No Added Sugar Strawberry Smoothie
Today, I want to talk about sugar cravings. Sugar addiction is real, and it’s hard to break. According to The Cleveland Clinic, the average American consumes 152 pounds of sugar every single year. You guys. How!? But we do!
And it’s biologically addictive. The more sugar you eat, the more you crave. As I make my way through my 40s, I feel the dreaded ‘sugar hangover’ when I overdo it. Just because my mission and my company focus on wellness doesn’t mean I’m perfect. But gone are the days of sugar-binging and feeling fine the next day, and that’s put my mission of curbing cravings even higher on my list of health priorities. This naturally sweetened strawberries and cream smoothie is in my arsenal when sweets are on my mind.
Why Naturally Sweetened Smoothies Are Better for Health
As always, The Fresh 20 cornerstone of always having a plan — whether it be for dinner or when a sugar craving hits — is my biggest and strongest weapon in the battle of Melissa vs. sugar. My dear friend Tess, The Blender Girl, knows one of my weaknesses is ice cream so she developed this satisfying, creamy smoothie to keep me on track. Now my plan when the craving hits is to reach for the frozen strawberries when I open the freezer door instead of the ice cream carton.
This smoothie is sweetened with dates versus sugar-sweetened milk or other refined sugars. One thing that needs to be cleared up is that, yes, all sugar is a simple carbohydrate that your body converts into glucose and uses for energy. The difference between sugar in a date (or in any fruit) and refined sugar is how your body processes it. Refined sugar is metabolized extremely quickly and creates a surge in insulin, so you don’t feel full even if you’ve eaten a pound of sugar. The fiber in fruits slows down digestion so you feel fuller while the sugar metabolizes allowing you to gain more energy over a longer period of time.
Best Strawberry Smoothie Recipe
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Creamy and satisfying strawberry smoothie for a healthy summer treat.
- 2 cups unsweetened almond milk
- 1/2 cup raw unsalted cashews, soaked
- 1/4 cup firmly packed chopped pitted dates
- 1 teaspoon natural vanilla extract
- Pinch of natural salt
- 2 cups frozen strawberries
- Throw everything into your blender, and blast on high for 30 to 60 seconds until smooth and creamy.