One of the things people don’t always tell you when you transition to a Paleo diet is that you’re still going to crave desserts. If you grew up having a bowl of ice cream or a couple of cookies after supper you’re not alone. Most of us grew up that way. While not indulging your sweet tooth after dinner everyday might be doable, what about holidays or special occasions?
Everybody has birthdays or milestones they want to celebrate and food is such a large part of that. Something sweet at the end of a meal is part of just about every culture on earth. So the question is how do you indulge your sweet tooth and still stay Paleo? There are some pretty tasty Paleo dessert ideas if you’re willing to be a little flexible.
Beyond Fruit Salad
Some sliced fruit or fruit salad is perfectly acceptable on the Paleo diet. There are lots of essential nutrients in fruit and it is naturally sweet so it won’t spike your blood sugar levels. You can get more creative than simple fruit salad, if you are having family or work function whatever the situation you can now get some awesome fruit sculptures.
Fruit cut into shapes and put together to resemble almost anything. They are great when you are entertaining kids too, they love it. Youcan also incorporate blueberries, kiwis and strawberries so you have every color of the rainbow. Delicious and visually stunning, they will be a hit whatever the occasion.
Baked goods consist of pretty much every restricted ingredient on the Paleo diet because they are loaded with sugars, vegetable oils, and white flour; it is the trifecta of forbidden foods. You can work around that though, and still enjoy birthday cake.
For lots of people, baking is not just dessert but a hobby too, and transitioning to Paleo doesn’t always mean you have to give up your favorite pastime. You will be doing a little experimenting to paleofy your favorite recipes. Once you learn what substitutions work you can practice turning your favorite cookie, cake or apple pie recipes into something Paleo friendly.
Sugar can be swapped out for alternatives that won’t spike insulin levels; you can use honey, stevia, coconut sugar and pure maple syrup. There are guides on the Internet that can help you with measurements and keeping the consistency just right. For things like pie crusts and the base of a cheesecake you can often use dates and nuts. Flour and oils can be a bit more difficult and again you may have to try a recipe a few times before getting it right. Apple sauce can replace oils and flour can be replaced by almond flour, tapioca or arrowroot starch.
Nuts and Dark Chocolate
While both nuts and dark chocolate aren’t strictly Paleo and really fall into that grey area, on very very special occasions indulging in a small piece of dark chocolate or using cacao in recipes really isn’t the end of the world. Should you have them on a daily basis? Probably not, but don’t beat yourself up about it either. Dark chocolate does have antioxidants and some micronutrients so it isn’t all bad.
If you’re not much of a baker or you don’t have time to create your own recipes there are tons of recipes on the internet for Paleo dessert ideas!