The holidays are over and it's time to get back on track and get that sweet tooth back under control. Indulging a little on all of those delicious baked goods and cookies is totally fine (you won't get any arguments from me!) and a part of the holidays that many of us look forward to, but as we get back into our post-holiday routine, it might be time to cut back on the sugar and find healthier ways to satisfy your sweet tooth.
So, I've put together a list of my favourite ways to satisfy cravings for something sweet that not only taste great, but will fill you up and won't leave you feeling sluggish afterwards.
Throw together some nuts, dried fruit, and dark chocolate and make a batch of trail mix.
Grab a handful of blueberries, or even better, dip the blueberries in Greek yogurt, place on a parchment lined pan, freeze for 30-60 minutes and enjoy!
Spread some all-natural nut butter on a slice of homemade banana bread (this is my favourite banana bread recipe).
Make a smoothie. Pick your favourite fruits, add your choice of milk and/or water, and blend away! These are a few of my favourites.
Slice open a couple of medjool dates, remove the pits, and slather on some all-natural nut butter.
Make some Berry "Nice Cream". All you need for one serving is one frozen banana, 1 cup of frozen berries, and your choice of milk. Blend the banana and berries together, gradually adding the milk until just smooth with a consistency similar to ice cream.
Chop up some apples and make apple "nachos". Try adding some of your favourite healthy toppings such as nut butters, granola, pumpkin seeds and a sprinkle of cinnamon.
Put together a creamy, citrusy snack of clementines and cottage cheese. You can also up the sweetness a bit more by adding a drizzle of honey.
Enjoy a few squares of dark chocolate (chocolate that contains more than 70% cocoa), which contains less sugar and more antioxidant and anti-inflammatory polyphenols than regular chocolate.
Try a snack bar made with minimal ingredients including whole foods such as oats, nuts and seeds, nut butters, and naturally sweetened with fresh or dried fruits rather than added sugars (some of my favourites include Made with Local Real Food Bars, Simply Protein Bars, Larabars and RX Bars). Alternatively, make your own protein bites like these.
Slice up a few rounds of sweet potatoes and roast them sprinkled with cinnamon.
Relax with a cup of tea (some of my favourites are peppermint and apple cinnamon) and a homemade healthy baked good such as a muffin or banana bread.
So, next time a sugar craving hits, think about some of these alternatives to sugary processed snacks. Simply stocking your kitchen with some of these snacks and ingredients will make it much easier to reach for something healthier that will satisfy you for longer. But, remember, enjoying a cookie, a store-bought treat, or some holiday goodies that you found in the freezer, once in a while is OKAY. Giving in to your cravings occasionally and eating intuitively makes it much easier to stay on track in the long term.