Sugar-free Season

I don’t know about you, dear reader, but I’ve been battling the bulge since New Year’s Eve. Frankly, it’s been in the back of my mind since I traded an active college lifestyle for a desk job, where the pounds seem to just pack on without any help from me. Yet, in the past few months, I’ve really kicked my exercise routine into high gear.

Dieting, however, is a different story. It’s difficult for me to enjoy chicken for dinner every night of the week, much less delight in a salad sans bacon and cheese. I can do it every now and then, sure—I love veggies—but my taste buds can only take so much. And I don’t want to let them down. After all, they’re my buds.

Sometimes I just want a handful of chocolate chips—or a nice pile of sodium-rich pulled-pork barbecue. I’m sure you can empathize with my struggle. (If you can’t, that is wonderful!) For those who are with me, rejoice. We can indulge our temptations for taste with a few local treats that don’t use whole sugar. Yes, even sweet shops in our area are willing to swap out the sugar for another alternative. The choices abound, too, from cookies to cupcakes and more. Everything in moderation, no?

<<< The Sugar-Free Honey Breve from Jumpin’ Java (4022 Old Bridge Rd. SW, Southport; 363-4841) is a top-seller among health-conscious customers. It includes two tsp. honey, two shots of espresso, and eight ounces of half and half. The drink is available hot or over ice, and is especially popular in the spring as the honey helps fight off seasonal allergies. Courtesy photo

<<< The Sugar-Free Honey Breve from Jumpin’ Java (4022 Old Bridge Rd. SW, Southport; 363-4841) is a top-seller among health-conscious customers. It includes two tsp. honey, two shots of espresso, and eight ounces of half and half. The drink is available hot or over ice, and is especially popular in the spring as the honey helps fight off seasonal allergies. Courtesy photo[/caption] [caption id="attachment_1073" align="aligncenter" width="300"]<<< Side Street Bakery (105 W. George St., Southport; 363-4629) offers oatmeal raisin and peanut butter cookies made with Splenda, all crafted by bakery owner Christina Willetts. Courtesy photo <<< Side Street Bakery (105 W. George St., Southport; 363-4629) offers oatmeal raisin and peanut butter cookies made with Splenda, all crafted by bakery owner Christina Willetts. Photo by Bethany Turner[/caption] [caption id="attachment_1074" align="aligncenter" width="300"]Southport Taffy and Fudge Factory (412 N. Howe St.; 477-1288) offers sugar-free saltwater taffies in five flavors. They’ll start making sugar-free fudge soon, too. Photo by Bethany Turner Southport Taffy and Fudge Factory (412 N. Howe St.; 477-1288) offers sugar-free saltwater taffies in five flavors. They’ll start making sugar-free fudge soon, too. Photo by Bethany Turner

Greenlands Farm Store (668 Midway Rd. SE, Bolivia; 253-7934) serves up gluten-free carrot cake with agave nectar (middle);  ancient-grain, gluten-free apple muffin with agave (front); and sugar-free banana bread (back). All are organic and created by Heather Burkert. Photo by Bethany Turner

Greenlands Farm Store (668 Midway Rd. SE, Bolivia; 253-7934) serves up gluten-free carrot cake with agave nectar (middle); ancient-grain, gluten-free apple muffin with agave (front); and sugar-free banana bread (back). All are organic and created by Heather Burkert. Photo by Bethany Turner

CrazyCakeChicks (5119 E. Oak Island Dr.; 933-4253) create sugar-free almond and chocolate cupcakes (pictured), as well as muffins and cheesecake. The desserts are sweetened using xylitol, derived from birch. Upon request, items can be sweetened with agave and honey.

CrazyCakeChicks (5119 E. Oak Island Dr.; 933-4253) create sugar-free almond and chocolate cupcakes (pictured), as well as muffins and cheesecake. The desserts are sweetened using xylitol, derived from birch. Upon request, items can be sweetened with agave and honey.

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