One of my favorite things about this crazy healthy life is that it encourages me to be creative in the kitchen. I am constantly experimenting with recipes, and talking with my husband and three daughters, about how we can improve our eating habits. It feels like a game, trying to invent the next great healthy recipe.
Learning how to make healthy desserts is of particular interest to my girls. They know that sugar can be a major health-inhibitor, and that there are some good sugars, but most of them are bad.
When they ask for dessert, I help them put the request in context (Have you already had some sugar today? How much? How did it make you feel?), and challenge them to use natural sugars, such as fruit, honey, or maple syrup, to satisfy their cravings. We also try to limit sweet treats to one serving a day. Too much sugar creates noticeable changes in our energy, moods, and immunity.
Some of our favorite desserts are fresh berries with a small whipped cream “flower”, chocolate pudding made from avocados, organic chocolates, cashew creams, or strawberries stuffed with peanut butter and mini chocolate chips (my fave). It’s not the same as a piece of cake or bowl of ice cream, but it doesn’t seem to bother my family. They truly enjoy our unconventional sweet treats.
It reminds me that we have to change our minds first, if we hope to change our lives. There is a saying that “Doing what you like is freedom, liking what you do is happiness.” I believe that learning to like real sugars more than fake sugars is one of the best kept secrets to happy eating. With a little creativity, it gets easier to replace bad sugars with healthy alternatives. Ultimately, we learn that when it comes to dessert, there’s really nothing better than the real thing.