We Don't Want SUGAR Plums - Healthy Holiday Treats December 19, 2012 13:07

Ashley and I have been known to be quite the sugar fiends.  We blame it on our genetics and claim that it runs in the family, which is totally legitimate right!?  Ok maybe not, but in our family it is typical for grandma to have her first bowl of ice cream by 8 am, meanwhile our mother is eating the tops off all of the cupcakes in the house. 

Ashley and I are determined to break the mold.  We refuse to be slaves to all of the delicious, tempting, delectable, insert more adjectives here, sugary desserts.  And we've gotten pretty good at maintaining restraint!! 

Once you cut refined sugars out of your diet, you simply can’t keep them in your home. Having it around but trying to tell yourself it's not something you can eat ‘today’ just doesn’t work long-term. This step is not easy, especially when you share a home with others who may not be on the same, no-sugar page, but it’s definitely doable.  Nobody’s perfect, but this step has definitely helped us make serious progress in eliminating sugars. 

The holidays get challenging though.  There is temptation everywhere and it gets much harder to be strong. So, we've gotten creative and come up with ways to have our cake and eat it to...literally.  Below are a few of our favorite 'not so guilty' treats that really are treats (except for in our mom’s and grandma’s eyes, but they believe in only sugar and butter, so we choose our battles)!  

Avocado Chocolate Pudding
Ingredients:

·      1 ripe avocado

·      1/4 cup cocoa powder

·      1/3 cup honey

·      1/4 cup coconut milk or almond milk

Directions:
Blend all ingredients together until creamy.

Creamy Cashew Pudding
Ingredients:

·      1 cup raw cashews, soaked*


·      1 teaspoon vanilla extract


·      1 teaspoon coconut oil


·      2 teaspoons raw honey


·      1/4 cup filtered water, or almond milk


·      pinch of sea salt

*To soak cashews: Soak 1 cup raw cashews in 2 cups of filtered water, so that they are completely covered in liquid. Lightly cover the bowl with a towel, and allow to sit at room temperature for 2-3 hours. Drain completely and rinse the cashews well before using. (Keep refrigerated if not using them right away.)

Directions:
Combine all of the ingredients in a blender or food processor, and blend until very smooth and creamy.

Fudge!!
Ingredients:

·      1 cup raw cashew butter (or nut butter of choice)

·      cup coconut oil

·      ¼ cup cocoa powder

·      ¼ cup pure maple syrup

·      ½ teaspoon fine sea salt

·      1 teaspoon vanilla extract

Directions:

·      In a medium bowl, mix together the nut butter and coconut oil until smooth. (This works best if the ingredients are slightly warm. Alternatively, you could blend them together using a food processor.)

·      Add in the cocoa powder, maple syrup, sea salt and vanilla, and stir until smooth and creamy.

·      Transfer the mixture to a dish, lined with plastic wrap for easy removal, and smooth the top with a spatula.

·      Place the dish in the freezer, and allow the fudge to set for at least an hour before slicing and serving. Thanks to the coconut oil, this raw fudge will melt quickly if left to sit in a warm room, so it’s best served directly from the freezer.

Chocolate Caramel Brownie Cups
Ingredients:

Brownie:

·      1 cup blanched almond meal

·      2 tbsp coconut flour

·      1/4 tsp sea salt

·      1/2 tsp cinnamon

·      1/4 cup cocoa powder

·      2 tbsp coconut oil, melted

·      2 tbsp honey

·      1 tsp vanilla extract

·      1 egg

Caramel Layer:

·      10 large (preferably soft) medjool dates, pitted

·      3 tbsp boiling water

·      slightly less than 1/4 tsp sea salt

·      1 tsp vanilla extract

·      1/3 cup creamed coconut

Chocolate Layer:

·      1/2 cup dark chocolate or chips

·      1 tbsp coconut oil

·      1/8 tsp sea salt

Directions:

For the Brownies:

·      Preheat oven to 350°F. Grease a deep silicone muffin tin and set aside (If you don’t have a silicone muffin pan, I suggest using paper liners so as to not have to wrestle with it to get your goodies out).

·      Blend almond meal and coconut flour.

·      Add in salt, cinnamon and cocoa and blend with a fork.
Stir in the coconut oil, honey, vanilla and egg. Blend until completely mixed.

·      Spoon into six or seven of the muffin tin compartments.

·      Bake for 13-15 minutes. Remove and cool completely. (I use the freezer for speedier cooling, just don’t forget them in there.)

For the Caramel Layer: 

·      Place dates and boiling water in a blender or food processor and blend until liquefied.

·      Add in remaining ingredients and blend until smooth.

·      Pour over cooled brownie layer and cool again.

For the Chocolate Layer:

·      In a double boiler or a small metal bowl placed over a small pot of gently simmering water, add the chocolate chips, ghee and salt.

·      Stir continuously until just melted.

·      Pour over cooled cups and spread around with your finger or a small spatula.

·      Cool completely before trying to remove.

Disclaimer: we do not take credit for inventing these satisfying substitutes—we're not that good—but we do love them.  We do encourage you to check out Detoxinista’s blog at http://detoxinista.com.  We are loving her recipes!! 

We'd love for any of you to share healthy treat recipes that you have. 

-Alyssa