sugar has always been quite a controversial topic for me. on one hand, i know the health damages sugar can cause and on the other hand, i love cake, pastries, and sweet treats. so how can that work?
i have to admit i’m struggling …
i’ve always had a sweet tooth. i would rather skip appetizers and leave room for dessert (there is always room for dessert!) and i always had a very hard time saying no to cookies, cakes, or pastries. and i love baking. and how would you be able to create a light genoise sponge or fluffy meringues without sugar?
at the same time, i read a lot about the impact eating sugar has to your body and your health. and it’s clear to me that i want to avoid sugar as much as i can to live a healthy life. i did several sugar fasts where i cut out sugar for 4 weeks just to see how that feels … and the results were amazing. i felt strong, awake, my skin was glowing, and i had so much energy. but the most surprising thing was how my taste buds adjusted and got so sensitive towards sugar. a simple apple suddenly tasted like the sweetest dessert and i couldn’t stand any sugar in my coffee anymore. these experiments proved to me how conditioned we are and how simply we can change our habits and taste buds.
but so what about the sweet treats?
well, first of all, i truly believe in the 80/20 rule (read more about my general approach to nutrition here). i recommend reducing your sugar intake to a minimum. and when i say sugar i mean artificial sweeteners, juice, and dried fruit as well. but … every now and then have a sweet treat and truly celebrate it for what it is – a special treat.
the less sugar you eat the less you’ll ultimately need it. that’s why i always reduce the sugar amount by half in most of my recipes and people often don’t even notice. or even better you can replace the sugar with natural sweetness from fruit such as homemade applesauce or mashed bananas.
talking about bananas …. is there anything better than banana bread? i don’t think so. but although banana bread sounds like a pretty healthy treat a lot of recipes call for a ton of added sugar. not this one. this recipe is truly sugar-free as it’s only sweetened with the mashed bananas. it might taste a little pale at first – especially if you are used to standard sugar amounts in food – but very quickly you’ll get used to less sweetness. and you can always spread some homemade almond butter on top – because everything is better with almond butter!
if you want to learn more about sugar and a sugar-free diet i recommend sarah wilson’s book “i quit sugar”. there are some very interesting facts about sugar in general and great recipes (i prefer the ones without stevia as i am not a big fan of the flavor).
i hope i was able to encourage you to cut down on sugar every now and then … you’ll be surprised how great you’ll feel.
sugar-free banana bread
healthy and delicious banana bread. without gluten, dairy, or added sugar!
- 3 very ripe bananas
- 2 large eggs
- 1/4 cup melted coconut oil
- 1/4 cup milk (full-fat or nut milk)
- 1 teaspoon apple cider vinegar
- 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
- 1/2 cup buckwheat flour
- 1/2 cup ground almonds
- 1 1/2 teaspoon baking powder
- 1/2 teaspoon baking soda
- 2 teaspoons cinnamon
- 1 teaspoon ginger
- 1/2 teaspoon nutmeg
- 1/2 teaspoon sea salt
- 1 cup pecans
- 1 tablespoon melted coconut oil
- Step 1 preheat oven to 180ºC. line a loaf tin with parchment paper.
- Step 2 mash bananas with a fork leaving a few chunky banana pieces.
- Step 3 in a large bowl, whisk together eggs, coconut oil, milk, apple cider vinegar, and vanilla extract. add in bananas.
- Step 4 add buckwheat flour, almonds, baking powder, baking soda, cinnamon, ginger, nutmeg, salt and fold through until just combined.
- Step 5 pour the mixture into the prepared loaf tin. sprinkle the pecans on top of the and drizzle over coconut oil.
- Step 6 place the loaf on the bottom shelf of the oven and bake for 40-45 minutes.
- Step 7 let cool slightly before removing from the tin.
- Step 8 enjoy.