27.5.16

SUGAR FREE RECIPES

You can’t open a newspaper or magazine without reading about the latest diet fad, which foods will give you a “bikini ready body” or what you must immediately cut out of your diet. Personally I believe that most things are fine as long as they’re in moderation, and whilst I try and eat very clean during the day – fruit for breakfast and vegetables and salad for lunch – I often eat out in the evenings so could easily end up consuming most of my daily calories in that one meal. I love nuts and avocado, both of which people avoid due to their high fat content (despite it being the “good” fat) but one thing I do try and avoid is sugar. There isn’t a “good” sugar. Excessive sugar consumption is linked to a whole host of horrible diseases and is hidden in many of the foods we eat, whilst also sprinkled liberally into hot drinks by many. I’ve never been one to add sugar to my coffee, and I don’t drink tea, but it still crops up in so many foods and drinks. And though I try to actively avoid sugar laden products, I do love a glass of bubbly which is full of the stuff. I’ve put together a little guide for you here about how you can cut down, or cut out sugar. I did it fully for a week, but even if you manage to reduce your intake you’ll be giving your mind, body and health a really good boost.

Drinks.

Drinks fall into three categories for me – soft drinks, hot drinks and alcoholic drinks. As far as soft drinks go, you need to stop drinking juice, cordials and fizzy drinks. They’re all packed with sugar, even breakfast fruit juices. Try drinking tap water instead, and if you need to add flavour, add a few ribbons of cucumber and some basil or mint leaves. If you drink lots of sugary drinks and replace them with water you’ll start to see almost immediate results as your skin will look clearer and brighter. For hot drinks, if you’re drinking tea or coffee and adding sugar then really try to stop. If you can’t go cold turkey then reduce the amount of sugar you’re adding to your drink little by little until you’re not adding any at all. Booze wise, your best bet is drinking clear spirits – vodka or gin – with soda water and cucumber and/or lots of fresh herbs. Red wine is also low in fructose, though avoid bubbly as that’s got the highest amount of sugars.

Food.

Sugar is hidden is so many food products, even ones in which you can’t taste it all, like soy sauce. So to cut out sugar, cut out processed foods. Starting from scratch with your ingredients means you can avoid hidden sugars. I bought some lovely asparagus from the local market recently which I used to make two sugar free dinners.

Green salad with avocado sauce

This is hardly a recipe but more of an inspiration, as you can mix it up with any veggies/herbs that you fancy.

Serves 2

4 asparagus
1 avocado
Juice of 1 lemon
Drizzle of olive oil
Tsp chilli flakes
Salt and pepper
Crumbled feta
Handful cherry tomatoes
Springs of dill and basil
6 large green olives
1 red chilli

Steam the asparagus for a couple of minutes, then chop the tops off and slice the other ends into 1cm chunks. Put the avocado in the blender with lemon juice, a drizzle of olive oil, chilli flakes and salt and pepper and blend til smooth. Chop the rest of the ingredients, toss together with the asparagus tops and chunks and serve with the avocado sauce.


Steak with asparagus salad and mayonnaise

Serves 2
1 egg yolk
Juice of half lemon
150ml rapeseed oil
2 rib-eye steaks
Olive oil
Salt and pepper
Salad leaves
2 asparagus
1 red chilli

Start by making your mayonnaise. You can do this in the blender or by hand. If you have a blender, whizz the egg yolk with the lemon juice. Very slowly start adding the rapeseed oil, almost drop by drop, with the blade running, adding more and more until it’s all incorporated. You could do this with a whisk if you don’t have a blender.

Season your rib-eyes and rub with oil. Heat a frying pan over a high heat and once hot add the steaks. Do not move them or the pan. Depending on how thick they are, cook for 2-3 minutes on each side. Remove from the pan and allow to rest.

Toss the salad, chopped asparagus and chilli in some lemon and oil. Slice the steak and serve with a dollop of homemade mayo.


These are just two easy examples of quick post-work, healthy and most importantly sugar free dinners you can make. There are lots of wonderful books out at the moment bursting with recipes that don’t use sugar.

Clean Cakes by Henrietta Inman embraces nutritious whole food ingredients that are unprocessed, unrefined and natural – using things like coconut and dates in place of sugar in her beautiful, healthy cakes. Recipes in her book include rich chocolate brownies, a show-stopping courgette, basil, lime and pistachio layer cake and five grain omega mix granola bars.

For lunchtime inspirations try Broth – a book by Vicky Edgson and Heather Thomas with recipes for broths made from natural ingredients. I made this fish broth from their book that was quick and easy and great with some cooked prawns and lots of green veg added right at the end.

 
Dannii Martin’s Hungry, Happy, Healthy is another book with loads of sugar free recipes and inspiration. It’s full of recipes for all your favourite dishes that have been reinvented as more nutritious, wholesome versions of themselves, cutting out most of the sugar used in the more traditional recipes. Her book was so inspiring that I made this salad based loosely on her recipes.



I found lots of sugar free inspiration here, and there are tons of places online and in print that you can find yours.

 
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4 comments

  1. I like the look of the Steak with asparagus salad and mayonnaise mmmmm x

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. It's a great quick and easy dinner :)

      Rosiexx

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  2. Great post, especially in the context of the raging war between obesity, public health and diet experts at the moment! I hardly ever drink fizzy drinks (I want all my calories and sugar to come from the good stuff - food!) but definitely need to make some further lifestyle adjustments... these recipes look absolutely beautiful xxx
    Lucy @ La Lingua | Food, Travel, Italy

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Thanks Lucy. It's scary how much sugar is crammed in to, but also easy to cut down/cut it out once you know where it's hidden!!

      Rosie xx

      Delete

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