Wednesday, July 20, 2011

Sugar Free Desserts are Possible

When people are faced with certain health issues, it's imperative to avoid foods that will proliferate their condition.  For some, this can be the hardest thing. Many people resort to foods that are convenient... not paying any attention to what they are putting in their bodies. When told they must avoid these foods, they are clueless on what to eat. This is how I felt two years ago when I was told I had a sensitivity to soy and Saccharomyces cerevisiae, a type of yeast. Also having candida, I had to give up sugars. My diet was healthy at the time except for all the sweets I was eating. Desserts are my favorite. When I look at menus online for restaurants I want to try, the dessert section is where my eyes wander first. Okay, I needed to follow a diet free of yeast, sugar, and soy. The yeast seemed easy to avoid but the soy and sugar not so easy. These are two ingredients that are added to what seems like everything. 
Stevia and yacon syrup became my two new favorite ingredients. I needed to get my sweet fix somehow and these two alternative sweeteners made it possible. Many know about stevia but yacon syrup isn't that commonly used. The only place I've found it is at Whole Foods or online. Yacon contains a healthy type of sugar called fructooligosacharides or FOS. It is not digested by the body so it doesn't spike blood glucose levels, making it safe for diabetics, people with candida overgrowth, or even people who just want to watch their weight.
As of now I can include small amounts of soy into my diet. I've been on and off sugars for the past two years and recently went sugar free again. I do feel so much better eating this way and it allows me to be much more creative in what I prepare for myself.  When you can't have sweets all you want is something sweet, right? Which brings me to the photo above. The other night after dinner all I wanted was something sweet. I'm a sucker for cookie dough so I've been playing around with different variations. I based the idea off this recipe found on spark recipes. I love the idea of this recipe because it's the perfect portion size and you won't be tempted to overindulge. Here's my most recent variation.

Gluten free Sugar free cookie dough
2 heaping Tbsp blanched almond flour
2 tsp yacon syrup
1tsp grapeseed oil
1 tsp soy free Earth Balance
pinch of salt
a few drops of vanilla extract

mix everything together and you have a delicious cookie dough. 
I topped this with a little bit of peanut butter and unsweetened carob chips. It was just like eating a chocolate chip peanut butter cookie.

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