FeaturesFebruary/March 2018 Issue

No-Sugar Super Treats

Easy, no-sugar-added, nutrient-dense recipes for sweets that redefine comfort food.

Comforting someone in need takes many forms. Sometimes the need isn’t clearly apparent and typical communication isn’t an option. This is often the case when a child is on the autism spectrum. I work closely with families on the spectrum and have presented cooking classes at the annual Autism One Conference for years. Over the past decade, the conference’s dietary focus has expanded from simple gluten-free, casein-free foods (GFCF) and the specific carbohydrate diet (SCD) to striving to understand and meet the complicated needs of each specific child. The parents’ tireless efforts to help their children never cease to impress and inspire me.

no sugar dessert recipes

After a long, exhausting day of cooking and presenting at last year’s Autism One Conference, I ran into a mom and her son in a hallway. I had watched this boy grow up over the years. Now in an adult body, he was still unable to communicate in a traditional manner. Travel and the unfamiliar surroundings were taking a toll and he was agitated and hungry. His diet was restricted to soft GFCF foods as he was healing from a difficult seizure during which he had bitten his tongue. My fatigue did not compare to what this family was experiencing.

Returning to the family’s hotel room with food, I prayed that it would be comforting, nourishing and welcomed by the young man. Tiny steps, one bite at a time—and comfort was restored. The next day, he was peaceful. He kissed my cheek, the ultimate gift from a young person grateful for true comfort food.

These treats are naturally sweet without refined sugar. Nutrient-dense, they promote wellness and they help bring comfort.

Cardamom Apricot Truffles

PREP: 20–25 minutes

MAKES 36 TO 40 TRUFFLES.

This super-healthy treat contains plenty of fiber and protein. Healing spices aid digestion and help ease constipation and gas. Orange oil helps digest fats. Adapt this recipe to fit your dietary needs. If you don’t eat coconut, enjoy these truffles plain or roll them in ground sunflower seeds or a cinnamon/cardamom blend.

Each truffle contains 33 calories, 1g total fat, 0g saturated fat, 0g trans fat, 0mg cholesterol, 31mg sodium, 5g carbohydrate, 1g fiber, 4g sugars, 1g protein, 2Est GL.

Cardamom Apricot  Truffles

Jennifer Beeman

Cacao Peppermint Truffles

PREP: 20–25 minutes

MAKES 36 TO 40 TRUFFLES.

This guilt-free treat takes truffles to a healthier place using pumpkin seeds. hemp seeds and figs for additional protein and fiber. Raw cacao is a good source of magnesium. Peppermint oil is healing and soothing to digestion.

Each truffle contains 60 calories, 3g total fat, 1g saturated fat, 0g trans fat, 0mg cholesterol, 4mg sodium, 8g carbohydrate, 1g fiber, 5g sugars, 2g protein, 3Est GL.

Cacao Peppermint  Truffles

Jennifer Beeman

Cherry-Berry Dessert

PREP: 5 minutes
COOK: 10 minutes

MAKES 1 QUART.

Kudzu/kuzu root starch, an alternative thickener to cornstarch, is beneficial and healing to the small intestines. (Find it in the Asian section of the grocery store, natural food stores and online.) Tart cherries are a natural source of melatonin. Cherries contain anthocyanin, a flavonoid with health-protecting benefits. This dessert makes for a great evening treat. Serve it as a pudding or a gelatin. Switch up the berries to suit your palate.

Each ½ cup contains 54 calories, 0g total fat, 0g saturated fat, 0g trans fat, 0mg cholesterol, 13mg sodium, 13g carbohydrate, 2g fiber, 9g sugars, 1g protein, 5Est GL.

Cherry-Berry Dessert

Jennifer Beeman

Apricot Prune Compote

Apricot Prune Compote

Jennifer Beeman

PREP: 5 minutes
COOK: 15-20 minutes

MAKES 1 QUART.

This sweet breakfast compote calls for a triad of healing spices (star anise, cardamom and Ceylon cinnamon) and prunes, which are high in dietary fiber and contain natural sorbitol to soften the stool. Dried apricots are rich in potassium and vitamins A and C.

Each ¼ cup contains 102 calories, 0g total fat, 0g saturated fat, 0g trans fat, 0mg cholesterol, 3mg sodium, 27g carbohydrate, 3g fiber, 20g sugars, 1g protein, 13EST GL.

sueson vess

Philip Ross

Contributing chef Sueson Vess is a food coach, cooking instructor and author of Special Eats.

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