NO SWEETS November (+ lemon poppy seed loaf)

Anyone else go a little overboard with autumnal treats last month? It's like as soon as the temperatures drop salads and fresh juices are the last thing I'd ever want and hot pies, doughnuts, and steamy lattes are top of my list. Errrday. Ahem. It's been a delicious October, and December is basically BAKING MONTH, so that leaves this month to bring a bit of balance to my life. No sweets November. Who's with me?

I did this last year too, and found it really helpful in re-setting my cravings and habits. Particularly because the winter months already leave be feeling lethargic and drowsy (hello, sun setting at 5pm), I really want to consume less sugar which has a similar result (sugar CRASH, people).

My goal is never to cut out sweets long term. Life is too short and sweets are too sweet! But I have a VERY high tolerance for sweet and rich foods, so I can easily go way overboard. Some people, like my husband, will take a bite of a gourmet doughnut and agree that it's tasty but then almost wince because it's "too sweet!" Meanwhile, I'm actually laughing at him as I eat my third in one sitting. I'm serious. But one thing I've noticed is that when I cut out sweets for a good chunk of time, my tolerance goes out the window like my first glass of wine after 9 months of pregnancy, ha! And then I can enjoy sweet things in moderation (a word I know very little about regarding sweets!) and stop craving them altogether. Just in time for Christmas, no less.

Sounds so healthy, right? Except that first week or two is pure struggles. But I've got a game plan this year. In order to stop craving sweets all the live long day, I'm going to make sure I'm filling up on healthier or at least savoury options (being hungry = cravings = eating sweets). I love cooking (read: preparing and eating non-sweet foods), but I never crave savoury or healthy foods. I crave sweets 100% of the time, and when I'm not eating on a solid schedule, or don't plan ahead, I reach for a sweet. So I'm planning to always have savoury and healthy snacks options on hand, in my purse, in the fridge, etc., which I swear is half the battle.

One important note about No Sweets November, at least in my rule book: NO sweets means NOTHING SWEET. This isn't a sugar strike, it's a sweet strike. So any recipe that boasts to be "low-sugar" but is full of dates, agave, maple syrup, etc., doesn't interest me. Because I want to stop craving SWEETS, not just subbing in alternative sweets for traditional sugar.

So who wants to bake something sweet after my rant? I hope some of you still do, because I actually have some amazing recipes to share this month that I didn't get around to posting last month when I was eating ALL THE SWEETS.

Lemon Poppy Seed Loaf adapted from Smitten Kitchen

1½ cups all-purpose flour
zest and juice from 1 lemon
1 tablespoon poppy seeds
½ cup granulated sugar
½ cup turbino sugar
½ cup olive oil
2 large eggs at room temperature
1 teaspoon baking powder
¼ teaspoon baking soda
⅓ cup plain yogurt
  • Preheat oven to 350, grease a loaf pan with olive oil 
  • Mix zest and sugar together to release lemony goodness into the sugar
  • Whisk in the olive oil until smooth. 
  • Add the eggs one at a time, and whisk until combined. 
  • In a separate bowl, combine all dry ingredients (including poppy seeds) and whisk together
  • In a separate bowl (again, yes, you'll be doing a lot of dishes but it's worth it!) mix lemon juice with plain yogurt
  • add half of the dry ingredients mix to the egg/sugar mixture, then half of the yogurt mix, and alternate until all incorporated happily
  • Bake for 45 minutes 
When cooled, top with this delicious glaze:
  • 1 cup icing sugar
  • Juice of one lemon
  • Pinch of salt
Enjoy, even if it's your last supper for sweets for the month :)

1 comment:

  1. I'M IN! Just so I can cut it out for the month to gear up for Christmas :)