Happy Easter everyone! I hope you all have a lovely day and enjoy spending time with friends or family :) For me, Easter is a time where you can relax and spend quality time with the one’s you love most… so I hope everyone’s day is good! My Easter-themed blog post is going to be about healthy snacks, so for those of you with a sweet tooth (e.g. me), it will hopefully give you some good ideas of how to satisfy that sweet craving without ruining the diet. It’s so easy, and especially at Easter, to munch on chocolate, sweets and goodies filled with sugar. And don’t get me wrong, I’m not saying I never give in to temptation because I definitely do… but there’s better ways to satisfy those cravings that won’t fill your body with processed sugar.
So, how? Surely the only way to satisfy a sugar craving is to eat sugar? Well, maybe that is the case (I’m no scientist so who knows), but what I do know is that you can satisfy your sugar cravings without eating processed sugar. I’m going to talk mostly about 3 ingredients which are common in most homemade paleo dessert-type foods.
1) Dates 2) Cacao 3) Cashews
Dates are often the key ingredient in healthy alternatives to sweet snacks because, although they are full of sugar, they are also packed full of nutrients, vitamins and minerals that are great for overall well-being. So, dates are used in healthy desserts as the substitute for sugar because they give you that sweetness naturally. However, they are still very high in calories so it’s not an opportunity to eat tonnes of desserts because that will probably still ruin the diet I’m afraid!
Cacao is cold-pressed unroasted cocoa beans. When people say ‘chocolate is good for you’ they are referring to cacao, not creamy milk chocolate. Most of the goodness in chocolate is actually removed once the beans have been roasted (the change of temperature changes the molecular structure of the cocoa bean), whereas cacao still has all the nutritional value e.g. protects your nervous system, high in antioxidants, reduces risk of cardiovascular disease and more! So does it taste the same? Kind of… it’s slightly more bitter than ordinary cocoa and has a slightly different taste but not noticeably – it will still give you that chocolate taste you want!
Cashews may sound at first like an odd ingredient to fill a sweet dessert with… they certainly aren’t the first nut that comes to mind when baking. But they can actually add a surprisingly creamy taste to a dessert. They are really versatile, being used for a biscuit-type texture, or even in a cheesecake filling to make it creamy. Cashews are high in fat so, although high in calories, they are good for you too.
So try an experiment this Easter and bake something new using these ingredients… there are loads of recipes on google so have a browse!