It’s nearly Christmas. Time to send a memo to my body. It will read something like this:
The Christmas holidays are almost upon us.
So I have decided to give you an early present.
You can have now until the New Year off fat production.
Yes, no more tedious grabbing hold of sugar and fats as they course through you, no manufacturing new fat cells.
Have a rest and enjoy yourself – I intend to.
Who am I trying to kid – I wish!
During these winter festivities we seem to be bombarded with loads of wonderful tempting foods all laden with sugars and fats – and of course don’t let’s forget alcohol and fizzy drinks.
Did cave men like mince pies?
Sadly, although intellectually and technologically human beings have made great strides (even on the moon) our bodies are still stuck in the cave so to speak. Early man and woman ate a very much simpler diet than us. It seems that we developed the liking for sweet things as a protection against poisoning. The majority of sweet berries etc are edible but the most bitter are not. Back in those times food was not put on a plate – literally. People didn’t get as much food and they used up an enormous amount of calories hunting and foraging.
When sugar was first refined very few people could have it. In medieval England the average person had one teaspoonful of sugar a year! And in the fifteenth and sixteenth century the rich upper classes had rotten teeth because of the sugar they ate, some middle classes blacked their teeth so they would look like they could afford it, and the poor on the whole had very healthy teeth! Apart from those they broke on the stones in the roughly ground flour.
My goodness, how times have changed!
Dentists are extracting teeth from more and more children, even as young as four and five year olds. Diabetes is on the increase worldwide and children as young as twelve are being diagnosed with type two (also known as late onset), something unheard of a decade or two ago.
Sugar is the bane of our modern lives. It is so freely available and many of us have such a VERY sweet tooth! Everywhere we go we see yummy cakes, biscuits sweets. That is the sugar we are aware of, but if you stop to read the ingredients on food packaging you see that sugar is included in loads of food even the savoury ones.
Health disguised as decadence!
So I’ve devised a simple, and I think extremely effective way to minimise festive damage, by creating some very low/fat sugar but tasty and beautiful treats.
In them I substitute figs and/or dates for sugar. As you probably know these dried fruits are very sweet, but they are taken into the blood stream far more slowly than refined sugar. In fact sugar is empty calories, it contains no nutrients; whereas dates and figs have roughage, vitamins and minerals that are helpful to the body.
The Xmas Power Balls are decorated with edible glue and edible paint – no calories; the Power Balls with a smear of maple syrup (low GI) and edible sparkle – no calories.
These gorgeous little treats make a lovely Christmas gift for a diabetic friend; or with the appropriate ingredients for someone who is gluten and/or dairy free.
On this website you will find some other lovely recipes suitable for parties using the minimum of sugar and low fat.