Welcome to the third installment of New Year, New You! Hallie of Daily Bites and Lexie of Lexie’s Kitchen have organized an inspirational blogging event with the goal of encouraging all of us to Take the Pure Living Plunge!
What does Pure Living mean? For me pure living refers to eating whole foods and nutritious foods. Pure living also means eating foods that keep your body clean, and make you feel your very best.
Pete and I spent most of 2011 taking the pure living plunge, and we’ve never felt better. We’re so in tune with our bodies; it’s an amazing feeling.
One of the first things we did when we took our pure living plunge, was to cut back on our use of sweeteners in our every day eating, cooking, and baking. It was a difficult task at first, but now it’s a way of living and we can’t imagine life any other way.
This was especially difficult for me because I have a rather strong sweet tooth. Before giving up things like cane sugar, sucanat, and brown sugar, I thought, “Why would someone ever want to do that?” But now I get it.
My body functions better. I sleep better. My skin is better. I have more energy. Less cravings. No more moody Mommy moments. And the list goes on.
It’s been amazing for me. I’m the girl who used to eat a bag of gummy worms every day in University. And I’m not kidding.
So how did I do it? How did I give up the nasty, but oh-so addictive white stuff?
Gradually. But the key to it all was my oh-so delicious medjool dates.
These delightful and nutritious sweet gems got me through my 3pm sugar cravings, without crashing into a bowl of refined sugar. Dates still save me on those days when I want to bake a batch of chocolate chip cookies and eat most of the batch. Yep, I’m a recovering sugar addict.
This Christmas was the first holiday in my life where I didn’t overindulge. It was fabulous. And I feel I owe it all to dates. If I needed something sweet, I made a smoothie using dates as the sweetener. In fact, it was over the holidays when I created this delightfully sweet treat of a milkshake.
The vanilla and the molasses are key ingredients. But as always, you can tailor any milkshake or smoothie to suit your tastes.
Cookie Dough Milkshake
Yield: Serves 2 large smoothies
I call this a milkshake, but really it’s a super amazing protein-packed smoothie.
2 cups unsweetened non-dairy milk (we use almond milk)
1 tbsp vanilla
2 tsp unsulphured molasses
1/3 cup shelled hemp hearts
5-6 soaked and pitted medjool dates
2 tbsp chia seeds
4 tbsp almond butter (sunflower seed butter works too)
3-4 ice cubes depending on the strength of your blender
Combine all ingredients in your blender and blend until smooth. I like to add ice cubes to my smoothies; you may need a high-speed blender if you choose to do so.
You obviously need to listen to this song while you’re drinking your milkshake.
Want to use dates to sweeten your recipes? Check out Gena’s post about making your own date paste.
For more ‘swap your sweeteners’ recipes and posts, don’t miss:
Amy from Simply Sugar and Gluten-Free shares her point of view on swapping sweeteners.
Diet, Dessert, and Dogs made a Low-Fat Cinnamon-Walnut Loaf using stevia powder.
The Daily Dietribe whipped up Banana Chocolate Chunk Cookies using coconut sugar.
Daily Bites made Soft Island Bliss Cookies using honey.
Lexie’s Kitchen made some Candied Walnuts using coconut sugar.
And make sure you check out Daily Bites. Hallie’s giving away a gift package of natural sweeteners from Wholesome Sweeteners.