Sometimes there is just no denying our need for a treat. When the mood strikes, we can satisfy that sweet tooth with high-calorie, nutrient-sapping sugars, or we can learn a few tricks in the kitchen that will keep us feeling good long after that momentary craving is gone.
Sweet tea is a staple for many people, but a large sweet tea from a drive through can pack as much as 69 grams of sugar (https://www.myfitnesspal.com/food/calories/mcdonalds-sweet-tea-large-32-fl-oz-386803162). Thankfully, sweet leaf, or stevia (https://www.amazon.com/GreenGreenStevia-Whole-Dried-Stevia-Leaves/dp/B00J8ON86M) is a great alternative. In its pure form, it can be added to homemade teabags or infusion balls, creating a lightly sweet yet satisfying beverage. To make the perfect cup of sweet leaf infused tea, heat the water to just below boiling and steep for just under five minutes for optimal taste.
Bananas and apples are very effective natural sweeteners. You can create a simple ice cream alternative by throwing frozen banana chunks in a food processor and topping with dark chocolate (link to previous post on chocolate) chips. Fruit purees in general make a great option for sweetening baked goods, and applesauce can even be a substitute for fats in some recipes. This is a great place to explore and experiment, since purees will add extra liquids to your favorite recipes.
Plain yogurt is a great kitchen staple. It can be sweetened with fruit, or layered with granola for a parfait. It can even be blended with a fruit puree and kept in the freezer. This is a particular favorite when frozen by the tablespoon on a baking sheet to create bite-sized, healthy, and satisfyingly sweet snacks. Popping a few of these fruity, creamy treats provides the nutrition you need and the enjoyment you crave.