Just a bit of sugar?
I have reduced the amount of sugar I consume lately and I can finally understand how big of a role it plays in our food product choices daily. I was aware of how much sugar I consumed and tried to keep it to minimum for the last few years yet only recently I noticed myself choose a healthier option without even thinking. My sugar cravings have never been this low! I can eat a piece of dark chocolate without finishing at least half a pack of it, my skin looks better, my gut feels better and because I know I'm making healthier choices - that lifts up my mood even more.
You probably have already read about sugar addiction somewhere, but it's really interesting to actually feel it affect your life. Sugar consumption increases the release of neurotransmitter serotonin in our brain which makes us feel happy and insulin which lowers glucose levels in our bodies. Once they're back to normal, we start craving sugar again just to feel good. This becomes a vicious addiction circle... Not a very pleasant truth, right?
Decrease sugar consumption
It's not that complicated of a task as you might think. Start by making small changes: stop sweetening your tea and consuming soft drinks or processed foods. Once that becomes a habit, reduce the amount of sweet treats or desserts, switch to dark chocolate instead of milk, eat more vegetables and opt for wholegrain ingredients (e.g. brown/red/black rice instead of white), rolled oats instead of quick oats. Eventually, lower the amount of sweetener (brown sugar, maple syrup, honey, dates) you use for homemade desserts. With each step you'll feel that you need less and less sweets to keep you going, have more energy and feel better overall. Now that's a reward!
It feels good to know you can control certain issues and even if you do eat desserts, it's so much better (and tastier!) to do that occasionally. And do it occasionally not because you're forbidding yourself to do so, but because you actually don't have a craving for it often.:)
More free - more happy, so let it be.
Here's a quick recipe of a healthier coconut bar version. I made it only slightly sweet and you know why! Creamy, coconuty, no bullshit.
Makes approx. 9 regular sized muffin paper treats | Hands on time: 15 mins | Total time: 45 mins
- 70 g of coconut flakes
- 100 g of full fat coconut milk
- 20 g of coconut oil
- 20 g of maple syrup
For the chocolate shell:
- 140 g of bittersweet chocolate: 60% cocoa solids (vegan for a plant based option)
- a handful of coconut flakes
Mix the filling in a bowl and set aside. in the meantime, melt the chocolate over a steam bath (bain-marie), stirring occasionally to help it melt evenly. Line muffin tin with muffin papers. Drizzle some melted chocolate into each muffin paper so that it coats the bottom. Then add some coconut filling on top and press it down firmly using your fingers. Pour over some melted chocolate, smooth out the surface with a spoon and sprinkle with coconut flakes. Repeat with each muffin paper. Place in the fridge to set for 30 minutes.
Store in a cool & dry place for up to one week.
TRIED THESE BARS?
Let me know what you think about them by leaving a comment below or tag @kitchen.julie #kitchenjulie on instagram. Or send me an email at email@example.com if you have any questions. I'd love to hear your thoughts!