16 Refined Sugar-Free Recipes For When You’re On A Sugar Detox

Dessert included!

Women's Health |

Can’t do without your daily sugar fix? Do you find yourself getting that sugar rush then just to come crashing down soon after? If you’ve been trapped by your sweet tooth for far too long, then a sugar detox might just be what you need.

But just because you’ve cut out sugar, it doesn’t mean you won’t have many options. Here are 20 recipes that have no added sugar, are super healthy and bursting with flavour. The best part — you can still have dessert!

1. Coconut-Milk Flan


— 2x 400g Tins reduced-fat coconut cream

— Seeds from 1 vanilla pod

—  Cup of coconut sugar

— Pinch of salt

— ½ tsp Lemon zest

— 6 Free-range extra-large eggs

— Fruit and maple syrup (optional), to serve


1/ Preheat the oven to 160°C.

2/ Gently heat the coconut milk in a pot set over medium-low heat. Stir in the vanilla, sugar, salt and zest until well-combined. Keep whisking every now and then until the mixture has reduced by half.

3/ In a separate container, whisk the eggs together, then very slowly pour the coconut mixture into the eggs, whisking continuously until well-combined.

4/ Place a single dish or six ramekins into a deep baking tray or ovenproof dish. Pour the coconut mixture into the ramekin(s). Then pour water into the large baking tray

2. Mexi Ceviche


— 300g Yellowtail, hake or halibut, cubed

— Juice of 2 limes, plus zest and juice of a third

— Juice of 1 lemon

— Salt and freshly ground pepper

— 1 Jalapeño, sliced

— ½ Red onion, chopped

— 1 Large avocado, cubed

— 8 to 10 Cherry tomatoes, quartered

— 1 Handful cubed cucumber

— Handful coriander


1/ Place the cubed fish in a glass bowl. Pour over the juice of the 2 limes and lemon. Stir to cover. Sprinkle with salt and pepper. Cover with cling wrap and refrigerate until the fish is opaque and cured (you can toss occasionally).

2/ Remove the fish from the marinade and place in a bowl with the rest of the ingredients. Add some zest from the third lime, squeeze fresh lime juice over and season to taste.

3. Sexy Slaw


— Small red cabbage, finely shredded

— ⅛ Green cabbage, finely shredded

— 2 to 3 Carrots, peeled into ribbons

— Mealie kernels from 2 steamed mealies, roughly chopped

— 1 Red pepper, sliced into slivers

— 1 Large fresh bunch coriander, torn

— Juice of 2 limes

— 1 tsp Honey

— 3 tbsp Extra virgin olive oil

— 1 Red chilli, chopped

— Salt and freshly ground pepper


1/ Toss the cabbage, carrots, mealies, red pepper and coriander together, then plate on a large platter.

2/ Whisk together the lime juice, honey, olive oil and chilli. Test for flavour (add a little more lime juice or honey, depending on the size of your limes).

3/ Dress the salad, season and serve

4. Vegan Chilli Con Bean


— 1 Brown onion, finely diced

— 2 Cloves garlic, finely chopped

— 2 Red chillies, finely chopped

— 2 to 3 tbsp Extra virgin olive oil

— 2 tsp Smoked paprika

— 1 tsp Cayenne pepper

— 1 tsp Cumin

— 2 x 400g Tins chopped tomatoes

— 1 tbsp Tomato paste

— 400g Tin butter beans

— 400g Tin kidney beans

— 400g Tin black beans

— 400g Tin corn

— Salt and freshly ground black pepper

— A squeeze of lime juice, to serve

— Fresh coriander, to serve


1/ In a large pot placed over medium heat, sauté. the onion, garlic and chillies in the olive oil. Add the spices and sauté. for a minute. Add the tomatoes and paste and stir together.

2/ Drain and rinse the beans and corn, then add to the tomato mixture. Add a little water to loosen, then cover. Cook for a further 20 to 25 minutes. Season and serve with lime and coriander with nachos, wraps, corn tacos or rice.

5. Red Kidney Bean Chopped Salad


— 2 (400g) Cans kidney beans, drained and rinsed

— 1 Small red onion, very finely chopped

— 2 to 3 Stalks celery, finely sliced

— 1 Small cucumber, chopped

— 2 Tomatoes (heirloom if you can), chopped

— ½ Cup fresh parsley

— 1 to 2 Avocados

For the dressing

— 2 tbsp Chopped mint

 — 3 tbsp Olive oil

— Juice of 1 lemon

— 2 Cloves garlic, minced or very finely chopped

— ½ tsp Chilli flakes (or 1 small chilli, very finely chopped)

— Salt and pepper


1/ Combine all the salad ingredients, except the avocado, in a bowl.

2/ Combine the dressing ingredients and mix well. Toss with the salad.

3/ Marinate for an hour or so to develop flavour.

4/ Serve with the avocado and an extra lemon wedge (optional) and to make it a true WH salad, add a dollop of hummus.

6. Veg Stir-Fry With Rice


— Canola oil

— 1 Brown onion, sliced

— 2 Cloves garlic, minced

— 2 Green chillies, finely chopped

— ½ Purple cabbage, sliced

— 4 Large carrots, peeled and julienned

— 4 to 6 Courgettes, julienned

— ½ Red pepper, julienned

— Soy sauce (or tamari, if you’re gluten-free)

— ⅓ Packet fresh coriander

— Jasmine rice, to serve


1/ Heat the oil in a large wok over high heat. Sauté the onion for five minutes, then add the garlic and chilli, stir-frying for another two minutes.

2/ Add the cabbage and carrots and stir-fry for two minutes before adding the courgettes and red pepper. Add a couple of tablespoons soy sauce, depending on taste, and a touch of water, if necessary. Be careful not to overcook the vegetables.

3/ Serve with fresh coriander and rice.

7. Turmeric Cauliflower And Millet Salad With Avo And Pomegranate


— 1 Head cauliflower, sliced

— 2 tbsp Coconut oil, melted

— Salt and pepper

— 2 tsp Turmeric

— 1 Red onion, sliced

— 1 Cup cooked millet

— 2 Avocados, chopped

— ¼ Cup almond slivers, toasted

— ¼ Cup pomegranate arils (can be replaced with sultanas for a sweeter option)

— Large handful of coriander leaves

For the dressing

— 1 tsp Honey

– 1 tsp Mustard

— Juice of one lemon

— 1 tbsp Olive oil

— Salt and pepper


1/ Set your oven to 180˚C. Toss the cauliflower with coconut oil. Season with salt, pepper and turmeric. Roast for 15 minutes.

2/ Add the red onion to the roasting tray and roast for another 15 minutes.

3/ Remove from the oven and cut the cauliflower into florets. Toss the millet with the cauliflower and red onion and add the avocado on top. Sprinkle the almonds, pomegranate and coriander over and drizzle with the dressing

8. Amasi Caesar Salad With Nut And Seed Brittle


— 2 Chicken breasts, sliced

— Olive oil

— Salt and pepper

— Cos lettuce leaves

— 2 Boiled eggs, quartered

For the dressing

— 1 Clove garlic, very finely chopped

— 2 Anchovy fillets, minced or finely chopped (optional)

— 1 tsp Dijon mustard

— Freshly squeezed lemon juice

— 3 tbsp Amasi

— 1 tbsp Olive oil

— Salt and freshly ground black pepper

For the brittle

– ¼ Cup honey

– ½ Cup almond

— ½ Cup cashews

— ¼ Cup sunflower seeds

— ¼ Cup sesame seeds

— ¼ Cup pumpkin seeds

— 1 tsp Chilli flakes


1/ To make the brittle, place the honey in a non-stick saucepan and bring to the boil (for 15 minutes) until the bubbles are slow, the colour is more caramel and it is more fragrant (to test if it’s ready, drop some of the honey into cold water – it should become brittle).

2/ Place the seeds and nuts on a baking parchment- lined baking tray and roast at 180˚C for a few minutes. Remove and sprinkle over the chilli flakes. Make sure the seeds and nuts are closely clustered together, but flat. Pour the hot honey over the nuts and allow to set (this can be done the day before).

3/ Cook the chicken on a griddle pan over high heat with some olive oil, salt and pepper.

4/ Divide chicken, cos lettuce leaves and boiled eggs on a plate or platter.

5/ Whisk together the dressing ingredients until well combined. Taste for seasoning and add more lemon, amasi or salt if needed. Pour over chicken salad and top with broken bits of brittle.

9. Mexican Bean Stew With Fresh Slaw And Wraps


— 2 Brown onions, chopped

— Olive oil

— 2 Green chillies, very finely chopped

— 2 Cloves garlic, minced

— 1 tsp Smoked paprika

— ¼ tsp Cumin

— 1 tbsp Tomato paste

— 2 Tins chopped tomatoes

— Salt and pepper

— 1 Tin each black, red kidney and cannellini beans, rinsed

To serve

— 1 Avocado, finely sliced

— ⅓ Packet fresh coriander, finely chopped

— ¼ Purple cabbage, finely sliced

— 1 Red pepper, thinly sliced

— 8 Tortilla wraps, heated


1/ Sweat the onions in a little oil over medium heat for 10 minutes. Add the chilli and garlic and sauté for another two minutes.

2/ Add the spices, tomato paste and tomatoes. Stir to combine. Season.

3/ Add all the beans and enough water to cover everything.

4/ Cook for one hour over medium heat until reduced and thick

5/ Combine the avocado, coriander, cabbage and pepper in a bowl to make a fresh slaw.

6/ Serve the Mexican stew with the slaw and the wraps.

10. Cabbage And Cauliflower Salad With Tamari Dressing


— ½ Small purple cabbage, thinly sliced

— ¼ White cabbage, thinly sliced

— 1 Head cauliflower, chopped

— ½ Cup toasted mixed seeds (such as pumpkin, sunflower, sesame)

— ½ Cup toasted chopped nuts (such as pecans, macadamia, almonds)

— 5 Spring onions, finely sliced (or ¼ small red onion very finely chopped)

— A handful of coriander leaves

— Handful dried cranberries, finely chopped

— 1 to 2 Avocados

For the dressing

— 2 tsp Honey

— 1 tsp Mustard

— Juice of one lime

— 1 tbsp Olive oil

— 1 tsp Chilli flakes or chilli,½ very finely chopped

— 2 tbsp Tamari or soy sauce

— Salt and pepper


1/ Combine the dressing ingredients together and set aside.

2/ Toss the salad ingredients together, pour over the dressing and serve.

11. Sweet Potato And Butternut Dahl


— 1 Brown onion, chopped

— Olive oil

— 2 tbsp Red masala

— 1 tbsp Garam masala

— ½ tsp Turmeric

— ½ tsp Cumin

— 2 Green chillies, very finely chopped

— 2 Cloves garlic, minced

— 1 Tin chopped tomatoes

— Salt and pepper

— 1 Large sweet potato, chopped into 2cm pieces

— 1 Small butternut, chopped into 2cm pieces

— 1 Cup split red lentils

— 2 tbsp Tomato paste

— ⅓ Packet fresh coriander, finely chopped

— 1 to 2 Fresh tomatoes, chopped, for serving

— Jasmine rice, for serving


1/Sauté the onion in a little oil for five minutes.

2/ Add the spices and sauté for a few minutes.

3/ Add the chillies and garlic and more oil, if necessary. Sauté for another two minutes.

4/ Add the tinned tomatoes and season.

5/Add the sweet potato and butternut and enough water to cover the vegetables, then cook for 30 minutes.

6/Add the lentils and tomato paste and cook for a further 15 minutes.

7/ Garnish the curry with fresh herbs and serve with freshly chopped tomatoes and rice.

12. Chilli Broccoli, Roast Tomato And Quinoa Salad


— ½ Cup red quinoa, uncooked

— 250g Small tomatoes

— Extra-virgin olive oil

— Salt and pepper

— 300g Tenderstem broccoli

— 1 Red onion, sliced

— 1 Clove garlic, very finely sliced

– 2 Anchovy fillets, very finely chopped

— 2 Red chillies, very finely chopped

For the dressing

— 1 tsp Honey

— 1 tsp Mustard

— 5 or so Fresh basil leaves, chopped

— Juice of 1 lemon

— 2 to 3 tbsp Olive oil

— Salt and pepper


1/ Cook the quinoa according to the package instructions.

2/ Halve the tomatoes and place on a baking tray with some olive oil, salt and pepper and roast at 200˚C until blistered/cooked.

3/ In the meantime, steam the broccoli.

4/ In a large frying pan or wok, heat some olive oil and sauté the onion slices. Then add the garlic, anchovy and chilli and sauté for two minutes longer. Add the broccoli and sauté for a couple of minutes further.

5/ Mix the broccoli mixture in with the quinoa. Mix the dressing ingredients together, taste for seasoning, then toss with the broccoli mixture.

6/ Plate with the roasted tomatoes and garnish with extra basil and lemon as desired.

13. Fig Tart


— 6 Free-range eggs

— 1 tsp Baking powder

— 200g Almond flour

— 3 Naartjies

— ¼ Cup honey, plus 2 tbsp extra

— 1 tsp Coconut oil

— 350g Figs, divided


1/ Preheat the oven to 160°C.

2/ Beat the eggs on high speed until pale, light and fluffy.

3/ By hand, mix in the baking powder and almond flour.

4/ Zest of one of the naartjies and add the zest to the mixture along with the quarter cup of honey.

5/ Grease a tart tin with coconut oil, then pour in the mixture.

6/ Slice 250g of fig into quarters or eighths and gently push them into the mixture (in concentric circles, if you wish).

7/ Bake for 30 minutes or until browned and golden. The tart must be moist but cooked through.

8/ While the tart is baking, zest and juice the naartjies into a small saucepan, add the remaining honey and reduce over medium heat to form a syrup.

9/ Remove the cooked tart from the oven. Serve with the remaining fresh figs (sliced) and a drizzle of the naartjie syrup.

14. 5-Minute Superfood “Mousse”


— 1 Frozen banana

— The flesh of 2 avocados

— ¼ Cup sweetener of choice (agave, honey, maple syrup, coconut-blossom nectar)

— ¼ Cup raw cacao powder

— 3 to 4 tbsp Coconut cream

— Berries, for decorating


1/ Place all ingredients in a blender and process until a thick, smooth mousse-like consistency forms.

2/ Serve with berries. (Or freeze and serve as an ice-cream alternative.)

15. Coconut & Banana Nice Cream


— 2 Tins coconut cream

— 3 Bananas

— ¼ Cup sweetener of choice (agave, honey, maple syrup, coconut blossom nectar)

— 1 Vanilla pod


1/ You need to make this recipe two days in advance. Place coconut tins in the fridge so that the thick cream separates from the clear liquid.

2/ Chop the bananas and place in a freezable container overnight.

3/ The next day, remove the coconut cream from the fridge and scoop the white cream into a blender (keep the clear liquid for smoothies). Add in the frozen bananas and sweetener, then scrape in the seeds from the vanilla. Pulse/blend until a very thick liquid forms. Pour into a freezable container and freeze overnight.

4/ Scoop ice cream into bowls and serve with fresh fruit or nuts, as desired.

16. Nutty Chocolate Dessert Squares


For the base

— ¾ Cup desiccated coconut

— 2 tbsp Coconut oil, plus extra for greasing

— 1 tbsp Smooth peanut butter

— 1 tbsp Raw cacao powder

— 1 tbsp Maple syrup (or sweetener of choice)

For the layers

— 1 Tin coconut cream (placed in the fridge overnight)

— 100g Raw dark chocolate or cacao paste (dairy-free)

— Pinch vanilla seeds

— ½ Cup cashew nut butter

— 2 tbsp Maple syrup (or sweetener of choice)

— Almond flakes, for garnishing


1/ Mix all the base ingredients together. Grease a brownie tin, then press the mixture into the base of the tin. Place in the freezer immediately.

2/ For the layers, remove the thick coconut cream from the translucent liquid (set aside for smoothies). Divide the coconut cream into two bowls.

3/ Melt the chocolate gently in a glass bowl set over simmering water. Mix in half the coconut cream and the vanilla. Remove the brownie tin from the freezer, pour the chocolate mixture over, spread evenly and place the tin back into the freezer.

4/ Mix the rest of the coconut cream with the cashew nut butter and maple syrup. Remove the tray from the freezer and spread over the cashew mixture. Sprinkle with almonds and return to the freezer to set.

5/ Cut into squares and serve.

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