Chef Liccia Jaccard doesn’t work in clients homes or a restaurant kitchen.
Instead, she cooks for Malibu Beach Recovery Center for men and women trying to overcome addiction.
But her role isn’t simply provided meals: it’s part of the healing process.
Her main goal? Provide meals and nutritional guidance that emphasizes whole foods without added sugar or additives. These types of foods, she argues, supports natural hormone regulation and helps the body recover from addiction.
Less Sugar, Significant Gains
If this sounds far fetched, there’s science to back it up: research from Harvard University, among many other respected institutes, has shown that low sugar, whole food diets help support the proper functioning of hormones and neurotransmitters.
But that doesn’t mean Chef Jaccard ditches sweet treats: it’s all in moderation, and, importantly, takes advantage of nature’s natural sweetness.
Here are recipes you should prepare before summer ends: with absolutely no added sugar.
Nature’s Natural Sweeteners
Both fresh and dried fruit contain fructose, which serves as an excellent natural sweetener. The sweetest fruits, like bananas, are most frequently used for low sugar or sugar free meals and desserts.
Dried fruit, like figs, dates and even prunes are even sweeter but still healthy and very useful for both savory and sweet dishes.
The key? Get fruit as ripe as possible. Bananas for examples, should have some brown on the outer skin (but the flesh should still be white); other fruit should be sweet to the taste and tender.
And it’s not just fruit. Adding vanilla or almond extract brings out naturally sweet notes, as does accents like citrus juice.
Recipes you Need to Try before Fall
There are countless sweet bites and award winning desserts that don’t rely on sugar. But while it’s still hot outside, take advantage of the fresh produce and the need to stay cool with these recipes sure to become summer classics: without the blood sugar highs and lows.
Banana Ice Cream
This frozen treat couldn’t be simpler, yet it has a luxurious feel and can be plated with elegance. Touted as a one ingredient recipe, you can also add a little vanilla or almond extract, or even frozen strawberries for an added twist.
One banana makes two servings, so adjust as needed. Simply start with a ripe banana, thinly slice, and freeze at least two hours or overnight in an airtight container. Using a food processor or blender, beat until there’s a creamy texture, and refreshed until ready to serve.
Serve with: Marchiaooti cherries, crushed nuts, dark chocolate shavings (use sparingly), homemade whipped cream, or light peanut butter sauce.
Other Picks: Frozen fruit at its best is the key for casual fare like strawberry sage Popsicles, which can be transformed into a more elegant granita or shaved ice.
Light and Fluffy Cakes
Dense and heavy cakes are more suited for fall and winter. Add a touch of elegance without the sugar with these picks. Serve with homemade whipped cream (you control the ingredients and sweetener), fresh fruit, naturally sweetened fruit glazes, and garnishes like citrus slices and mint or basil sprigs.
Add this: If you want an elegant glaze or frosting without compromising on naturally sweetened recipes, try berry cream cheese frosting, silky cashew date frosting, or this lemon frosting. For glazes, heat very ripe fruit in a skillet with a thickening agent like cornstarch.
Top it Off with a Classic Drink
And no, we’re not talking alcohol. Iced tea of course is a classic that can be served unsweetened with a lemon or lime wedge. But sometimes you want to serve something a little more special.
Top Picks: This lemonade has absolutely no sugar, and is sweetened by juicing apples. Instead of plain iced tea, add a punch with fruit. Speaking of punch, berry fizzy punch is a delight (though it does have some added sweetener, it uses only four tablespoons of maple syrup for an entire recipe).
Looking for something simple? There’s never anything wrong with sliced fruit, chocolate dipped fruit, or low sugar parfaits.