Giving up sugar can leave us feeling deprived and as though we'll never eat dessert again. But this recipe for sugar-free peanut butter cookies is proof that cutting out most sugar doesn't mean needing to give up treats altogether! These cookies taste great, and you'll feel like you're indulging... but without wrecking havoc on your system. Processed sugar adds unnecessary calories to your diet without giving you the nutrients you need. The body is not particularly interested in calories themselves. Its primary focus is getting specific nutrients. Everything from fluid balance, nerve function, metabolism, energy production, bone structure, and proper digestion all require specific macronutrients and micronutrients. When we fill our diet with nutritionally empty calories — such as sugar, processed wheat, and poor quality dairy — our body continues to give us hunger signals, since it hasn't received what it needs. This can lead to overeating and weight gain over time. Fructose, when consumed through fruit, where the micronutrients and fiber slow the release of sugar into the bloodstream, isn't something to fear. However, when consumed in excess in the form of processed and packaged sugars, soda, and desserts, it will be converted into glycogen and stored by the liver. For individuals who chronically overeat these foods, the liver becomes too full of glycogen and begin to turn fructose into fat. This can lead to a condition called fatty liver and, if left untreated, eventually liver disease. Organic stevia has been used for centuries. It is a plant with naturally sweet leaves. While the stevia plant can be grown and used in its natural form, more conveniently it has also been turned into a powder which can be found in most grocery stores. Be sure to choose 100% organic stevia to avoid other additives and chemicals some brands use in their formulas. Since it does not affect the blood sugar, stevia can be a great option for preventing metabolic syndrome, keeping mood and energy stable, and creating steady hunger levels. Stevia also contains antioxidant properties, which helps fight inflammation in the body (whereas regular sugar actually causes inflammation in the body).
*If you prefer the taste of sugar over stevia, you can replace with 1/2 cup of coconut palm sugar.
Step 1: Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Add all ingredients to an electric mixer and mix on high until fully combined.
Step 2: Scoop dough out in heaping tablespoons, and roll into smooth balls.
Step 3: Lay balls onto parchment lined baking sheet. Use a fork to smash dough flat (the cookies will not spread while baking).
Step 4: Bake for 7-10 minutes depending on desired crispiness. Enjoy your sugar-free peanut butter cookies!