Friday, September 3, 2010

sugar free friday!

I've been on this kick of trying to reduce the amount of refined sugar in our lives. After a pretty rough winter health-wise, I totally lost my sugar craving for the first time ever in my life, and I truly never felt better. I mean, I was the girl who loved an extra vat of frosting to dip my already frosted cinnamon rolls in and always had to have something sweet after dinner. So after that sugar craving disappeared, I've been on a mission to keep it at bay. I have always been a pretty healthy eater (besides my love of all things sweet) and am always interested in exploring and trying new healthy ways to cook and bake. When you start really checking and reading labels on packaged and processed foods, well refined sugar is in everything, and I mean everything, and has hundreds of code names. Now not to say that all sweet things have been removed from our house, but I've been replacing our pantry with natural sweeteners (brown rice syrup, raw honey, agave nectar) and now carefully choose what ends up in our grocery cart. It feels so great to me to be feeding our family the most natural foods I can and finding fun ways to incorporate yummy treats without the added sugar.

So all that being said, I thought I would start a Friday ritual (sugar free friday) featuring recipes I find and love that don't involve refined sugar. So here we go!

Leave it to my favorite go to gal, Heidi Swanson, to come up with a fantastic caramel popcorn recipe using brown rice & maple syrup, along with a lovely smattering of toasted nuts. It's out of Super Natural Cooking (which I've mentioned quite a few times on this blog and I'm on round 6 of checking it out from our library) and it was just too good to be true. It was my first time making caramel popcorn from scratch and boy, I can't wait to do it again! I made it for a fishing picnic dinner we had along side one of our beautiful Colorado rivers and I have to say, it was quite a lovely evening. My husband (a most avid fisherman who would fish everyday of his life if he could) and the kids were busy reeling them in, while I sat in a camping chair, knitting, handing out caramel popcorn to my munchkins, and snacking on the popcorn myself. Oh that was a such a terrific way to end a week!

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