Read previous post on ‘What’s the problem with added sugar?‘
Greatest source of sugar in the average kid’s diet are sugary snacks and beverages like cookies, cakes, candies, fruit juice, soda, and sports drinks. Everything that the child picks up to eat today has strains of added sugar in some form or the other. The food industry has understood the formula to entice more and more kids towards their products- ADD SUGAR! While the small dosage of sugar treats is okay, but in this generation we have lost track on moderation.
Consuming 1-2 tsp of added sugar is acceptable in a day.
Our body runs on energy which is derived from Protein, Fat and Carbs. 50-60% of daily energy comes from carbs (Fibre + Sugar). Today, majority of the energy (calorie) from carbs is derived from added sugar intake. Whereas, for our kids to have a balanced healthy growth, we need the energy (calorie) to come from natural sources of carbs (sugar) along with protein and fat. The solution here is to shift focus to natural sweeteners like fruits, berries, dried fruits, honey, maple syrup etc.
Read previous posts on ‘Want added sugar alternatives?’
Sugar is sugar! Cane sugar. Raw sugar. White sugar. Brown sugar. Refined sugar. Corn syrup. Sucrose. Palm sugar. These are some commonly known names of sugar added to food to sweeten it. Chances are we often intake variety of candies, energy drinks, baked good, sauces, packaged goods, sweetened dairy on a daily basis. All of this totals to excess of sugar in our body.
Read the previous post on What is the problem with sugar?
Date sugar is made by drying and powdering the dates. It is an easier sweetener to add to baked goods like cakes and cookies, and also to porridge and oat meals. Apart from making the dish sweet, it is a powerhouse of antioxidants, iron and fibre.
Black strap molasses is made after the third boiling of sugar cane juice. The majority of sugar (sucrose) from the original juice has crystallized and been removed. It is considered a dietary supplement. 1 tablespoon can give up to 20% of daily recommenced intake of several vitamins and minerals. The taste of this is strong but can blend well with other ingredients in smoothies, shakes, cakes and cookies.
Almond Oat Dates Cookie Recipe:
⅓ cup Almond flour/meal (Churn almonds with skin in a mixer to make almond meal or churn soaked and dried almonds without skin to make almond flour)
½ cup Oats (Quaker)
4 Dates pureed Or crushed by hand without water (take more if you need it more sweet)
3tbsp Coconut oil
2 tbsp Cocoa powder
hint of vanilla extract (optional)
Mix everything by hand into a firm dough. Divide into small balls. Take a baking paper and pat out balls into a thin cookie by your fingers (wet finger tips slightly to keep the dough from sticking to your fingers). Keep it thin for crispy cookies. Preheat oven 5 minutes at 180 Celsius. Place on baking tray (middle rack) and bake for 18-20 minutes. Don’t let them burn but cookies should go brown. Once done, take out the rack and let it cool.
For the chocolate ganache- mix 5 tbsp cocoa powder with 2 tbsp honey or maple syrup and ½ cup melted coconut oil (pinch salt and vanilla extract optional). Heat coconut oil to melt. Remove from heat and add cocoa. Mix well. Add honey or maple syrup and mix well. Refrigerate an hour to thicken. Done! You can mix this with any nut butter of your choice too (peanut etc). You can also mix ripe avocado purée in this ganache (it adds loads of nutrition without spoiling the taste). Spread it on top of your cookie.
Sugar causes inflammation in the body which results in joint pains, and also damage the protein fibre which is responsible in keeping your skin firm and youthful.
Sugar is labelled in 50 different names- raw sugar, cane sugar, agave, corn syrup, brown sugar, extra refined white sugar, juice concentrates, fruit juices and so on- we need to educate ourselves on the ingredients being used. Get rid of sugar early in life!
Naturally occurring sugar in fruits and vegetables are safe. Habits started early on (in kids also) will go a long way in keeping the body fit and young for many years to come.