Bake with smart sugar swaps
By ALEXANDRIA WONG – I like to bake; it relieves stress, gives me 80 cookies per batch (it sounds excessive… believe me, it’s not) and I’m going to be completely honest, I love sneaking bits of raw cookie dough. However, I know just how much sugar goes into my cookies and it’s enough to raise a normal child’s energy to dangerously hyper levels.
Top image: http://bit.ly/1AGdkIG
When society decided to jump on the healthy living and eating train, sugar substitutes became the ‘In’ thing, especially with baking. Thank goodness for that, now I can indulge in my cookies!
Sugar substitutes are chemical or plant-based substances used to sweeten or enhance the flavor of foods and drinks. They can replace sugar in your diet and sometimes, they even have a lower caloric count than regular ol’ sugar.
Now that we’re clear, sit tight and buckle your seat belts- here’s what you can do with sugar substitutes.
History of use: It’s been used as a natural sweetener in South America for centuries and has become popular in Japan since 1970.
Tidbits: Stevia is a white powdered extract of the leaves of the stevia plant from South America. It’s 200-300x sweeter than sugar and doesn’t cause your blood glucose levels to spike; say goodbye to the sugar high crash!
Enjoying it: When baking, replace all but 0.25 cup of sugar with stevia. For each 0.5 cup of sugar removed, use 3.5 tablespoons of stevia. A word of caution, stevia sometimes has a bitter aftertaste (because it has been slightly processed)!
History of use: The monk fruit has been used in China for thousands of years to help relieve sunstroke, clear phlegm and coughs, as well as promote bowel movements. Its use as a sweetener has been fairly recent, approximately around 1995.