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dry alternative sweetener?  RSS feed

 
Steve Nicolini
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Our cook has been experimenting.  We would rather not have a ton of cane sugar in our breakfast bakes.  He used apple sauce today and was disappointed when the bread finished cooking.  It was more of a flan than bread.  It tasted fan-dam-tastic, but for textures sake, are there any other dry sweeteners to use?  Anything anyone has grown themselves?

No sweet n low or splenda either.  EEEEEEKK!
 
Susan Monroe
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Location: Western WA
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Have you tried Stevia?  I haven't, but some people like it.

See if you can find it in bulk, rather than packaged.  I think I saw it in the bulk seasonings at Fred Meyer.  Maybe.

And there's always honey (well, so far), which is said to have the benefit of helping people deal with allergies.  But that's only if you buy local honey.  The theory is that a tablespoon or so per day gives you a mini-vaccination of local pollens, and it's supposed to help you build up a resistance to those pollens.  You could let it crystallize.

Cane sugar isn't great, but it's better than high-fructose corn syrup (which your body isn't able to recognize), or the new threat, sugar from genetically-modified sugar beets, new in 2008.

Sue
 
Kelda Miller
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I've got quite a bit of experience with stevia, and it tastes great, but only with the right recipes. It tastes great combined with something really fatty, or something really lemony. But you can't just substitute it in cakes or cookies or something, I mean REally fatty, like mousse.

Cool thing also is, it's a sweetener that we can potentially grow it. It's tender, so it will have to come inside during winter in the northwest, but it's still an awesome little plant that grows great!
 
Leah Sattler
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I would like to suggest that you don't use any sweetener. what about adding things like dates and raisins. they will add natural sweetness and tons of nutrients.

although I take this info with a grain of salt I have read that the human sense of taste has no final limitations on sweetness. meaning that if you are accustomed to one level of sweetness and up it just a bit you will soon become accustomed to that and in order for something to taste really sweet you will then need more. the main reason I put any real stock into this idea is from my own experience. if I eat a super sweet  store bought breakfast thingymabob then my coffee doesn't taste sweet even though I put the same amount of sugar in as I have for years.. sometimes something that I would ordinarily think was quite sweet, such as fruit would start tasting consistently sour, usually after some holiday get togethers where I had lots of sugary junk for days in a row. I would then go on a sugar fast. I have  found that after about a week, the simple wholesome things tasted sweet again. I recently did a sugar fast, after eating pumpkin pie, nasty cornsyrupy apple pie, and cupcakes over turkey day week I found myslf going back and starting to put a tsp of sugar in my coffee even though I know I already did. sugar fast time. it is really strange to observe myself wanting something that I know is not good for me and that I normally would think was WAAAAY to sweet  to the point of being kind of gross just after a few days of allowing myself to eat junk.
 
Susan Monroe
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Location: Western WA
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It doesn't work dry, but fresh Sweet Cecily (Myrrhis odorata) leaves can be used to sweeten things like rhubarb and gooseberries, I've read.  Mine plants were brown before I read that, so couldn't try it. 

Here is some info on it from Plants for a Future:  http://www.pfaf.org/database/plants.php?Myrrhis+odorata

Sue
 
                      
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Location: Snohomish, WA
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I have beehives so I use honey pretty often. I also can plums in a really thick sauce and use it in baking. You have to adjust the dry ingredients to make it work. (It sounds like the applesauce experiment might have needed less applesauce or additional dry ingredients) I used to use bananas but stopped buying them a few years back. Raisins and dates do work well and you can even soak them first to get them softer and to have the sweetener more evenly dispersed. Once again you have to adjust the remaining dry/wet ingredients. I have used stevia and agree with Kelda, it doesn't work with everything but can be great in some things.

Good luck!
 
Jocelyn Campbell
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Hey Steve, lots of great advice on here! I just thought I'd second the notion of adjusting to eating less sweet stuff. Over-encouraging a sweet tooth can lead to eating far too many sugars of any type - whether they are honey, maple syrup, fruit or whatever, which can add to seriously messing up a person's internal flora and fauna.

For example, think of those instant oatmeal packets and how sweet they are. Then, make some old-fashioned oats with just raisins cooked in it for a touch of sweetness. Huge difference! I'm so used to it now, I prefer it less sweet with the hearty, satisfying taste of the real oaty goodness coming through instead of a gluey, icky-sweet pasty yuck.

The stevia extracts and powders are strong sweeteners - some are far better than others - and I guess that even though they can make things quite sweet, stevia has properties that actually curb a sweet tooth.
 
                              
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Have you guys ever tried Xylitol?  I just found a teriffic little article about it on Suite 101 here:

http://www.suite101.com/content/the-sugar-alcohol-xylitol-healthy-sweetener-and-sugar-substitute-a258085

Tastes just like sugar and rates low on the glycemic index.  Even fights tooth decay!

-Daniel
 
Cynthia Hobbs
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I've seen something called coconut sugar at the health foods shop, I've never tried it but I was tempted!! I've used evaporated cane juice, but this is technically sugar cane, just not as processed. I usually just use dates and sultanas for sweetener, I don't eat a lot of bread or baked goods so I son't really know what to use for that. You can grow your own stevia, so you'd know it was good stuff, but you only use a very small amount so your cook might have to change the amounts. Another thing you could try is soak the wet ingredients with some raisins. So if a recipe has milk, soak some raisins in milk in the fridge overnight then strain the milk out and use it to cook with, some of the raisin sweetness will be in the milk. (I haven't tried this but I read it somewhere). You could add the raisins to your breakfast or cook them into something so they don't get wasted.
 
Shelly Randall
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Location: Central Valley California
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Stevia amps up the sugar taste of other sweeteners, so you can use less sugar. I use it in combination with molasses or honey. It is better in sweet drinks like juices.

For honey, make sure honey hasn't been filtered, because this takes out the pollen that people need when they buy it for allergies. Also, beware of cheap gaudy brands because unscrupulous suppliers will dilute the honey with corn syrup. How do you know if that has happened? If it crystalizes and there is a liquid layer on top, that means that layer is corn syrup because corn syrup doesn't crystalize. I've seen it with my very own eyes. Check out your local beeman at the farmers market for pure honey.
 
Nicole Castle
Posts: 151
Location: Madison, AL
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sheila reavill wrote:For honey, make sure honey hasn't been filtered, because this takes out the pollen that people need when they buy it for allergies. Also, beware of cheap gaudy brands because unscrupulous suppliers will dilute the honey with corn syrup. How do you know if that has happened? If it crystalizes and there is a liquid layer on top, that means that layer is corn syrup because corn syrup doesn't crystalize. I've seen it with my very own eyes.


It's true that fake "honey" is a problem -- added corn syrup, etc., but when honey crystallizes quite often it starts in the middle or the bottom. It doesn't mean there's corn syrup in it.

Also "filtering" doesn't remove pollen but "ultra-filtering" does. Legally, in the US, honey which is ultrafiltered cannot be called honey... but it often is anyway.

Check out your local beeman at the farmers market for pure honey.


Amen! Or start your own hives.
 
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