March 25, 2013

Sugar-free Chocolate Hearts for Easter

This treat is the perfect alternative to traditional chocolate and sweets at Easter time. Sugar-free and packed with healthy fats, your friends and family (and you!) will love these 'chocolate' skinny treats. Super easy to make and quick to set, you can prepare these in just over 30 minutes. The ingredients are quite flexible in amounts and you can be creative with what nut butters or flavours you would like to add or change.

I used a delicious coconut cashew cream I bought from a health food store here in Brisbane. If you can't find this (I've added a picture in the post), just add more almond butter and coconut oil. I froze my chocolates in a heart shaped silicone mould, and added some little berries into each one. Try adding desiccated coconut, orange zest or cinnamon for different flavours.

This recipe is inspired from the 'I Quit Sugar' cookbook from Sarah Wilson.

Sugar-free Cacao Coconut Hearts


  • 3 tablespoons of almond butter
  • 2 tablespoons of coconut cashew cream
  • 3 tablespoons of coconut oil
  • 1 tablespoon of powdered cacao
  • 1 tablespoon of Natvia
  • 2 tablespoons of small frozen berries

  1. Combine all ingredients, except the berries, in a small mixing bowl. If the ingredients are quite cold, you may need to microwave on low for 10 or so seconds, just to make sure the ingredients easily combine.
  2. Spoon the mixture into your silicone moulds about 3/4 full. If you don't have a mould, you can spread the mixture flat onto a tray lined with baking paper and cut into squares when frozen. In this case, add the berries into the mixture before pouring onto tray.
  3. Top with frozen berries and drizzle remaining mixture over each mould to cover. 
  4. Freeze for 30 minutes, until solid. 
  5. Pop out each chocolate and store in an airtight container in the freezer.
  6. To serve, remove 5 minutes before eating.

March 18, 2013

Sneaky sources of sugar

Okay so we all know that we should limit our sugar intake. Your body turns sugar immediately into fat, which is exactly what we don't want! When you think sugar, you think cupcakes, candy, ice-cream and cookies, right? But many seemingly healthy ingredients in our pantry are made of as much sugar as a chocolate bar. Make sure you have counted these food staples as sugar culprits.

Sneaky sources of sugar:

  • Asian sauces such as Hoisin Sauce are made mostly of brown sugar.
  • BBQ sauce is 55% sugar, which is more than chocolate topping.
  • Tomato sauce * I have included a recipe below for your own sugar-free tomato sauce :)
  • Low-fat foods eg. low-fat mayonnaise. Low-fat foods often have the fat replaced with sugar.
  • Breakfast cereals - 99% very high in sugar. Best to use oats.
  • Muesli bars - including anything that has dried fruit, honey or yoghurt. 
  • Yoghurts - full-fat Greek yoghurt is best.
  • Vegetable juices - carrot and beetroot are still quite high in sugar foods. Obviously fruit juices are a no go. 
Read your food labels. Ignore the per serve label as it is often not accurate. For example, a can of soft drink will often say two-three serves. Look at per 100 grams, in solid foods should be under 3 grams (except dairy products, which should have under 8 grams because the lactose will increase the sugar content). You will find this eliminates a large section of your grocery store... but you can replace many of these ingredients with home made versions. 

Is chocolate ever okay? Chocolate is not addictive, it is the sugar that is the addictive part. Even 80% cocoa chocolate still has a high sugar content. Sugar-free chocolate is manufactured with chemicals, which are also harmful for your body. Essentially, there is no chocolate that is low in sugar. Try making your own healthy treats with cacao powder. 

Fruit is okay as long as it is limited to two small pieces a day. Berries are the best choice of fruit because they are the lowest in fruit. Apples, bananas and grapes are the highest in sugar. 

These rules are very strict , and I couldn't follow them exactly on every day, but it is a good reminder to limit these foods, especially those you weren't aware contained such large amount of sugar.

Homemade Sugar-free Tomato Sauce


12 oz. tomato paste
4 Tablespoons apple cider vinegar
1 Tablespoon mustard
1/4 cup+2 Tablespoons water
1/2 teaspoon salt
1/2 teaspoon cinnamon
1/8 teaspoon cloves
1/4 teaspoon garlic powder


Combine all ingredients and whisk until combined. You may wish to blend in order to ensure the spices are evenly mixed throughout.
It is best to let the ketchup sit together in the fridge for a couple of hours, or overnight, before serving so that the flavors blend together well.
Store in an airtight container in fridge.


Check the ingredients of your tomato paste. The only item listed should be tomatoes.