Friday, November 28, 2008

Sweeteners

  • White sugar is refined from cane or beet juice by stripping away all its vitamins, minerals, protein, fibre and water.
  • Brown sugar is refined white sugar with added molasses, and is slightly more nutrient-rich than white sugar.
  • Evaporated cane sugar (sometimes called “raw” sugar) is the most nutrient-rich of the “dry” sweeteners, though it is harder to find (not to mention slightly more expensive).
  • Honey makes a good and healthy replacement for sugar in most recipes. Only use ½ to ¾ cup in place of each cup of sugar.
  • Blackstrap molasses is also a healthy and natural sweetener that contains significant amounts of a variety of minerals (in particular iron and calcium) that promote your health. However, it has a very strong flavour and should not be used exclusively as a sugar replacement.
  • Maple syrup is also a good replacement for part of the sugar in a recipe, containing some nutrients and lots of flavour.
  • When using liquid sweeteners, for each cup of sugar replaced, you should also reduce the amount of liquid in the recipe by one-quarter of a cup.
Reduced-Calorie Sweeteners (Splenda, Sugar Twin, etc):
  • Remember that ordinary sugar preserves, adds bulk, stabilizes and sweetens, whereas artificial sweeteners merely sweeten. As a result, the texture of products will change, often becoming denser and less moist.
  • There are several different forms of “calorie-free” sweeteners, the most common ones being sucralose (Splenda), Ace-K (SweetOne) and Aspartame (Equal, Nutrasweet).
  • Sucralose tastes closest to sugar. It has 2 calories per teaspoon. The brand commonly known as Splenda Granular measures and sweetens spoon-for-spoon and cup-for-cup like sugar, though does not cream like sugar so additional whipping time of the eggs may be required. In addition, sucralose will cause products to bake faster so check about 10 minutes before an item is due to finish cooking. For best results, about a 50 : 50 ratio to sugar should be used.
  • Ace-K is 200 times as sweet as granular, white sugar. It can be used successfully in baked goods, however a bitter aftertaste is noted by some people. For improved texture and flavour, use in combination with granulated sugar.
  • Aspartame is 180-200 times sweeter than sugar. However, it is not heat stable, so it is not an appropriate sweetener for baked goods. This means it loses sweetness when baked at high temperatures for a long time., though can be used in cold preparations with fair success.
For more information see http://www.livrite.com/sweeten.htm

2 comments:

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