I love my man. I really do. But I hate him for bringing tempting, heavenly delish sweets at home: champagne truffles, strawberry cheesecake ice-cream, rich brownies…mmm…Dream on, dreamer… He says that he would never stop doing it as he adores seeing my happy face in the company of sweet treats. But he hardly sees my angry face when I try to fit into my skinny jeans after all that sugar is already into my system, and onto my hips. Not that he puts a gun to my head and forces me to eat, but, come on, I am a girls and tempting a girl to eat something sweet is not rocket science.
Make no mistake, I truly enjoy sweets. And yet, exactly this is the problem. In order to fight my temptations I have found small healthy treats that would help me start avoiding sugar and hopefully even quit it for good one day. Here are my top 5 most effective healthy snacks:
1. Kale Chips
Kale is the latest superfood. Everybody eats, buys and recommends it. Kale is highly nourishing veggie that can be used in so many creative ways: to add it into green smoothies, juices, salads, soups and even as a healthy topping for pizzas. My favorite form of eating kale, however, is kale chips. It’s crispy, flavorful and highly nutrient. Believe me, 150 grams of kale chips definitely would make you forget about eating sugar. It is a wonderful snack for all of us who are very often tempted to eat something sweet right after dinner or for those who have the habit of snacking while watching favourite series. You can either buy already packed, ready to eat kale chips or you could make it yourself. Here is my recipe for kale chips light as air.
Homemade kale chips
A bunch of kale (Lacinato or Dino kale would be ideal; however the prevalent curly kale works as well)
A bit of Himalayan salt
1 Tbs. extra virgin olive oil
Directions: Select the best leafs, give them a good rinse, wipe dry them and finally strip them off the stem (stems could be very bitter and unpleasant). Place the kale into a large bowl, drizzle them with extra virgin olive oil and make an extra effort to mix them very well in order to make sure that every single bit of every leaf gets coated. Place the leaves on a pan covered with baking/cooking sheet and sprinkle with a bit of Himalayan salt. Instead of frying, as usually crisps are made, I bake the kale chips in 140-150 degrees C (fan). Depending on the type of kale that you have selected the leaves have to be cooked approximately 8 to 12 minutes. Lacinato kale gets crisp in about 8 minutes, while curly kale takes more like 11 minutes.
Tip: check it early as kale burns quickly!
2. Raw Nuts
Raw nuts are the perfect nutritious, quick snack that you can find everywhere and you can always carry with you. With healthy fats, fiber, plant sterols and many rare vitamins and minerals, nuts, especially their raw version, pack a powerful nutritional punch, all wrapped up in a tiny bite-sized package. Only four spoons of nuts curb your cravings for sugar. The best results come when you mix nuts with a small amount of raisins.
3. Dates covered with dark organic vegan chocolate
Dates are the perfect alternative to sugary sweets. They are highly sweet in their own right and you need only one or two to be satiated and contented with a totally satisfying sensation of sweetness. This version is extraordinarily delicious and in the same time healthy as it combines all the antioxidants, vitamins and minerals that dates and chocolate contain. Honestly, I am addicted to these chocolate dates. They literally save me every time I am standing on the edge of my willpower, being dangerously close to eating a piece of chocolate. My recipe is very simple and heavenly good:
Times of Arabia
20 raw almond nuts
190 - 200 gr dark vegan chocolate
1 Tbs. coconut oil
A few drops of vanilla extract
Directions: Place the almonds in a heated pan for 2-3 min so they could obtain a rich smoky taste. Put the coconut oil in a soucepan. When the oil is melted, yet not boiling hot, add the chocolate. Kepp on mixing until the chocolate is all melted and the mixture is homogeneous and smooth. Add the vanilla right before you put the ganache aside to cool down slightly. Wash the dates and cut them open on the side so your could remove the seeds. Stuff each date with an almond nut. Dip the dates, one by one, in the melted chocolate. Put them in the refrigerator. In an hour repeat the chocolate-melting process one more time, using the remaining ganache. Refrigerate the dates again.
4. Fruit smoothies
Fruit smoothies are rich in fibre, vitamins and most importantly natural sugars that would help you keep your sugar cravings in control. Just pick some of your favourite fruit, add two-three tablespoons of plain goat yogurt or coconut yogurt (dairy free option), a little bit of nut milk and a teaspoon of coconut butter, and enjoy! For delicious, yet healthy recipes for fruit smoothies download 2Health App!
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5. Cacao - Hazelnut-almond drink
This heavenly delish drink can be consumed both hot and cold. However, I prefer it cold. Fill a cup with hazelnut-almond milk and add one full tablespoon of raw organic cacao powder. Some ice, a pinch of nutmeg and a few drops of pure vanilla extract would make the experience even more intense. If it is still not sweet enough add a teaspoon of coconut sugar, raw honey or maple syrup and the sugar-monster that lives in you will be totally satisfied.
Whenever you crave for something sweet go ahead and try this tiny magic tricks. However, don’t push yourself too hard and don’t expect miracles. The first step would be to reduce sugar in your daily diet. The second would be to drastically cut it down. The last step would hopefully be to quit sugar forever. However, every now and then allow yourself to go a little sugary-wild and share a slice of cake in the right company. At the end of the day life is too short to put hard restrictions on yourself! Good luck and enjoy!