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Healthy Holiday Recipes for Kids (and Adults) Who Love Sugar

11/15/2012 03:40 pm ET | Updated Jan 15, 2013
  • Alex Jamieson Author: Women, Food & Desire, Functional Nutrition Expert, Cravings Whisperer

Holiday season is upon us. Sugar season is here!
Instead of over-indulging from Halloween through January 1st, I've committed to a "Sugar Free 'till Thanksgiving" challenge.

It's my way of protecting my health, while still enjoying the celebrations with family and friends. Basically, my Facebook tribe and I have declared to the world that we're avoiding all added sugars until Thanksgiving. No big deal.

But here's the problem.

My son and I crave sugar. We love it. Now, I don't drink daily 32 ounces of soda like back in college, but I was getting in the habit of chomping through a bar of dark chocolate every few days.

So I've come up with some easy, sugar-free sweet recipes that both my son and I love. These recipes are great if you're diabetic, have hormonal imbalances, know you're addicted to sugar and want to give yourself a break, or have an underlying candida overgrowth and know that you need to avoid refined sugars.

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Our favorite sweet vegetable is sweet potatoes, or yams. Laken, my six-year-old, helped me to wrap a few sweet Red Garnet (Jewel is another good variety) sweet potatoes in foil. After an hour at 400 F they were perfectly mushy and cooked through, so I removed them from the oven to cool.

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Together we peeled the skins off easily with a pairing knife and placed all the flesh in my food processor. Since Red Garnets are so sweet on their own, you don't need to add any sugars.

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If you want to make this recipe for yourself or your family as a less sugary dessert, you can add a scant tablespoon of pure maple syrup, as directed.

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After 10 seconds in the food processor, a good scraping, and another 10 seconds of whirring, a rich, golden orange pudding emerged.

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My son and I love this recipe -- it's easy, naturally sweet, and pretty darned healthy. He calls it "dessert," I call is sweet salvation.

Sweet Potato Pudding

2 baked sweet potatoes, peeled
1 tablespoon maple syrup (optional)
2 tablespoons freshly squeezed orange juice
½ teaspoon vanilla extract
Optional spices: pinch powdered ginger or freshly grated nutmeg
Pinch salt

  1. Combine all in a food processor and process until completely smooth.
  2. Kids can help by pushing down the button, scraping the sides with a spatula, scooping out the pudding into bowls, etc.
  3. Scoop the pudding out with an ice cream scooper, rubber spatula or spoon.

Serves 2

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