I’d like to think I’m a planner, but my history shows I tend to lean towards spontaneity. Especially when it comes to food- I usually go by feeling and what I’ve got in my pantry. Well, that doesn’t work too well for homemade cheesecake that has to bake and cool in the fridge, which usually take 6 hours in which most people make it the day before. So, when its 2pm on my husband’s birthday and I don’t have his favorite dessert ready- I’ve got to have a few last-minute solutions! It wouldn’t be fun in the kitchen without of few obstacles thrown my way, so I needed to make sure his dessert doesn’t have eggs which he is allergic to. Since our family is full of sweet-lovers, I am conscious of the amount of sugar we intake as well as the source of those sugars. Here are a few tips on how I navigate desserts in our home!
According to the American Heart Association, the recommended amount of sugar is less than 25 grams, which averages to 6 teaspoons, per day. It can be tricky to track your sugar intake since it can be hidden in a lot of the food we consume including pasta sauces, salad dressings, yogurt, kombucha, and breads. We have three recommendations to making smarter choices with your sugar.
First one is to make your food at home as much as possible. This way you are able to know how much sugar is really going into them. It is easy to adjust the recipe and lower the amount of sugar you are adding. My favorite example of this is salad dressings. They are easy to make and always taste better freshly made.
When you make certain foods at home, you also can choose your sugar source! Just because a recipe calls for white sugar doesn’t mean you can swap it out for another type of sugar. One swap I love to do for Quick Cheesecake is to switch out granulated white sugar for coconut sugar. While the fructose content is the same for coconut sugar as it is white sugar, there are a few components which makes it a better option. Coconut sugar is less processed as refined sugars as it is made by dehydrating coconut sap which helps it retain its antioxidants and electrolytes including potassium, magnesium, and sodium. Still keep in mind that coconut sugar is still a sugar and to get impactful amount of nutrients, you would need to eat a ton which would counteract the health benefits. What stands out the most about coconut sugar is that it has a lower glycemic index than refined sugars. Coconut sugar also contains inulin, which is a great choice to help control blood sugar and keeps your blood sugar from rising rapidly.
The third recommendation we have is, if possible, choose a whole food source for sugar! With Kelly Jean Snacks, you will find that we use honey and maple syrup as our sweeteners. This is because we truly believe the less processed a sugar source is, the better our body is at utilizing it correctly and we aren’t taking out a part of the food that could actually benefit the way our body absorbs the nutrition.
There isn’t a better feeling than when you feel more in control of the foods you eat and not depriving yourself from the foods you love. I challenge you to play around in the kitchen and make your favorite foods a healthier choice with just a few swaps. In the meantime, enjoy Quick Cheesecake Cupcakes for a simple, quick dessert!
QUICK CHEESECAKE CUPCAKES
- 1½ cup finely crushed Graham Crackers(We love Pamela’s Cinnamon Grahams Gluten-Free Crackers!)
- 6 Tbsp Butter, melted
- ¼ cup Coconut Sugar (can also use granulated white sugar)
- 16oz cream cheese (2 8-oz. blocks), room temperature
- 2/3 cup coconut sugar (can also use granulated white sugar)
- 3 Tablespoons milk
- 1Tablespoon lemon juice
- 2Tablespoons cornstarch
- 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
- ¼ teaspoon salt
- Preheat oven to 350F. Mix crust ingredients together.
- Put cupcake wrappers into the cupcake pan and press 1-2 Tbsp of crust mixture into each wrapper.
- Bake for 8 minutes and set aside until filling is ready.
- Using a mixer, beat together cream cheese and sugar until smooth.
- Add milk, lemon juice, cornstarch, vanilla extract, and salt. Beat on high for 2 minutes.
- Spoon filling into cupcake tin, filling each one ¾ full.
- Bake at 325F for approximately 20 minutes. Center will still jiggle and will set once it is cooled.
- Let them cool on a rack for about 10 minutes. Then put them in a freezer for about 30 minutes.
- Once they have cooled in the freezer, they are ready to enjoy or store them in the fridge!
- Depending on the size of your cupcake wrapper, the filling may be slightly concaved which makes it perfect to add any filling without them falling off the top! I recommend strawberries, chocolate or caramel sauce!
“How Much Sugar Is Too Much?” Www.heart.org, www.heart.org/en/healthy-living/healthy-eating/eat-smart/sugar/how-much-sugar-is-too-much.
“6 Coconut Sugar Benefits That Will Convince You to Switch From Refined Sugar.” NDTV Food, 13 July 2018, food.ndtv.com/food-drinks/6-coconut-sugar-benefits-that-will-convince-you-to-switch-from-refined-sugar-1684142.
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