Friday, December 5, 2008

A Sugar-Free Christmas Anyone??

With the holidays, sugar seems to follow. What do you do??

My rule is you can go to Grandma's and eat anything that is offered, but only one of each questionable item. We don't eat pork, so on Christmas my kids can go eat ham, but only one slice. They can pick one dessert, etc. This gives them some freedom and doesn't upset their stomachs too much. Who wants to spend Christmas and have to say "no" all day?

Of course, I offer lots of special, sugar-free or low-sugar, treats! Here are some ideas and recipes.

Chocolate Dipped Strawberries
I use bittersweet all-natural chocolate chips to melt and dip the strawberries in. The trick is to melt the chips with a little milk. Then dip, cool, and eat!

Homemade Hot Chocolate
6 cups milk
1/2 cup cocoa powder
1/2 cup agave nectar
pinch of salt
1 t vanilla

Mix cocoa with salt in saucepan. Add milk and wisk together as you heat on low. Add agave nectar as you stir. Heat to just under boiling. The trick is to heat it slowly so it doesn't get that scalded milk taste. Remove from heat and add vanilla. Serve!

Other ideas are substitutions!
Sucanat is great in cheesecake, brownies and pies.
A dab of maple syrup is great in salad dressings or smoothies.
Agave nectar works wonderfully in beverages.
Use molasses in cornbread or other quick breads.

Hope that gets you off to the right start for your holiday season!

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