Once-In-Awhile Treats // Zucchini Nut Muffins

Part of creating a healthy eating style is choosing foods and drinks without added sugars. Sugar is found naturally in some foods; others are added during processing or preparation. Most Americans eat and drink too many added sugars. The American Heart Association shares the information below to help you understand which foods to limit.

One of my favorite ways to limit added sugars is by making sweet desserts and snacks a once-in-awhile treat, while also watching portion sizes. When you practice the once-in-awhile method, there is room for added sugars in your diet in moderation.

As fall and winter approach, so do the holidays. We tend to do more baking, snacking, and eating this time of year. Using unsweetened applesauce, mashed bananas, or non-fat yogurt in place of sugar in recipes for baked goods is an easy way to limit your use of added sugars. You may have to experiment with your recipes a bit, but you’ll get the hang of it in no time!

I decided to play around with a zucchini muffin recipe. The original recipe called for 1/2 cup brown sugar and 1/2 cup honey. To reduce the added sugars, I used 1/4 cup brown sugar, 1/4 cup honey, and 1/4 cup unsweetened applesauce. I made a second batch, but was out of applesauce. I pureed some canned pears to use instead.

The recipe turned out great! I may even replace all of the honey with apple sauce or pureed pears next time.

Speaking of apples, next week is Apple Crunch Week. Check back here and follow us on social media for lots of yummy apple recipes. Enjoy!

Candi Merritt

Certified Nutrition Education Ambassador

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