We all know that niggling urge that arises shortly after what should have been a fully satisfying meal. What compels us towards that sweet finish? Is it habit? Partly, especially if we were accustomed to eating dessert either
growing up or as young adults. But it also arises from the urge for pleasure that wants to be satiated with something rich and sweet at the end of the day.
There is some evidence that sugar after a meal helps release tryptophan, the amino acid that triggers the production of serotonin. Serotonin is our happiness neurotransmitter that increases our sense of well-being. Now who doesn’t want a mood enhancer to finish off the day?
Here’s a few tips on how to both satisfy the urge and stop it in its tracks before it gets out-of–control and you live to regret it later.
1) Start with a cup of Teeccino. Seriously, I’m not just pushing my product! The reality is, we hear all the time from nutritionist as well as customers trying to cut down on sweets that Teeccino satisfies that after-dinner dessert craving. Here’s why you start with a cup of Teeccino. It is filling, so filling in fact that you can start and stop most times with just that one cup. Teeccino creates a full-bodied brew that isn’t watery like tea and won’t keep you up at night like coffee. Depending on your favorite flavor, Teeccino satisfies the rich taste factor – think nut flavors like Vanilla Nut, Hazelnut or Almond Amaretto – or the chocolate desire (Mmmm Mocha or Chocolaté) especially if you follow these tips:
- Add some frothed milk or non-dairy alternative. It’s quick and easy to do and makes the cup more dessert-like. Simply heat the milk and use a hand-held frother to create velvety foam to top your cup. Sprinkle the frothed milk with some powdered cocoa or cinnamon mixed with a wee bit of sugar for a sweet finish.
- Need it a bit sweeter? A tablespoon of maple syrup adds 52 calories or a tablespoon of honey adds 62. Not too costly for that sweet satisfaction to keep your hand out of the cookie jar.
- A tablespoon of a liqueur like Bailey’s, Amaretto or Frangelico only adds 35 calories. It won’t get you tipsy but it will add a delightfully rich and sweet flavor to a mug of Teeccino.
- Check out the delicious hot beverage recipes under our recipe section like Ginger Peach and Pumpkin Spice Latte for special occasions!
2) Ok, just one cookie. I’m a cookie lover myself but don’t want all the sugar in normal cookies. Here’s my recommendation: choose a cookie that isn’t made with too much sugar. My 2 favorites that satisfy my sweet tooth after a meal but don’t jack up my blood sugar are:
- Nairn’s Mixed Berry Oat Biscuits.These oatcakes, as I like to call them, give you sweetness with a nice oaty carbohydrate hit that is very satisfying. They come packed inside the box in groups of 5 wafer thin cookies. My recommendation is to eat only 2 cookies for a total of 90 calories with only 3g of sugar. My husband and I share the 5 pack and guess who gets the 5th cookie? Our ever-hungry Labrador loves chowing down on this treat with us!
- Mary’s Gone Crackers’ Love Cookies. These cookies are made with palm sugar so they will be sweeter than Nairn’s Oatcakes but palm sugar doesn’t spike blood sugar as rapidly as cane sugar. My favorite is the Double Dark Chocolate which also has Teeccino’s roasted ramon seeds in it. Yes, I am a chocoholic at heart though I refer to chocolate as my drug-of-choice and only indulge on a very limited basis. 1 cookie is 75 calories so proceed with caution!
3) Have you had your 3 servings of fresh fruit today? If not after-dinner is the time to catch up. Ok, maybe a chopped apple isn’t too appealing so look to the more seasonal and special fruits. How about persimmon seeds sprinkled over sliced peaches, pears or nectarines? Or mixed berries with a dribble of maple syrup or honey? Tangerine wedges and mandarin orange slices make refreshing after-dinner desserts too. Here’s my favorite dessert I can serve any guests and still get away with a low calorie treat:
- One small scoop of sorbet (around 65 calories) with berries or chopped stone fruit. Lemon sorbet is so refreshing and its slightly sour taste won’t set off your sweet tooth. That’s the favorite of the Italians who typically serve it to cleanse the palate after dinner. Despite their consumption of vast amounts of pasta, you don’t see obesity in Italy like you do in America!
- Sautéed mango slices in cinnamon and sherry. Just slice the mangoes, and pour the sherry over them in a frying pan. Simmer until their slightly cooked. Sprinkle with cinnamon and serve!
- Frozen fruit juice popsicles. I make my own so they are only pure juice. Blend a variety of juices to create exotic flavors. Buy a plastic popsicle kit and always have them on hand in the freezer during hot summer months!