Could there be a better time of year to be free of addictions? I dare say that an Easter without sugar addiction is an Easter that focuses more on the willpower and strength it took Christ to do what He did for us. Every bone and emotion in His body was telling Him that His suffering was too much to bear. I mean He physically sweat blood just hours beforehand. When I think of that, it makes me want to work at being free of ALL addictions for the weekend of Easter celebrations!
But growing up in America makes us feel like our children will be deprived if they are not given decadent treats for this holiday. I struggled with this for quite a while. So can we find a middle ground? One that is free of addiction and yet delicious enough to remember? I think so.
I know Easter's still a little way off; I also know that many of us like to do our Easter planning ahead of time. Especially when we are on a certain challenge *ahem* that doesn't allow sugar. I know some of you are going to make an exception to this challenge for Easter, but for those brave-hearted fellas like myself, I have some wonderful recipes to share with you! Easter treats can be possible (and delicious!) without refined sugars. You just may never go back. Why would you need to anyway?!
But first, a few pointers. We discovered an 8 ounce bag of unsweetened chocolate at Trader Joes' for only $1.99! They come in little round discs (although you can buy it in other forms too) and 6 discs equal one ounce. Because they are unsweetened, they are quite bitter without added sweetener. But the possibilities are endless! You can also find unsweetened chocolate from Ghirardelli and other brands.
Also, you can switch and swap natural sugars in a lot of these recipes. For instance, if you prefer the taste of pure maple syrup but the recipe calls for honey, feel free to switch it! But only replace liquid with liquid and dry with dry sweeteners.
Chocolate Peanut Butter Fudge
This recipe uses our all-natural calorie-free Stevia to make a delicious sugar-free peanut butter fudge.
Carob coconut sweeties and Mini key lime tarts
Scroll down to get the recipes for these delicious desserts. Carob is a great alternative to chocolate; we think it tastes the same and as an extra bonus, it does not contain caffeine like chocolate so it’s great for children!
Homemade Peanut Butter Cups--Without Refined Sugar!
These are on our schedule to make tomorrow! Giving up peanut butter cups was probably the hardest thing on our teenager (and myself)! Especially around Easter when those plump, sweet and salty Reese's peanut butter cup Easter eggs appear on the store shelves. But these are definitely going to make it much easier!
Homemade “Mounds” Candy Bars
I wish I would have learned to like coconut a whole lot sooner! Not only does it have amazing health and nutrition benefits, but it is also proven to help with weight loss. Even if you don't care for conventional mounds candy bars, I suggest you give these a try! But make sure your shredded coconut is unsweetened!
Coconut Orange White Fudge
These white fudge treats are sweetened with honey and refreshed with orange extract and/or rind. If you've never used coconut butter before, this is a great way to start!
With a food processor and just 3 ingredients, you can make a homemade version of these delicious raw energy bars for a fraction of the cost. This post also has a lengthy list of variation ideas to suit all different tastes and preferences.
If you'd rather purchase them to fill your family's Easter baskets, you can purchase them at natural foods stores, Sam's Club, online, and many other places. I think they are cheapest online and at Sam's Club.
Fruitabu (Fruit Leathers)
This is one thing I currently buy rather than make homemade. These all-natural fruit leathers use fruit purees and juice as sweeteners. They are a great quick snack and come in a few different flavors. We use them for Valentines' treats and put them in Easter baskets. They are also good stocking stuffers for Christmas. I haven't checked if they are available at Walmart but we usually purchase them at Whole Foods Market or our local natural food store. If you order them online (click on picture above), they are a tad cheaper.
If you have a food dehydrator, you can make fruit leathers for so much cheaper! Food dehydrators usually come with recipe books that include at least one or two recipes for fruit leather. It is essentially just pureed fruit laid thin on dehydrator sheets. You can even use store-bought applesauce for a quick "homemade" fruit leather that is incredibly cheap!
If you do not have a food dehydrator, here's recipes for apple and peach fruit leather using a 170-degree oven. I haven't made these yet but have made other things successfully from this website. I will definitely be trying these in the fall!
With a little planning and willpower, Easter can be a wonderful time of reflection, focus, and a little sweet too!