The Season of Sprucing: A Springtime Sweets Swap
It’s time to think about spring cleaning. But this isn’t about sweeping out the garage or stopping by the donation bin to drop off the bag of clothes that’s been rolling around in your trunk since September! We're talking about spring cleaning your diet. If you find yourself reaching for brownies more often than you’d like or having donuts for dinner, don’t worry. We’ve been there too! So we compiled a handy guide to healthy choices: a springtime sweets swap.
Go with Unrefined Sugar
It’s impossible to talk about sweets without talking about sugar! There are two categories of sugar. Refined sugars, like white sugar or high-fructose corn syrup, sweeten up everything from cookies to ketchup. But they offer no nutritional value. Unrefined sugars, like maple syrup and date sugar are typically less processed, retaining their minerals and antioxidants.
Fructose, the sugar found naturally in fruits, falls into the unrefined category. Fructose enters the body with a crew of helpful friends: fiber, vitamin C, potassium, antioxidants, and folate. These help your body absorb fructose slowly, unlike refined sugar, which hits you quickly and causes sugar crashes. Try swapping out your sugary cereal with a bowl of fresh fruit, or your after-lunch candy with dried apples.
If cold sweets are your jam, you can still find popsicle molds at many home goods stores. The best part? You can customize them! Some of our favorites include pops with fresh-squeezed juice like blood orange, grapefruit, or mandarin. You can try a mix of juice with chunks of fresh fruit. Kiwi, berries, and mangos are excellent options and add texture. Fresh mango and dried pineapple make a fun, tropical-themed popsicle, while the contrasting flavors of dried persimmons, fresh banana, and freshly grated ginger pack a flavorful punch!
You Guessed It: Condiments
One of the sneakiest ways excess sugar makes it into our diets is via dipping, splashing, drizzling, and spreading. Store bought coffee creamer is filled with added sugar, preservatives, and gums, but you don’t have to settle for whatever is on the shelf. Making homemade coffee creamer is easy. For a simple creamer, try a mix of unsweetened nut-milk, vanilla extract, and maple syrup. You can add hazelnut extract or unsweetened cocoa too. If you like a thinner creamer, leave it as is. If you prefer your creamer thicker, add some arrowroot starch. Just start with a tablespoon and add more depending on your preference.
Homemade salad dressing is surprisingly simple! Balsamic vinegar, maple syrup, olive oil, and Dijon mustard are a great base to start with. To give it your own twist, add herbs, spices, or hummus!
Ready to do some springtime sweets swaps? Don’t forget to snap a photo and tag us @YourFFT!