During my last pregnancy, I found reducing sugar and increasing exercise to be the most effective combination in beating some of my pregnancy-related ailments. These days, I am trying to live, as best I can, a "low sugar" life. For me, this means keeping little to no sugar in the house, finding refined-sugar free replacements for recipes and avoiding all sugar in drinks. I tend to eat sugar for celebrations and special occasions, although a reduced amount. This is a level that I find easier to maintain than total abstinence, and I hope I continue to eat this way for a long time.
It's a nice way to live! I'll spare you all the details and gushing, and skip to one of my favourite new treats. I adapted this recipe from my friend Kristin, and have made it many times since. You would never guess that these are free of refined sugar.
- 2 T coconut oil
- 3 T creamed coconut *
- 3 T almond meal
- 4 T dessicated or shredded coconut
- Handful of your favourite chopped nuts (optional)
- 1 T honey/stevia/agave/liquid sweetener of choice
You may need to heat some of these ingredients to get things to bind. If they are firm enough to roll into small balls, do so. Otherwise, stick the mixture in the fridge while you clean up a bit and try again. Put them on greaseproof paper and keep in the fridge until hard.
Melt sugar free chocolate and roll the balls in it, returning them to the fridge to set once more. Bliss!
Additions and Variations
1. Try using peanut butter instead of creamed coconut.
2. Play around with the dry ingredients to include things you like. As these aren't cooked, you wouldn't want to use any flour product to bind them. You could try coconut flour.
3. For even less sweetness, roll the balls in cocoa powder. It's still delicious, but perhaps not quite as indulgent.
** Creamed coconut is often called coconut butter or manna in American recipes. The best way I can describe it is to say that peanuts are processed into peanut butter, and coconut is processed into creamed coconut. It contains the oil of the coconut, along with the flesh all whizzed up into a "paste" or butter. It is not the same as coconut oil. The brand I buy is from the health food store and is called NiuLife. It's not cheap (about $16 for a large bottle) but it's delicious and a great way to tone down sugar in your life, as it's very rich and slightly sweet with no added ingredients.