Have you noticed that I have a sweet tooth? There’s no point in trying to deny it…the overabundance of dessert recipes posted here makes that fact pretty obvious! Maybe you can relate 🙂
My passion for sweets dates back to grade school when I first learned how to bake Toll House chocolate chip cookies, and came up with my first original recipe for homemade Orange Julius. The common theme in my favorite kitchen creations was sugar. Brown sugar, white sugar, powdered sugar and (gulp) corn syrup made an appearance in everything I made.
It wasn’t until my late 20’s, while doing research for an article I was writing, that I discovered just how harmful refined cane sugar is to our bodies. I read that you would survive longer on a diet of just water than on a diet of water and refined sugar.
Does that boggle your mind? It boggled mine too.
This discovery was made by five sailors who were ship wrecked in 1793.
The ship happened to be filled with sugar, and so the marooned five consumed a diet of sugar and water. When they were rescued, nine days later, the men were in a wasted condition due to starvation.
French physiologist, Francois Magendie, heard this story and decided to conduct a series of experiments in which he fed dogs a diet of sugar.
All. Of. The. Dogs. Died.
Magendie proved that as a steady diet, refined sugar is WORSE than nothing.
How can sugar calories be worse than nothing? Simply put, refined sugar is an anti-nutrient.
Let me repeat that so it really sinks in….Sugar is an ANTI-NUTRIENT. The opposite of nutrition.
Refined sugar starts out as sugar cane, and then goes through an extensive refining process that destroys all of the enzymes, fiber, vitamins and minerals.
What you’re left with are empty, naked calories.
The problem is that your body needs the enzymes, fiber, vitamins and minerals that were taken out in the refining process in order to metabolize sugar and use it as energy. So it poaches those nutrients from your own body.
This means that while you are enjoying that piece of candy, sugar is draining vital nutrients from your body. And from your child’s body when they chow down on sugary stuff.
- Sugar creates false hunger, as a result of the insulin rush and then ensuing plummet in your blood sugar levels, which makes you overeat.
- Sugar promotes aging, due to the advanced glycation end products, or AGEs, that occur when insulin levels are consistently elevated as a result of eating too much sugar.
- Sugar weakens your bones –making you vulnerable for osteoporosis, and weakens your teeth—making you vulnerable for cavities, both due to the calcium being pulled from your bones and teeth in order for your body to process sugar.
- Sugar in excess is stored as fat, after your liver has no more room to store it, sugar is converted to fat and deposited on your belly, thighs, hips and the backs of your arms.
- Sugar can impair brain functioning, as a result of depleted B-vitamin production.
- Sugar consumption contributes to the following: varicose veins, constipation, hormonal imbalances, ADD and ADHD, increased emotional instability, depressed immune system, increased risk of cancer and degenerative diseases.
From that day on I eliminated sugar from my kitchen and from my recipes. In fact, the only thing allowed in my house with sugar listed in the ingredients is very dark (70% or higher cocoa), organic chocolate.
Despite taking sugar out of my pantry, I’ve still been able to make every dessert imaginable.
Wholesome sweeteners like coconut sugar (also called coconut crystals), raw honey, pure maple syrup and stevia. These wholesome sweeteners contain vitamins and minerals while also having a lower impact on your blood sugar levels than refined sugar.
Quite the win-win!
I used to make a sinfully sweet sugar cookie, back in my sugar-daze, that I would top with chocolate frosting. Yum-o.
These Chocolate Dipped Coconut Sugar Cookies are my new, wholesome version of those cookies from my sugary past. They are subtly sweet with the perfect touch of chocolate. Store in the freezer, as they tend to want to crumble when warm. Enjoy!
- In a large mixing bowl beat the coconut oil and palm shortening with an electric mixer on high speed for 30 seconds. Add coconut palm sugar, baking soda, cream of tartar, and salt. Beat until combined, scraping sides of bowl occasionally. Beat in the egg yolks and vanilla until combined. Beat in the almond flour, coconut flour and starch. Chill the dough in the fridge for 15 minutes.
- Shape dough into 1-inch balls. Place 2 inches apart on a lightly greased cookie sheet. Press the balls to flatten slightly. Bake in a 300 degree oven about 15 minutes until sides are set. Cool on the baking sheet for 10 minutes before transferring to a cooling rack.
- Cover a plate with wax paper and arrange the cooled cookies in a single layer.
- Melt the chocolate over very low heat, stirring constantly — or use a double boiler.
- Drizzle the melted chocolate on half of each cookie. Chill for 20 minutes in the fridge to firm the chocolate. Store the cookies in the freezer.