Research into sugar alternatives has to be one of the most lucrative areas right now. As someone new to the field of chemistry, you might have thought you would use your knowledge and talents to make a difference in the world of medical research, but finding better sweeteners is a great application of your talents too. You are bringing alternatives to communities addicted to sugar and helping to lower the rate of obesity in North America.
Sugar in Treats
Only certain sugar substitutes are useful in every industry related to “treats.” Pastry chefs and bakers will confirm that the many relatively healthy, whole sugars (maple syrup, honey, agave, etc.) don’t do well in recipes for muffins and cakes, not if you want these to be light and fluffy. A number of treats, however, can be adapted, but then you have to ask yourself what other alternatives have been added to create the consistency customers want. Is there more cornstarch or gelatin? Is it possible a consumer will have to adapt to a new mouth feel anyway or compromise on flavor? Most people would say that the various sugars don’t taste exactly the same.
Fortunately, some people have made it their mission to bring tasty alternatives to the dessert table! One famous eBook on the market today is “Guilt-Free Desserts” by Kelly Herring, and you can check it out here at: GuiltFreeDesserts.net!
Some Benefits of Sugar Replacements
Many healthcare experts are praising a sugar alcohol known as Xylitol for its lower calorie count compared with granulated sugar and for its role in preventing tooth decay. While some people feel a bit of gastric disturbance when they eat it, that’s only when they consume too much.
Stevia can taste a little weird and there are issues with brands using a mixture of the calorie-free plant-based sweetener plus other sugars. Find a non-GMO, pure version and also look for brands which are known not to possess the unpleasant aftertaste of original Stevia products.
Maple Syrup and honey are excellent for your health when used in moderation and as long as consumers choose 100% pure versions, no corn syrup or cheap maple syrup substitutes. Both of them are good for gut health, inflammation, and for immunity and are used internally and externally. When applied to bug bites they reduce swelling and itching.
Some homeopathic practitioners recommend eating honey derived from a local firm in order to combat allergies to pollen. They contain a lot of calories, but are often sweeter than sugar, so you only need a very little bit to satisfy your craving.
Try Amaretti-style cookies. Mix honey or maple syrup, egg yolk, and ground almonds and bake for a dense but satisfyingly sweet and nutty treat without gluten or dairy. Egg can be replaced: just soak chia seeds in water for 15 minutes and add these instead to provide the binding you require. Additional spices personalize the cookie too.
Make rice pudding with any sweetener you like. The trick to making this a creamy dish has nothing to do with sugar anyway. Reduce fat by cooking short-grain rice in water then cooking it further in skim milk. Give it a chocolaty flavor by making a thin paste with the skim milk and cocoa and adding this to the cooked rice with more milk plus a real vanilla pod (calorie-free flavoring) or spices and then drizzling the dish with sugar substitute.
A PERFECT Guide to Healthier Treats
While you can scour the internet for hours on end looking for what you hope will be yummy recipes that you’d feel good about giving to your family, we have located a really nice source, in one volume: Guilt-Free Desserts; Your Guide to Better Baking.
We talked earlier about this e-book at length here, so if you read that post, you already know that Kelly Herring is very knowledgeable about this! Please check it out; we think you’ll really like her book, and that it will change the way you think about baking!