I can put money on this happening at every holiday/event Alison and I attend:
Someone picks up a sweet from the dessert table and says “Shh...Don’t tell Alison.”
We just want to make this loud and clear -- we love dessert! We’re human.
Growing up, we frequently had donuts for breakfast on Saturday mornings. And at least half of our meals ended with a dessert. So, we get it--sweets are delicious and fun!
But we can’t forget MODERATION is key.
Over the past few years, we have cut back significantly on sweets. Personally, our goal is no more than 1 - 2 sweets a week. What counts as a serving?
½ cup Dairy-Free Ice Cream
1 - 2 ounces Dark Chocolate
3 cups Kettle Corn
2 Vegan Chocolate Chip Cookies
Back in the day, 1 - 2 servings would have felt like deprivation! So, if you are far from 1 - 2 sweets a week, aim to cut back to half of what you are currently doing. For instance:
Eating sweets 2x per day -> once a day
Eating a sweet 1x per day -> every other day
Want to know something interesting? When we started cutting back on sweets we found ourselves feeling happy more often. And guess what, there is scientific evidence to explain why (remember, Wholesome is all about evidence-based nutrition!).
If we eat calorie-dense junk food, like ice cream, on a regular basis our brain chemistry actually changes.
Think of it like this. When we eat ice cream, we are happy because our brain is releasing the chemical dopamine. If we do this day after day, our dopamine receptors become tired trying to keep up. Then, when we are trying to enjoy life’s simple pleasures like hearing your favorite song on the radio, it’s just not as satisfying.
It’s as if Christmas were every.single.day. It wouldn’t be nearly as fun!
Let’s be real, this process is way more complicated than what we have shared with you. If you get anything from this blog post, know this:
Limiting your consumption of sweets to 1 - 2 times per week can actually help you enjoy not only your sweet, but enjoy everyday life more.
We will now get off our soapboxes about keeping sweets in moderation and share a perfect treat we encourage you to share. These skills are dairy-free, egg-free, plant-based and DELICIOUS!
PEANUT BUTTER COOKIE SKILLETS
Makes: 6 large, sharable skillets
Preheat the oven to 350 degrees Fahrenheit.
Start by making the flax egg. In a small dish, combine the tablespoon of ground flaxseed and 3 tablespoons of water. Stir and let it set for at least 5 minutes.
Next, using a stand mixer (we use this one) with the paddle attachment, cream the vegan butter, granulated sugar, and brown sugar.
Once creamed, scrape down the sides with a rubber scraper. Add the peanut butter, vanilla, and flax egg. Mix until well combined.
In a medium size bowl, add the whole wheat pastry flour, baking soda, and salt (if you are using). Stir until well mixed with a wooden spoon or whisk.
With the electric mixer on at a slow speed, slowly add the flour, baking soda, and salt mixture. Mix until just combined.
Once the dough is mixed, roll the dough into your desired cookie size. We split this recipe into at least 6 large cookie balls. Add each ball to a skillet.
(We only have 2 skillets. We simply roll the dough into balls and refrigerate or freeze the rest for a later time.)
Bake for 15-18 minutes, or until desired doneness. (We tend to like our cookies doughy--and we can since there are no eggs!)
Eat warm out of the oven by itself, topped with dairy-free ice cream, or with a splash of non-dairy milk.
1 tablespoon ground flaxseed
3 tablespoons water
½ cup vegan butter, softened
e.g. Earth Balance
½ cup granulated sugar
½ cup brown sugar, packed
½ cup creamy peanut butter, natural
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
1 ½ cups whole wheat pastry flour
1 teaspoon baking soda
½ teaspoon salt (omit if using salted butter, which Earth Balance is)
*Note, you do not need to have cast iron skillets to make this recipe! You can make them into traditional cookies too. It will just change the baking time and yield of the recipe. If you are interested, we use these dessert skillets.