Why do I always crave sugar? How can I enjoy a sweet treat without all of the sugar and poor quality ingredients?
Many athletes, and non-athletes, are prone to craving sweets. The urge to finish each meal with a few pieces of candy is not uncommon. Some choose to sip sports drinks or soda throughout the day. Is your freezer stocked and ready for a daily bowl of ice cream?
There are a number of reasons why constant sugar cravings can dominate meal or snack time. A lack of macronutrient balance, such as inadequate fat, carbohydrate, or protein can be a trigger for sweet cravings. Low overall energy intake and anemia can be other triggers.
Some sugar sources, such as fruit, can be a justified part of the day. Unfortunately, a snack that involves a cup or two of sugar for preparation is less likely to fit justifiable criteria. Instead of caving to empty calorie sweet temptations consider rethinking dessert with more nutrient dense options. Making the switch may offer nutrients the body desires and reduce future sugar cravings.
Why it Works:
This recipe for cashew cookie dough bars is an example of a treat that can be turned into a nutrient dense source of fuel and support demanding energy needs. It offers a sugary sweet tooth feel, but carries significantly less sugar than the typical bakery recipe. The cashews are an excellent source of copper and iron, which helps to defend against iron deficiency anemia. Hemp seeds are rich in phytonutrients such as magnesium, calcium, and zinc. Hemp seeds are also a great source of amino acids. Similar to hemp seeds and cashews, sunflower seeds offer phytonutrients such as vitamin E, copper, magnesium and more.
This sweet treat is packed with beneficially nutrients for a low sugar price tag. It offers a sweet and salty feel with a touch of coconut palm syrup, salt, and high quality dark chocolate pieces.
Be creative and opened-minded to a new way of thinking your next dessert!
Cashew Cookie Dough Bars
- 1 1/2 c. cashews
- 1/4 c. hemp seeds
- 1/4 c. sprouted sunflower seeds
- 1 1/4 tsp. vanilla
- 1/2 tsp. sea salt
- 1-2 tbsp. coconut palm syrup
- 1-2 bars dark chocolate, chopped into pieces
In food processor combine nuts and seeds. Blend until it becomes close to a flour consistency. Add salt and coconut syrup. Fold in dark chocolate pieces. Line a 7 x 9 (or similar size) Pyrex dish with parchment paper. Firmly press the cashew dough into the Pyrex dish. Lift out the dough with the parchment paper and cut into 12 pieces.
* Tip: Combining the dough with slightly wet hands can make the recipe form better if you prefer less syrup. More syrup will make the dough a little more sweet and sticky. The cashews can be soaked for about 20 minutes in water prior to blending if you prefer no sugar at all and a more smooth/nut butter consistency.
Makes 12 servings.
Each serving is approximately 173 calories, 12 grams of fat, 12 grams of carbohydrate, 2.5 grams of fiber, 4.5 grams of sugar, and 5 grams of protein