I avoided giving my daughter refined sugar in her first year but sometimes found it difficult when out and about to find good snack options for her, which was one of the reasons that led me to starting Little Blue House.
Although I wanted to avoid refined sugar in her diet I wanted her to be able to enjoy a range of tastes and textures. I also knew that she was likely to enjoy a tasty sweet snack from time to time (Just like me!)
So when decided on what would be included in my recipes I thought about a range of alternatives to refined sugar.
Anyone who has even had a rudimentary look into the discussion about the effect of sugar in our diets will know that there is a minefield of information out there! It can get rather confusing. There are also all sorts of alternatives available, from natural products like agave syrup and honey to artificial sweeteners like Stevia.
I decided that I wanted to keep things simple and avoid artificial products entirely. It was also important that the ingredients that I used to sweeten my products would add nutritional value to the snacks. One of the problems with refined sugar is that apart from being sweet it really doesn’t have any additional dietary benefit.
So I turned to fruit! Naturally sweet and with the addition of plenty of other health benefits. Apples and bananas feature highly in my recipes but delicious sweet, sticky dates are often the special ‘secret’ ingredient that can make all the difference.
Dates are high in fructose so should not be consumed in excess. However, the benefits of dates are that they are natural, unrefined, full of fibre and contain a great range of vitamins and minerals including iron, calcium, vitamin A and vitamin K, amongst other things. So eaten in moderation they are a great alternative to refined sugar.
Dates are used to sweeten Little Blue House’s flapjacks, which are vegan and also contain peanut butter, banana and coconut oil amongst other things!
Dates also feature in our delicious carrot and apple muffins which are a favourite with two year old! And I can’t argue with her (literally).