Today’s recipes are the first of many sugar-free and naturally sweetened desserts and snacks that I’ll be sharing with you here on the blog. With many sugar free recipes, there are often variations and substitutions you can make in the type of natural sweetener you use, as well as other ingredients, that will affect the flavor and sweetness of the dish, so in addition to the basic ingredients, you will see these substitutions listed along with notes on how to sweeten the dish even more with ingredients that may add sugar, for those who are trying to cut back or eat healthy but aren’t ready to entirely cut out sugar.
If you’re not used to eating sugar free treats, even at their sweetest these recipes may take some getting used to, but the more you cut excess sugar out of your diet, the sweeter natural foods will taste.
I especially love these muffins. I call them my power muffins! Packed with peanut butter, whole wheat and a touch of honey for sweetness, they are perfect for a grab and go breakfast, mid day snack or served with soup or salad for lunch or dinner. Drizzle on a bit on honey or natural fruit jam for a healthy dessert alternative. If peanut butter isn’t your thing, try using almond or cashew butter. There are many ways to customize these muffins to suit your tastes and dietary needs.
SUGAR FREE PEANUT BUTTER MUFFINS
2 cups whole wheat pastry flour
1 tbsp baking powder
1/3 cup natural peanut butter
1/3 cup honey
1/4 cup oil
1 1/4 cups original or vanilla* soy, almond or rice milk
*Note that some vanilla milks have a form of sugar in them. If you use a plain milk you can try adding 1/4 – 1/2 tsp pure vanilla extract to the muffins for a little extra flavor.
You can use any kind of natural nut butter in these muffins such as almond, cashew or hazelnut in place of the peanut butter for a different taste or in case of allergies. You can also use any type of molasses in place of the honey. Try blackstrap molasses for an extra boost of iron!
Stir flour and baking powder in a bowl, set aside. Mix peanut butter, oil, honey and milk in a separate large bowl until smooth.
The peanut butter tends to clump in the middle, so I find a whisk especially useful. A glass bowl also lets you look at the bottom to see if it’s mixed thoroughly.
Add the dry mixture to the liquid mixture and stir with minimal strokes, do not beat.
Batter will be a little lumpy looking. Line 12 muffin tins with paper (or grease and flour) and fill about two thirds full.
Bake in a preheated 350° F oven for 20 – 25 minutes, until toothpick inserted in center comes out clean.
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Continuing with the peanut butter (yes, it’s my favorite!), here is a super quick and easy recipe to create a healthy, sugar free pudding. This recipe can also be made using different nut butters such as almond or hazelnut.
SUGAR FREE PEANUT BUTTER PUDDING
1 small ripe banana
1/2 cup plain or vanilla* nonfat yogurt
1/2 cup natural peanut butter (or any nut butter)
1/4 teaspoon pure vanilla extract
*I prefer to use vanilla yogurt as it adds a little extra flavor and sweetness but do note that there may be sugar in it. If you’re going for totally sugar free, use the plain. Otherwise, look for a vanilla yogurt that contains natural rather than artificial sweeteners, or learn how to make your own here!
Combine all ingredients in a blender or food processor. Process first on low speed, then on high speed until smooth. Refrigerate and store for up to 4 days. Serves 4.
And find more easy and delicious recipes here.