Healthy eating AND a happy sweet-tooth? what the what?! Yep, it’s possible, but it takes some retraining of that sweet tooth. I recently began a quest to cut the sugar in my diet. Phase 1 of my plan was to omit it all together for a few weeks. As you omit sugar from your diet, you’ll notice a heightened sensitivity to sweet tastes. When this happens, you won’t need nearly as much sugar to satisfy cravings for something sweet. In fact, you may find that the sweets you once enjoyed now taste overly sweet. Of course, as I set out on my no-sugar mission, the cravings came, so I wanted to find something to substitute. Bananas are naturally sweet, and I’ve been loving coconut lately. I decided to throw stuff into my food processor and see what happens 🙂 The result: a pretty tasty and lightly sweet treat that satisfied my sugar craving!
1 cup shredded unsweetened coconut
1 ripe banana
1/2 teaspoon coconut extract
2 tablespoons extra virgin coconut oil
(optional for those not going sugar-free: a few tablespoons of agave nectar)
Place all of the above ingredients in a food processor and pulse until combined. Pour the mixture into a small plastic container. Freeze for about 15 minutes. Then cut into squares. Makes about 6 bars. It can also be enjoys as a pudding rather than freezing and cutting into bars. My kids loved it both ways…though I think dipping the bars in chocolate would knock this out of the park!
For those who want to kick it up a notch and aren’t on a sugar-free plan, melt 1 cup of dark chocolate chips in a double boiler or in microwave for 30-second intervals. Coat the coconut bars in the chocolate or just drizzle the melted chocolate over the top of each bar. Then pop them back into the freezer for a few minutes, until the chocolate sets. Yum! You could double or triple this recipe and just keep some bars in the freezer for those pesky cravings that come to ruin your healthy eating habits 🙂