I wish it wasn’t so, but the cat is out of the bag: refined sugar is poisonous stuff. It messes with our absorption of minerals, the toxic load of the body, bolsters fat cells and basically cause a high-level of confusion in the body. In short, our bodies know how to break down REAL food. Refined sugar unfortunately does not fall into that category.

I can tell you that I personally crave sugar LIKE A CRAZY PERSON as soon as I get stressed. I’ve worked really diligently (a little bit at a time) to remove refined sugar from my diet. I go for the 80/20 rule here too. I do eat sugar sometimes and try to make sure it’s mixed with quality ingredients and made fresh. Life is too short to follow stringent rules ALL THE TIME.

Without further ado, here are some of my all-time favorite recipes that lean on no refined sugar and instead call for ingredients like dates, maple syrup, honey, cacao or dark chocolate for a sweetner. I’m still not skilled at cooking with stevia, but that is also a substitute for good ole granulated white sugar.

Note: these recipes are all also free of gluten, dairy, soy and corn…but most contain nuts.

My all-time favorite chocolate chip cookie recipe is from Healthy Crush.

My go-to superfood, antioxidant energy ball recipe: Bliss Balls from Ad Purkh who I met through yoga teacher training a few years ago. These are delicious!

The best birthday carrot cake I’ve ever had (that happened to be sugar free) from Elana’s Pantry! Want a sugar-free frosting recipe? This is the best in town from Oh She Glows.

A delicious Paleo Morning Glory muffin recipe to have on-hand! Morning Glory Muffins from Tina over at Carrots ‘n Cake.

Samoa cupcakes, these take a fair amount of time to prep, but they are fun for special occasions like birthdays.

For a simple on-the-go sweet treat after dinner, I will often reach for coconut butter stuffed dates (pictured above). Yes, coconut butter separates, and it can be kind of a pain to mix it BUT it is straight up delicious and worth the extra effort. Dates can be a little tricky to find in a grocery store the first time you buy them, they are in the produce section most often, and sometimes also near the raisins.

Chocolate chia pudding is another one my favorite treats. One concern that I’ve seen happening with myself and a few friends who have gluten sensitivities is the introduction of EVERYTHING ALMOND. Almond milk. Almond butter. Almond flour. Almonds as snacks! Almond everywhere…I notice that most commonly chia puddings call for almond milk so just be conscious of switching up your milk. I liked this recipe because it calls for real full fat coconut milk from the can. This recipe also calls for coconut oil which has a tremendous amount of health benefits as well.

Sweet in a different kind of way than dessert: Mango Black Bean Salsa from my lovely employer Whole Foods Market.

And then there is always the super simple dark chocolate. Just make sure you don’t let that one run wild like I did…it creeps up on you, you know? Make sure you buy 70% and over to maximize health benefits.

Three things:

1.) I’m getting ready to do a workshop on Superfoods on July 25th at the The Organic Angel in Norfolk from 12-1pm.

2.) What took me so long to get on board with acai? It’s the beauty superfood, just sayin.

3.)  I appreciate YOU for reading. Means the world. thank you thank you.