We found one of the hardest things about eating No Sugar for a year was finding good products and snack foods that didn’t have added sugar hiding in them somewhere. Whenever we came upon a good one, we have held to it fast. Here are just a few of our favorite things…
Above is a very recent find: Freeze Dried Crunchies! One and two ingredients snacks with a bit of sweetness… no ingredients save the fruit and (in the case of cinnamon apple) cinnamon. Our family unanimously agreed that the Cinnamon Apple are by far the best. We found them at GNC in the mall, of all places.
These days, whenever possible, I spend a fair amount of my weekend cooking, baking, and drying. This weekend I made a no-knead bread recipe and dried pears- both are extremely easy, but just require TIME to sit, rise, dry, whatever. (The pear slices, for example, took seventeen hours on the dehydrate setting in my oven.)
My most recent Farmers Market discovery: apple-only applesauce! Who would’ve thought No Sugar applesauce would be SO hard to find? (remember: added fruit juice counts as added sugar!) Ryan and Rachel Yoder make this pretty sauce and sell it alongside their homegrown dried beans and popcorn at the Dorset Sunday market.
Dried fruit is very tricky since so much of it has added sugar- try finding dried cranberries without added sugar and you’ll see what I mean. However, you can find it, often at the local health food store. I recently tried these Calimyrna Figs and realized they tasted just like …. what? Fig Newtons, of course!
We’re lucky to have friends who let us get in on a bulk organic produce order once a month or so. It’s truly amazing how much more produce you’ll consume when you know you have a ready supply on hand. We fill up our fridge with organic apples, oranges and pears (above) and store the overflow in our basement at about 55 degrees. Aluminum cans with holes drilled for airflow keep them fairly well.
Any extra fruit I worry might be going bad (such as these pears above) gets dried into fruit chips on the dehydrate setting in my oven. As I mentioned, it takes forever, and means the oven isn’t free for quite a while, so perhaps a separate dehydrator appliance is in our future someday… They never make quite as much as you think, and they never last long- but aren’t they pretty?
Another favorite snack has been fresh-popped popcorn, usually with melted butter and nutritional yeast sprinkled on top. Since we’ve been eliminating teflon from our kitchen, and ALL poppers seem to use it, I’m next going to try popping in a pot on the stove. (This is Ryan and Rachel Yoder’s wonderful popcorn.)
Homemade yogurt isn’t as much of a pain as you might imagine- just heat on stove or in microwave, add starter (a heaping spoonful of existing yogurt), and (if you have a nifty Donvier machine like we do) put in the cooker for a good 16 or 17 hours to cook. After that cool in the fridge for 3 hours. Voila! This fridge shot is a rare sight- this stuff disappears in our house like you wouldn’t believe.