Wednesday, May 19, 2010

WFMW: Sweet Treats

I suspect that most of us get sweets cravings from time to time. Maybe all the time. My regular readers know that I believe in healthy eating, but that I also believe in moderation, and that I have no objection to whipping up a batch of brownies for no particular reason...but I do object to doing it every day. Unfortunately, I get those sweets cravings almost every day, and when I try to just ignore them they get more intense (isn't that how it always goes when you're trying to quit something?!) So I've found a solution: satisfy the sweet tooth with something that's just a little sweet, but that's more or less good for me.
So, when I have a hankering for brownies, or ice cream, I am usually able to satisfy it with one of these things:
  • A bowl of box cereal (we don't have the super sweet ones, but something like "Honey Bunches of Oats" is sweet enough)
  • Applesauce
  • Yogurt (mine is usually homemade)
  • Yogurt with berries/fruit in it
  • Fruit--fresh or canned (hey, I live in Alaska, fresh fruit is in season for about 2 weeks up here!)
  • A smoothie
  • A homemade muffin (especially if it has berries in it)
  • A piece of toast with butter and/or jam
  • A cup of hot cocoa--especially with coconut oil or cream in it
  • Fruit juice (this usually doesn't work as well, because there's no chewing so it just isn't very satisfying...but in a pinch it's more satisfying than nothing)
  • any other suggestions? (comment please!)
Just as an observation--my mother and I have both observed that a lot of times when we think we're craving sweets, sugar alone does not actually satisfy the craving. Interestingly, what does satisfy the craving is fat--saturated fat (cream, butter, etc). We think it's because of two things 1--those fats usually come together with sugar (brownies, ice cream, cookies...) but sugar is the more recognizable 'taste' for our brains. 2--In our culture's fear of saturated fat, we end up consuming too much unsaturated fat and our bodies are imbalanced (you need a little of each kind of fat because your body uses different types for different things). Due to that imbalance, our bodies give us cravings to get us to consume things that we need.
SO, you'll notice that most of my sweet alternatives also have a little fat in them--and I think that's important. ☺

See more Works for Me Wednesdays here.


Laurie said...

Thanks for the tips! I am a true sweet tooth, so the info will be really helpful for me. I'm going to follow you so I don't miss anymore good info! Laurie at

Come see me sometime! Oh, and I have a food blog at

Last week, I posted about cheeseburger salad, making the old fave healthier! Hugs

natalie said...

I love having some coconut oil fudge in the freezer. I think your take on the fat makes perfect sense. I could eat a whole bag of chocolate chips, but a square of coconut oil fudge and a glass of milk make me feel satisfied and boost my energy.

I posted about it here...

Kaylie said...

I personally like to use spices to satisfy my sweet tooth. Oatmeal tastes a lot sweeter with cinnamon.

Let'sMakeADifference said...

Interesting! Thanks for sharing! Sometimes chewing sugarless gum works for me!

Katie said...

I was going to say saturated fat, and possibly protein.

Leslie said...

Those are great ideas! I've been struggling with sweet cravings at night the last couple of weeks and I'm definitely going to try a couple of these when the next one hits.

p.s. I love finding other LDS mom blogs. :)

Jessica said...

Wait a minute... Homemade yogurt? How do you do that? I thought you had to have a cow to make yogurt? (Guess I'm a bit sheltered... It's been about fifteen years since we last toured the Tilamook Cheese Factory. :oD)

Brandi said...

I understand that craving sweet things is your body telling you that you need fruit. I haven't tested the theory consistently, but when I'm conscious of the craving and eat fruit, it works. Of course, I don't eat refined sugar (it's hard to avoid in things like condiments, and I just haven't tried making them all myself). My sweet cravings have been minimal since going of refined sugar. A prayer to Heavenly Father to help me works really well too. :)

Mommy Bee said...

Jessica--yogurt is made from milk. Really fresh milk straight from the cow or goat would be lovely, but you can make yogurt with any milk. :)
You need a culture (ie the good bacteria) to get it to turn into yogurt, plus a low heat for a long time. I have a yogurt maker, but I've also heard of people doing it in their slow-cooker (water in the pot, the yogurt in glass jars set in the water). You can get the culture two ways--either use some *active*culture* yogurt (ie, the expensive stuff, like brown cow) and put a spoonful in your pint of milk before heating, OR you can use freeze-dried yogurt starter. I've mostly used the freeze dried because it was the only option I had in Pelican and I admit it's just easier. I need to learn to make an ongoing culture so that I won't have to keep buying starter, but I haven't gotten that far yet.

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