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Classic Treats (Without The Sugar)

In a world full of packaged foods, homemade delicacies from the oven are, to many, a rare treat that is eagerly accepted.

And they are often better in taste and quality, as well as better for you.

But there are still improvements to be made in the staples we use if we wish to create a healthy diet that provides us with the best possible nutrition to support us in our daily lives.

For most, sugars and artificial sweeteners make up a big portion of baking staples– it is essentially a tradition in American baking. And like most traditions, the widespread use of sugar, especially white cane sugar, began with commercial propaganda.

During the nineteenth century, sugar manufacturers made claims associating white processed sugar with purity and cleanness. Thus, an out-pour of recipes centered on the use of white sugar, while healthier sweeteners like molasses became more rare.

Many of these recipes are now classics and most families have their own variations to be passed down to each generation. Meanwhile, due to food rations during World War 2, and the birth of “diet” foods, artificial sweeteners began to take off in the mainstream. Unfortunately, these chemical sweeteners over saturate our palettes and some have been linked to cancer risks and weight gain.

Luckily, an on-going health movement is forcing us to think about how our diets affect us and, aided with scientific research of ingredients like sugar and artificial sweeteners, it is encouraging us to take control of what we put into our bodies. We are also beginning to take notice of natural alternatives to baking staples that have been used for centuries, which enables us to continue our cherished traditions and adapt them to meet the needs of a health conscious society.

Below are two adaptions on classic treats, added as a means of confirmation – and because they taste good.

Easy-Chocolate-Peanut-Butter-Fudge-8387-1024x682

Image source: www.chocolatemoosey.com

Peanut Butter & Chocolate Fudge
1 cup stevia
1 teaspoon cornstarch
1/2 cup cocoa or carob powder
1/2 cup nut butter
1 teaspoon vanilla

In coffee grinder or food processor, powder stevia and cornstarch to a flour-like consistency. In saucepan, melt nut butter slightly over medium heat. Stir in the cocoa or carob powder. Remove from heat and add the vanilla and powdered stevia. Blend well until mixture is thick and no longer glossy. Press into a floured square pan or scoop into balls using a melon ball-er, dropping the balls onto wax paper for cooling. Store in air-tight container in the fridge for 10 to 14 days.

lemon-muffins-shot-1

Image source: jbeancuisine.com

Lemon Poppy Seed Muffins
1/2 cup stevia granules
2 cups whole wheat flour
2 teaspoons baking powder
1/4 teaspoon baking soda
1/4 teaspoon salt
1 cup carbonated water
The juice of 1 lemon
Zest of 2 lemons
2 tablespoons poppy seeds

Preheat oven to 400 degrees Fahrenheit. In a large bowl, combine all dry ingredients. Add wet ingredients and blend well; fold in the poppy seeds. Next, spoon the batter into greased or floured muffin tins. Fill the tins until they are about 3/4 full to leave room for rising. Bake for 20 minutes.

You can make a glaze for these muffins using 1/2 cup of stevia, powdered in a coffee grinder, mixed with the juice of one lemon. Drizzle generously over your muffins for an extra tangy treat.

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