So, I think by now we all know that refined sugar is not plant-based, as much as we would love it to be.
Let’s remember this golden rule that has been mentioned in several blog posts prior this to one: if you can’t find it in nature, chances are, it’s not plant-based. But this doesn’t mean there aren’t ways to satisfy our sweet tooth, in a way that’s plant-based friendly.
Here are some of my secrets.
1 - Ripe Bananas
You know when your bananas start to get those ugly black spots and start to soften? Those are not ugly spots, in fact, that is when perfection is settling in beneath their tough, yellow skins. Nature is flexing its magic and preparing something really sweet for you. The blacker the banana gets, the better it is for sweetness. My favorite way of utilizing overly ripe bananas in is in a banana “ice-cream.”
How to make banana ice-cream:
- Take a very ripe banana, cut them in chunks, then throw it in the freezer on a plate for at least an hour.
- Toss them in a blender and add about 2 tablespoons of water or plant-based milk.
- Blend until smooth, add more liquid as necessary.
- You’ll get an ice-cream consistency that you add whatever you like. I love to add berries and nuts.
2 - Sweet Potatoes
Did everyone just forget how sweet sweet potatoes are? They are such a versatile vegetable with a considerable amount of fiber, along as being a great source of our B vitamins and vitamin C. They are also high in an antioxidant known as beta-carotene. You can make sweet potato fries, baked sweet potato, or sweet mash potatoes.
Pro tip: make sweet potato fries and sprinkle a bit of cinnamon.
3 - Dried Fruits
Dried fruits like dates, figs, and raisins pack a nice punch of sweetness and flavor. Because they are dried fruits, their sweetness is amplified and they are prefect substitute to sugar. Dates can be used to sweeten up homemade, plant-based desserts or smoothies.
4 - Cashews
So this one’s a little different, but if you’re craving a subtle sweetness with a bit of smokiness and a nice crunch, cashews are perefect for this. You can toss them in oatmeal or add them to a simple salad.
Pro tip: make sugar-free candied cashews with cinnamon.
5 - Cinnamon
Since we’re on the topic of cinnamon already, let’s talk about. Cinnamon is a great way to get a nice spicy and sweet mix without the sugar. One of my favorites is cinnamon tea during the day. Even better, during the winter time. You can use it to spice up your coffee, that banana “ice-cream” I mentioned above, add it to desserts, or top it on a nice warm glass of plant-based milk.
Pro tip: just use it.