The holidays always come with a menu of stressors ranging from tight gifting budgets to uncomfortable family dynamics. This season, don’t let the abundance of sugary treats and libations be another cause of stress -- or hangovers.

Deciding to reduce the amount of sugar in your diet doesn’t have to be about losing weight or cutting calories; limiting sugar intake can do wonders for keeping you calm when your ex gets engaged or maintaining your energy levels so you can stay inspired in your 4pm meeting. Small, manageable changes such as substituting SPLENDA® Naturals Stevia Sweetener in your favorite treats or drinks is an easy way to limit your sugar intake this holiday season, while still having your cake and eating it too. So we say: eat, drink and indulge! After all, the holidays are about enjoying time with friends and family,  so you might as well celebrate! To get you going, we came up with some tips and tricks that you can use to sweeten up your life without sending you crashing down.

Bring Your Own: Offer to bring a healthier beverage or dish to the party. The host will appreciate your willingness to contribute and everyone at the gathering will benefit from having at least one healthier item available. To help cut calories in recipes that are a much-awaited part of celebrations, one simple change is to use a low-calorie sweetener in place of sugar. Don’t feel intimidated by the sugar switch; it’s likely that party-goers won’t even notice since SPLENDA® Naturals Stevia Sweetener tastes like sugar, with no aftertaste AND it’s 100% natural with nothing artificial.

Sweet Swaps: Where there’s celebrations, there’s cocktails (or maybe thats just my family). One way to avoid filling up on sugary drinks is to offer a variety of beverages made with no or less added sugar. Allow yourself a night with friends without indulging in drinks full of added sugars that leave you hurting the next day.

Swap out a typical 300-calorie drink for 100-calorie (& under) drinks by replacing fruit juices, which are full of added sugar, with a simple low-calorie sweetener like SPLENDA® Naturals Stevia Sweetener. Check out the SPLENDA website for sweet recipe inspiration, like this refreshing Miami-Fusion Mojito.

Miami Fusion.jpg

MIAMI-FUSION MOJITO:

Ingredients:

  • 6 mint leaves

  • 1 lime, juiced

  • 2 packets SPLENDA® Naturals Stevia Sweetener

  • 3 fl. oz. white rum

  • 1 (12 fl. oz.) can diet lemon-lime, chilled

  • 1 sprig Fresh mint for garnish

  • 1 slice lime for garnish

Preparation:

Muddle mint leaves and lime juice with a spoon in the bottom of a large glass.

Add SPLENDA® Naturals Stevia Sweetener, rum and soda; stir well. Garnish with mint and lime slice. Serve chilled.

Let Them Eat Cake: Just because you’re focused on healthy eating doesn’t mean you have to go without the sweet treats you know and love. SPLENDA® offers a number of calorie-friendly dessert recipes to keep your sweet tooth satisfied with SPLENDA® Naturals Stevia Sweetener, like this Blackberry Cobbler.

BLACKBERRY COBBLER.

blackberry-cobbler.jpg

Ingredients:

4 cups fresh blackberries

  • 2 teaspoons ground ginger

  • ¾ cup SPLENDA® Naturals Stevia Sweetener, Granulated, divided

  • ¼ cup water

  • Juice from 1 lime

  • 1 1/3 cups all-purpose flour

  • 2½ teaspoons baking powder

  • Pinch of salt

  • ¼ cup canola oil

  • ¼ cup plain fat-free Greek yogurt

  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract

  • 1¼ cups fat-free milk

Preparation:

Preheat oven to 350 F. Prepare a 9” x 13” baking pan by coating it with cooking spray.

Add berries into a medium bowl along with ginger, ¼ cup SPLENDA® Naturals Stevia Sweetener, water, and lime juice. Let berries sit for at least 15 minutes for juices to accumulate.

Into a small bowl, add all the dry ingredients: ½ cup SPLENDA® Naturals Stevia Sweetener, flour, baking powder and salt.

Into a large bowl, add the wet ingredients: canola oil, yogurt, vanilla, and milk. Stir together to combine. Add in the dry ingredients, again stirring to combine until just mixed together, making sure not to over-combine the mixture.

Pour batter into the baking pan. Use a spatula to spread batter in the pan the best you can – it’s okay if it doesn’t go to the edge of the pan since it will spread while baking. Top with the reserved berries and juices.

Bake in the oven until a toothpick inserted in the center of the cobbler comes out clean, about 50 minutes.

Remove from oven and use a spoon to scoop out cobbler portions on a plate. Serve.