Good afternoon my sugar-free sweethearts!
So yesterday marked the first day of the Sugar-Free Challenge hosted by Alex @ Spoonful of Sugar-Free. Basically what the challenge is all about is not consuming any added sugars or sweeteners for 10 days which included even unrefined sweeteners like coconut sugar, stevia and agave. Since I don’t eat a lot of refined sugar but I definitely make use of unrefined varieties, I thought it might be fun to reset my palate and see what kinds of snacks, meals and recipes I could come up with without the sweet stuff.
So the first day actually passed without too much of a hitch! Smoothie for breakfast, no added sugar. Salad for lunch, some raw pasta with tempeh for dinner and berries and tea for dessert.
Dandy Blend without my usual stevia. Still pretty delicious! And my smoothie topped with sprouted and dehydrated buckwheat groats, berries and coconut.
My salad. This is a recycled picture but it was basically the same but with a simple lemon juice and olive oil dressing. In the mix is avocado, hemp seeds, dulse flakes, nutritional yeast, cherry tomatoes and arugula.
My pasta with tempeh. YUM. Recipe to come because that tempeh was sooo good!
The interesting part was that my house is not as well stocked in the fruit department as it usually is, meaning I couldn’t just grab an apple or a banana on my way to work to help satisfy any sweet craving I might have later in the day. I was forced to be creative and break out of my snack rut. I ended up bringing some diced bell peppers with a cashew-based chipotle pepper dip and some rice cakes with raw almond butter. Now you might be thinking- why exactly did I think these were good options to help satisfy/combat my sweet tooth when they are not very sweet at all? Well I figured having more substantial snacks would help. Snacks that have a bit more fat and protein in them would make my snack have more staying power and would also feel like an indulgence without the sugar. So while not very creative, these snacks helped me combat sweet cravings and were a nice change from my usual!
Cashew chipotle dip
Now, moving on to the real purpose of this post- to share a sugar-free breakfast recipe (hehe that rhymes…awesome)!
I concocted this chia seed pudding/porridge back when I was doing my cleanse but never got around to posting it. Mostly because I never got a good picture of it. And while these pictures are by no means gourmet looking, I assure you this pudding/porridge is a delicious and filling way to start your day!
It took me a long time to find a chia pudding I liked. What makes this one different?
I decided to blend some of the chia seeds with the milk, then stir some in whole after blending. This not only created a super thick pudding, but prevented the pudding from feeling too clumpy in my mouth while still having some texture variations. I’m so glad I discovered this trick because I wanted to like chia puddings so badly!
More of a breakfast chia pudding rather than a dessert one, thus pudding/porridge features dates or raisins to help sweeten it up along with some vanilla, cinnamon and coconut. It’s a pretty neutral base so feel free to mix it up! Add some cacao powder for a chocolatey morning, mix up the toppings, add some chopped nuts. Go craaaazay!
I chose to top mine with some strawberries, coconut flakes, cacao nibs for some crunch and frozen bananas. I loved the frozen bananas. We are going through a heat wave here so the chilliness of them was appreciated. Not to mention they tasted like little bites of ice cream scattered through my breakfast. A very good thing :)
Chia Seed Breakfast Pudding/Porridge (Vegan, Gluten-Free, Sugar-Free, Raw)
It took me a while to find a chia seed pudding I liked- and I finally concocted one that I not only liked, but would gladly eat everyday!
- 2 tbsp + 1 tbsp chia seeds, divided
- 1 cup homemade almond milk (or store-bought would work!)
- 1 medjool date or 2 tbsp raisins, pitted (dates) and soaked
- 1 tbsp unsweetened coconut flakes or chips
- 1/2 tsp cinnamon
- splash vanilla extract or dash of vanilla powder
Blend all ingredients except 1 tbsp chia seeds until smooth. Taste here and decide if you need to add more of anything to get it to your preferred level of sweetness. It was sweet enough for me though with the above measurements.
Stir in the 1 tbsp of chia seeds after blending and allow to sit in the fridge for at least 30 min or overnight to thicken.
When thickened, finish with desired toppings and enjoy. I like nut butters, berries, bananas, cacao nibs, coconut flakes, etc.
That’s it for me today. Sending well wishes to everyone else participating in this challenge and of course to all you lovely people reading!