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sugarfree chocolate brownie recipe

Sugarfree chocolate brownie recipe (banana sweetened)

Delighted to share with you this low fructose sugarfree chocolate brownie recipe, kindly contributed by The Sugarfree Siblings.

Replacing sugar with a natural version (like a banana) is a great step to eating less of the refined stuff and the fact that each of these sugarfree chocolate brownies is just sweetened with 1/4 of a banana means they are also going to hit the chocolate spot without a natural sweetness overload.

Sugarfree chocolate brownie recipe

sugarfree chocolate brownie recipe

Recipe & images by the Sugarfree Siblings

Serves 4

  • 1 banana
  • 4 tbsp coconut cream
  • 2 tbsp almond butter (any type of Nut Butter really!)
  • 2tsp chia seeds
  • 70g 100%* dark chocolate

*FYI (Madecasse, Willies Cacao & Pacari Raw Chocolate are good options available from Wholefoods / Planet Organic / Amazon. Or try a Lindt 99% bar – which isn’t quite as good but still a great option!

Method

  • Melt the Coconut Cream by putting the bag in a bowl of hot water.
  • Meanwhile, in a mixing bowl mash the banana thoroughly with a fork and add the coconut cream when melted.
  • Fold in the almond butter & chia Seeds and combine.
  • Add the chocolate to a saucepan and on the lowest heat, melt it before adding to the rest of your ingredients and stir well
  • Pop the mixture in a small, lined baking tray/vessel and leave to set in the fridge for min. 2 hours.
  • Optional to serve with a couple of cherries & a little sugar-free or low sugar ice cream

sugarfree chocolate brownie recipe

About

The Sugarfree Siblings are a two sisters from Scotland obsessed with cooking and nourishing sugar-free and low fructose. With a host of delicious healthy recipes on their website, you’ll find lots of lovely things to keep your taste buds savoury and less sweet. You can also follow them on Instagram and Twitter.

egg banana scramble

Spiced egg banana scramble

This spiced egg banana scramble recipe is a great experiment to try if you’ve previously loved your porridge with banana for many years but find yourself craving sugar or carbohydrates mid morning as a result (as I know I used to find).

It’s basically like the higher protein version that will keep you satiated and full for three times longer.

Although a banana is a higher fructose fruit, you actually only need 1/2 of one in this recipe and the high protein and fat content slows the release on your body. The spices bring out the natural little sweetness perfectly.

spiced egg banana scramble

Whilst I generally like savoury breakfast, there are times I fancy something naturally sweetened and this refined  sugar-free spiced egg and banana scramble is one my favourites.

It’s also ridiculously easy to do quickly in the microwave – in a very similar way to making quick porridge, so you can’t use that ‘no time for eggs’ excuse!

If you are a die porridge fan, you might want to check out my post on low sugar porridge toppings.

Anyway, here’s the recipe…

Spiced egg banana scramble

Makes 1 portion

spiced egg banana scramble

Ingredients

  • 2 eggs
  • 1/2 a banana
  • 1/2 tsp cinnamon
  • 1/2 tsp nutmeg
  • 1 tbls milk of your choice
  • Small knob of butter or 1 tsp coconut oil (unless microwave cooking)
  • Mixed seeds, almond butter, chia seeds, walnuts or natural yoghurt to top

Method

  • Mash up the banana into a bowl and whisk the eggs in a separate bowl
  • Blend together so they become one mixture (it’s ok if a bit lumpy!)
  • Add the cinnamon & nutmeg
  • Scramble in a pan with your fat of choice OR
  • Cook for 30 second intervals in the microwave, stirring between each until cooked (usually it takes three but depends on the size of your eggs)
  • If it feels a bit dry to each, add the tablespoon of milk
  • Top with your toppings of choice – nut butter, seeds, yoghurt etc.

spiced egg banana scramble

As a final note, with the nutmeg addition this recipe really reminds me of bread and butter pudding (one of my old time dessert favourites!). So you could even use it as a healthier pudding substitute too if you wanted.

If you do cook in the microwave, make sure you add some seeds or nuts so that you have that healthy fat to make it a nicely balanced meal.

What do you think of this recipe? Going to give it a go? Let me know if it keeps you going longer than standard porridge with banana.

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 fudge

If 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.

Enjoy!

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!)

Ingredients

  • 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

Method

  • 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 @happysugarhabits

How do you feel about using things like bananas to sweeten recipes? 

Laura xx

Do you know the difference between a banana and a croissant?

Sugar can get a little confusing. Can you explain what the difference is between a banana and a croissant? I’ve been self teaching myself for a while now, and still sometimes I find it hard to explain quickly and painlessly the differences between various foodstuffs.

If you aren’t clear what the difference is between our yellow friend and the French speciality, then read on for where I’ve come to on these two…

  • OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERAA banana and a croissant are made up of different types of sugar that are metabolised differently by the body
  • A banana contains some fructose (in fact, quite a lot compared to other fruits).
  • Fructose is the thing that makes things taste sweet. Table sugar and all similar ‘added sugar’ is about 50% fructose. If you’re tasting sweet, it’s probably fructose in some form.
  • Too much fructose is dangerous for the body but we can tolerate small amounts i.e. a few portions of fruit a day
  • A croissant doesn’t contain fructose, therefore it doesn’t taste sweet but it is a very refined source of glucose (also a sugar but not the sweet tasting one)
  • Refined glucose like this is quickly absorbed into the blood stream and spikes your blood sugar and insulin release, potentially leading to a later ‘crash’ (not good)
  • A banana on it’s own has a highish glycemic index and so will covert into blood sugar relatively quickly
  • A banana is natural, has fibre (which slows down sugar absorption), potassium and other useful nutrients for the body
  • A croissant is processed and has nada

Easier? Clearer? Hmm maybe not. There are still too many bullets there than I wanted to write.

Ideally you want to be eating a healthy meal or snack balanced with protein and fat which neither a banana or croissant on their own provides. However, if you were on a desert island with only these two options, a banana obviously is going to be the all round healthier choice.

If you are trying to get a handle on your sugar habits and know you’ve already eaten fruits or fructose during the day, it’s possible the banana could take you over the ideal fructose amount. I feel it’s important to be aware of this, because fructose is the sweet tasting ‘addictive’ sugar.

banana

I had a guy recently tell me he ate a few bananas a a day and still craved a maple and pecan slice…err way too much fructose dude!

When I was carefully watching my sugar in order to get off the sweet stuff and lesser my cravings, I was wary of bananas for a period of time. There are lots of other lower fructose fruits you can have as an alternative – berries, satsumas etc. As a result, my tastebuds have adjusted to fructose and when I have the occasional banana, my gosh, it tastes really flipping sweet.

I should also add that ripe bananas contain more fructose than their green tipped friends, so opt for greener ones if you’re on fructose alert.

Hope that helps a little to clear up any confusion. I’ve been thinking about this post for a while, so it’s nice to finally let it out.

Any views on bananas? Do you eat them everyday or just occasionally?

How to lower the sugar in your porridge toppings

Has porridge been the healthy staple in your diet for some time? It’s quick and easy in the morning, feels filling and hits the spot. However, recently you’ve been concerned about sugar toppings and wondering what your options are.

Your search ends here, in this article I will talk you through how to lower the sugar content of your porridge and give you a ton of ideas to try.

Porridge as a healthy breakfast

First up, I need to say something about porridge as a breakfast. Yes, porridge oats are slower releasing carbohydrate and have nutritional benefit, but be aware a bowl of porridge is a carbohydrate heavy (& based breakfast).

Now before you say I’m anti-carb, I’m really not as I don’t buy into any one way of eating (just less sugar) and I still have porridge from time to time these days myself.

However, there is a strong case for you to get a decent amount of protein in your breakfast and some healthy fat – namely that it will provide a longer, steady realising form of energy that will keep you fuller for longer and reduce your carbohydrate (and thus sugar) cravings throughout the rest of the day.

It’s one of the reasons why I recommend egg-based breakfasts as the norm, and porridge as the more occasional one to mix it up.

Anyway, we’re talking porridge here, so how can you beef up the protein and fat when you are having it?

  • Really consider adding a decent portion of nuts and seeds to your porridge – pumpkin and sunflower seeds are two of my favourites but any nut works.
  • Nut butter – almond and hazlenut are delicious on porridge but peanut and cashew are also good options
  • Blend your porridge with flaxseed powder or chia seed to up the protein and fat whilst also getting some serious nutritional benefit
  • Experiment with quinoa porridge which is a higher protein grain than standard oats
  • Add a dollop of high protein yoghurt to your porridge after cooking
  • Add teaspoon of coconut oil for the healthy fat element

I would recommend you add at least one of the above (& even two) to whatever else you have on your porridge to make it more of a balanced slow releasing meal.

Interestingly, I find these days, that if I eat plain porridge without a fat-protein element I can really really tell the difference in how hungry I feel later and what is going on with my blood sugar. When you’re testing out different porridge toppings, do make a note of how you feel so you can learn about what your body responds the best to

Common porridge toppings

Ok moving onto the lowdown on some popular porridge toppings from a sugar perspective…

Honey & cinnamon

I very often get asked about this one. Honey is about 35% fructose and is usually processed. What about the nutritional benefit of honey? Well, most supermarket bought brands don’t have any because of it’s processing so don’t go justifying it with that. Manuka or raw honey is the best to go for here, but I’d recommend using something lower in fructose like brown rice syrup or barley malt extract.

However, good news on the cinnamon – it’s great for sugar cravings and super flavoursome, so keep adding to your morning bowl in abundance! Try some nutmeg too.

Golden syrup

Extremely sugary (doh!!). It used to be my all time favourite so I do understand. If you’re hooked on this, try to wean yourself away. I did in a progressive way going from golden syrup, to honey, to a teaspoon of jam and then to fresh berries. You may need to mourn it a little but when you’re tastebuds are re-adjusted to sweetness you will probably be able to suffice with 1/10th of the portion you used to (that is if you do want to occasionally treat yourself to the golden syrup flavour once in a while).

Blueberries and raspberries (or other fruit)

These are probably my strongest recommendations when it comes to porridge toppings to add some natural sweetness without too much of a fructose hit. Raspberries are particularly low in fructose and both of these are packed with nutritional benefit. You can also keep them frozen and too your porridge whilst cooking for the ultimate convenience.

In general, natural whole fruit is one of the best ways to sweeten your porridge. However I’d refrain from dried fruit (raisins, dates etc.) which are a concentrated source of sugar.

Banana

One of the classics here and based on where you are with sugar cravings, I’d say to air this one with caution for a period of time whilst you recalibrate your tastebuds and experiment with lower sugar porridge toppings. Like the porridge oats, bananas are high glycemic index – meaning they release energy into your blood stream quickly. They’re also quite a bit higher in fructose than many other fruits. If you do really love your banana, seek to have maybe half of one and freeze the rest – and make sure you add the protein-fat element to slow the energy release down.

Coconut stuff

Desiccated coconut and coconut flakes are a superb low sugar addition that I highly recommend in lower sugar life transition. They have a natural sweetness that is low in fructose plus are a great source of protein, fat and other nutrients. Try on top of some natural yoghurt with some seeds.

Some of my recipes to try:

You could also check on the @happysugarhabits Instagram feed for some ideas

What are your favourite porridge toppings? Comment below if you’ve got questions about ones I haven’t mentioned and I’ll happily answer.