Today, October 30th, is Sugar Addiction Awareness Day. As former sugar addicts (see our “before” pictures for proof!) this is certainly a subject that is near to us. Since cutting out all processed foods, grains and refined sugars, we’ve turned our health around completely and we’re pleased to pass that message along.
I remember nights where Stacy and I would stagger around the kitchen like the walking dead searching for the sweetest thing we could get our hands on. It’d likely a be pretty embarrassing scene, were there tapes of it. Often we’d end up stuffing our faces full of baked treats and chocolate and ice cream and all other manner of sugar-rich foods we could discover. In the same night. If nothing was in the house, I’d venture out to a nearby ice cream shop to bring it home. It was a serious problem. We were, in no exaggeration, addicted.
Stacy was clearly affected by her blood sugar roller coaster. If she was coming off high sugar intake, her mood would crash. She’d be grouchy and irritable, stomping around the house snapping at husband, kids and cat alike ala Frankenstein’s sugar monster. I wasn’t affected that way, but I got severe, irrepressible urges to eat all the sugary things I could get my hands on. It was pretty common in those days for (massive quantities of) treats to go missing in the middle of the night, victims of my midnight sugar hunts. I was the Jason Vorhees of sweets, hiding in the shadows of my own shame.
Since going Paleo, we’ve mostly slayed the sugar addiction monster. Without grains, the majority of our carb cravings vanished. And after the removal of processed foods our taste-buds changed. So, as happy Paleo folk, we’re no longer are we as sugar obsessed as before. Sure, we still get the occasional sugar fixation, but it passes. As a family attempting to lead a normal suburban life, we also, clearly, bake more treat than Grok would have ever had. In general, though, we used natural sugars from fruits or other sources or low-glycemic index sweeteners so as not to wake the sugar addition demon. Our favorite was palm sugar.
When we started ordering from Amazon Subscribe & Save, palm sugar seemed perfect! It’s from coconuts, it’s low glycemic and it’s granulated! I was so used to baking with liquid sweeteners that I had forgotten how convenient the granulated stuff was! I started putting it in pies, in cakes, especially in frosting (in a coffee grinder it becomes superfine sugar). Unfortunately, after having fallen in love with the stuff, we found out something about palm sugar that was very concerning and made us rethink how we use sweeteners.
Palm sugar, you see, is made from the nectar of coconut palms. To extract the sap, they cut open the bud. The bud would have made a coconut. You know what happens to that location on the palm after they slice it open? It ceases to make coconuts. But… but… but I love coconuts! We need all the coconuts we can get so I may have flakes, flour and oil at reasonable prices!
Sorry friend, you can’t have it all. With your love of coconut sugar, you drive up the price of everything else than can no longer grow on the same trees where coconut sugar was extracted – once. The effect of the increased popularity of palm sugar has already led to an increase in the price of all those more valuable products.
After discovering this, we have officially decided to stop using palm sugar as a sweetener. We’re actually editing our turned-in book to accommodate this change – it really is that important to us. The only food item we really need granulated sugar for is frosting, and we’re switching to unrefined cane sugar for those rare occasions that call for a granulated sugar. For the remainder of our recipes we’re focusing on sweetening our goods with fruit, dates, maple syrup and honey.
Which brings us to a little giveaway. Tropical Traditions has honored us with the ability to giveaway a 17.6 ounce jar of their organic raw honey! You know you want that (because I want that). Their honey is not only harvested in an environmentally friendly way, but the end result is a quality product that has the health inducing qualities we love. Is it sugar? Yes! Just because it’s not from a sugar cane doesn’t mean your body doesn’t recognize it – focus on this as a TREAT.
If you’re wondering how you could use honey, other than in your herbal tea, we think you’re not paying attention. We use honey A LOT. Use it to make our caramel sauce for our caramel apples! Or our “famed” Grain Free Granola! Or perhaps our ever popular Pumpkin Pucks?
Well, if you want some free honey, here’s what to do: Go to Tropical Traditions, and tell us what you’d buy. We’d love to know your favorite or what you’ve really been wanting to try, so simply comment on this post by sharing what that item is and that’s it – you’re entered to win some terrific raw honey! Of course following them on Facebook and Twitter is great too. Those who “share” kindly (please tag us from our Facebook page or Twitter name so that we can see it!) might get a couple of bumps from us…
Entries close in 10 days (that’s Tuesday, November 8th 12pm EST) and the winner will be announced Wednesday November 9th.