If you’ve decided to cut down or eliminate sugar, I salute you. It isn’t easy. It’s in almost everything which you quickly learn when you give it up. And with the holidays here, temptations are sure to grow.

Sticking with Mother Nature’s bounty and reading labels is the only way to stay true to your efforts. But we all have those things we can’t live without and finding acceptable alternatives is key to long-term success. 

I need my chocolate. You, too? I have two favorites and on top of the list is avocado chocolate mousse. With only six ingredients, it is easy to make this creamy, satisfying comfort food. Just throw avocados, coconut milk, 100% cacao, vanilla extract, salt and your sweetener of choice into the blender. Many online recipes recommend adding complementing flavors like fresh mint, almond butter, coconut flakes or cinnamon to spice it up. 

The other is Lily’s chocolate bars which are sweetened with stevia and available in a variety of flavors at most grocery and health food stores. With only 1 gram of sugar in half a bar, the flavor is rich and a few small pieces should suffice, but if you feel like more, there’s no guilt. 

Salad dressings satisfy. Salads are wonderful with spiced olive or avocado oil, but sometimes you want that creamy goodness of a ranch or Caesar. Tessemae’s Pantry offers a variety of styles with no sugar, dairy or gluten. Creamy and full of flavor, my favorite is Buffalo Ranch.

Got coco? I drink coconut milk and many are filled with additives and sugar. Real Coco Organic Coconut Milk, available at Costco, has zero sugar and still satisfies straight from the glass.

Crave some kombucha. To match the bubbles and benefits of kombucha without the sugar, I drink Lemon Cayenne Kevita Sparkling Probiotic Drink which has a mere 2 grams of sugar per bottle (other flavors have more). It is the most thirst quenching beverage I have ever had!

We all scream for ice cream. So Delicious® has a vanilla bean coconutmilk ice cream with no added sugar offering 1 gram per serving (3 per container). Be careful to get the light blue top that says No Sugar Added as their regular vanilla bean packs 18 grams per serving. Ralph’s has it in-store off and on while Gelson’s carries their chocolate dipped ice cream bars (1 gram per bar!).

Sugar additive. Stevia is my sweetner of choice and comes in a variety of flavors available at Clark’s Nutrition and Sprouts. I keep an assortment on hand like vanilla, cinnamon and caramel to add variety to daily green smoothies, morning lattes, and the chocolate mousse above.

Lauren Del Sarto is founder and publisher of Desert Health and can be reached at [email protected]. Share your sugar-free secrets below.

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