When I eat well (for me this means low carbs, tons of veggies, moderate amounts of quality protein, and enough good fats) I feel better – I am more energetic, sleep better, deal with stress better…everything is just better.
Most often eating well is fairly easy for me – fresh and healthfully cooked meals taste delicious. One of the things that I continually struggle with however is my sugar intake. I have always had a monstrous sweet tooth and thought this was just the kind of foods I liked to eat. It wasn’t until I was listening to a podcast a few years ago that I heard one can be “sugar sensitive”. Of course you hear about lactose and gluten sensitives all the time now but sugar sensitive was totally new to me. As they discussed the symptoms though it all sounded far too familiar. Severe symptoms of sugar sensitivity include: an unstoppable craving for sweets, depression, irritability, extra craving for carbs, joint pain, menstrual issues. For me what rang true the most was the insatiable need for sweets. I recalled all those times I would indulge in candy and then fruit and then cereal and forgoing veggies and good fats. Eating a whole bag of raisins (I couldn’t stop!) and then immediately feeling nauseous. Those times I would buy gummy bears and tell my husband that he needed to hide them from me because inevitably I would find and demolish the entire bag should it be left unguarded. I am like a heat seeking missile when it comes to sweets.
Of course we all know that sugar is bad for you and it’s best to avoid it, but it can become confusing which types are “good” and which “bad” with the influx of new natural and seemingly better for you sugars such as coconut sugar, coconut syrup, maple syrup, agave, etc. The biggest thing I have learned from this is that for me, the more sugar I have the more sugar I want and crave. This is true with sugars from these natural sources or even fruits that are high in fructose. And while I say to myself, “just this one little piece of dark chocolate won’t hurt”, on the one hand I know this is true. Chocolate is good for you (in moderation) and the amount of sugar in a small piece is very little (even less than a piece of fruit). But inevitably, this one piece that one time becomes 2-3 pieces every day, and then 5 every day, and then two weeks later I am eating a whole bar of dark chocolate before breakfast. And that is no exaggeration. I actually did that last week. AND had dessert later on in the evening. And by no stretch of the imagination is that healthy.
I like to think of sugar sensitivity like any other addiction. It’s not something that I should have ever or I will feel like I need it and will stop at nothing until I get some. It sounds drastic sure, but having this mindset helps me keep this urge in check. Will I, at some point, share a couple gummy bears with my friends even though they are absolutely not good for you – sure! But I know the next day I must go back to this attitude to ensure the sugar beast within doesn’t try to take over as it has several times before. On a regular basis though I avoid sugar completely and opt for homemade sugar free desserts so I can still enjoy a sweet treat!
This recipe is one delicious sugar free option that I make during my meal prep so I can enjoy during a mid-afternoon snack or after-dinner treat during the week. My current favorite natural, no sugar, no carb sweetener I use in baking or sweet dishes is Just Like Sugar , it’s made from chicory root fiber and looks and behaves, as it’s named – just like sugar. It, of course, does not taste like sugar, but it’s the best tasting sugar replacement I have ever tasted and you can use it in any recipe like you would regular white sugar. I love Just Like Sugar because, like other natural sugar replacements it does not have any weird aftertaste, has no carbs or calories, has zero glycemic index, not made with fructose, and doesn’t effect insulin levels at all like maple, agave, honey and others do. It does not cause any gastric distress because it is not fermented. And most importantly, I can implement it in a dessert and not feel like I need to eat the whole tray and use all my self control not to.
So (finally) here’s the recipe for my Sugar Free Coconut Butter Cups. These are super quick and easy to make and the coconut butter adds some good quality fats. I spiked these cups with some collagen, it does not add any taste, but makes it extra nutritious. This can easily be excluded, and will not change the texture of the filling, if you want to keep these vegan. I use and love Further Food collagen (use code SUNNYSIDEGREENS10 for 10% off!) in this recipe because it is great for gut health and reduces inflammation (sugar basically does the opposite of both those things). If you want to use a different kind of sugar or sugar substitute do it! You can sub, in equal amounts, for almost any other kind of sweetener that suits your fancy.
keto, paleo, vegan, gluten free, grain free, dairy free
Sugar Free Coconut Butter Cups
keto, paleo, vegan, gluten free, grain free, dairy free, soy free
These coconut butter cups are sugar free and sweetened with chicory root. The coconut butter filling is spiked with collagen for extra health benefits but this can be omitted if you want to keep it vegan. Either way this is a delicious AND good for you dessert with the health benefits of chocolate and good fats from the coconut butter but with absolutely no sugar. If you want to use a different natural sugar, you can sub out the Just Like Sugar for almost anything else, my next best suggestion would be coconut sugar.
- 4 tbsp coconut oil
- 4 tbsp cacao powder raw
- 1/2 tbsp Just Like Sugar*
- 1 tsp vanilla
Coconut Butter Filling
- 3 tbsp coconut butter
- 1 tsp Just Like Sugar*
- 1 tsp Brain Octane or MCT Oil (optional)
- 1 tbsp collagen (optional)
- dash sea salt
Line a muffin tin with 4 cup liners
In a small bowl mix together all the ingredients for chocolate coating.
Pour in enough chocolate into each of the 4 cups to just fill the bottom of the cup. Place muffin tin in freezer for 10 minutes to allow chocolate to firm
In the meantime make the coconut butter filling by mixing all the ingredients together until it is well incorporated
Remove the cups from the freezer and distribute the filling evenly into the 4 cups. Pour the remainder of the chocolate mixture onto the coconut butter filing and return to the freezer.
Once it is all firm (about another 10 more minutes) you can eat and enjoy!
*Just Like Sugar is the brand of chicory root fiber I use. It's my current favorite and best (based on lots of research and kitchen trials). It acts like traditional table sugar so you can feel free to sub out any other type of sugar that suits you.
I like to keep these in the freezer and let temper a few minutes before eating. Will also keep well in the fridge.
If you make this recipe I'd love to see your creation! Please either post a comment or picture on this page or if you're posting on Instagram please tag @freshlydafna and use #freshlydafna.
If you make this recipe I’d love to see your creation! Please either post a comment or picture on this page or if you’re posting on Instagram please tag @freshlydafna and use #freshlydafna.