Sugar Free Since ’93! (Not Really)

I just like it because it rhymes.

Tomorrow is the start of the 10-Day Sugar-Free Challenge, hosted by the very healthy Alex from Spoonful of Sugar Free. It’s not too late to join the fun if you want to head over and sign up!

I’ve spent the last couple of weeks experimenting with some new foods that I’m very excited to share in the coming days, including my new (and vastly improved) all-time favorite breakfast. I’ve also been reading up on sugar, so I’ll be sharing some sugar facts – and tips for cutting back – both here and on my Facebook page.

Finally, I’ve stocked up on some of my own personal superfoods to help get me through. Let’s take a peek, shall we?

Sarah's Superfoods

Sarah's Superfoods

Check that line up, man. Clockwise from the center, we’ve got: cacao nibs, chia seeds, coconut butter, unsweetened shredded coconut, dried cranberries, coconut milk, and dulse.

Cacao nibs are my newest love. The natural food store nearest us just started carrying the unsweetened version and I was over-the-moon ecstatic when I saw them. They are a gloriously crunchy, slightly bitter substitute for chocolate chips. Eaten straight out of the bag, they can take some getting used to, but when combined with other rich foods, the difference isn’t noticable. Here’s my favorite thing about them:

cacao nibs

Cacao Nibs

I love one-ingredient foods.

Chia seeds are these miniscule miracles that hold something like four zillion times their own weight in water and have lots of fiber. You think you’ve never heard of them, but you have. Ch-ch-ch-chia! Yep. The very same. Only instead of smearing them on the back of a clay sheep, you sprinkle them on cereal, salads or yogurt, or make chocolate pudding out of them. Not even kidding. It’s really good!

The coconut butter is pretty new to me, but I recently used it to make the vegan frosting for these ridiculously good  lime cupcakes. (The recipe actually calls for coconut oil, but I substituted this and it worked fine.) I originally bought the coconut butter for Alex’s Butter Cups, which I have been drooling over since I first read the recipe and which I fully intend to try this week.

And I love this:

coconut butter

Ingredient. Awesome!

Coconut is naturally sweet, so I got the shredded coconut to sprinkle on my chocolate chia pudding. I’ve been using agave in the pudding, but no more! (At least for the next ten days.)

Next up, we have dried cranberries. I adore the chewy tang of dried cranberries. I eat them in salads and cereal and stuffed peppers and whatever else I can think of. The problem? Most are sweetened with sugar. Not these.

dried cranberries

These are sweetened with apple juice. A technicality? Yeah, maybe. Dried fruit is still very high in simple sugars, as is fruit juice. It’s probably not the best thing to eat by the handful or anything, but I think it’s okay to use sparingly.

Coconut milk is just darn delicious no matter what you do with it. Personally, I could eat it out of the can with a spoon. (I wonder if it’s high in BPA?) But you’ll be seeing this food more later in the week.

Then there’s the dulse. Wait, who put that in there?

Dulse has absolutely nothing to do with going sugar-free, but it’s one of my superfoods, so I decided to include it in the family photo.

dulse

Yes, I eat seaweed. And I enjoy it. Dulse has approximately 4,596 different vitamins and minerals in it. Not really, but it is a champ, nutritionally speaking. It also contains iodine. Iodine is good for the thyroid. It’s also not in anything we (meaning most Americans) eat, with the exception of iodized salt. And I use sea salt, so I don’t even get iodine that way. It’s important. Think about it.

But wait! I’ve got two more:

raw cashews

You almost can’t be a good vegan or raw foodie without raw cashews. I’m neither, but there are some neat recipes out there that I’d like to sink my teeth into (literally). These have been earmarked for Alex’s Quick Vegan Milkshake, which contains no milk, nor is it shaken.

And last, but not least:

whole dates

I learned a while back that dates are so super sweet that just a few will satisfy almost any dessert craving. I’m hoping I don’t need these (again, they are full of simple sugars), but I’ll have them if I run into an emergency.

Besides…

date ingredients

Did I mention my affinity for one-ingredient foods?

Now that, my friends, is what whole foods is all about!

How about you? If you don’t want to go sugar-free, how about cutting back for 10 days? How would you do it if you were going to cut back?

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8 responses to “Sugar Free Since ’93! (Not Really)

  1. spoonfulofsugarfree

    YAY!!!! I am so excited :) I love all the wonderful goodies you found :)

    And now I have to go looking for apple juice sweetened cranberries! I didn’t know they existed! I used to be big fan of them….good in oatmeal and muffins :)

  2. Uncanny that I have everything (to the brand) besides the canned coconut milk. Love, love, love Artisana brand, they make a mean truly raw cashew butter!

  3. Fabulous line-up! I’ll have to check out our local wholefoods-type store & see what I can find for snacks. I’m usually so boring & stick to my usual comfort stuff unless prompted. I did think of you over the weekend as I opted for sugar-free creamer for my coffee in the supermarket though!

  4. Nice…but of course, I’m sticking with Little Debbie…I want to be nice and preserved when I’m gone…

  5. Mmmmmm….cashews! And coconut! It looks like you are off to a great start finding snacks that will help you through the next month. Great job!

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