Many friends and clients have asked me in exasperation, how do I still enjoy sweet treats when I am unable to have dairy or gluten and have to lower my sugar?Just thinking about missing out on these treats is enough to drive them away from clean eating for good. I feel better when I eat clean, my energy levels are increased I am an overall happier person (mum, wife and teacher). However, for so many people eliminating specific foods such as gluten or dairy (or both) will turn their health around and in the case of an autoimmune disease e.g. rheumatoid arthritis, underactive thyroid etc. dramatically reduce symptoms or better.
Effects of sugar
If you haven’t already read my sugar post on the benefits of reducing sugar, then you will find lots of information and further links here:
Reducing sweet treats…
I encourage everyone to reduce the number of sweet things consumed, whether clean or not because we can still feel the effects of a sugar spike or crave more sweetness even when consuming clean treats. Also the more vegetables you incorporate into your life the healthier you will be, and the lower your risk of any disease and focusing on making them taste great will give you lots of joy too. I have done my own research into all of the sweeteners I use, however, part of me still thinks that we do not know the effects of anything when overeaten, therefore, it is sensible to keep our sweeteners for the occasional treat. I have included two sweet recipes in this post, one I consume quite often and another a new experiment which I will use only on special occasions. For more sweet treats, you can check the site, or for my absolute favourites including a hemp milk recipe sign up for my free ebook/nutrition help sheet on www.passionatenutrition.co.uk .
Do you have sugar cravings?
If you have extreme sugar cravings you may be low in the mineral chromium which can be taken in a supplement to support you to increase your body levels. Complete the free nutrient assessment on the site (www.passionatenutrition.co.uk), follow the instructions and if there is a possibility you are missing out on a particular nutrient, click on the free guides to show you which foods you can include and safe dosages of supplementation.
passionately clean meringue and chocolate cashew cream
dairy free, sugar-free, gluten free
I was inspired to try something new last week as I watched my GCSE students making meringues. My children love meringue nests and it is something that I usually make on special occasions or Christmas time. These do not last as long as a commercial meringue although perfect for a get together or special occasion. The cream is divine, and I was so excited for this to have worked. It was soon polished off within a few days ( in greek yoghurt) by my family!
clean meringue recipe
preheat your oven to 100/110 degrees celsius
2 egg whites (this will not work if you get even the tiniest bit of yolk in with the whites)
Whisk (use an electric mixer, if you haven’t got one buy a supermarket brand hand whisk approx. £5) until the mixture is like a cloud and doesn’t move around the bowl.
gradually add the sugar and keep whisking fast until the mixture is stiff.
spoon or pipe onto greased proof paper
bake for 50 minutes and then turn the oven off and leave in the oven to dry out for a further hour.
Take out of the oven to cool and serve, or place within grease proof paper and use within a day.
Be careful when buying erythritol!
Lots of erythritols are made from genetically modified corn starch so here are a few you can buy which are from natural sources:
Erythrit is the one that I have used and is GM free ( £9.98 per 1kg – last for ages!!):
Natvia is a great natural sweetener which is 98% erythritol and 2% stevia ( £4.85 for 200g):
cashew cream 4thesoul recipe
100g raw cashew nuts soaked in water for at least 2 hours/overnight
1 tbsp cacao/ organic cocoa powder
1 tbsp vanilla extract
2-3 tbsp water
1/2 a banana
I find that the dates and banana add enough sweetness to this yummy cream, although I know some do not like the banana taste. If this is the case swap this with either a tbsp of erythritol, 1 tsp raw honey or agave nectar (or another alternative sweetener e.g. xylitol or stevia).
place the cashew nuts in a tupperware or glass box with lid, cover the nuts with water. Leave for a few hours or overnight
sieve the cashews when ready to use and add all of the other ingredients
blitz in a blender or food processor
200 ml milk of your choice (almond, cashew or hemp milk, coconut milk)
1/2 banana (or a tbsp of your choice sweetener)
1 tsp of almond nut butter
1 tsp of vanilla extract
optional: tsp maca powder
Blitz in a blender and warm in a pan until the desired temperature. Enjoy x