Spooky Truths About Sugar (and a naturally sweet granola cluster recipe!)

my mad pumpkin carving skills

my pumpkin masterpiece


Happy Halloween!

Given the eve of ‘treating’, I figured it would be a fun time to chat about sugar…

The last couple of weeks have been a little rocky readjusting to an insulin pump, and I’ve tried experimenting with more low glycemic snacks to help balance things out. As for carbohydrates, I find the more complex the better (quinoa, apples with almond butter, hummus and veggies etc).

Truthfully, sugar is sugar. Whether it’s raw agave, pure maple syrup, date paste, brown rice syrup, coconut, corn syrup, yacon or plain old white sugar, they all break down at top speed and cause a spike in blood glucose. Which spells trouble for us type 1’s and anyone striving to balance blood sugar.

That being said, some unrefined sources of sugar do offer vitamins & minerals, a little fiber and healing powers (like organic coconut palm sugar and raw honey), but processed sugar is pretty well devoid of nutrients. It also acts like a psychoactive drug similar to opiates. Scary news!

Then we have artificial sweeteners which are frighteningly prevalent in the diabetes community. Beyond some serious health implications, the use of synthetic sweeteners (or highly processed plant extracts like white stevia) can actually feed our sugar cravings. Icky. If you love stevia as much as I do, try opting for the organic powdered extract with a ghoulish dark green tinge (like this one). In moderation, of course!

raw ground stevia leaf

Even though most of us won’t be devouring a pillow case of sweets, sometimes we just need a little comfort treat – especially as we migrate into the cooler season…

As for a power snack or breakfast booster, I tried out this granola recipe with a little raw honey (more for my bf’s taste buds) but sweetness is totally optional! With healthy fats, plant protein and complex carbs, here’s a keeper…

photo 1

The aroma of freshly baked granola is nothing short of bliss. When the oven timer rang, I half expected to find a giant crumble or puff pastry appear instead of a flat sheet of fiber. Esthetics aside, this granola has a pretty pleasing nutrient profile.

Ingredients:

  • 3 cups whole rolled oats (certified gluten-free)
  • 1/2 cup raw almonds (chopped)
  • 1-1.5 cups your choice of seed blend (pumpkin, hemp, sunflower, buckwheat, flax)
  • 1 tablespoon ground non-irradiated cinnamon (good for glucose metabolism)
  • 4 tablespoons melted cold-pressed virgin coconut oil (place jar or bowl in boiling water to melt)
  • 2-3 tablespoons raw, unpasteurized honey (optional)
  • 1/2 cup dried goji berries or unsweetened dried fruit (optional)

Method:

Preheat oven to 300 degrees and line a baking sheet with parchment paper. Combine dry ingredients in a bowl. If using honey, add to melted coconut oil then pour into bowl. Mix until all dry goods are covered. Place granola evenly on baking sheet and bake for 10 minutes. Rotate tray and bake for another 5-10 mins, depending on how crispy you like it. Let cool. Break apart your granola however clustery you prefer.

Sprinkle a small serving (1/3 cup) into some non-dairy milk, plain yogurt or enjoy on its own!

granola

It could also make for a nice ‘zombie crunch’ hand-out to the costumed kidlets tonight. Beats toothbrushes as a healthy alternative to candy bars…

Happy tricking (your taste buds) and treating (your body & soul) xo

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2 thoughts on “Spooky Truths About Sugar (and a naturally sweet granola cluster recipe!)

  1. Chelsey, I just found your blog today and want to thank you for sharing it all with the world! You are awesome! My son was recently diagnosed with T1D and I’m in search with all that relates to it, from recipes to lifestyle, etc. Your blog is very inspiring! Keep writing! Thank you! Helen

    • Thank you so much Helen! Truly appreciate it! Please feel free to reach out if you’re ever seeking more resources or support. I know it’s an incredibly rocky process, and I hope your son is able to keep his spirits up while adjusting to life with T1D.

      Wishing you both all the best 🙂

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