It's time, my friend, for you and sugar to break up!
It's not you, it's the bad bacteria that has you craving, thinking chocolate is your best friend and that all things sweet are a must after a meal.
You've tried many times before to swap out sugar, you eliminate it all, but that pesky sweet tooth eventually has you caving in for that sweet fix.
Swapping out sugar doesn't need to be a painful experience and it certainly doesn't just mean elimination.
Elimination means we are taking something away and when sugar is in everything, it can feel like a tedious task. Going sugar free doesn't mean you have to live a bland miserable life and that is why I like to focus on swapping.
What can you have instead of sugar? Let's dive in it!
Stevia is a sugar substitute that is extracted from the leaves of the stevia plant.
Stevia can sometimes get a bad wrap with it's odd aftertaste, but this is often a reflection of the quality or processing of the product. So don't write it off, try a different brand. Good quality stevia products are 100% stevia based, without added sweeteners such as dextrose, xylitol or erythritol. My brand of choice is by far Sweet Leaf Stevia that can be purchased in liquid (for drinks/sauces), powder (for baking) or tabs (for coffee).
Monkfruit, also known as lo han guo is a small green melon. Monkfruit sweetener is derived from extracts of this dried fruit and just like these other sugar free swaps, monk fruit does not raise blood sugar levels like sugar does.
Just like the others, you will want to find a good quality monkfruit product.
Yacon syrup is extracted from the roots of the yacon plant. Like stevia and monkfruit, yacon has been used for years for medicinal purposes. Yacon syrup is very similar to maple syrup in texture and has been shown to contain 40-50% fructooligosaccharides, which are undigestible and pass through our digestive system. Inulin fibre, a great source of prebiotic, is found within fructooligosaccharides, acting as a food for the good bacteria in your gut.
It's worth noting a few things about sugar free sweeteners. First of all, not all sweeteners share equal sweetness, meaning some are sweeter than sugar and you will require less than a recipe may call for, you will want to taste test as you go.
Lastly, there are so many other sugar free sweeteners out there but that doesn't always mean they are a good option. For example studies are now showing erythritol can hurt your good bacteria (which we know is important to the health of your gut). Artificial sweeteners such as Splenda also raise concern creating a variety of health concerns. So before you dive into any old sugar swap, make sure it's in favour of your gut!
As we chatted about above, sugar is in everything and so I wanted to give you my fav Gut Healing Hot Chocolate Recipe and yep, it's sugar free!
Now something you should know about me is that I am a lazy cook through and through! If there is a faster, easier way for me to cook something, I'll do it! Hot chocolate is no exception. No need for recipes that have you melting, blending and whisking ingredients, let's give you the 2 min. tutorial on this gut healing take on hot chocolate.
Gut Healing Hot Chocolate
In a mug combine cacao, gelatin and stevia (stir to combine to prevent clumping)
Warm water or coconut milk
Pour into mug and stir until combined.
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