed has other nutritional value. A lollipop is all sugar and definitely on the evil sugar list, but a bowl of grapes with naturally occurring sugar may have more sugar than the lollipop, but it also contains many beneficial vitamins and nutrients.
While there are no formal added sugar limits, the World Health Organization recommends less than 10 percent of your calories should come from added sugar.
There are changes you can make to reduce the amount of added sugar such as baking kids school snacks and granola cookies, breakfasts and dessert breads to ensure you control the sugar amount. Or look for sugar free recipes that use substitutes like honey, apple sauce or real maple syrup and try adding less than is recommended to keep sugar content low.
I recently found a few good sugar free recipes that use honey, bananas and apples on Best of This Life.com the owner Emily Smith gave me permission to share. The photos are stunning and the ingredients also happen to be gluten free and full of healthy alternatives to adding sugar. Thank you for sharing these, dessert just got a whole lot healthier here!
Raspberry Lemon Muffins
Using loads of frozen raspberries, unsweetened almond milk and applesauce, these lemon muffins taste just as good as they look. Full recipe and more photos can be seen here.
Gluten Free Banana Nut Muffins
With only 10 ingredients and the natural sweetness of bananas, these gluten free Banana Nut muffins taste just a yummy as they look. Full recipe and photos can be found here.
Baked Cinnamon Apples
With the aroma of baked apples and cinnamon, get ready for a dessert to crave more of. These Baked Cinnamon Apples are easy to make and satisfy that sweet tooth with no sugar added. Find the complete recipe here.
Healthy Grain-Free Energy Bars
Almonds, dates and natural peanut butter give these granola bars a rich chewy taste and a little bit of honey adds the sweetness you want in a dessert. Rich in nutrients, find the full recipe here.
No-Bake healthy Chocolate Coconut Cookies
A few ingredients in a food processor, rolled into bite size balls and viola, healthy sugar free dessert that tastes like chocolate! Get all the healthy instructions here.