Welcome to my healthy food kitchen where I share easy and nutritious recipes for Dinner, Dessert and Snacktime! All without sugar, sweetened naturally with Natvia stevia sweetener
When I talk about sugar, I’m talking about common sugar varieties like caster sugar, brown sugar, raw sugar, demerara sugar, palm sugar golden syrup, agave, rice bran syrup, malt syrup.
When I talk about sugar free, I’m referring to my recipes being free from the above mentioned sugars and syrups.
I choose to add sweetness to my recipes by using alternatives like stevia or norbu which are 100% natural sweeteners, lower in calories, and fructose free.
My version of a sugar free kitchen is therefore not a kitchen that has no sugar whatsoever.
That would not last very long in my household, nor probably many people’s households I’m guessing. I don’t think it is realistic or practical to 100% eliminate sugar from your life, not for me anyway.
Instead, what I have created in my kitchen is a place where I have removed the processed sugars that I choose not to consume anymore and replaced them with other alternatives that I have found and now prefer to use in my cooking and baking. I believe in everything in moderation including sweets, snacks and desserts and that means adding sweetness, but in a different way. This is my journey and this is where I’m at.
Why I don’t like highly processed white and brown sugars
- Because it is to easy to become addicted to them. There have even been studies that have reported findings that say sugar more addictive than cocaine.
- Not only is sugar addictive, it increases cravings and makes you eat more. Sugar cancels out the brain trigger that tells you “you’re full stop eating”, and it has also been known to interfere with your hormones so that you keep on eating, even when you’re actually full.
- Eating foods highly processed foods with high levels of sugar makes it harder for me to control what I’m eating…and the intense craving to want to eat more and more requires a willpower made of steel!
- When we eat sugar it goes to our liver in an attempt to be processed out of our system, but instead and most often it just ends up turning into fat.
- Trying to do enough physical activity to cancel out the affects of eating sugar would be difficult, since sugar is hidden is so many processed foods that we consume every day. For me it is easier to just eat a lot less of them in the first place
How I still get to eat my sweet treats
- I make baked goodies, snacks and desserts without using white sugar, brown sugar, raw sugar, palm sugar, damerara sugar etc.
- I eat sweet treats in moderation, and plan them out so I can keep track of what I’m eating.
- I also make portion controlled sizes to help me know when enough is enough
What I use when I need to sweeten a recipe
Dinners & Savoury Dishes:
- I will often use good quality honey, coconut syrup, or a teaspoon of granulated stevia/natvia instead of palm sugar or white sugar when I’m making Asian recipes or when a meal calls for a hint on sweetness to balance out the flavours. Some of my favourites are Spicy Paprika Chicken, Moroccan Beef Pot Pie, One Pot Spicy Fish Stew, and Healthy Salt and Pepper Squid
Desserts and Snacks:
- In my baking and dessert recipes, I use natvia stevia sweetener, available from Woolworths in Australia and it measures like sugar. It has 97% fewer calories than sugar and is fructose free. I also sometimes use liquid Stevia (available from health food shops) which is a plant-derived, fructose-free sweetener that’s 300 times sweeter than sugar (so you only need to use a tiny bit). Some of my favourite baking recipes are my Banana Walnut Mini Cakes, Mini Lemon/Lime Cheesecakes, and Date, Almond and Vanilla Protein Cookies
- I’ve also recently started using Norbu a 100% natural sweetener. Norbu is made from Monkfruit, a sweet melon cultivated for centuries in the remote mountains of Asia. It measures like sugar, has 96% less calories than sugar, is fructose free and low GI. I buy mine from my local health food shop.
- Often I use fruits to sweeten my desserts and snacks (think bananas, apple, dates, to name a few).
- Sometimes I will use sweet potato and sometimes I occasionally use honey.
Why I haven’t cut out ALL sugars entirely. After all, my blog is called My Sugar Free Kitchen…
It’s more important for me to have a healthy food kitchen. I’ve tried “being on a diet” and “only eating certain foods” and “only eating sweets on Sundays”, and really it just hasn’t worked for me. I’ve just come to realise that I want to eat what I enjoy and I want to take pleasure in eating food, but I want it to be good for me to. I want the food that I eat to give me energy, to help me balance my moods and to fuel my workouts and recoveries.
Its important to me to have foods in my life that I enjoy, so I have chosen to eat what I want but in such a way that is lighter, healthier, and more beneficial to my health and well being.
This means, I’ve used alternative means of sweetening the recipe, and in many instances, I’ve also been mindful of creating recipes that are what I would call low to moderate in calories. This helps me to keep my weight under control and to indulge in “sometimes” food such as sweets. In this, I have found my “sweet spot”, or my happy place where I can love my food and know that my body is thanking me for it.
For more information on Natvia Stevia Sweetener, check out the post I have written.