When the holidays come around, many of us are tempted to indulge in decadent desserts. Gingerbread, sugar cookies, chocolate cake…the carve-worthy list goes on and on. But with these treats comes the inevitable extra belly bulge around our waists, and a feeling of regret.
Sweet treats are not just bad for our waistline, it can overload your liver causing fatty liver disease. It also offsets our metabolism, so we process foods slowly and have limited amounts of energy. It creates a feeling in our gut that we are hungry when we’re not, and can cause us to consume more food. This is why just one brownie is never enough.
The problem is that we are hooked on sugar. Our brains are trained to believe that the insulin spike we receive from sugar is something to crave, causing us to overdo it. But what if we could retrain our brains to think differently about sugar? What if we got ourselves hooked on desserts that won’t cause an insulin spike, and are actually healthy for us?
These 3 recipes are loaded with yummy, healthy ingredients to promote balanced living and don’t contain any sugar. Instead, they are naturally sweetened with alternatives like fresh fruit and stevia. Give these 3 recipes a try this holiday and see if your guests can tell the difference!
#1 The Ultimate Chocolate Fudge Brownies
Gooey, moist, rich and sweet, you won’t be able to resist these brownies as they cool in your kitchen. But indulge all you want, because they are healthy, rich in nutrient-filled ingredients and sugarless. Flaxseeds provide fibre and omega-3s, while coconut oil lowers cholesterol, increases heart health and helps you burn more fat. Talk about packing a punch!
1/2 cup almond meal
2 tbsp. raw cacao powder
2 tbsp. organic peanut butter
1 tbsp. flaxseed mixed with 3. tbsp. water
8 organic pitted dates
2 tbsp. extra virgin coconut oil
2 tsp. organic vanilla extract
2 tbsp. water
1/2 cup of raspberries
1. Preheat oven to 320 degrees.
2. Combine flaxseed and 3 tbsp. water and let sit for 10 minutes.
3. Grease your baking pan with coconut oil (a great alternative for butter).
4. Put all ingredients (except raspberries) into a food processor.
5. Add in berries after a few moments of mixing.
6. Pour into pan and bake for 20 minutes. Let cool, and dig in!
#2 Healthy Start Protein Banana Muffins
Wake up to a nutrient-rich breakfast that comes in the form of a delicious baked good! These muffins are probiotic, making your gut happy. They also contain the mood-boosting fuel of bananas and high-fibre content of oats.
2 cups oat bran
1 scoop vanilla protein powder
2 teaspoons baking powder
2 small or medium very ripe bananas, mashed
1/2 cup unsweetened applesauce
1/2 cup nonfat plain greek yogurt
2 large egg whites
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
1. Preheat oven to 400 degrees and grease pan with coconut oil.
2. Whisk oat bran, protein powder and baking soda in medium bowl.
3. Mash bananas, applesauce, greek yogurt, egg whites and vanilla in large bowl.
4. Let sit for 2 minutes, then divide batter into 12 muffin cups and bake for15 minutes. Let cool and dig in!
#3 To-Die-For Chocolate Muesli Bars
Muesli is really good for you, but the bars you buy at the store often contain processed sugar and preservatives. Rethink the average muesli bar and amp it up with this delicious recipe!
3/4 cup rolled oats
1/2 cup pitted organic dates
2 tbsp. natural nut butter
1 tbsp. flaxseed meal
1/3 cup of nuts
1/2 tbsp. extra virgin coconut oil
2 tbsp. raw cacao powder
1/8 cup sunflower kernels
1/4 cup water
1. Line loaf tin with baking paper.
2. Combine dry ingredients into bowl (except flaxseed meal and cacao).
3. Blend water, dates, coconut oil, raw cacao, flaxseed meal and cashew butter in a blender until smooth.
4. Pour together wet and dry mixtures. Pour mixture into loaf tin and let set in fridge overnight. In the morning, cut into squares and enjoy!
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This content was originally published here.