No Sugar But Absolutely Sweet!

When it comes to sticking to a healthy diet and skipping deserts, the struggle is real! Believe me, I know all about that sugar addiction... YES you heard me, ADDICTION!

Tasting that rich and creamy cheesecake, craving it then seeking it and finally rewarding yourself with that heavenly delight. And when this becomes a habit then you are sugarholic. Acknowledging you have a problem is the first step to solving it.

 

Our bodies might be smart machines, but they are stupid in the sense of telling us what's good and what's bad for us.  When Hungry and in need for energy, your brain will start to send you signals that your blood sugar is low and you will faint if you did not have that snickers bar, RIGHT NOW! Although your body can produce its own insulin for energy. So fight your cravings and  wait a little before you eat, not only will you burn fat around your waistline, but you will also make a healthy and more delicious meal choice that is not based on your cravings... Winning!

I know, I know what you might be thinking by now: Really? You want to take the blessing of eating yummy desserts from us? That is not the case at all! I actually want to add a wonderful dessert recipe to your cookbook, and guess what? This one does not have any added sugar, but it tastes absolutely sweet! (With all natural sweet ingredients.)

Who said that ice cream is just for summer!!  picked my favorite healthy ice cream recipe, which is Sea salt caramel coconut ice cream.

Ingredients: 

COCONUT ICE CREAM

  • 1/2 cups raw cashews 1 hour in very hot water, then drained
  • 15-ounce can full-fat coconut milk 
  • Tbsp melted coconut oil
  • Tbsp of raw honey
  • tsp pure vanilla extract
  • pinch sea salt
  • SALTED DATE CARAMEL
  • 14 dates, soft ones
  • 1/2 tsp sea salt
  • 1-3 Tbsp warm water (optional - for thinning)

Instructions:

  • The night before, place your ice cream churning bowl in the freezer to properly chill.

Also, make sure you soak your cashews overnight OR the next day for at least 6 hours. Be sure to drain before adding to blender.

  • Add soaked, drained cashews, coconut milk, coconut oil, honey, vanilla and sea salt to a high speed blender and blend until creamy and smooth, scraping down sides as needed.

Use the “liquify” setting if you have it. You want it to be completely creamy and blended.

  • TIP: For best texture, chill mixture for at least 4-6 hours or preferably overnight. If you're in a rush, pop it in the freezer for 1-2 hours before adding to ice cream maker. Otherwise, proceed without chilling - it will just take longer to churn and may require extra chilling (see next step).
  • Add chilled mixture to ice cream maker and churn according to manufacturer’s instructions - about 45 minutes. It should look like soft serve. If it wasn't chill enough, it may not firm up during the churning process. In that case, pop it back in the freezer (still in the churning bowl) and freeze until mostly firm. Then churn once more.

In the meantime, prepare caramel by adding dates to a food processor or blender and blending until creamy and smooth, adding warm water to encourage it along if it needs extra help. Season with sea salt and blend once more to combine. Taste and adjust flavor as needed. Set aside.

  • Once churned, transfer the ice cream to a large freezer-safe container and spoon in desired amount of caramel (I used it all, but you can reserve it for other uses) and use a spoon or knife to swirl. Add a pinch more salt for even more salty-sweet contrast if desired.
  • Smooth top and cover well. Freeze for at least 4-6 hours or until firm.

Set out for 10-15 minutes before serving to soften. Will keep for up to 1 week, though best when fresh.

 

By Ghadi Khatatbeh/ Pilates Instructor

 

 

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