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Raspberry Almond Crumble Bars: A Low Sugar Recipe that Satisfies Your Sweet Tooth

Updated: Apr 30, 2020

Do you have a sweet tooth? Me too. I'm not a big believer in restricting foods, or categories of food, for myself or the people I work with. That includes sugar. The thing about telling yourself that you can't have something is that it a) feels like a punishment - what fun is that?, and b) tends to create a craveworm in your brain (you know, like an earworm, except instead of a song, you can't stop thinking about the forbidden treat) that grows until it has your undivided attention. Sometimes you can ride it out, but more often, you either give in to the craving or eat a bunch of other sugar as a distraction.

So what can you do? Eat it and just exercise it off, aka, the ate it/negate it strategy? Exercise is awesome for sooo many reasons, but even if you love exercise, and exercise often, this doesn't actually work. The gym (or wherever you exercise) is only about 20% responsible for your body composition. The rest is due to the kitchen and dining room, or wherever you prepare and consume your food. (For a funny video on this topic, take a look at this video. Though the quality of the video isn't great, it makes a clear point.)

Some people go cold turkey on sugar, and that works, but most people don't want to do that. That includes me. I enjoy baking, sparingly. Squaring that with walking the walk of my role as a personal trainer and nutrition coach requires a balancing act using multiple strategies. One of my strategies is to have some go-to recipes that have far less sugar than most desserts.* This is my latest experiment, which was deemed delicious by all, as in "can you give me that recipe?" delicious. (For another healthier dessert recipe, take a look at this.)

Here's a video overview of the recipe:

You could probably use frozen raspberries to make this, but I would recommend letting them defrost and letting excess moisture drain off. Also, you can use a food processor in short pulses to cut the butter into the flour/salt mixture, until you have a coarse mixture. Also note that in the video above, I rolled out the dough in a zip top bag. I actually recommend that you roll out the traditional way, on a floured surface as I found it hard to separate this dough from the bag once it was rolled out. The bars cut well, with a sharp knife, or for Valentine's Day, with a heart cookie cutter.

*This is by no means a low calorie treat. If you're trying to get leaner and healthier, think of this as an "eat less of" category of food.

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