If I was to tell you I know a way for you to look younger, feel energised, lose a spare tyre or two around the middle and significantly reduce your risk of illness and disease, in particular cancer and heart disease, without taking any medication would you jump at the chance? Well reducing your sugar intake will do all of those things and more.
If we all really understood what too much sugar does to our body, we really wouldn’t be feeding children sugar as rewards and laughing about loving it. However, I have been as much a victim of the sweet stuff as anyone and know its luring effects.
All of my recipes are free of added sugar although I use the occasional organic honey. I tend to use a few different sweeteners depending on what is available or on offer when I bake. I use stevia or xylitol mostly, although I bought a pack of erythritol a while ago after reading studies on its safe use in baking, and I had not used it. Therefore this week I brought it out of the cupboard and added it to these extremely low sugar muffins (way less sugar than an apple!). However, I don’t seem to need the sweetness I did a few years ago, so many of my favourite desserts do not have any added sweeteners at all.
A little about erythritol vs xylitol
Both erythritol and xylitol have been found to be protective to teeth and reduce tooth decay in children in addition to being low on the glycemic scale. Although unlike xylitol, erythritol does not have laxative effects as the body is unable to digest it, making it safer and easier to use. Erythritol has zero calories as oppose to xylitol which is approximately 9 calories per teaspoon (still 40-50% less than sugar). Xylitol is slightly sweeter than sugar, however erythritol is about 60% less sweet than sugar. Erythritol is a sugar alcohol and is found naturally in some foods, including grapes, watermelon, pears and mushrooms.
chocolate sugar free muffin recipes
In support of our sugar challenge for october I wanted to make a sugar free version of beetroot chocolate cake, inspired by the beetroot in my organic box this week. If like my eldest daughter you are not enamoured by beetroot, never fear, there is as always an alternative. Of course these are also gluten free!
PassionAtely choco beetroot muffins
This was the first version I made and at 120 calories per muffin are very low in energy and carbohydrates as well as containing only 1g of sugar (you are aiming to have below 50g per day!).
makes 6 muffins
50g buckwheat flour
2 tbsp cocoa powder/cacoa
3 tbsp erythritol
pinch of himalayan pink salt/sea salt
1/4 tsp of xanthan gum
2 tbsp coconut oil plus extra to grease the muffin tin (included in the nutritional count given above)
1 tsp vanilla extract
100g blended or grated beetroot
preheat the oven to 200 degrees celsius
grease a muffin tin with a little coconut oil
whisk the eggs well to add plenty of air in a mixing bowl
measure all of the other ingredients and ix in a separate bowl, then fold this gently into the eggs
spoon into the muffin tin, place in the oven and bake for 12-15 minutes
PassionAtely beetroot and apple muffins
When I made this version I made a batch with, and a batch without the beetroot. I prefer with, but the choice is all yours…
These contain 140 calories with 1.7g of total sugar – still extremely low in sugar and in energy. Follow the same method as the above muffins.
makes 6 muffins
20g coconut/nut flour
20g ground almonds
2 tbsp cocoa
3 to 4 tbsp of erythritol
1 tsp vanilla extract
2 tbsp coconut oil plus extra for greasing muffin tin
pinch of pink himalayan/sea salt
1/4 tsp xanthan gum
50g grated beetroot
1/4 medium apple peeled and grated
Let me know what you think, and check my shop page to look for recommended products.
Lots of love and health,