Sugar-free September is upon us and in a world where sugar seems to lurk in every corner, finding ways to reduce or eliminate it from your diet can feel like a daunting task.
Transitioning to a sugar-free lifestyle doesn't mean bidding farewell to all your favourite treats. With a little creativity, you can discover delicious sugar-free alternatives that won't leave you feeling like you're missing out. Here are five fantastic sugar-free swaps that are sure to satisfy your cravings this sugar-free September, and beyond!
- Swap sugary spreads for nut butters.
Nut butters like almond, peanut and cashew butter are not only a source of healthy fats and protein but also a fantastic sugar-free alternative for adding flavour and sweetness.
Opt for natural nut butter without added sugars to replace jams and chocolatey hazelnut as spreads on whole-grain toast, as dips for apple slices, or as an indulgent ingredient in smoothies. Can’t quite quit your addiction to all things sugary and spreadable cold turkey? Start by subbing out half, for the perfect sweet/savoury combo.
- Swap ice cream for coconut yoghurt and fresh berries.
Creamy, sweet and rich, a few scoops of decadent coconut yoghurt combined with a handful of berries (strawberries are great in-season options, otherwise experiment with frozen varieties like blueberries), offers an excellent low-sugar alternative to ice cream. Alternatively, frozen yoghurts are also a better alternative, think Yo-Chi bars which are popping up all across the country with toppings like fresh fruit and nuts.
- Swap milk chocolate for dark varieties.
Craving chocolate doesn't mean you have to surrender to sugar-laden options. Instead, embrace the rich, intense flavour of dark varieties with at least 85% cocoa. Dark chocolate boasts less sugar than milky versions and is instead packed with antioxidants that support heart health and overall well-being.
Savour a few squares of your favourite with a handful of nuts for a luxe treat that won't sabotage your sugar-free efforts. To learn more about the difference between cacao, cocoa and chocolate, see our article here.
- Swap a spoonful of sugar for a handful of dried dates.
Whether you experiment and use them as a replacement in traditional baked goods that generally rely on refined white sugar, create raw desserts (Google Date Bark for the recipe that’s been going completely viral on TikTok) or grab a handful to beat the 3pm slump.
Dates are like nature's candy – a naturally sweet, sticky, alternative that’s loaded with nutrients, fibre, vitamins and minerals that will deliver you all of the sweet highs. Other ideas for these little powerhouses include blending them into smoothies, chopping them into energy balls, or stuffing them with nut butter for a bite-sized treat and a guilt-free indulgence. Dates are versatile in savoury dishes too, see here for our recipe on Whole Roasted Cauliflower with dates.
Plus Hemp has a hit of Omega-3 and Omega-6 essential acids - without any added sugar.
- Swap sugary fizzy drinks for a sugar-free alternative
While sugar, fizzy soft drinks are falling out of favour fast (as we learn more about their health complications), their alternatives are not necessarily always healthier options.
For example, sugar-free sodas are often sweetened with artificial sweeteners and even fruit juices can come packed with unhealthy amounts of sugar. In these instances, Plus Hemp is one of the most revolutionary beverages to hit the Australian market. It offers all the best bits of a delicious soft drink, minus the sweet stuff or artificial flavours, colours, chemicals and sweeteners.
Instead, it replaces them all with a host of health benefits designed to nourish your body in its place. Think natural ingredients from real fruit content, a low-sugar content and an encyclopedia of essential nutrients and superfoods - that, yes, includes hemp!