One of my friends recently asked if I wanted some cooking apples. Their apple tree had produced loads. I politely declined. She was surprised and asked why. I said I’d have no use for them. ‘Would you not make an apple pie or apple crumble?’ She asked. Nope. I’ve never been a big dessert person and definitely don’t make cakes or such mentioned desserts at home. I never have. I do sometimes have a sweet something after a main meal, but not the traditional type of pudding that most people would have. In this blog post I’ll share with you three healthier vegan snacks to satisfy a sweet craving.
Of course by ‘healthier’ I mean healthier than your traditional mainstream pudding such as an apple pie or crumble that is loaded with refined white sugar and refined white flours. I never use white sugar or any sugar really and I definitely avoid white grains. They have no benefits to the body at all, only negative consequences. I did a whole year refined and added sugar free in 2017. It was quite a challenge, especially when eating out! This year I have relaxed in that I will choose whatever I like off a menu. In most places I was only left with an undressed side salad to eat if choosing no added sugar when dining out. Everything has sugar in. I’d love to see menus across the country offering more ‘no added sugar’ options. But aside from eating out, I will not buy any products at home with sugar.
Read why here: The problem with refined sugar
I have indulged in a couple of vegan desserts this year at Vinnie’s Eatery which is a plant based café in Cheltenham. They don’t use refined white sugar in their food, but do use plant based syrups which are slightly more beneficial, but I still limit my intake. I did share one vegan chocolate cake, with regular white sugar, with Ben and I nearly threw up! It was so sickly sweet! I was just having a bit of a naughty moment, but I didn’t enjoy the cake at all and I won’t be eating anything like that again. It was great to see how my taste buds have changed so much and something I would have enjoyed before was so unpleasable to me now.
Luckily there are loads of vegan and plant based options of desserts that use much more wholefood ingredients. I even enjoy vegan brownies made from cacao powder, dates and cashews. OK, so they’re not exactly like traditional brownies, but they are delicious and I’d rather eat the healthier alternative! I’ve seen incredible plant based cheesecakes and even whole cakes that are sugar free on Instagram and by vegan bloggers/chefs! It’s totally possible to make healthier alternatives to traditional cakes.
I do have a sweet tooth and I do sometimes have plant based syrups at home. We regularly have Sweet Freedom liquid chocolate in the cupboard which is sweetened with fruit and contains carob. We use jams and peanut butters, but 100% fruit jams and 100% nut butters. I recently purchased ‘coconut honey’ to try which is made from coconut nectar. I don’t really miss honey at all since I cut out all animal products ten months ago, but I thought Ben might. He always liked to have honey and make flapjacks occasionally, so hopefully he’ll like the taste of the coconut version.
Anyway, I do still eat sweet snacks, but quick and easy things that can be made when I feel like them during the day or usually after a meal. I often fancy something small and sweet after a savoury meal in the evening that doesn’t take a lot of effort to make.
Here are three easy vegan sweet snacks to make at home:
Topped crackers or oatcakes
We always have organic wholegrain rice crackers in the cupboard by brand Kallo and sometimes oatcakes by Nairn’s. Both brands use natural ingredients and have ‘no added sugar’ varieties. Toppings can be anything which is amazing.
Here are my most recent sweet toppings:
- Coconut nectar and banana (I had to sample this honey!)
- Wild blueberry jam and coconut flakes (we love Meridian or St Dalfour 100% fruit jams)
- Sweet Freedom liquid chocolate and raisins
- Nush almond cheese spread and shelled hemp seeds
- Peanut butter and raw cacao nibs
Yummy! I made these for a review on my Lylia Rose blog of Nairn’s crackers and they went down a treat with me and my three year old son Reuben! Later that day when we ate dinner, he asked for them all for pudding again!
Yes the coconut nectar and sweet freedom are like sugars, but not as bad as refined sugar filled alternatives. They should still be limited, but a small splodge on a wholegrain cracker every now and then is a much better alternative to a sugar filled biscuit, cracker or cake. These toppings offer some superfoods and much healthier options that regular sugary biscuits and snacks that most consume.
I love to make my own muesli that is refined sugar free and dull of loads of superfoods! I fill a big Kilner jar with layers of organic oats, nuts, seeds, dried fruits and superfoods. For example, my current jar has oats, almonds, raisins, dried dates, hemp seeds and sunflower seeds all shook up. I shake the jar and voila. The beauty of making your muesli this way is I’m sure it’s a bit cheaper than buying organic versions of readymade muesli and you can put in whatever you want. If you want more chew then add more chewy fruits. If you want more crunch then add more seeds and nuts. It also means I make it different every time.
I love mine with almond milk the best as this sweetens it even more. If I’m being extra naughty then a squirt of Sweet Freedom chocolate liquid will make it chocolatey, all whilst avoiding any refined white sugar. The kids love a small bowl of this too and it’s a lot better nutritionally than a regular sugar filled and dairy containing chocolate bar. Alternatively, top with chopped fresh fruit.
It’s totally possible to make a deliciously moreish chocolate milkshake without any dairy or sugar. Our favourite is with Rude Health almond milk, bananas (preferably frozen) and a big scoop of raw cacao powder. The banana and almond milk sweetens it plenty so there is no need for extra sugar. It always winds me up how store bought shakes have so much sugar when they don’t need them at all. Regardless, I’d much rather have a homemade chocolate smoothie with fruits and superfoods any day. The kids go crazy for this – there is no need for them to miss out on anything now they are vegan too. They can still enjoy lots of the yummy foods their friends enjoy, only theirs are much healthier for them and made from real ingredients.
Those are definitely my three favourite go-to sweet snacks after a heavy savoury meal when my palate needs a bit of sweetening! They are also brilliant quick to make ‘treats’ for vegan kids.
More great vegan related blog posts: