Well, by now, many of you are well into your holiday baking – or at least, have a well-planned list. But maybe, like me, you haven’t even started…partly because you haven’t had time yet, and partly because you can’t get over the idea of how much SUGAR will be involved in all the festivities.
Being on a journey in the past 6 years to eliminate sugar and other highly processed sweeteners from my diet (including corn syrup, brown sugar, and even ‘natural’ turbinado sugars), the holidays are always a challenge. I am not a paragon of self control – I always have at least a bite of something, if not completely succumbing to the cravings and baking a whole batch of something myself. So, my efforts over the years have involved substituting, experimenting, some guilt from indulgence, and then those moments of glory – when my naturally sweetned creation comes close enough to tradition to satisfy.
The other night I tried Lindsay’s recipe for coconut fudge. It was delicious, rich, and chocolaty – without the graininess of regular fudge, because it was sweetened with honey rather than sugar. Yeah, fudge connessiuers would say it wasn’t REALLY fudge, but for me (who has never even made real fudge before) it was a pretty good substitute – totally satisfying my craving for something rich and, like I said, chocolaty.
Today she posted a recipe for peanut brittle – another holiday favorite. I’m gonna try the recipe as soon as I get my hands on some peanuts!
Lindsay also has a recipe for naturaly sweetened Egg Nog, which I plan to try as soon as the giant batch I made this week gets drunk up. (yeah, I wasn’t really paying attention and made the whole recipe as if we were having a party – made almost a gallon! good thing it’s the best eggnog I’ve ever had!!!)
So, you can be creative, make substitutions, and also, a few compromises. This recipe, Peanut Butter Cup Cookies, from Rachel, had me drooling, so I began to figure out a way I could make the cookie part as healthy as possible, so I wouldn’t feel so bad about the reese’s in the middle (for which there is no substitute!) So, I sprouted some pastry wheat to grind into bulgar flour, picked up my order of a 45Lb. bag of sucanut from my supplier, and bought resses cups yesterday. I will let you know how they turn out!
How about you? Do you have some favorite holiday recipes to share? Have you made alterations or substitutions to make them more nutritious? I would love to hear how you make the holidays tasty at your house!