5 Ways to Reduce the Amount of Sugar in Your Kitchen – New Year, New You Series

by Erin, The $5 Dinner Mom on January 12, 2012

This past August, I challenged myself to not eat an ounce of refined, processed sugar. No white sugar. No brown sugar. No chocolate.

It was tough, but I did it.

And I learned a few things. I thought it would be prudent to share some more of these things as we start into the new year, as we challenge ourselves to think outside the box, to push ourselves outside our comfort zones, and stretch ourselves to reach the goals we have set before us for this year. If sugar is something you want to get a better handle on in your cooking and your consumption, then here are a few ways that will help you reduce the amount of sugar in your kitchen…

  • Change your cereal – Look at the labels on your cereal boxes and check the sugar content. Even “non-sugared” cereals, like Chex or Cheerios, have sugar in them. It’s significantly less than ‘sugared cereals,’ but switch to those that have less than 19g per serving.  Start making your own oatmeal, then sweeten with maple syrup or honey. Mom’s Best Naturals make a “plain grain” single serve oatmeal packets that are perfect for a quick and healthful breakfast option. Add some fruit and/or maple syrup for a delicious breakfast treat.
  • Find alternatives for baking - Make pancake batter from scratch and use maple syrup in place of sugar in the batter. Use applesauce in place of sugar and oil in muffin recipes. Use an alternative sweetener, like Rapadura or sucanat, for making muffins, cupcakes or cakes. I don’t however recommend using it to bake cookies. Not a good idea! (Note: Some consider sucanat/Rapadura to be “sugar” because it is made from sugar cane. But others don’t consider it so because it is dehydrated sugar cane and otherwise “unprocessed” and “unrefined,” and it doesn’t have the same impact on blood sugar.)
  • Turn to naturally sweetened fruits – Snack on blueberries, raspberries or strawberries when you get a sugar craving. You’ll satisfy the crave and get a power punch of antioxidants with it. Eat fruit for dessert…like these fruit kebabs!
  • Drink water. Skip the soda. Skip the fruit juices. Stick with water. If my mom can cold-turkey give up Diet Coke, after years and years and years and years of drinking it, so can you. Just do it :)
  • Swap the bad for the good. If you are dying for a sticky bun or cinnamon roll, have a piece of whole grain toast with butter. When you want that soda, grab that pitcher of flavored water from the fridge instead. That craving may be an indication of what your body needs…energy if you’re craving carbs, hydration if you’re craving soda. Just give your body the healthy foods, instead of the sugar filled options.

Reducing sugar is a daily, hourly, and minute-by-minute decision that you have to make over and over. Making a few small changes in the ingredients you bring into your home will help you reduce the amount of sugar you and your family consume on a daily basis!

You. Can. Do. It!

And be sure to check out Stephanie’s list of ways to cut down on sugar consumption and usage in your kitchen!

(Note: I still have sugar in my kitchen, and use it to make cookies every now and again, but I don’t use it near as much as I used to!)

New Year, New You Series


As we head into 2012 with fresh clean slates and the chance for a new start, I thought it would be valuable to team up with a few other bloggers and share what our plans are for the year…and hopefully inspire and encourage you to do the same!  In the next few weeks I’ll be highlighting and sharing all the New Year, New You posts from 5 other fabulous bloggers. We’ll be sharing ideas and challenges that will help you in this New Year.

 

{ 8 comments… read them below or add one }

Melissa January 12, 2012 at 12:19 pm

For health reasons, I’ve been off sugar since April of this year. The only sugar I’ve had has been perhaps trace amounts in foods served at family gatherings It was really hard at first, with cravings etc., but I don’t miss it now. Fruit and raw honey are very sweet to me and I find my sweet tooth satisfied. I also sometimes use stevia.

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Lo January 12, 2012 at 12:41 pm

Another good alternative to use in baking is Xylitol. It is a nutritive sweetener that also helps to fight plaque buildup by making the teeth and bacteria slippery to prevent adhesion. It does need to be introduced into the diet somewhat slowly to allow the body to adjust. Also, bread might not rise as much as normal. Otherwise, it is fantastic!!
http://www.xylitol.org/

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Terri Horne January 12, 2012 at 3:36 pm

I’m currently follow “The Belly Fat Cure” for my eating plan. I’d love to see an article about all the “hidden” sugars in our foods. I was amazed at how much sugar is in ketsup and so many other things that we consume without thinking twice about!

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Sheri January 12, 2012 at 9:00 pm

I need to learn how to bake with less sugar because I am pre-diabetic. However, I do not like ot use artificial sweeteners, because they are by nature, artificial. Other than applesauce (which I have an extreme intolerance to – all things apple) what can I substitute for the white sugar in recipes? I would be willing to make pear sauce. I also heard that brown sugar is a good sub but isn;t that just white sugar and molasses?

Please help!

Thank so much!

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Diane January 12, 2012 at 10:01 pm

My mom and I went off sugar for a while, and it was amazing how a piece of fruit tasted like candy! Yum! I love your cute new year’s pic, and I’m excited to check out the links and see what people are up to for the new year.
Thanks for sharing!

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Fred @ Savorique January 13, 2012 at 4:09 pm

These are all great tips. I’d recommend fruits for breakfast as it’s when the body most needs water (from juicy fruits) and sugar. Fruits after meal disrupt digestion. Unsweetened tea is also great (for tip #5).
But let’s not put all chocolate in the same basket. A premium dark chocolate with 85% cocoa content is not bad at all and loaded with antioxidants too. There are also sugar free chocolate.

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Amy @ MomsToolbox January 14, 2012 at 6:16 pm

In middle school I challenged myself to go a year without soft drinks.
Not too long into the challenge, I found I didn’t miss them at all.
Many, many years later I still prefer water and drink sodas only here and there.
And I know my body and skin thank me for it!

I love these tips, Erin.. they are all so do-able.
Thanks!

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Melissa January 26, 2012 at 1:29 pm

Are you still Posting on this blog, Erin? Everytime I check it, it is still on January 12? I click on “home” and still get no later than Jan. 12.

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