Sugar is something that many of us are addicted to, in fact; you may be addicted without even realizing it
“Addicted” sounds pretty extreme, we know, but when you consider that sugar produces the same mood-altering effects as cocaine, it really is no surprise! In fact, a study conducted on rats at Connecticut College compared the brains’ responsiveness to sugary foods (such as Oreos) and drugs (cocaine and morphine). Joseph Shroeder, director at the college said; “Our research supports the theory that high-fat/high-sugar foods stimulate the brain in the same way that drugs do,” he continued, “It may explain why some people can’t resist these foods despite the fact that they know they are bad for them.”
Life is all about balance though, so we’re not saying you should never indulge in a sweet treat, and some sugar is necessary for our bodies to function at their best. That’s why we’re excited for you to try these five low sugar treats and see how just a few substitutions can still give you the sugary pleasure you’re after, without it affecting your mood.
But first, let’s talk about…
How Sugar Affects Your Skin And Your Health
Too much sugar is not so sweet for the complexion and it can actually contribute to increased breakouts as well as speed up the signs of aging. Sugar increases inflammation in the body, which not only increases your risk for disease, it may also worsen inflammatory skin conditions such as acne or eczema.
That’s not all! A high sugar diet actually saps water out of the cells, which can dehydrate the skin as well as break down collagen and elastin. What you’re left with is premature wrinkles and sagging skin.
Don’t despair! There are many low sugar alternatives that will ensure you satisfy your sweet tooth, without the nasty side-effects of the real stuff!
5 Low Sugar Treats You Can Enjoy All Summer Long!
Chocolate Oat Cookies
Who says you can’t have cookies on a low sugar diet? These cookies are packed with healthy fats, proteins and natural sweetness from the nutrient-rich honey, just be sure to use raw honey and not that processed stuff usually packaged in cute bear jars.
They’re no-bake, super easy to whip up and contain oats meaning you can have dessert for breakfast!
- 3 cups quick oats
- ¾ cup honey
- ⅔ cup natural peanut butter
- ½ cup coconut oil
- ⅓ cup unsweetened cocoa powder
- 1 ½ teaspoon vanilla extract
- ¼ teaspoon salt
- Line 2 baking sheets with parchment paper.
- In a medium saucepan over medium-high heat, combine honey, peanut butter, and coconut oil, stirring until everything blends together smoothly.
- Stir in oats, cocoa powder, vanilla and salt and mix until everything is fully incorporated and coated.
- Use a spoon or small ice cream scoop to drop cookies down onto parchment-lined baking sheets, then place in freezer for at least 15 minutes to set.
- Store in an airtight container either in the fridge or freezer (depending on how you like them) and enjoy!
Popsicles are a favorite on a hot summer’s day, for kids and adults alike, but unfortunately, they are absolutely loaded in sugar!
- 2 Packs of Ener-C SPORT
- 2 Packs of Ener-C Raspberry
- 1 ½ Cups Water (could need 2 cups +)
- Popsicle Molds (either 4 slots or 8 slots)
- Distribute the Ener-C SPORT Drink Mix & Raspberry Multivitamin Drink Mix evenly between all the molds. (might be easier to pre-mix together in a bowl then add to the molds)
- Add a little water, stir and let sit 10 minutes. Once it's sat for roughly 10ish minutes, top off the water and make sure the effervescent has calmed down and all powder is mixed in.
- Put the sticks into the drink mix and put in the freezer (we found 8 - 10 hours works best)
- Remove & enjoy!
What’s better than sitting on the porch on a hot summer's day, reminiscing with those you love as you sip on an ice cold glass of lemonade? Sounds like bliss! Unfortunately, though most lemonade recipes will have you adding cups upon cups of sugar to your jug.
Try this honey and mint flavored version next time you’re craving a thirst quenching lemonade.
- 1 cup raw honey
- 1 ½ cups freshly squeezed lemon juice with seeds removed
- 2 lemons, sliced into thin rounds
- 8 cups water
- ½ cup loosely packed mint leaves
- Heat 1 cup of water on the stovetop over high heat until steaming. Remove from heat and add honey, stir until dissolved. Allow to chill in the refrigerator.
- Add to pitcher chilled honey mixture, remaining water, fresh lemon juice, and lemon slices, stir to combine. Refrigerate until ready to serve. Add ice to individual glasses, if desired. Serve with fresh mint leaves. Enjoy!
Banana Chocolate Chip Ice Cream Bites
A treat everyone loves come summer time is ice-cream! While there are certainly many brands offering healthier options such as dairy-free ice cream, sugar still sits high on the ingredient list! This recipe will give you the creamy, icy, taste you’re after, without too much sugar! It’s got just two ingredients after all…
- 6 very ripe bananas
- ¾ cup sugar-free mini chocolate chips
- Line a baking sheet with parchment paper. Slice the bananas into ½-inch slices and lay flat on the parchment-lined baking sheet. Cover with plastic wrap and place in the freezer for 1-1/2 hours.
- Remove frozen bananas from the freezer and let set out for about 5 minutes while you set up your food processor or blender. You want the bananas to softened just a bit, but still be frozen.
- Place the bananas in the food processor and pulse/blend until smooth and creamy. Stir in ½ cup mini chocolate chips.
- Grease a mini muffin pan with non-stick cooking spray. Scoop the banana ice cream into each cup, filling each one almost full, then sprinkle the top of each cup with a few more mini chocolate chips. Place the muffin pan in the freezer for an hour.
- Remove the pan from the freezer and pop each bite out with a knife. Stack the banana ice cream bites in a freezer safe container with a lid, placing parchment paper between each layer of bites to keep them from sticking together.
- When ready to eat, remove however many bites you want from the freezer container and let set out for a few minutes before eating.
Raspberry Smoothie Bowl
Smoothie bowls are the perfect summer treat! Made with seasonal fruits, they’re refreshing, nutritious, and incredibly healthy for you! We created our very own version for you to enjoy, and don’t be scared to add your own twist to it by varying up the toppings as you wish.
- 1/2 Cup mixed berries
- 1 Banana
- 3/4 Cup Almond milk
- 1 Tbsp Chia Seeds
- Juice from 1/2 a Lemon
- 1 pack Raspberry Ener-C
- Pinch of Cinnamon
- In a blender, blend mixed berries, banana, almond milk, lemon juice, chia seeds, cinnamon, and Ener-C
- Pour mixture into a bowl and top with fresh berries, hemp seeds, coconut shreds