A Tiny Treat

As you know, for the past 30 days I have avoided all sugar and sweeteners of all kinds. I am contemplating my very first treat to celebrate my (relatively small) success. I thought I'd share my thought process with you.

There are many directions in which I could go. And I know people have their preferences when it comes to cheat meals, snacks, and treats. Some people (including moi) like to make their cheats and treats as healthy as possible. If I were to bake myself a cake, or cookies, or muffins, I would use whole grain flour. I'd probably substitute at least half of that flour with almond meal for a lower carb and more nutritious product. I almost always add some kind of veggie to my cakes, like grated zucchini, carrot, or beet puree. I never frost my cakes as this just adds more sugar and empty calories. By the time I'm done, I have something that tastes pretty good, but not outrageously decadent. Does it hit the spot? Sometimes. But if I push it too far in the healthy direction, cut out so much sugar that it comes out barely sweet, I could end up with a treat that isn't really a treat. If I bake a whole cake, or a dozen muffins, then I have a ton of this stuff to eat. And if it remotely smells of nutrition, you can bet my teenaged daughter won't help me.

Why am I baking my treat in the first place? I like to have control over everything I put in my mouth. This is why I rarely eat out in restaurants. Of course everything tastes amazing, but that's because restaurants are not concerned with calories, trans-fats, refined flour and sugar, loads of salt. Yes, on occasion I throw all caution to the wind and eat out. And I usually enjoy the experience. But I always gain weight afterwards. I just can't afford to add those pounds now.

Here is what I am planning for my first treat: a small bowl of hot oatmeal (made with rolled oats, boiling water and salt) topped with 1 square of Ghiradelli dark chocolate, 1 teaspoon of peanutbutter, 1 teaspoon of homemade low-sugar cherry preserves, and 1 tablespoon of heavy cream.

If this treat sounds weird to you, I understand. But it combines almost all the foods I have been missing for the past month: oats, chocolate, peanutbutter, and sugar. It contains no wheat which I know makes me bloat. I can make it on the spot, without needing to bake an entire cheesecake or batch of muffins. This means that I can choose each night whether or not to have a treat. If I bake a whole cake, I will feel the need to eat it as no one else will. And I will WANT to eat it. So I will end up eating extra calories and carbs every night for at least a week.

Yes, this treat is a compromise of sorts. It is not a hunk of chocolate layer cake. But it is delicious. And satisfying. Slightly chewy, salty oats with a creamy, decadent, sweet topping. While I eat it, I will be saying "YUM" to myself. And when I am done, I will feel satisfied. Not ripped off.

Do you have any ideas for small, quick, homemade treats which are easy to throw together and fairly healthy? Please share!


  1. I love a date stuffed with a pecan (tastes a lot like pecan pie) or dates rolled in coconut. So sweet, full of fiber, and delish!


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