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Chris graduated from Georgia State University in 2009 with degrees in Journalism and Creative Writing. He has spent a lot of time working with the media. From engineering radio broadcast for most of Atlanta’s major sports teams to shooting high school football games behind a camera, Chris has a lot of media experience. Besides that, he loves soccer, detective shows, and a buffet list of 'nerdy' things that would embarrass his wife.

Sustainable Substitutions for Your Sweet Tooth

Living with a sweet tooth is hard and almost makes any diet impossible to follow.  However with spring here and beach season on the horizon, everyone’s internal clock has been put on red alert. Now is the time to kick those always forgotten New Year’s resolutions into high gear, am I right? There’s a certain impending feeling once the sun begins to stay out longer and the weather doesn’t make us want to hibernate. You look around and it seems like everyone’s trying to fend off their cookie cravings and replace that piece of cake with a bag of grapes or baby carrots. While that’s a fine way to do it, is that going to satisfy your urge for sweets? Plus, we all know what is going to happen when you (inevitably) do make it to the ever popular “cheat day,” and before you know it, there’s a whole bag of Chips Ahoy gone.

So what do you do? Do you take all of those sugary vices out of the house, or do you just resign to the thought that your “just not one of those people who can’t diet?” Well, you may not have to do either one, because making healthy substitutions to the standard ingredients of your desserts can change them from a guilty pleasure to a healthier relief.

First of all, there is something to be said about making your own desserts. Yeah, that brownie sounds great after that full meal you just had, but do you know how easy that stuff is to make? You may think that you are inept at baking, but it’s really not as daunting as you would think. Trust me, I used to be one of those people who was very unaware of how the whole baking thing worked. But thanks to my wife and sites like Pinterest, that Molten Chocolate Cake from Chili’s doesn’t look like a 17th century masterpiece anymore. If that craving hits you right after dinner, wait until you get home to whip up (or warm up, if you’ve already been baking) your evening delight. Waiting may quell the initial urge to indulge, which is great for the dieters, and making things homemade is the only way to master the art of substitutions. Besides, you’ll discover that things usually taste much better when they are fresh from the oven.

Cupcakes

Could cupcakes be tasty and healthy? (Image Credit: Health)

Those of you that are familiar with the baker’s “artillery” know that almost everything calls for flour, some kind of oil or butter, and sugar. However, have you ever considered what each of these adds to your treat? Looking at regular white flour, it’s generally super-processed, causing it to lose many of its natural nutrients. Some manufacturers go back and add certain things to compensate for this lack of nutritional value. Have you ever considered wheat flour? It’s a great, more nutritional substitute to white, and can even help you sustain your energy for longer periods of time. You don’t have to go all in either, as you can mix the two types of sugar in your recipe as well. I’ve done this with cookies and other things plenty of times since first discovering wheat flour, and the switch hasn’t affected the taste at all.

When it comes to oils, the substitution solution is much more bizarre (in my opinion). However, with the high levels of fat that tend to accompany butter and oil, you’ll be happy to know that there is a much healthier option–applesauce. Yeah, I thought it was weird too until my wife made waffles with it one morning and they were delicious. For those of you who look away in shame at your calorie counter after finishing a cupcake or two, you should try inserting unsweetened applesauce into your recipes. It honestly makes everything it touches fluffier and gives that baked good such a satisfying first bite.

The final trick to making that sweet treat more enjoyable and less “detrimental,” is by finding a way to balance the sugar that sometimes drives our dietary desires. We do need sugar, but if you are constantly gorging on desserts, then you may be eating yourself into various health problems later in life. So what’s the plan then? Well, while we haven’t actually had a chance yet to try all of these, there’s a number of healthier alternatives to sugar that you can use in your recipes, including things mentioned earlier like applesauce.

The key is that there are ways to avoid making “dangerous” desserts. Knowing the sweet alternatives to some of the less nutritious ingredients is a great way to ease your mind this spring. Whether you’re improving your energy levels for longer gym sessions, lowering the amount of fat you take in or balancing your intake of fiber and crucial vitamins, you owe it to yourself to check out some of these. From my experience, it would be a great way to satisfy your health-conscious desires, as well as your sweet tooth.

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Trackbacks/Pingbacks

  1. Living Better Overhaul: How to Finally Make This Year Your Healthiest | The Hudsucker - January 19, 2015

    […] based on some of the NHS suggestions, there may be a couple of tweaks such as eating less salt or substituting some of the sweets we eat. But that seems more natural than completely reworking your entire meals plan (or simply employing […]

  2. 3 Ways to Eat Clean for Optimal Health | The Hudsucker - July 19, 2016

    […] there are sustainable substitutions available for you to satiate your sweet tooth, try using Stevia. It might seem sweeter than […]

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