Christmas Health by Tami Hay

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Low-Glycemic Natural Sweeteners

If you’re not up to speed on why to not eat sugar, it’s easy to find resources on the havoc it wreaks within our bodies and brains, so we will leave it at – avoid sugar.

We’ve compiled a list of low-glycemic natural sweeteners for you. This is to serve as a good start for options for you. You can experiment and see what works best for you and your situation.

 

Not Recommended Sweeteners

Please note, there are some popular sweeteners that we do NOT recommend.

The following sweeteners are not recommended for vegan low-glycemic recipes.

Agave –  maple syrup – honey, and sugar in the raw are very high on Glycemic scale

Recommended Low Glycemic Natural Sweeteners:

1. Stevia

Stevia has been used as a sweetener for centuries but only recently has become popular in the United States due to its zero calorie and low glycemic index (GI) appeal. It contains nearly one hundred identified phytonutrients which can help prevent disease and keep your body working the way it should. Stevia can have 300 times the sweetness of sugar so experiment a little when you first start using it. It can be found in leaf, liquid or powder form, just make sure you avoid overly processed brands that contain artificial sweeteners as an additive.

2. Xylitol

Xylitol is a natural sugar alcohol found in the fibers of many fruits and vegetables and can also be extracted from birch trees. It is a common sugar replacement for diabetics due to the fact it does not affect insulin levels and has an incredibly low GI. Scientist also discovered xylitol has dental benefits and may aid in rebuilding tooth enamel which is why it is often found as a sweetener in gum. It can be found in crystal form and is used as a sweetener in candies and drinks.

FOOD FOR THOUGHT:  Natural sweeteners that are made from sugar alcohols, such as xylitol and some brands of stevia can be irritating to the intestinal lining in people with IBS and IBD.

 

3. Lakanto

Lakanto is a zero calorie and zero GI alternative sweetener that can be used as an equal replacement to sugar in recipes. Made from fermented erythritol (sugar alcohol found in grapes, pears & mushrooms) and the sweet extract of the Luo han guo fruit. This is excellent for diabetics, people with candida or anyone looking for a healthier option to sugar.

4. Coconut Palm Sugar

Coconut Palm Sugar is one of the best alternative sweeteners out there with a low GI and high nutritional value. It is high in Potassium, Magnesium, Zinc and Iron and is a natural source of vitamins B1, B2, B3, B6 and C.  The slow energy release of this sugar eliminates the normal highs and lows you experience with cane sugar. It can be found in granules or nectar form and can be used as an equal replacement in baking. Some brands mix it with cane sugar so look for pure coconut palm sugar products.

5. Jerusalem Artichoke Inulin

Jerusalem Artichoke Inulin is a soluble fiber with a sweet taste that is used as a sugar replacement for people with candida or diabetes. It can be used to replace other sweeteners in recipes or as a supplement to aid in lowering glucose and lipid levels.

6. Yacon Syrup

Yacon Syrup is a low-glycemic sweetener from a tuberous root found in the Andes. It was used by the Incas, and still by the Peruvian people, because of its nutritional value, low calories and its ability to encourage the body to remain balanced. Yacon Syrup feeds friendly bacteria and has been known to lower risk of diabetes, improve brain function and immunity.

7. Mesquite

Mesquite is both the ground bark and pods of the mesquite plant. It can be ground into powder used for flour or sweetener. Mesquite has measurable amounts of potassium, iron, calcium, magnesium and zinc. Mesquite flour is both gluten-free and high in protein – approximately 11-17% protein. Adding mesquite adds a caramel-like or mesquite like flavor – depending on what it is combined with.

8. Lučima

Lučima grows in the Andean Valley. This Peruvian fruit has a maple-like taste and contains beta-carotene, iron, zinc, B3, calcium, protein and is low on the glycemic scale.

 

HOLIDAY SALAD OPTIONS

POMEGRANATE SLAW

  • 1/2 head red cabbage, shredded
  • 4 scallions, thinly sliced
  • 1/4 cup chopped fresh parsley
  • 1 cup pomegranate seeds
  • 1/2 cup dried cranberries
  • Toss with Citrus Slaw Dressing

 

CITRUS SLAW DRESSING

  • 2 T lemon juice
  • ¼ C orange juice
  • 2 T orange zest
  • 2 T lemon zest
  • 2 T olive oil
  • ½ tsp Himalayan salt
  • Optional: 1 T natural sweetener
  • Blend

*you get your zest by grating your organic orange and lemon peels all the way to the fruit (including the white)

RED CABBAGE SALAD

  • ½ head red cabbage
  • 4 stalks of celery
  • ½ onion
  • ½ C cranberries, sulfate-free
  • 1 apple
  • Dress with basic dressing

CABBAGE SLAW DRESSING

  • ¼ C lemon juice
  • ¼ C apple cider vinegar
  • 1 tsp Himalayan salt
  • ½ C olive or hemp oil or avocado oil
  • Optional: 1 T natural sweetener, 1 tsp fennel or caraway
  • Blend

MUSTARD DRESSING (delicious on bed of  spinach topped with orange sections)

  • ½ C pine nuts
  • ½ C sprouted sunflower seeds
  • 1 tsp Himalayan salt
  • ¼ C fresh lemon or lime juice
  • ¼ onion
  • ½ cucumber
  • ½ – 1 tsp Ryan’s hot mustard
  • 1 tsp natural low glycemic sweetener and blend

SRROUTING IN WINTER GIVES US FRESH ABUNDANCE

CAULIFLOWER AND QUINOA SPROUTED TABOULI

  • 1 C sprouted quinoa
  • 1 head cauliflower
  • 1 C Italian parsley, de stemmed and finely chopped
  • 3 stalks celery, finely chopped
  • ½ C lemon or lime juice
  • ½ C avocado oil
  • 1 tsp Himalayan salt
  • Optional: ½ onion, finely chopped, 1 clove garlic
  • Pulse cauliflower in food processor until rice-like consistency
  • Scrape into bowl with quinoa
  • Pulse Italian parsley, celery, onion and garlic together – add to bowl with cauliflower and quinoa
  • Add lemon, oil and salt – toss well

 

HOLIDAY DIPS

GREENER GUACOMOLE

  • 3 ripe mashed avocadoes
  • Juice of 1 lemon and half a lime
  • Pinch of good salt
  • Pinch of TriPow

OLIVE WALNUT PATE

  • 1½ C black olives rinsed to remove a bit of salt
  • ½ C walnuts
  • ½ C soaked and rinsed pumpkin seeds
  • 1 red medium sweet pepper
  • ⅛ onion
  • 6 sundried tomatoes soaked
  • 2 to 3 cherry tomatoes
  • 1 tsp of paprika
  • Put all ingredients in a food processor, stopping frequently and scraping down sides. Form into a ball and garnish with a tomato and olive.
  • Serve with veggies and crackers

 

COCONUT – CASHEW YOGURT

  • 1 ½ C fine shredded coconut
  • 1 C cashews
  • ½ tsp powdered probiotic
  • Soak above in 2 C of water for 1 hour to soften
  • Blend in processor, stirring until creamy
  • Add a pinch of salt
  • ½ tsp powdered probiotic
  • Stir together and pour into nut mylk bag.
  • Hang bag over bowl overnight. In morning put into jar let culture until evening.
  • Optional:
  • Sweeten with coconut nectar or Stevia
  • Add cinnamon or vanilla

 

CASHEW CHEESE

  • 2 C cashews soaked for 20 minutes then drained
  • 4 T Nutritional Yeast
  • ½ tsp Himalayan salt
  • 1 C water
  • Blend above ingredients until smooth
  • Add probiotic or culture
  • Cover with cheesecloth overnight or up to 24 hours

HOLIDAY SALSA

  • In food processor Blend until minced
  • 1 jalapeno
  • 1 lemon, lime and orange juice and zest
  • 2 mandarins
  • 1 yellow, orange or red bell pepper
  • 1 bunch cilantro
  • 8 tomatoes
  • 1 tsp cumin and coriander
  • 1 tsp Himalayan salt
  • 1 T olive or avocado oil
  • Pulse until desired consistency

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HOLIDAY DESSERTS

CACAO MOUNTAIN MINT BALLS 

¾ C melted raw cacao butter

¾ C melted coconut oil

¼ C natural sweetener

1 C soaked cashews

½ C coconut

½ C dates, soaked

½ tsp Himalayan salt

4 T raw cacao powder or carob

1 T peppermint

5 fresh peppermint leaves

10 drops of Stevia

1 – 2 C shredded coconut

Continue pulsing until smooth, take out of blender and add 1 to 2 C of shredded coconut. Stir and add more coconut if unable to form balls. You may have to let it cool in refrigerator in order

to form balls.

FOOD FOR THOUGHT: For people with diabetes – always substitute carob for cacao, as cacao has been found to elevate blood sugar in diabetic people.

 

FOOD FOR THOUGHT: For people with diabetes – always substitute carob for cacao, as cacao has been found to elevate blood sugar in diabetic people.

 

Raw Apple Pie

  • Slivered apples – 1 per serving

Over crust

CRUST

  • 8 dates processed  with ½ cup of walnut and 1 tsp cinnamon until crumbly

Caramel sauce

  • 1/2 cup of coconut sugar melted with 1/2cup of coconut oil then blended with one apple and tsp of cinnamon
  • Form cookie shape on plate approximately ½ inch thick
  • cover with apples slices thinly sliced and sprinkle with caramel and cinnamon

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CACAO POWER BALLS 

1 C sprouted sunflower seeds

1 C sprouted pumpkin seeds

1 C coconut

¾ C hemp hearts

½ C melted coconut oil

½ C melted cacao butter

¼ C yaconsyrup

¾ C soaked dates

4 T raw cacao powder

1 T cinnamon

Pinch of Himalayan Salt

Blend all ingredients in food processor, stopping to scrape down sides until blended thoroughly

Using a cookie scoop (like a mini ice cream scoop, scoop into balls, roll in coconut and place in freezer until set.

TAHINI CARDAMOM CRANBERRY BALLS 

  • ¼ C coconut oil (melted)
  • 1 T natural sweetener (mesquite)
  • 5 drops stevia
  • 2 T ground cardamom
  • ⅓ C tahini
  • 1 C walnuts
  • 1 C ground coconut
  • ½ C hemp hearts
  • ½ tsp Himalayan salt
  • ½ C cranberries
  • Optional: 1 scoop protein powder

Melt coconut oil in pot. Turn off heat and add honey and tahini to soften. In food processor with S blade chop cranberries and walnuts together. Save ⅓ of the mixture and add remaining ingredients to the food processor. Mix until form dough like consistency. Roll into long log.

Refrigerate for approximately 3 hours or if short of time put in freezer for 30 minutes. Remove from refrigeration and roll log into remaining walnuts and cranberries. Sprinkle with hemp hearts or coconuts if desired

HOLIDAY CONDIMENTS

RAW CRANBERRY SAUCE

  • 1 mandarin orange
  • 1½ C cranberries
  • ½ C of soaked dried cranberries
  • 2 T yacon syrup or other sweetener
  • 1 tsp cinnamon
  • Put all ingredients in a high speed blender mixing on low for 20 seconds and high for about 10 seconds. Add a small amount of water if necessary to blend.

RYAN’S HOT MUSTARD

  • Half cup brown mustard seed – soaked overnight and rinsed
  • Half cup sprouted broccoli seed
  • 1 C raw apple cider vinegar
  • 3 garlic cloves (optional)
  • 1 tsp Himalayan sea salt
  • 3 2” pieces of turmeric root (peeled) or 2 tsp turmeric powder
  • Optional: 5-10 drops of Stevia or preferred low glycemic sweetener
  • Blend in Vitamix on low while continually stirring
  • Add a few drops of water if necessary

 

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HOLIDAY ELIXIRS

COCO CHAGA LOVE

  • 3 C richly steeped chaga
  • 1 C nut or seed milk
  • 2 T cacao powder
  • 1 T natural sweetener
  • Optional: 1 tsp Cinnamon
  • 1 tsp Cardamom

*For diabetics we suggest replacing cacao with carob – as cacao has been found to increase blood sugar

 

ALMOND MILK

  • 1 C sprouted almonds (soaked 12 to 24 hours and rinsed)
  • Blend with 3 C of water
  • Pour into pulp bag, milk bag (as if milking a cow) into another container
  • Add Vanilla to taste
  • Add a pinch of Himalayan Salt
  • Optional: Yacon Syrup or Stevia to sweeten to taste

 

CASHEW-SESAME MILK

  • 1 C cashews
  • 1 C sesame
  • 4 C water
  • Optional: 2 T yacon syrup (or sweeten to taste)

COCONUT MILK

  • 1 C shredded coconut
  • Can of full fat coconut milk
  • 3½ C water
  • Blend at high speed for 1 minute strain and use pulp for cookies

Nut Nog

3 c. nut/seed mylk2 T. chia seeds

Tsp. of cinnamon and nutmeg or pumpkin pie spice

Pinch of turmeric

Sweetener

Pinch of the good salt

Blend with 2 ice cubes at high

Sprinkle with cinnamon

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3 mandarin oranges

1 c. nut/ seed mylk /coconut mylk

3 dates

Blend with two ice cubes and enjoy

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