Have you ever thought of going Sugar free? Well this month Cancer research are opening it up to you...spend a few moments reading my sugar free experiences and then pop over to read about Cancer Research Sugar Free events. My sugar free muffin recipe at foot of blog. :)
A couple of years ago I packed up the sugar bags in the Bun house! I just went cold turkey and cut it out altogether, rather than wean myself off it!
I aimed to cut out the refined sugars, granulated, caster, brown and anything you would add to your food.
I’d started to read about sugar, and how it isn’t needed, empty calories, no nutrients. I knew this having studied Food at university and teaching about it at school, but didn’t really think it was affecting my health. But I was getting slumps after I ate sugary foods and I would get headaches too. My skin also felt spotty. At my age!
Breakfast in the Bun house would often be a boxed cereal. Average of 15g of sugar per 100g, with the NHS recommending you have 30g a day.
So, I looked at labels, to see how much sugar was in products, no more pasta sauces, 6g of sugar per 100g, a couple of teaspoons per flavoured yoghurt pots/tubes, so we stopped those in the packed lunch boxes, we swapped to Greek/Natural and Soya yoghurts for breakfast with flax seeds, chia seeds, oats, mejool dates. We started using more tins of tomatoes and passata. Flax seed bread and spelt flour. I was interested to see if all this would work, and make me healthier.
When I gave up sugar, the first few days I wasn’t the best person to be around! About 5pm, I would turn vile! Headaches, that were like nothing I had ever experienced, I became a stroppy teenager! So by 7pm I had said goodnight to my Bun family and found solace in my bed. I really wasn’t one to be around!
Thank fully after those first few days, it settled down, and I would say after week one, I was seeing benefits. No headaches and no 3pm slump. I even lost a pound or two. By the end of 2 months I had lost nearly half a stone, and felt energized and people even said my eyes looked brighter!
18 months on, I am not totally sugar free, but I don’t consume it like I used to.
There could not be life without cake for Bun! But now I spend more time reducing the sugar or making swaps. I have converted many of my own, replacing refined sugar with maple syrup or honey. Using dried fruits too.
Tea bread was my favourite and still is, I make it with dates or sultanas and replaced the sugar with maple syrup but now I don’t put any in, fatless and sugarless. I still eat carrot cake, flapjacks, and muffins as well as 90% cocoa chocolate was a lovely treat. Infact still is, I did try 95%. Oooh that was a little too far.
I have stayed on the wagon quite well, but I do have it now and again, as I love to experiment and create new recipes, so I find I add less sugar to them and pass these onto my classes? I do feel better with my own health and the whole Bun house doesn’t have so much sugar surrounding them. Son Buns chocolate box isn’t refilled as often and when baking with sugar I just cut down on the amounts.
I have done sugar free evening classes, to show others how easy it can be. I love making my own energy balls, with a mix of seeds, nuts, flax, chia, dried fruits and nut butters, the combinations are endless, I have Mr Bun liking the Naked Bars now but son Bun he has got to like dark chocolate and he doesn’t notice I have put less sugar in food, so we are winning!
My sweet tooth has been curbed; and the BIGGEST compliment for me was my dentist saying my teeth have improved! So the old adage “A spoonful of sugar helps the medicine go down” Not really working for me!
Try my favourite sugar free muffins, perfect for Breakfast or a mid morning snack!
And remember to look at how you can support Cancer Research by heading over to their Cancer Research Sugar Free February Events
DATE & BANANA MUFFINS
125g Spelt Flour (you can use Plain Flour), 1 Egg, 100g Dates, 30ml Milk, 1tsp Baking Powder, Vanilla Essence, 1 Egg, 1 Banana, 50g Butter
How to make…
· Pre heat the oven to Gas 4/160c.
· Place the dates in a saucepan with the milk, vanilla and butter, place over a low heat, melting the butter, then leave on a low heat for 5 minutes to soften up the dates.
· Place the flour in a bowl with the baking powder.
· Mash the banana on a plate.
· Pour in the dates, the liquid and the egg.
· Stir in the banana. Mix well.
· Grease a 6-holed muffin tin.
· Place the mixture into the muffin tin.
· Bake in the oven for 20-25 minutes.