Maca almond coconut fudge (no sugar or sugar substitutes!)

This recipe came about because I wanted to play. I’ve not been at home in my kitchen for three months and I didn’t realise how much I missed combining random sugar-free ingredients!



These are little satisfying bites you can keep in the freezer to help curb a post meal ‘something’ fix or a sugar craving. They’re also full of goodness to boost the nutrition density of your day!

Maca almond coconut fudge

Makes 6-8 pieces



  • 1 tbls melted coconut oil
  • 3 tbls almond butter
  • 3 tbls desiccated coconut
  • 1 tbls maca powder (omit if you want, see notes below)
  • Cacao nibs for topping


  • Put all ingredients into a food processor and blend until smooth.
  • Put into ice cube trays, top with cacao nibs and freeze for 2 hours.
  • The combination of ingredients means these don’t go too hard and so can be eaten straight from the freezer in fudge like fashion!


Why use maca powder?

I’ve taken interest in maca powder in the last 6 months and decided to try it.  Maca is a root which is traditionally grown in Peru and is usually found in powder or capsule forms. It’s known for being an aphrodisiac and has a growing reputation as being effective for hormonal balance – something that I was working on myself towards the end of last and start of this year (more on this to come).

Looking at the science, the strongest evidence on maca is around it increasing libido, however preliminary research suggests maca can help protect the brain, improve bone health and even improve cognitive ability in healthy people. The science on its hormonal effects isn’t there but there are professionals who swear by it.

Science and others’ options aside, I like to give these things a go myself!

I purchased both some Creative Nature maca powder and some capsules to try as a supplement. Now after taking the supplements for two weeks my hormonal issue (I was suffering from Hypothalamic Amenorrhea which you can read lots of helpful information about here), seemed to be relieved and has since not returned. However I was doing lots of other things to help with this (more rest, weight gain, reducing stress etc.) so I’m not really clear what worked. I was just happy that something had finally sorted it and continued to use the maca powder, more than anything these days because I do really like the taste and texture of it.

Hence why I decided to beef up the nutrition of this fudge with the maca addition. You can include or omit it from the recipe quite easily.

Have you been curious about maca powder? Do you use it as supplement at all? Let me know what you think of the recipe.

P.S I know I’ve dropped in my Hypothalamic Amenorrhea lightly into this article and recipe. It’s something I can talk about more but I wanted to gauge how much interest it is to you and if it’s helpful me writing up the whole story?





The sugar-free recipe you need when only cake will do

So there’s a special or particular social occasion coming up and people are expecting CAKE! It’s like sugar dilemma 101.

Do you make a full sugar cake and just try not to eat too much of it (potential mental torture), or do you try a sugar substitute one (will they like it – risky business!) or do you try and make excuses (risk social isolation or ridicule).

First world problems at their best right?!

So what do you do?!! How do you navigate?

Maybe you’ve been asked to bake something for a charity cake bake or you’ve got people coming around for afternoon tea. It could be the birthday of one of your children or it’s your turn to bring in the office treat.

First of all, ask yourself how often this happens. If this is a frequent occurrence and you want to live a lower sugar lifestyle where cravings haven’t got the better of you, then it may be the case that you do need to manage some expectations and shift your activities. Doing this could be a whole other article in itself so I’m going to assume this is more a one off and focus on what actually to take.

Firstly you could seek a savoury cake or bake alternative. I have a few you can try:

However, I get that your friends or family just might not be overwhelmed with joy if they’re expecting something sweet with their cuppa and you present them with olives & spinach!

If this is the case then you could use this as a good opportunity to experiment with some sugar-free baking.

Savoury over sweet

Now, I don’t have many sweet recipes on this blog, simply because if you’re trying to change your taste buds and take reign over cravings, you need to be getting into the habit of savoury foods the majority of the time. When you do, there’s less need for sweet stuff.

I see sooooo many ‘sugar-free’ blogs that are just packed with sweet recipes and really if you’re successfully ‘low sugar’, you just don’t want to eat that stuff all the time. I do eat some sweet things and I enjoy them, but just not that often. I really don’t go out of my way to make them all the time and would rather get my sugar quota when I’m out socially – which can even occasionally involve eating real sugar!

That said, I’ve wanted one GEM of a sweet cake recipe on the website that you can use for social sugar situations that is relatively healthy.

Baking a communally sweet cake

Sometimes I like cakes and biscuits a lot less sweet than others, and so I appreciate not everyone may like the sweet potato and coconut cake.

When I say baking a communally sweet cake, I mean baking a cake that everyone likes and where they don’t have a clue it’s sugar-free.

If you’re keeping your low sugar efforts low profile then you just keep quiet, or you can wait for ‘this is delicious’ and then spring it on them that it’s sugar-free (maximum social points).

I’ve gone for a classic lemon and almond cake which is even gluten-free too (& you wouldn’t know).


Now the important question… which sugar substitute did I use?!!

I have a philosophy that there is just not one best sugar substitute out there. I say that because I don’t think it’s a good idea to go hard on one particular thing and if something is labeled as ‘good’ then people can go to town on it i.e. eat it all the time thinking it’s healthy.

Yes brown rice syrup is low in fructose and on the preferred list, but that isn’t a license to over eat on it. I’d also advise you read this article on Authority Nutrition about it.

All sugar substitutes ideally should be consumed in moderation and if you do this, then it’s less significant which one you use (if you get what I mean).

For this cake I’ve used xylitol. I’ve written about xylitol here but I’ve used this sugar substitute because:

  • The cake recipe needed to substitute sugar in 1:1 and xylitol does that
  • I had never tried baking with it and wanted to experiment (I would encourage you to experiment with a variety too)
  • I wanted to share that there are different options and make the above point to you
  • A nice chap called Daniel at Total Sweet sent me some!

I have to say, that after seeing how well this cake came out and how delicately sweet it is without being sickly, I do like xylitol as a sugar substitute for baking. I also know that Total Sweet is quite widely available as I mentioned in my video review of it last week.

Now finally, we get to the cake..

Lemon & almond cake (sweetened with xylitol)


Recipe adapted from

Makes one cake (8 slices)

Note: You do need an electric whisk for this recipe and it’s quite important.


  • 4 eggs, separated and at room temperature (see how to separate eggs here )
  • 100g (1 cup) xylitol (I used Total Sweet)
  • 200g (1 ¾ cup) ground almonds
  • ½ tsp ground cardamom (or 3 pods freshly ground)
  • Zest of a lemon (about 1-2 tsp worth or until your arm hurts!)
  • 1 tsp baking powder
  • 1 tsp apple cider vinegar
  • pinch of salt


  1. Pre-heat the oven to 180C and line a round 9-inch tine with greased parchment paper (grease both sides with butter or coconut oil)
  2. In a large bowl beat the egg yolks, lemon zest and 1/3 cup (about 30g) of xylitol until smooth with a wooden spoon
  3. In a separate bowl, mix together the almond flour, cardamom and baking powder. Add this flour mixture to the egg yolk mixture and beat until smooth with a wooden spoon
  4. With an electric whisk, beat the egg whites where you start on a low speed and gradually increase. When bubbles start to form, add a pinch of salt and the teaspoon of vinegar (this helps maintain the structure of the cake).
  5. When the eggs have a lighter fluffy volume, add in the rest of the xylitol (2/3 cup) and beat again with the whisk, using the gradual speed increase again. Beat until soft peaks form.
  6. Fold these beaten egg whites into the almond mixture a large spoonful at a time. The first few you might not think it’s working but as you add more, a light cake batter will form.
  7. Scoop all of the mixture into your prepared tin and place in the oven. Bake for 45-50 minutes until firm and slightly golden on the surface.
  8. Remove from the oven and let it cool for 10 minutes. Then carefully remove from the tin and parchment and let cool for a further 10 minutes.
  9. Serve and impress all of your friends and family!

Have you tried baking with xylitol before? What do you do when you’re asked to bring/bake a cake for a wider group? Has this been a previous dilemma for you?!


Savoury olive & almond flapjacks

Calling flapjack lovers, this recipe is AMAZING! I’ve been excited for nearly a whole week about sharing it with you because I know that cereal bars, flapjacks and all things like that are a killer for sugar yet can be handy to carry or eat on the go.

I used to eat flapjacks and cereal bars like nobody’s business when I was a sugar fiend so I’ve wanted to create a sugar-free option for a while now. If you find yourself at the mercy of cereal bars, flapjacks and quick grab sugary bars, these could be a great option.

You also don’t have the hassle of deciding which sugar substitute to use which can be a confusing business to say the least!


Even though you might feel cumin is a no go first thing, you can definitely eat these for breakfast and i’d encourage you to break out of your comfort zone by doing so.

Alternatively eat them as a handy snack, have with your lunch, or use in the kid’s lunch boxes (maybe just omit the chilli flakes).

The pumpkin and chia seed topping is optional to simply boost the nutritional count and make them look pretty!

Savoury olive & almond flapjacks


Makes 8 large bars or 16 smaller bites


  • 200g rolled oats (2 cups)
  • 300ml milk (1 ½ cups)
  • 75g almonds (½ cup)
  • 20g parmesan cheese (⅓ cup, grated)
  • 60g black pitted olives (½ cup)
  • ½ tsp salt
  • 2 tbsp dried oregano
  • 2 tbsp ground flaxseed
  • 1 tsp cumin seeds
  • 1 tsp chilli flakes
  • 1 tbsp chia seeds (optional)
  • 1 tbsp pumpkin seeds (optional)


  • Preheat the oven to 180C and line an 8-inch square tin with parchment paper
  • In a medium bowl, mix the oats, salt, herbs and spices together with the ground flaxseed
  • Add the milk and leave it to soak for 10 minutes whilst you prepare the rest
  • Roughly chop the olives, almonds and grate the parmesan cheese
  • Add these ingredients to the mixture, stir well
  • Pour the mixture into the tin and spread evenly
  • Sprinkle over the chia seeds and pumpkin seeds
  • Bake for 45 minutes, remove and let cool
  • Slice into bars or squares
  • Keep refrigerated in an airtight container for up to 3 days


More foodie and sugar-free meal inspiration

I’ve also just started a new Instagram feed @happysugarhabits which is solely dedicated to helping you beat the sugar cravings and get a daily dose of inspiration to help you embrace a practical lower sugar life and feel in control. I’ve got Fit Food Emma helping out so do follow and let us know what you think. This feed is to really help you so feedback is always welcome.

What do you think of savoury flapjacks and eating these for breakfast? Have you ever tried a savour flapjack before? Please do let me know if you try this recipe and what you think.


Protein chocolate mousse

Sugar-free cookie dough mousse

So many of the sugar-free recipes out there you read and then stumble upon something that you’re not too keen on – or is this just me?! Whether it’s a load of dates, agave nectar, coconut sugar, stevia or even the better brown rice syrup, things are sweetened with something (even some of my recipes!).

I know a few of you have got in touch to tell me about Davina’s 5 weeks to sugar-free. I’m going to review her book in due course but yes she does use maple syrup and honey which still have a major fructose element. Recipes like this are great for transitioning off refined sugar to something slightly better and more natural alternatives, but If you’re trying to change tastebuds & cravings more significantly, maple syrup/honey substitution isn’t the way to go. I love Davina & what she’s doing but I’m telling you that the Mentor Me Off Sugar recipes & meal plan will get much more significant & better results.

So with all these sugar substitutes bounding around in ‘sugar-free’ recipes, I’ve really got a lot of time for recipes that don’t contain any of the above and are more truely fructose free. They’re just naturally sweet because of the clever combination of ingredients & flavours. My sweet potato & walnut cake falls into this category and is one of my most popular recipes.

So I’m excited to introduce you to a really unusual and clever sugar-free recipe courtesy of my friend Emma Charles ( & @Fitfoodemma on Instagram).

This mouse uses CHICKPEAS as a base. Yes chickpeas…in a dessert/mousse. Now before you start scoffing (I know my friends will!), I literally beg you to try this recipe. Since Emma sent it over I’ve whipped it up 4-5 times slightly tweaking it each time to my own taste. I just love how easy, quick and tasty it is. It’s pretty high in (healthy) fats & protein and so it’s ridiculously filling.

You could have it as breakfast, a snack or a treat in the evening when the post meal sweet temptation rocks in. It will satiate and satisfy you so much, you won’t want much else.

Sugar-free cookie dough mousse

Serves 4

Protein chocolate mousse



  • ½ tin (120g) chickpeas, drained (I recommend KTC as they’re softer than most other brands)
  • 4 tbsp peanut, cashew, hazelnut or almond butter (100% nuts)
  • 100g ripe avocado
  • 10g cocoa powder
  • 40g unsweetened protein powder (or 15g coconut/wholemeal flour)
  • ½ tbsp melted coconut oil
  • 1 tsp vanilla extract
  • Approx. 55ml milk (I use unsweetened almond milk)
  • Raw cacao nibs or 60g 85%+ dark chocolate, chopped into small chunks

Optional toppings: unsweetened coconut flakes, grated dark chocolate


  • Blend all the ingredients except the dark chocolate together in a food processor or blender, then
  • gently stir through in the chocolate.
  • Taste and add a little more coconut oil or vanilla extract if you prefer a sweeter mousse. Add more milk if you need to make it slightly more runny.
  • Pour into four glasses or ramekins – shot glasses work well – and refrigerate for at least an hour (Laura – I eat it straight away, so impatient!)
  • Add your toppings and serve.

Emma’s Free ebook

Emma has launched a free recipe ebook with some brilliant and properly sugar-free recipes. It costs just £1.99 but if you use the code FITFOODJAN this month,  you can download completely free. She does tend to use a protein powder which I’m personally undecided on and tend to avoid (although I’m going to try the one Emma recommends). Just be careful when ordering things like protein powders so that you don’t order one with Sucralose or another artificial sweetener – protein powders can be a bit sneaky in adding something sweet (& usually very artificial) in. Anyway, I’ve been making this recipe with the coconut flour substitute (works fine) and on occasion just with an extra dollop of nut butter. The recipes in Emma’s book are really great – this girl has natural talent so check it out for some inspiration.

<Download Emma’s ebook HERE>

Are you absolutely mortified at the thought of having chickpeas in a mousse? Do you find it frustrating that so many ‘sugar-free’ recipes aren’t truly sugar-free? Have you got Davina’s book yet? Comment below and please let me know if you try and what you think.



Sugar-free chocolate chip spiced pumpkin cookies

As I’ve mentioned before, some days I still crave cake. I don’t crave the sugar as much, it’s the real ‘cake’ texture with a cup of tea that I occasionally fancy. So I seek to develop recipes that can hit that spot without being overly sweet. My tried and trusted favourite to date is my sweet potato and walnut cake.

This recipe also hits the spot pretty well, but as with my recipes like this I will warn you that it is really low sugar.  Your carrot cake loving friend may not be falling over themselves to have another and likewise because they aren’t too sweet, you’re unlikely to eat more than 1-2 at a time.

I’ve used brown rice syrup but I also tried this recipe with a 50:50 blend of brown rice syrup and stevia (I used Natvia) which worked just as well. If you do want them sweeter, you can probably use the same quantity of a healthier higher fructose sugar substitute like coconut sugar, date sugar or raw honey. However they obviously won’t be as ‘fructose-free’ of low sugar.





This recipe uses up any leftover pumpkin you have around but works just as well with butternut squash. I quite often roast two halves of a butternut squash and keep them in the fridge ready to use during the week. If I have any left over, I mash and freeze it in ice cube trays to use in recipes like this or, if I fancy it, in pumpkin/butternut squash porridge.

Because I made these more to my low sugar palate, I froze most of them so that I have a quick microwavable cake fix at home that won’t result in later sugar cravings. If you’re a cake fan, it’s a good strategy to try and it can help you break down your cravings i.e. work out if it’s a texture craving or a sugar/fructose craving.

Anyway, enough of my rambling…here’s the recipe…enjoy!

Let me know what you think in the comments below – would love to know how you go with these.

Sugar-free chocolate chip spiced pumpkin cookies

Makes 12 large cookies



  • 125g butter (softened)
  • 190g rye or wholemeal flour
  • 1 large egg
  • 6 tbls brown rice syrup (or Natvia or a mix of both)
  • 125g pumpkin mash (or butternut squash mash)
  • ¼ tsp vanilla extract
  • ½ tsp all spice
  • pinch of salt
  • ¼ tsp ginger
  • ¼ tsp nutmeg (I used freshly grated)
  • 1 tsp baking powder
  • 50g dark chocolate, chopped(I used Green & Blacks 85%)


  • Preheat the oven to 180C
  • Line two baking trays with parchment paper
  • Combine the butter with brown rice syrup (or/and Natvia) in a large bowl. You may need to melt the butter slightly if not soft enough. Do this by placing in a glass bowl and put in the heating oven for a few minutes to do so
  • Add the vanilla essence and whisk together
  • Add the egg and whisk until combined
  • Add the pumpkin mash, and whisk until combined
  • Combine the flour, spices, baking powder together in a bowl
  • Fold 1/3 of the flour mixture at a time into the wet mixture until all combined
  • Add the chocolate chunks or chips
  • Spoon 6 large tablespoons of the mixture onto each baking tray
  • Place in the oven for 20 minutes until slightly brown

Best served when warm straight out of the oven with a glass of cold milk or a cup of tea!

Also a quick note..

Want to adjust your palate low sugar style so you need less sweet to satisfy? Mentor Me Off Sugar is unfortunately now closed for new enrolments but you can get to the front of the queue for the next kick off after Christmas 2014. Click here to get yourself on my priority radar and enter your details into the form.


Loaf vintage

Spinach, olive & feta loaf

So on Friday I made a savoury loaf to fix a need for something bread-like with a cake texture. It came out beautifully and I have to share the recipe with you. I’ve had a slice with mashed avocado for breakfast this morning and it was a delightfully indulgent lazy sunday breakfast.

At first I was like olives at breakfast…can I do this!? However, I successfully broke down my olive-breakfast barrier going to new savoury heights. Try it! There are only a few and they just add something to this recipe. You can also freeze slices and either toast at home (make them thin for this) or defrost on the way to work.

Unfortunately I just didn’t take too many great pictures but the recipe will make up for it….

Loaf original

Spinach, olive & feta loaf

Recipe adapted from Sarah Wilson’s Paleo inside out bread from her I Quit Sugar for Life book.


  • 1 1/2 cups rye flour (swap for 3/4 cup arrowroot for gluten free)
  • 1 1/2 cups ground almonds
  • 10 black pitted olives
  • 25g feta cheese
  • 25g parmesan cheese
  • 5 eggs
  • large handful spinach
  • 1/2 cup of fresh parsley
  • 1/2 tsp salt
  • 1/2 tsp bicarbonate of soda
  • 1 1/2 tbsp apple cider vinegar


  • Line a loaf tin with baking parchment and pre-heat the oven to 160C
  • Mix the flour, bicarbonate of soda, salt and ground almonds in a big bowl
  • Whisk the eggs lightly and add the apple cider vinegar
  • Wilt the spinach in a pan with a little water or in the microwave for about 90 seconds. Drain and add to the egg mixture making sure it doesn’t all clump together.
  • Add the olives, cheeses, parsley & stir
  • Bake in the middle of the oven for 40-50 minutes

Loaf close up

As you can see, I’m not strictly gluten-free. I naturally don’t eat much gluten as I don’t eat much bread, pasta or other wheat products that often (stick to a very wholefoods diet). However, sometimes I do like a nice cake like bake where I tend to use a slightly healthier flour like Rye.

If you do want to make this gluten free you can replace the flour with half the quantity of arrowroot but for this exact recipe I haven’t tried it myself. I may experiment with gluten-free more in the future but for now, I am just content being low sugar, in control and enjoying savoury breakfast experimenting!

Do let me know if you try this recipe or if you have any other great savoury loaf recipes you love?

Laura x


Frozen fudge

Quick and easy nutty banana chocolate fudge

One thing I really love about lower sugar life is the fact that a mere banana can provide me with the most delicious indulgent sweet dessert that is completely natural and with not a grain of refined sugar in sight.

I don’t eat a banana everyday simply because I like to keep them as a real treat for things like this. I tend to eat them as and when the occasion presents itself – which this weekend, it did!

Yesterday my flatmate Louise left for a few days and mentioned that she had a few brown bananas in the fridge that she wasn’t going to eat. I really don’t like wasting food and will do anything to eat things up (there are probably some limits with that statement!). Anyway, on a zero banana waste mission, I decided to make this fudge as a spontaneous weekend treat!

Single fudgeNow, it is worth noting that as bananas ripen their sugar content does increase, but this is perfect if you want to make a sweet tasting dessert or bake without the need for any other sugar substitute or refined sugar.

Naturally, this recipe does contain bit of fructose (and thus sugar), but if you’re feeling in control of sugar cravings, a little banana here and there really isn’t a big deal. If you have just a piece or two of this you’re probably eating ¼ to a ½ of a banana at a time, which if you’ve not eaten anything else sweet all day, is a perfectly acceptable amount of natural sugar in your day to day diet (I will reiterate though, this is as long as you feel largely in control of it).

I live what I call ‘laid back low sugar’ these days and I do believe it’s important to keep variety in your diet both from a nutrition standpoint and to just keep things fun and interesting. This banana nutty fudge did it for me this weekend!

Frozen fudgeIf you’re worried about the fructose, just take note of how something like this makes you crave sugar and if you feel in control eating it. I did notice last night I could have eaten the whole slab of this (which is what sugar can do) but I was forced to stop because a) I knew I needed some to take pictures the next day and b) I was actually quite full from my dinner. Simple strategies that worked. Sharing it with others would also stop you from scoffing the lot and make you popular at the same time!

I suspect everyone will like this nutty fudge recipe, even those who don’t eat lower sugar. It tastes sweet and chocolate like but is packed with healthy ingredients and good fats making it supremely more virtuous than a number of other fudges and desserts.


Nutty chocolate banana fudge

Fudge in a lineMakes 4-6 portions (you can double and triple this recipe to make more but consider your self control as it’s definitely a once in a while treat rather than a daily staple!)


  • 1 ripe banana
  • 1 heaped tbsp coconut oil, melted
  • 2 tbsp dessicated coconut
  • 1 tsp cacao powder
  • 1 tbsp peanut butter (or other nut butter)
  • 2 tbsp walnuts

For the topping

  • 1 tbsp walnuts
  • 1 tbsp chia seeds
  • 1 tbsp cacao nibs


  • Add all the ingredients to a blender and mix together
  • Line a small 6×4 inch casserole dish with parchment paper
  • Spoon in the mixture, add the toppings and put in the freezer for 1-2 hours. Remove and slice into portions. You can put some back in the freezer wrapped in cling film to store. When you want to eat a piece, just take out and pop in the fridge for half an hour to soften a little.

Do let me know how you go with this! Tag me on Instagram using @lauraj_thomas

How do you feel about using things like bananas to sweeten recipes? Would you prefer to use a lower fructose substitute like brown rice syrup? I’m thinking of writing a post looking at the two of these side by side so would love to know your thoughts and opinions….

Laura xx

lemon cashew melts stack

Low sugar recipe: Lemon cashew melts

About this time last year I published a very popular recipe for almond & blueberry frozen fudge . Today I have a lovely new summer fudge-like recipe for you to experiment with. Say hello to these lemon cashew melts.

lemon cashew melts bite

I can safely say these are flipping delicious! It’s amazing what a little fresh lemon zest can do to a recipe. It’s especially hot at the moment and so these can be a healthy alternative to ice cream or anything else a bit too sugary you might be craving in the heat.

The coconut oil means they’re full of healthy fats. The cashew butter is a source of protein to keep you fuller for longer and if you add cacao nibs like I did to a few, then you have the health benefits of cacao too. Winning all round. Oh and they’re fun, easy & incredibly quick to make.

I have used brown rice syrup to sweeten these but it’s a very small amount. When you’ve split the mixture up into portions the sugar content is very low and they tasted a nice sweet to me. Watch a helpful video on brown rice syrup vs. barley malt extract here.

Lemon cashew melts

lemon cashew melts stackRecipe adapted from

Fills an 8-10 ice cube tray


  • 3 tbls coconut oil (melted)
  • 3 tbls cashew butter
  • 1 tbls brown rice syrup
  • 2 drops of vanilla extract
  • zest of a lemon (approximately a teaspoons worth)
  • pinch of salt
  • cacao nibs (optional)

lemon cashew melts chocMethod

  • Combine all the ingredients well in a bowl
  • Spoon into the ice cube tray and sprinkle some with cacao nibs (or all if you wish)
  • Freeze and they should be ready to eat in an hour

lemon cashew melts trayBuying cashew butter

I know this recipe has a slightly unusual ingredient but I’d say it’s worth trying. For this recipe I used a cashew butter from that I recently reviewed here & I’m still working my way through. However, an oil free one would be preferable. I’ve found a brand called Hognuts that do them but I’ve not tried yet and they have a coconut butter blend which might change the taste of this recipe slightly. You can also get cashew butter on Ocado here or you can likely pick it up in your local specialist health food shop. Comment below if you have other golden cashew butter sources!

Do you like the sound of this recipe? Have you tried anything like this before? Let me know if you’re a fan and I’ll look to post a few more of these types of recipes in the future.

sweet potato coconut balls bite

Sugarfree creamed coconut sweet potato balls

You know, I decide to test recipes and play around with food at the most random times – sometimes it’s very early in the morning. Last week I got up and decided to cook with a lonesome sweet potato and store cupboard bits. It was all I had left at home after being away with work and at Champneys (I’ve started to do sugar talks there which is very exciting).

Anyway, I literally didn’t have anything in to eat for breakfast when I got back, so these sweet potato coconut balls it was!

I have played around with sweet potato ‘balls’ before. It’s not as straight forward as I initially thought and I’ve messed them up a number of times. I think I’ve finally got a half decent recipe for you now though. I’m also pleased to say, apart from perhaps the chia seeds in this recipe, the ingredients are cheap and pretty accessible.

sweet potato coconut balls

These are a superb sugar friendly snack or treat and are simple to make. They are of course very low in fructose but taste naturally sweet thanks to the sweet potato and coconut. So if you’re being mindful of your fructose intake in an attempt to curb sugar cravings, they serve as a nice little filling sweet-ish treat.

Creamed coconut vs. coconut oil

Creamed coconut packs some of the nutritional benefit that coconut oil  does, simply because it contains some of the oil which usually is visible in the packet. Thus, it contains some lauric acid which has antiviral and antibacterial properties whilst also being a great source of natural fat. The nutritional benefit isn’t as dense tablespoon to tablespoon, but creamed coconut has the added benefit of fibre (from the flesh). It’s also a lot cheaper than coconut oil. I know many say to me that coconut oil is a little expensive, so creamed coconut is a great way of getting the health benefits of coconut products into your diet without spending a small fortune. The creamed coconut I picked up in the Asian section in Tesco was a mere 99p!

sweet potato _ creamed coconut

Sugarfree creamed coconut sweet potato balls (Makes 8-10)

sweet potato coconut balls bite


  • 1 medium sweet potato
  • 1 pack of solid creamed coconut (coconut butter may work too)
  • 1-2 tbsp unsweetened dessicated coconut
  • ½ tsp raw cacao powder (or use 100% cocoa powder as a subsiuute)
  • 1 tsp chia seeds (optional)


  • Take the packet of creamed coconut and submerge in boiling water for 5-10mins until completely softened.
  • In the meantime, cook the sweet potato. I prick mine and put it in the microwave for 6 minutes but oven bake if you prefer.
  • Peel the sweet potato and mash.
  • Cut open the coconut cream packet and put into a bowl. You might notice the oil and flesh separating so mix it all together until creamy.
  • Mix 3 tbsp of the creamed coconut into the sweet potato with 1 tbsp dessicated coconut. Combine well.
  • Refrigerate the mixture for an hour.
  • Mix the remaining dessicated coconut, chia seeds and cacao powder together on a saucer.
  • Roll the sweet potato mixture into balls and coat in the powdered mixture. EAT!
  • Tip the leftover coconut cream into an ice cube tray and store in the fridge or freezer. You can use in soups, curries or even just eat it on it’s own as a mini sweet treat, it’s delicious!

sweet potato _ creamed coconut

A few notes to share my learnings:

  • Don’t try and rush softening the creamed coconut in the microwave quickly. It burns very quickly.
  • If your potato is small, the mixture might be too squishy to roll into a ball. If so, stick it in the freezer for 30mins to harden.
  • I made two batches and added a tablespoon of brown rice syrup to one to test it out. They were a little sweeter but I really don’t think this recipe needs it. If these aren’t sweet enough for your liking then it’s an option.
  • Don’t wear yellow shorts and a white top whilst working with cacao powder! #whatwasithinking

What do you think of this recipe? Going to give it a go? What are your thoughts and experiences with creamed coconut?

hummus from top

Sugar-free snacking: roasted red pepper hummus

Sugar-free snacking: roasted red pepper hummus

Sugar-free snacking is at times key to keeping sane when you’re transitioning to lower sugar or sugar-free life. At first you feel like you have limited options when it comes to snacking. You eat a lot of nuts to start (I know I did). Then slowly over time, you open your eyes to a world of possibility as you get used to things. Hummus is fabulous snack material. Today I’m sharing a an easy recipe for some roasted red pepper hummus that you’ll look forward to eating and you’ll be able to use up in a number of ways.

You can make this a bit more runny by adding more of the liquid ingredients but I tend to like my hummus less gloopy and more substantial.

Red pepper hummus

hummus dipped in

Makes enough for four friends to devour in less than 30 minutes!


  • 1 sweet red pepper
  • 1 can chickpeas
  • 3 tbls olive oil
  • 3 tbls water
  • 2 tbls lemon juice
  • 1/2 tsp cumin
  • 1/4 tsp salt
  • 1/4 tsp coarse black pepper
  • 1/2 tsp onion powder
  • 1/2 tsp smoked paprika
  • 2 crushed garlic cloves
  • 1 tbls tahini

hummus from top


Chop up the red pepper and coat in a little olive oil
Roast in an oven (approx. 180C for 20mins in a fan oven)
Add the roasted pepper and all other ingredients except the olive oil to a food processor
Blitz and gradually add in the olive oil
Add salt, pepper and more olive oil to get the right taste and consistency

Try this

How to eat your hummus? Well, obviously you can eat as a dip with celery and cucumber or you can spread some over a crisp bread or rice cake for a more substantial snack. You can add a dollop onto your salad or use it as a spread to jazz up a sandwich. I served this up to friends with some toasted pitta to keep their hungry tums quiet whilst I get on cooking the rest of their meal.

hummus from side

Why make homemade hummus?

I know it might seem a hassle but I promote making your own hummus like I did with guacamole. Why? Because you know exactly what’s in it and it usually tastes better. Most shop bought hummus is made with vegetable oil rather than olive oil, which is a more toxic processed oil to be putting in your system. Making your own ensures quality ingredients, clean eating and of course, it’s incredibly satisfying. My friends were impressed :)

Have you made your own hummus before and used it as a sugar-free snack? What other flavours of hummus are you a fan of?

Laura xx