These meal and snack ideas are great for anyone taking on the Sugar Challenge, both for during the challenge itself, but also for after the challenge is up to keep up a good repertoire of healthy sugar free meals. In the transition from a completely sugar free diet to a “normal” diet, it’s a good idea to keep some meals low in sugar or sugar free so that you can appreciate the natural unsweetened flavour of foods.
So check out my meal and snack ideas below, and as always, please feel free to get in touch with any comments – I love to hear from you!
Top with fresh or frozen fruit, nuts, seeds, and spices. I love apple and cinnamon, warm blueberries and macadamia, frozen cherries and pecans, chopped banana and seeds, or apricot and almond. I also have a recipe on the BBC Good Food website for Black Forest Crumble porridge here. Just make without the added sugar.
If you don’t have time to make porridge in the morning a good alternative is overnight oats. Simply leave the mixture in the fridge overnight and you have a tasty oaty breakfast by morning. Check out the recipe here.
How do you like your Eggs in the morning?
A seriously versatile breakfast option is the trust egg. Enjoy poached, scrambled, fried in a little oil, boiled or as an omelette. Eggs contain a good source of protein and fat, and despite popular belief, are extremely healthy and can be enjoyed every day.
If you like dippy eggs, why not try some sugar free rye bread, or even carrots or celery dipped in the runny yolk.
Avocado makes a great side to poached egg with a lovely slice of smoked salmon or bacon (check smoked foods for sugar in the ingredients list as some do have it added).
Fruit & Yoghurt… with a sprinkling of Sugar Free Granola
Plain yoghurt is usually sugar free (check the label of any brand you’re unsure of) and is a great way to start the day. Thick and creamy greek yoghurts, like Total Greek Yoghurt or Chobani, have a good protein content and don’t think low fat is necessarily best… the 10% Total yoghurt is lovely and creamy and more likely to fill you up until lunch.
Try with your favourite fresh or frozen fruit (chopped banana, grapes, frozen cherries or warm blueberries are my favourite) and if you like a bit of crunch with your brekkies, my Super Easy Sugar Free Granola recipe has been a hit with Sugar Challengers in the past.
This breakfast also doubles up as a tasty dessert.
Red, White and Green
A firm favourite lunch of mine is a fresh and crisp tomato, mozarella and avocado salad. Add cucumber and red gem lettuce to bulk it out a little if you like, and there’s no need for sugary dressings – all you need is a spoon of olive oil, half a lemon and a pinch of italian herbs. Delicious.
Tuna Nicoise Salad
Mixed salad leaves, green beans, sliced potatoes, boiled egg and tuna steak or tinned tuna are all you need to make this tasty salad. A balsamic dressing tops it off nicely and adds a nice bite to the salad.
This couldn’t be easier… cube some cucumber, chop some red onion, half some cherry tomatoes, combine with cubes of feta, olives and salad leaves, then serve with a spoon of olive oil and half a lemon. Yummy.
Pitta bread, as well as usually sugar free, also makes a nice alternative to a sandwich at lunchtimes. I like mine with shredded meat like chicken or beef, leftover chilli con carne (see above), greek salad, or egg mayo with a pinch of curry powder. So many different options!
I’m a pure and simple comfort food gal, and these recipes echo that. You can enjoy a sugar free dinner with ease if you cook from scratch.
Chilli con Carne
Can’t find sugar free tinned tomatoes? No problem, just use fresh buffalo tomatoes instead. No sugar required! Just cook off some mince with onion, garlic and peppers, 1tsp chilli powder, 1tsp cumin and 1tsp paprika. Add your chopped tomatoes, some tomato puree, and simmer. Finish off with 1/2 a tsp of oregano and some kidney beans and serve with rice.
Chicken and Mushroom Risotto
By using the liquid from re-hydrating dried mushrooms you don’t need shop-bought stock, which regularly has sugar added to it. Try my recipe here.
Paprika Tomato Cod
Steam or grill a fillet of cod. Meanwhile, gently simmer half a tin of chopped tomatoes, or a couple of chopped buffalo tomatoes, with a pinch of paprika. Top the fish with the tomato mixture and serve with a baked sweet potato, or rice, and greens.
As an easy homemade alternative to an Indian takeaway, this salmon tikka recipe is a firm favourite in the Fitcetera household. I’ve also tried it with chicken, and I’m sure it would be great with veggies or tofu too.
Sugar Free Power Bars
I posted this recipe last year when the first 30 day Sugar Challenge started. I was riding the London to Brighton and needed an easy snack to give me energy for the ride where usually I would have used sweetened energy gels or flapjack bites. This recipe couldn’t be easier and is entirely sugar free.
To help keep you feeling full and help prevent the spike of carbohydrate in your blood sugar levels, try to combine carbohydrate with protein and/or fat where possible. Protein and fat help slow the release of sugar into the bloodstream, meaning a more steady release of energy and maximum satiety. The following combinations are winners:
- Grapes with cheese
- Apple slices with nut butter
- Celery and cream cheese or nut butter
- Carrots and peppers with houmous
- Banana with mixed nuts and seeds
- Berries with Greek yoghurt
Fruit and herb tea bags are available in all supermarkets and come in a plethora of different flavours. Try peppermint, chamomile, mango and raspberry, etc. Pop a couple of bags in a bottle of water with a few ice cubes and leave in the fridge to infuse.
Plain water is refreshing and pure, but sometimes a little flavour is needed to keep things fresh. You can buy flavoured water in shops but it’s often sweetened with sugar or artificial sweeteners. For the sugar challenge, try storing bottled water in the fridge with fresh herbs like mint or rosemary, chopped citrus fruits, berries, cucumber and more. Whatever combinations you try and like.
Frozen yoghurt is something normally reserved for a treat while out shopping, but it couldn’t be easier or more healthy than in this recipe. Let me know what flavour combinations you come up with!
Fruit & Yoghurt… with a sprinkling of Sugar Free Granola