Have you recently quit sugar and are missing that kick of flavour in your meals? Fear not – we’ve got just the thing for you! We’ll show you 3 delicious alternatives that add flavour and aroma to your dishes that make sugar pale in comparison.
Add a little spice
You don’t need to rely on added sugar, preservatives and premade sauces to your dish into restaurant-tier quality – the real trick is to add a good dose of spice! Spices can take a meal from plain to extraordinary in just a pinch! This is because they contain aromatic compounds that stimulate our taste buds and receptors, which are responsible for our sense of smell. When we consume food that has been seasoned with spices, these compounds activate our taste buds and send signals to our brain that help us perceive flavours more intensely – so, those chickpeas you cooked up? Add a little paprika, cardamom and chilli powder to bring their natural flavour to life. Other dishes like soups, bakes and curries can benefit from adding spices like cumin, curry powder and turmeric – you're not only adding layers of flavour, but you're also enhancing the overall taste experience. Why? The smell, of course! The aroma of these spices will waft through your home and make you – and your family’s – mouth water before you even sit down to eat. Spices can also have other benefits beyond just enhancing flavour, and this comes down to their anti-inflammatory properties – turmeric has been shown to have help reduce the risk of chronic diseases such as heart disease and cancer. And it’s not just about the savoury stuff! You can add spices like cinnamon and cardamom to all your favourite desserts – from a yoghurt parfait with fruit and nuts to a tasty rice pudding.
Fruits are a natural and healthy way to replace added sugar in dishes and still provide a pleasant sweetness. Unlike added sugars, which are often refined and stripped of their nutritional value, fruits contain natural sugars that are accompanied by a host of vitamins, minerals, and other beneficial compounds. When you use fruit to replace added sugar in a dish, the fruit's natural sweetness can enhance the overall flavour of the dish while also providing added nutrients. For example, if you're making a smoothie, adding ripe bananas or juicy berries can make the smoothie sweet and flavourful without the need for added sugars. One way that fruits can replace added sugars is by using them as a natural sweetener in baking – try mashing ripe bananas to sweeten up your oatmeal or cakes! Using fruit in this way can not only add sweetness, but also moisture and flavour to baked goods – sugar, on the other hand, adds dangerous health risks like obesity and liver disease to your cooking… not so appealing, right?
Add nuts or nut butter
One surprising thing about nuts is that many of them have a natural sweetness – take cashes or pistachios; these popular nuts have a subtle sweet taste that makes them extremely popular in desserts. Pistachio ice cream, anyone? As a spread, nut butters make a simple, tasty spread for toast – and don’t just stick to peanut butter! Try almond or cashew butter for a fun alternative. Nut butters also add creaminess and flavour to milkshakes and smoothies – not to mention the boost of healthy fats! But butters can also used as a replacement for oil in baking recipes to add a nutty flavour and boost the nutritional value of the recipe. But it’s not just about the sweet stuff – you’ll find some of your old favourite dishes come to life with a bit of peanuts or peanut butter – think satay dishes and pad Thai.
Need a little help getting your health goals started? We’re here to help. Join us for the 8-Week Program. We’ll help you change the way you look at food – and that doesn’t mean you have to follow restrictive diets or miss out on your favourite foods; we believe you can still enjoy delicious food without jeopardising your health. With celebrity chef Sarah Glover on our panel of experts, you’ll have an array of fun recipes at your fingertips, along with our own exclusive armoury of simple, tasty and healthy recipes for everything from daily meals to impressive entertaining. We know it can be hard to stick to your health goals – especially when you’re trying to manage it alone. When you sign up with us, you’ll have access to clear-cut meal plans, community support and exclusive access to our sugar-free content.
Here’s what’s on offer:
- 8 weeks of meal plans and shopping lists.
- 90+ member-only recipes.
- Community forums to share your journey.
- Support and guidance from the I Quit Sugar team.
- Exclusive content from our panel of experts.
So, if you’re ready to ditch sugar and the host of maladies that come with it, it’s not too late to join. We’d love to help you get started on your health journey. Sign up HERE today!