A Gateway Recipe to Living Sugar Free
Growing up I had a less-than ideal diet. Other than the extra visits to the dentist, few people seemed concerned about the over-consumption of refined sugar. The truth was we just didn’t know any better.
Now there is concern and with good reason. Sugar is not only highly inflammatory, it’s linked to nearly every chronic disease including obesity, insulin resistance, diabetes, heart disease, cancer, fatty liver disease, leaky gut, and Alzheimer’s.
I can think of no better reason to get as far away from sugar as possible, but I get it, most people are genetically wired to love us something sweet, and the food industry knows this.
We are inundated with over-processed, sugar laden foods engineered-literally-to be addictive. It’s estimated that 74% of the over 85,000 manufactured food products sold in stores have added sugar. And the fact they use up to 60 different names for the refined sweet stuff, along with lax food labeling laws, doesn’t exactly make it easy for consumers to spot.
It’s difficult for most people to cut all sugar from their diet, but if you, like me, have to work hard to maintain a healthy blood sugar level, I recommend you stay completely away from anything with refined or added sugar. Be selective with whole foods that naturally have a high sugar content, and when needed, stick to natural sweeteners such as luo han (Monk Fruit) and stevia.
Knowing the damage sugar can do doesn’t necessarily make the transition away from it any easier, especially for kids given they are a primary target of the food industry. By avoiding processed food whenever possible and having healthy options available on those special occasions when something sweet is in order, you are well on your way to successfully maneuvering around the natural affinity we all have for sweets while avoiding the food industry traps.
My caramel apple recipe is just one example of a great way to introduce kids (and adults) to a delicious treat that doesn’t come in a wrapper.
The sooner we help kids get away from refined sugar, the better their health will be as adults. And the better adults become at identifying and avoiding sugar, the greater their odds of achieving a long, healthy life.
Few things are more important than that.
Caramel Covered Apple on a Stick – Sugar-free
Warning – this recipe may still be too sweet for those with blood sugar imbalances – but certainly is a good starting point for getting kids off sugar.
- 1 cup dates (pitted and unsoaked)
- ¼-1/2 cup almond milk (or other nut milk of your choice)
- 1 teaspoon coconut oil (optional)
- 1 dash sea salt
- 1 teaspoon vanilla extract or I inch vanilla bean, scraped
- 3-4 apples, depending on size
- Mix all ingredients in a blender until smooth.
- Start with ¼ cup almond milk and add until consistency is such that apples can be dipped and the caramel sticks.
- Insert a popsicle stick into the center top of each apple.
- Dip in caramel sauce.
- Refrigerate until caramel solidifies.