Thursday, January 22, 2009

My Naturally Sweet Pantry

Here is a small list of the naturally sweetened items I have been sipping and munching on lately. Hope the links help. You might have to ask the company where to find their product or if you can order it from them. Some of these have been hard for me to find, but worth it.

  • graham crackers (So far, I've only been able to find these at Whole Paycheck. They are so fabulous dunked in my morning cup of coffee.): Midel
  • moist, bite-sized, chewy cookies (These wonderful little bite-sized cookies make me really tired. They contain wheat flour. They can really satisfy the sweet tooth, though and are excellent substitutes for donut holes with your coffee): Fabe's
  • chewy black licorice (Trader Joes has them cheapest): Panda
  • large, filling, very sweet cookies (Very crumby, almost too sweet, but perfect in a sweet tooth emergency): Nana's
  • grape juice (You will never go back to cheap grape juice after trying this.): R.W. Knudsen
  • rich, creamy coconut ice cream (The chocolate mint variety has refined sugar in the chocolate flecks. Personally, I love the cherry almond and the dark chocolate): Luna & Larry's Coconut Bliss
  • crumbly, very tasty cookies (Most of these have evaporated cane juice as a sweetener. Too bad. The naturally sweetened cookies are the plain shortbread and the ginger cookies: Pamela's Products
  • prunes-Get 'em anywhere, but don't eat more than 2 or 3 at a time. Trust me.
  • local apples. I love to slice them up for a mid-day snack or make them part of a meal. I either chop them up in a salad, or cut big slices and eat them with exotic cheeses.
  • bananas and almond butter (This makes a very healthy, filling breakfast, especially on sprouted wheat toast.)
If you think of any tasty, naturally sweetened treats, please pass them on! It's very helpful to have a variety of options in your kitchen at all times so you don't stray from your goals. When there is nothing healthy available, it is too tempting to give in to whatever you do have lying around your kitchen.

11 comments:

Joy's Journey in Weightloss said...

I have eaten mostly all of these and they do help. My problem is that I started to "use" these just like sugar. I would eat the ice cream every night. Any advice about how to use these in moderation?

anastasia_wolf said...

Hi there! Someone sent me the link to your blog and I'm really excited because I made a resolution for 2009 to be sugar free. I went sugar free for about 5 weeks at the end of 2008 and felt great so decided to do it more long-term... my main challenge has been cutting out sugary drinks and I am basically only drinking water now (the occasional fresh juice and in winter I'm sure I'll have tea as it's summer here in Oz!) I haven't yet cut out all sauces which contain sugar, because I do use them sparingly and it's a tiny amount compared to what I was eating, but by the end of the year it would be nice to be completely sugarfree. What is your take on breads that contain yeast? Usually the yeast is activated by sugar... but the sugar is normally eaten by the yeast?

suziam said...

I've been following your "plan" (lost 5 pounds already -- probably from eating less and exercising more -- on top of no sugar). You make a convincing argument for the grape juice, which I haven't tried yet. How do you keep it from spoiling? I imagine you use a little at a time. Do you freeze ice cubes of it?

My Year Without said...

Joy-
One simple way to eat in moderation is to take out only as many as is acceptable, and then put the package away. This MIGHT help. Also, drink a lot of water to help fill you up either before, during or after you've had a few treats. OR, drink a glass of grape juice! Sometimes, in an effort to be less sweet, I will even water down the grape juice.

This coconut ice cream HAS to be eaten in moderation or it will wreak havoc on your digestive system. Too much and you may be running to use the bathroom all night. I think it's a side effect of eating too much coconut.

Other than that, I'm still working on ways to eat in moderation, too!


Anastasia-
Congratulations on going sugar free! It does feel wonderful, doesn't it? I'm sure the longer you abstain, the easier it will be to cut out those sugary sauces and drinks. Just replace them with naturally sweetened varieties.

Great question about yeast breads. I eat them as long as their was only a tiny amount of sugar used to be eaten by the yeast. Funny, you're the first person to ask about this! Sourdough is my favorite and I love wine and beer so I eat/drink these things with the notion that the final product does not contain the refined sugar.

If someone knows more than I do about this, I would love to be informed. However, I did check out some winery sites and learned that the sugar and yeast ferment to produce ethanol and carbon dioxide. No sugar residue. Some people may be opposed to using products that have USED sugar, but since sugar is not present in the end result, it's okay with me. We all have our boundaries and preferences here.
What is your take on this?


Suziam-
Good for you for exercising and keeping goals! This particular grape juice lasts quite a while. I don't think it's ever spoiled on me. My husband helps me drink it so it doesn't last in the fridge too long, but long enough.... I have not been freezing ice cubes of it, but what a great idea to drop in water! I'm trying it tonight!

Buxi said...

Hi, just read about you in an article (http://seattlepi.nwsource.com/food/394522_sugar02.html) and i found that was similar to what i am doing. I don't eat any sugar too but for the cravings go completely away we need to avoid aspartame and glutamate too. Good luck to you :)


http://buxidiet.blogspot.com/

Buxi

lili said...

I came across your blog. It's great you are trying to live without processed sugar. Not to make your life harder, but have you ever read Dr. Eades blog, http://www.proteinpower.com/drmike/? He is into just avoiding carbs in general. I'm try to do that as much as I can, as well avoiding processed sugar (with occasional lapses), because I think he is right. He breaks down a lot of studies, etc and the figures seem to show that cutting carbs really works on cholesterol, blood sugar, etc. as well as weight, because just cutting processed sugar still leaves a lot of "sugar" in various carbs. I had a friend who really cut out sugar and almost everything else from her diet when she was having medical problems, and it got to the point where plain yogurt got too sweet for her. That's what I want to get rid of --the sugar cravings, which I think will come in time with reduced carbs. Anyway, keep up the good work.

anastasia_wolf said...

I figure I'm not trying to be a purist, so breads don't bother me... it's whether the sugar is in the end product. I actually haven't had a sugary drink since before NYE, I had one on Boxing day and it tasted AWFUL, just too sweet! It's the biggest breakthrough for me as before I barely drank water, and now that's it for me unless I can be bothered juicing. The sauces... have you seen any recipes for sugar free tomato ketchup?

My Year Without said...

Thanks Lili and Buxi! Love the feedback.

Anastasia-
I found a ketchup recipe online but have not yet tried it:
http://homecooking.about.com/od/condimentrecipes/r/blcon12.htm

I have a bottle of store bought, agave-sweetened ketchup by "OrganicVille" at www.organicvillefoods.com. It's a tasty ketchup, but now I feel inspired to make my own!

anastasia_wolf said...

Thanks for that!

Lauren said...

I'm a big fan of sliced apples for a sweet fix as well. 1/2 with almond butter keeps it low carb treat. :) Just found your blog. So nice to see others practicing a sugar-free lifestyle as well. Keep it up!

MirCat said...

your "trust me" comment on the prune consumption made me laugh SO hard, b/c I've totally been there. I've found that I LOVE julienned prunes, dried cherries, and toasted almond slices over salad. mmmmmm.