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Easy & Essential Ways To Reduce Your Added Sugar Consumption

If you’re like me and love sugar, then eliminating it seems pretty much impossible. I will be honest, I’m your typical human and didn’t exactly succeed in eliminating sugar in total from my diet.  However, as long as you can keep sugar in moderation and know how to substitute it with something else, then that is a win in itself. Here are some tips I found work for me, and some recipes that taste almost better than the sugar-containing version:

Dietary Guidelines:

-limit 10 percent or less daily calorie intake (adults: 12 teaspoons per day or less)

-sugar is also found in protein bars, frozen foods, baby food, dried food

-Use: bananas, sweet potatoes or apples instead for natural sweeteners as well as water, milk, unsweetened tea, or sparkling water

Helpful tips to lower sugar consumption:

  • Use natural sugar, such as in fruit, to curb your cravings
  • Avoid fruit juice and soda
  • Drink water instead, likely you just need some water
  • Don’t go cold turkey, try one new small goal each week
  • Schedule & pack your own meals
  • Brush your teeth after dinner to avoid eating dessert or sugary cravings in the later evening

Products to be Conscious of Containing Sugar that You Would Not Suspect:

  • Milks
  • Yogurt
  • Orange juice
  • Granola bars
  • Chips
  • Bread
  • Tasty alcoholic drinks/shots (most hard alcohols don’t contain as much sugar or carbohydrates like gin, whiskey, rum or vodka)

Sugar Substitutes:

  • Applesauce for maple syrup
  • Cinnamon
  • Cranberries/fruit
  • Pancakes: replace sugar with ripe banana

Other Words “sugar” Goes By:

  • Cane
  • Syrup
  • Nectar
  • Words ending in “-ose” (sucrose, fructose, glucose, dextrose, galactose, lactose, maltose)
  • Agave
  • Fruit juice concentrate
  • Glazed
  • Honey-dipped
  • Sticky
  • BBQ
  • Brown sugars
  • Corn syrup (High fructose corn syrup)
  • Honey
  • Maple syrup
  • Molasses
  • Evaporated cane juice
  • Muscovado
  • Sucanat
  • Brown rice syrup
  • Malt syrup
  • Barley malt
  • Maltodextrin

 

Recipes:

1. Sugar Free Granola: Serves 6

Ingredients:

-2 cups oats, dry

-1/4 cup almonds, sliced

-1/4 cup cashews

-1/4 cup sesame seeds

-1 Tablespoon cinnamon

-1/2 teaspoon salt

-3 large egg whites

Instructions:

-Preheat oven to 225F

-In large bowl, combine oats, nuts, seeds, cinnamon and salt

-In a mixing bowl, beat egg whites until soft peaks form. Fold egg whites into dry oat mixtures. Stir gently until dry mixture is coated.

-Turn oat and egg white mixture onto a cookie sheet (lined with parchment paper or a silpat liner)

-Bake in pre-heated over for 60 minutes, stirring every twenty minutes.

-Store in airtight container for 1-2 weeks

 

2. Homemade Sugar-Free Ketchup:

Ingredients:

-12 oz. tomato paste

-4 Tablespoon apple cider vinegar

-1 Tablespoon mustard

-1/4 cup + 2 Tablespoons water

-1/2 teaspoon salt

-1/2 teaspoon cinnamon

-1/8 teaspoon cloves

-1/4 teaspoon garlic powder

Instructions:

-Combine all ingredients and whisk until combined. You may wish to blend in order to ensure the spices are evenly mixed throughout.

-It is best to let the ketchup sit together in the fridge for a couple of hours, or overnight, before serving so that the flavors blend together well.

-Store in airtight container in fridge

 

3. Spring Pea Risotto: serves 4-6

​Ingredients:

-4 pieces bacon or pancetta

-1/2 yellow onion

-2 cups Arborio rice

-4 cups chicken stock

-1 cup frozon peas

-zest of 1 lemon

-salt and pepper to taste

​Instructions:

-Cut bacon into small bite-sized pieces. Add to a large, deep, skillet and cook until crispy. Remove from pan to cool

-Drain most of the bacon grease, leaving about 1 Tablespoon in the pan. Add diced onions and cook on low heat until translucent.

-Turn heat to medium and add uncooked rice to the pan. Stir to coat in bacon grease.

-Add ¼ cup chicken stock, reduce heat to low and stir while rice absorbs the liquid. Once it’s absorbed, add another ¼ cup and repeat until all liquid is gone and rice is tender. (should take about 20 minutes)

-Once rice is tender, add frozen peas, lemon zest and bacon. Stir to incorporate, season with salt and pepper to taste and serve warm.

 

4. Quinoa Fried Rice: serves 4

​Ingredients:

-1 cup uncooked quinoa

-2 cups water

-2 Tablespoons sesame oil, divided

-2 eggs, beaten

-1 yellow onion, diced

-2 cloves garlic, minced

-2 medium carrots, peeled and diced

-1/2 cup frozen peas

-2 Tablespoons soy sauce

-2 teaspoons Sriracha

-2 green onions, thinly sliced

​Instructions:

-Add quinoa and water to a saucepan, then bring to a boil. Reduce heat to low, cover and simmer for about 15 minutes or until the liquid is absorbed. Remove from heat and let sit, covered for 5 minutes.

-Heat 1 tablespoon of sesame oil in a large frying pan set over medium heat. Add the eggs and scramble constantly until cooked through. Transfer eggs to a separate plate.

-Heat remaining tablespoon of sesame oil in frying pan. Add onion, garlic, carrots and peas and cook for 5 minutes until softened.

-Add the cooked quinoa, soy sauce and Sriracha. Stir-fry mixture for about 2 minutes.

-Add the eggs back to the pan and stir until combined. Sprinkle with green onions and serve.

 

5. Low Carb Sugar Free Strawberry Jelly: 16 servings (1 tablespoon each)

​Ingredients:

-8 oz. diced strawberries

-1/4 cup Sukrin (or Swerve Granulated)

-1/4 cup water

-1 Tablespoon lemon juice

-3/4 teaspoon Knox Gelatin powder

​Instructions:

-Sprinkle the gelatin over the lemon juice

-In a small sauce pan over medium heat, combine the strawberries, Sukrin and water. Stir to combine. Bring the strawberries up to simmer then turn the heat to low and simmer for 20 minutes.

-Break up the gelatin and stir into the strawberries to melt. Turn off the heat and adjust asweetness. Let cool.

-Spoon the strawberries jelly into a clean jar, cover and refridgerate. Use in 7-10 days.

 

6. Sugar-free Lemon Drizzle Cake:

​Ingredients:

-1 cup self-raising flour, sifted

-1/2 teaspoon baking powder

-1/2 cup xylitol

-2 lemon, zest only

-2 large eggs, at room temperature

-125ml sunflower oil

-1 Tablespoon milk

-200g 0% fat Greek yogurt

Drizzle:

-1 lemon, juice only

-50g xylitol

Instructions:

-Preheat the oven to 180C. Grease and line a 1.2 liter loaf tin with baking parchment. Mix together in a separate bowl or jug and stir them into the flour mixture.

-Mix the eggs, sunflower oil, milk and yogurt together in a separate bowl or jug and stir them into the flour mixture.

-Spoon into the tin and smooth the surface. Transfer to the oven immediately, bake on the middle shelf of the oven for 1 hour-1 hour and 10 minutes. Check after 50 minutes, if the cake is becoming too dark, cover toosely with foil.

-Just before the end of cooking time, make the drizzle by heating the lemon juice and xylitol. Stir over a low heat until the xylitol has dissolved. Once the cake is cooked, take it out of the over and pour over the drizzle.

-Cool in the tin before turning it out

 

7. Sugar-free Granola Bars (low carb, Gluten-free):

Ingredients: 12 granola bars

-2 cups almonds

-1/2 cup Pumpkin seeds

-1/3 cup Coconut flakes

-2 Tablespoon Hemp seeds

-1/4 cup Sukrin Fiber syrup clear

-1 Tablespoon butter

-1 Tablespoon Sukrin meis

-2 teaspoons vanilla extract

-1/2 teaspoon sea salt

-2 medium vanilla beans

​Instructions:

-line a 8×8 inch baking pan with parchment paper

-In a large bowl, stir together the almonds, pumpkin seeds, coconut flakes, and hemp seeds. Set aside

-In a small saucepan, combine the Sukrin Fiber Syrup, butter, vanilla extract, sea salt (if using), and seeds scraped from the vanilla beans. Bring to a boil, then simmer for 2-4 minutes, until the sauce thickens and turns golden. At the end, before removing from heat, add the powdered erythritol and stir well. Remove from heat when the sweetener dissolves.

-Pour the vanilla sauce over the nut mixture and quickly stir until everytning is well coated. The sauce thickens almost immediately, so mix it really fast! If it hardens before you’ve had the change to mix well, you can heat the entire bowl until the sauce is viscous enough to mix.

-Transfer the mixture to a lined baking dish and press firmly to create a smoth top, Use a large, flat spatula to create an even flat surface.

-Cool completely on the counter. When fully cooled, gently lift the parchment out of the pan and transfer on top of a cutting board. Use a sharp chef’s knife to cut into bars using a firm download motion (don’t see-saw back and forth).

-Carefully move the bars to a cookie rack. (They may be fragile; if any pieces fall apart, you can press them back together) Let sit for at least a few more hours on the cookies rack to firm up more.

 

8. Peanut Broccoli and Pork Stir-Fry:

​Ingredients:

-8 oz. lean pork chops

-1 Tablespoon sesame oil

-1 large head of broccoli, chopped

-1/2 cup diced green onions

-1/3 cup peanuts

-1 Tablespoon black sesame seeds

Peanut Sauce:

-1/4 cup peanut butter powder

-2 Tablespoon sesame oil

-2 Tablespoons rice vinegar

-1 Tablespoon low-sodium soy sauce

-1 Tablespoon water

​Instructions:

-Dice pork chops. Heat sesame oil in fry pan. Cook pork until cooked through-about 8 minutes.

-Add the broccoli and 2 Tablespoons water and cook for about 2 minutes.

-Whisk together all ingredients for peanut sauce.

-Toss together pork, broccoli, peanut sauce and remaining ingredients. Serve immediately or store well in fridge for a few days.

 

9. Cinnamon Sweet Potato Truffles: serves 6+

Ingredients:

-3 cups sweet potato (1 very large or 3 small), baked

-1 cup raw almonds

-1 cup dates, pitted

-3/4 cup rolled oats, gluten free

-1 Tablespoon organic coconut oil

-1 teaspoon ground cinnamon

-1 teaspoon vanilla extract

-pinch of salt

Garnish:

-Pumpkin seeds

-goji berries

-Sesame seeds

-raw cocoa powder

​Instructions:

-Wash sweet potatoes (skin on or off)

-Bake sweet potatotes 350F for 30-40 minutes, continually checking by sticking a snife in the middle, they are done when natural sugars start to caramelize on the outside.

-Allow sweet potatoes to cool at room temperature.

-Add all ingredients into a high speed blender or food processor until the mixture is smooth and brought together, similar to a dough.

-Divide the mixture into 6 large portions or you may roll these into 24 smaller ball truffles.

-Roll each divided portion into a ball in the palm of your hands packing to form a ball, note these will be soft.

-Chill in the freezer for about 10-15 minutes until cool.

Garnish:

-Roll each truffle, one at a time, in any garnish you like (goji berries, raisin, sesame seeds, pumpkin seeds, sunflower seeds, raw cocoa powder, coconut , etc)

 -One at a time, roll each truffle to coat completely.

 -Set on parchment paper (not touching any other truffle)

 -Chill for about 20 minutes or until chocolate coating is hardened.

 -Serve while still cool to ensure the chocolate coating is till hard.

 -Keep in an air tight container and store in the refrigerator until serving.

 

10. Apple Pumpkin Yogurt Parfait: serves 12

​Ingredients:

-2 cans pumpkin puree (15 oz each)

-2 large apples, peeled, cored and chopped

-2 teaspoons Frontier organic cinnamon

-1/2 teaspoon Frontier organic Nutmeg

-2 teaspoon Frontier organic vanilla extract

-2 Tablespoons So Delicious Almond Milk

-1/4 cup stevia

-32 oz. So Delicious Dairy-free Greek Plain Yogurt

-1 ¾ cup gluten-free granola like KIND

​Instructions:

-Place apples in food processor, pulse until smooth. Transfer to a large bowl. Add pumpkin, cinnamon, nutmeg, vanilla, almond milk and stevia; mix well to combine.

-Layer pumpkin mixture and yogurt into 12 glasses

-Sprinkle with granola and serve.

I'm a Dietetics student at UW-Stout! My passions are health & nutrition, music, movies, sports, eco-friendly living, and being around fun-loving people.
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