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Craving Sweets...

So, we're expecting a baby in June and thus far, I have been an excellent, healthy eater, if I must say so myself. However, for the past couple of weeks I have been craving (!) everything from lemon bars to cinnamon ice cream. This just has to stop, and I could really use some help in coming up w/ some healthier sweet alternatives. Any thoughts?

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  1. Whenever I have a sweet craving, which is not very often because I don't really like sweet stuff (must need the blood sugar level to go up I guess)..I take a spoonful of honey. Satisfies and is reasonably healthy. At least better than white sugar.
    No pickles and ice cream? :-)

    1. Small amounts of sweets are not intrinsically unhealthy. But if you're craving large amounts of sweets, fruit is the obvious answer for a healthy sweet. If you're craving cinnamon, then maybe try it with baked apples (you can make quickie baked apples in the microwave) or just sprinkle some on some applesauce.

      The lemon and raspberry sorbets at Trader Joe's are good, and very low in calories -- or since this is the Home Cooking board, make your own. Or make granita, which is even easier! The Skinny Cow "dippers" are decent (especially the caramel ones) and only 80 calories each. The "little pops" at See's come in various flavors and only have 15 calories each. I personally would avoid artificial sweeteners, since there's evidence they just make the sweet cravings stronger. Personally, I'm dubious that honey is really significantly healthier than sugar for someone who doesn't have a specific health condition, and that spoonful of honey actually has more calories than the same amount of sugar!

      1 Reply
      1. re: Ruth Lafler

        The TJ's sorbets are excellent. They also have mini ice cream sandwiches which have about 70-80 calories each.

        Frozen fruit is also great. You can freeze your own or buy bags of frozen berries or peaches. I love frozen grapes with a bit of sugar spinkled on top. When it's frozen, it seems like more of a treat to me.

        Someone mentioned rice krispie treats- I've made them before using generic rice krispies and skipping the butter/margarine entirely.

        My favorite treat- fresh strawberries and real whipped cream. I personally don't like chocolate, but you can melt a bit of chocolate and drizzle on top of the berries. Something about it seems so decadent and rich, even if it's just one or two berries and a spoonful of cream.

      2. How about fruit?

        - ripe melons (canteloupes are my favorite)
        - ripe bananas
        - poached pears in simple syrup

        1 Reply
        1. re: ipsedixit

          Fruit was my first thought too. In addition to those above:

          - mangoes - so decadently sweet when ripe - served cubed or as a drink
          - pineapples
          - some apples and pears are very sweet
          - grapes
          - dried fruit - alone or in a stewed compote

        2. Glad to hear that I'm not the only one! Our first is also due in June (end of the month), so I'm hoping that this is a second-trimester thing. Or at least taking some comfort that I'm not the only one!

          Specifically I've had chocolate on the brain lately, as usual.
          I've done banana bread with part whole wheat pastry flour and a handful of chocolate chips.
          Also have sherbet/sorbet and frozen fruit blend in the freezer.
          In a pinch I make a box of instant pudding and call it "a good source of calcium."

          Thanks for starting the thread - I'm looking forward to some good ideas at a time when all I really want is to make a batch of hot fudge sauce and eat it, a spoonful at a time, straight from the fridge.
          All the best to you and the baby!

          1 Reply
          1. re: kshrimp

            In a similar vein, I've made my own chocolate yogurt by adding melted chocolate to plain yogurt (as for adding chocolate to whipped cream, you have to "temper" the melted chocolate by stirring in a small amount of the yogurt first so it doesn't lump up when you mix it with the cold yogurt). If you use dark chocolate and nonfat yogurt -- especially drained or Greek yogurt -- it's pretty healthy and satisfying!

          2. Congratulations!

            I don't know about the "healthy" aspect -- but one of the easiest, fastest, and low-fat/calorie-est options are Rice Krispie Treats. I don't *think* it has any** fat, and very few calories.

            **except maybe a negligent amount from the butter; minimize w/ margarine

            1. I'm a big vanilla yogurt fan. Top with fresh or frozen berries or banana slices, a couple of crushed gingersnaps and a drizzle of honey, and my sweet craving is satisfied.

              1 Reply
              1. re: katcraig

                Try a spoonful of marshmallow fluff. I find that it's so sweet that 1 spoonful is plenty and takes care of the craving and if you're satisfied with just one spoon, it's just not that many calories.

              2. I have a very sweet tooth so I'm always coming up with low-fat, healthy ways of keeping it at bay. Sugar free Jello is quite good and has virtually no calories. I alternate between low fat natural togurt and soya yogurt. Dried fruit is good in moderation as it's quite calorific. Here in the UK I stock up on Cadbury low fat chocolate mousse with 60 calories each and have one after dinner to satisfy my sweet cravings (I'm sure you'll have plenty of similar options in the US). Congratulations on the baby!

                1. I'm not at home, so I can't give you the recipe, but let me know if you want a recipe for rice pudding made with non-fat evaporated milk, which has a ton of calcium, and is very tasty especially if you add a big of orange rind and some raisins.

                  2 Replies
                  1. re: rememberme

                    That sounds great, and I would love the recipe when you get a chance. Thank you!

                    1. re: mayjay

                      when I have cravings I opt for fruit, especially berries. I often mix them with plain yogurt and add my own honey, this works well with frozen or fresh fruit.

                      another option for you might be dried fruit, the sugar concentrates so it can be quite sweet. Dates are a good option, but remember they are very high in sugar so don't over do it. also the unsulfered are best for you and the baby (available at healthfood stores). you might want to make a trail mix with fruit, nuts and maybe a few chocolate chips :)

                      for the lady craving chocolate, have you ever heard of cocoa nibs? they are actually the raw form of cocoa beans. you will find them in a health food store. you can add them into things like trail mix, yogurt etc. They are not sweetened at all, but neither are they bitter. they have an interesting true chocolate flavor. I like them in a trail mix, because mixed with dried fruit they sweeten and taste more like a chocolate chip. Also they are quite expensive, but a little goes a long way.

                      I will also sometimes have a drink to take away the sweet cravings such as:
                      fresh squeezed lemons with sparkling water, ginger and some sort of sweetener (I use agave, but honey or maple syrup would work).
                      Any fresh squeezed juice (OJ, apple, etc) + sparling water
                      herbal chai tea with milk & honey
                      peppermint tea (no sweetening needed for me)
                      if I am really wanting a treat: half strength hot cocoa. :)

                      I also find, i can replace sweet cravings with corn such as corn chips and salsa or popcorn, these will be satisfying enough to curb the craving.

                      I am giving you all of this advice as someone who has never been pregnant, but as someone who has to watch my sugar intake and deal with sugar withdrawal and cravings. Good luck!

                  2. I am just barely postpartum with my 3rd and I craved sweets in all my pregnancies. But with this last one I would get very sick after eating anything too rich - so mt sweet indulgences tended to be more healthy.

                    - fruit crisp - I would make the topping with almond butter or less butter and less sweetener (I use agave or brown sugar) and oats/nuts/unsweetened coconut.
                    - greek yoghurt can be mixed with anything, pumpkin, cocoa, peanut butter (defatted is good in it).
                    -Ricotta with fruit or lemon is great, you can use low-fat.
                    - larabars for a quick fix (dried fruit and nuts)
                    - a single square of good dark chocolate
                    - buttermilk pudding cakes
                    - wholw grain muffins/breads
                    - crepes with reduced butter, buckwheat if you like it.

                    OK newborn calls...

                    1. Here's the calcium-rich rice pudding recipe. I can't remember where I got it.

                      Cook 1 2/3 cups rice in 4 cups milk with 1/2 cup sugar, 25 minutes. Beat 2 eggs with 12 oz evaporated milk, add to rice, cook 5 minutes more until thicker. Add 1 tsp vanilla, rind of 2-3 oranges, and a handful of raisins. This will stiffen somewhat as it cools.

                      I hope the rest of the pregancy goes ever so smoothly! Eat chocolate now, because baby won't like it when you're nursing -- it creates gas. Cheers!