Low Sugar Holiday Dessert Recipe For Mental Wellness

By Penny Zhou

It’s that time of the year again. Your house may be filled with cheer and joy, but also lots of festive treats and sugar.

Certified nutritional chef Melissa Eboli said that to keep a good mental status during the holidays, it’s better to monitor your intake of sugar. Too much sugar in your body can actually result in a bad mood.

“Almost like a foggy kind of brain feeling,” Eboli said, “for some people, when they crash from that ‘sugar high,’ they might slump into that depression, or somebody that’s prone to anxiety might feel extra anxious.”

The American Heart Association advises men to get no more than 150 calories (37.5 grams or 9 teaspoons) from added sugar per day and women no more than 100 calories (25 grams or 6 teaspoons)

Recommended limits for children vary depending on their age and caloric needs, ranging between 3-6 teaspoons (12 – 25 grams) per day.

Eboli said that coconut sugar, as well as honey and maple syrup, are relatively healthier than regular sugar.

Here’s one holiday dessert from Eboli to help you enjoy the sweetness of the holiday while keeping your mental wellness:

Chef Via Melissa’s Holiday Low Sugar Holiday Dessert Recipe: Coconut Parfait

Ingredients

  • 2 cans cooking coconut milk
  • 2 tbl. spoon honey
  • 2 tsp. vanilla
  • ¼ cup dried cranberries
  • ¼ cup walnuts
  • 1 tsp hemp seeds
  • 1 tsp flax seeds
  • cinnamon stick

Directions

  1. Place cans of coconut milk upside down in refrigerator overnight.
  2. Open can from the top and pour coconut water out in a cup for later use or discard in the sink.
  3. Remove meat of coconut from can and add to a blender, then add honey and vanilla flavoring.
  4. Blend 10-15 seconds until well combined.
  5. Transfer to 4 mini bowls or cups to prep servings.
  6. Top with cranberries, walnuts, hemp seeds, flax seeds, and cinnamon stick.

Yields 4 servings