There are more good reasons to avoid sugary sweets than we could possibly list here, but high on that list is improved dental health. Fortunately, there are some excellent ways to satisfy your craving for sweets without having to dip into the sugar bowl. Check out these ideas and recipes.
One of the more recent low-calorie sweeteners is Truvia®. It’s a product of the stevia plant, and its leaves have been used as a sweetener in South America for hundreds of years. A baking blend is available that yields 75 percent fewer calories than sugar.
Brownies. Not to show any disrespect for berry and fruit-based sweets, but the true test comes with classic desserts like brownies. Truvia® posts a brownie recipe that is essentially like any other, only substituting Truvia® in place of sugar. With the elimination of sugar, the result is a brownie that is better for your teeth and your waistline. Each two-inch square brownie packs no more than 130 calories.
Panna Cotta. Any fan of the professional chef cooking competitions on television has seen someone pull out a panna cotta dessert recipe when he needs a win. Panna cotta is an Italian buttermilk custard that is often topped with fresh berries. You’ll need four small ramekins to pull off the recipe that Truvia® has posted. Other than the sweetener, the only required ingredients are 2% milk, low-fat buttermilk, and one and a quarter teaspoons of gelatin. Add whatever berries are in season along with a little more Truvia® on top.
Recipes that either take advantage of the natural sweetness found in fruits and berries or add juice for sweetness can be very easy, quick and delicious.
Apple-Banana Pie. This one is almost like a deconstructed smoothie with a pie crust topping. Toss equal amounts of peeled and sliced bananas and apples into a pie plate. Cover them with lemon juice, and allow the mixture to stand for about 10 minutes. Stretch a prepared pie crust across the top and bake at 350 degrees until the crust is golden brown. It couldn’t be any easier.
Raspberry Sorbet. Agave nectar is another option when you’re looking for a natural sugar substitute that won’t promote tooth decay. Toss four cups of fresh raspberries, two cups of agave nectar, and a quarter cup of lemon juice into your blender and let ‘er rip until the mixture is a smooth consistency. Transfer to six freezer-rated dessert dishes, and allow them to chill in your freezer for an hour. Set them out to thaw for about 15 minutes before serving.
Free suckers. Okay, technically these are sugar-free suckers; the ingredients will cost you a couple of dollars. The sweetener used in this one is Erythritol, and it doesn’t cause any tooth decay. All that’s required to make these suckers, other than the Erythritol, is water, candy flavoring oils, food coloring, sucker sticks and a candy thermometer. You’ll find the candy-making instruction on this sugar free recipe site. One of the worst things your kids can do for their teeth is suck on hard candies. Here’s the answer.
This quintet of recipes covers everything from baked sweets to frozen desserts. The techniques and ingredients used can be easily adapted if you want to experiment with your own ideas. Have fun and enjoy those healthy teeth!
Chris Turberville-Tully works with Natural Looking Dentures, providing all sorts of denture services including repair and hybrid dentures!