There is no denying it, I have a sweet tooth. I guess it’s to be expected seeing that I come from a long line of bakers, bread makers and Sicilian sweet masters (fresh cannoli anyone?). In fact, I fell in love with baking long before cooking, which only came once I grew tall enough to see over the countertop. While I’ve learned to appreciate real desserts, I’ve also learned the importance of doing so mindfully, savouring each bite, to maximize satisfaction.
Today’s post however, isn’t about desserts. It’s about how to satisfy a sweet tooth without heading into dessert territory. I recently posted about how to get over sugar cravings and while those tips are important to tame the intensity of your cravings, I wanted to share with you some of my top sweet tooth fixes that can fit-in, any day.
It’s crucial for you to assess your craving before heading for the pantry. If you aren’t physically hungry but catch yourself “looking for a little something”, why not be comforted by an aromatic cup of tea instead?
In a recent post I spoke about retro-nasal aroma stimulation and how it can contribute to fullness and satisfaction. In brief, senses other than taste, like smell, play an important role in the way we appreciate food. This is how these aromatic teas can work magic on your cravings.
I’ve been a fan of Davids Tea for a few years now and am always excited to choose from their assortment of loose leaf teas. From Organic crème brulée to their new line of cupcake teas, there are plenty of whimsical, satisfying flavours to choose from. Some of my personal favorites are Sweet Dreams, which is a great night time tea and Day Dreamer, which is a fruitier green tea, great for iced preparations in the summer.
Simple, sweet, crunchy and satisfying. How to? Wash grapes, freeze and enjoy.
Date and almond “truffles”
Medjool dates are naturally quite sweet, so a little goes a long way.
Yield: 10 truffles Serving: 2 truffles
What you’ll need
- 5 medjool dates, pitted and roughly chopped
- ¼ cup almonds
- 2 tablespoons unsweetened shredded coconut
- 1/8 teaspoon cinnamon
- ¼ teaspoon pure vanilla extract
- 1 tsp water
- Raw cacao powder, for rolling
- In a food processor, pulse dates, almonds and shredded coconut finely. Add cinnamon, vanilla and water or until mixture holds together when pressed. Scoop mixture out into a bowl.
- Form the mixture into truffle-size balls with your hands and toss in the cocoa powder, tapping off any excess. Enjoy!
Apple pie “filling”
What’s not to love about apples and cinnamon? They’re a match made in heaven.
What you’ll need:
- 1 apple, peeled and cut into 1/2″ slices
- 1 teaspoon pure maple syrup
- 1/8 teaspoon ground cinnamon
- 1 tablespoon chopped hazelnuts
Combine apple slices with maple syrup and cinnamon. Microwave 3 minutes. Top with chopped hazelnuts.
I give total credit to pinterest for my latest ice-cream kick. The popular pins intrigued me, so I gave this “ice-cream” a try and have been hooked every since.
What you’ll need
- 1 banana, peeled then frozen
- 1 tablespoon raw cacao powder
- 1 teaspoon honey (optional)
- In a blender, combine the frozen banana, cacao and honey (if the banana was very ripe before freezing, it won’t require any honey).
- Blend until smooth, ice-cream consistency. Serve immediately or freeze again for future use.
- Feeling exotic? Top with shredded coconut and enjoy.
There was no way for me to exclude good, dark chocolate from this list. It’s important to know that it is the cacao that provides the health benefits associated with chocolate. So to reap the benefits chocolate has to offer, you need to focus on quality and quantity. Aim for at least 70 % cacao content and stick to 1-2oz serving (about 1 square). Pair it with fruit or a smear of nut butter for extra indulgence. Also, look for a Fairtrade certified product, for a choice that will have a positive impact on producers and on you.
Will you be trying any of these fixes? Do you prefer pie filling or crust?