Saturday, March 16, 2013

Swerve into it what it seems? pt. 2

Epic Failure...

Today I'm here to tell you how disappointed I am in the swerve sweetener in the caramel challenge and the sucralose the same.  Both claim to act like sugar and in small ways they do.  They can both bring you sweetness and come out with flying colors on certain recipes, but this was one specific challenge I wanted to put them up to.

After a long wait standing over the hot stove trying to get the sweeteners to brown, all I got was a hot mess.  Both seem to have dissolved nicely, but I was wrong.  Letting it sit after cooking for 20 min, it smells nice, but then comes the disappointment.  The sweetener solidify's on the top of the water. 

pan full of, well...not caramel

Looking on the Internet to see if anyone found a way to work this into a caramel or even sauce for that matter.  Well there are many recipes out there and while I could go and try each one until I found the right one, I think I will move on to something else for now.

Ill be thinking of the next move and where to go next. Thank you for following and check back soon to see where we go next.   

Wednesday, March 13, 2013

Swerve into sweetness... Is it what it seems? pt. 1

When you go to the store you hope to run in and get what you need without taking too long. What do you do when they don't have that one thing you need? Most people get the next best thing, because lets face it we usually don't have all the time in the world to use on shopping.

Much to my surprise I went in looking for many varieties of sweeteners and only found a few, different in types, not by name.  You'll find many of the same products packaged and processed differently with a different name. New products come out all the time, its the way business will always be, you blink and there is something new.

I found myself going to the Internet to find some sweeteners not found in stores.  This is where I found the product swerve. This product is fairly new and only available online, I purchased this product from amazon...They seem to have everything.  So far the only two things I have made with this was homemade whip cream and the pumpkin mousse.

What I think so far...

Swerve sweetener holds up great in the homemade whip and adds amazing flavor to the pumpkin mousse. My next test is going to be caramel so see how it holds up in comparison to sucralose and then other sweeteners.

Why is this so important...

Most people absolutely love caramel and why not it's amazing! If you work in a bakery or go shopping for REAL caramel and not just the little cheap candies that are sold as caramel, you'll notice that it isn't cheap. You can make it home for a decent price and it is a very quick process to make, just a little more time to let it rest, but not long at all. Real caramel is very smooth and much better then the cheap stuff.

Check back in soon, I'll share the results and let you know what to look forward too.

Monday, March 11, 2013

It's not thanksgiving, but it's delicious!!!

Today I am back.  Sorry for the extended absence but life is happening all around us.  My wife is currently pregnant and ready to pop at any time.

Back and ready to deliver an awesome recipe, I am bringing you a very DELICIOUS treat!  I call it Two-Bite Pumpkin Napoleons.

What you need:
  1. A mixer w/whip attachment or hand whisk w/bowl
  2. Sheet pan/cookie sheet
  3. Piping bag w/tip (optional) or spoon

  • 1 can (small) sugar free pumpkin
  • 1/2 of a 17.3-ounce package Pepperidge Farm® Puff Pastry Sheets (1 sheet), thawed
  • 2 tsp ground cinnamon
  • 1/4 tsp ground nutmeg
  • 1/2 tsp ground cloves (optional)
  • 1/2 cup Swerve® Confectioners Sweetener
  • 2 cups sugar free whip
  • 1/2 cup chopped pecans (optional)
What to do: 

  1. Start by heating the oven to 400°F.
  2. Unfold the pastry sheet on a lightly floured surface.  Cut the pastry sheet into 3 strips along the fold marks. Cut each strip into 8 rectangles, making 24 in all.  Place the pastry rectangles onto a baking sheet.
  3. Bake for 15 minutes or until the pastries are golden brown.  Remove the pastries from the baking sheet and let cool on a wire rack for 10 minutes.  Split the pastries into 2 layers, making 48 in all.
  4. Stir the pumpkin, cinnamon, nutmeg, cloves( my addition) and sweetener in a medium bowl.  Fold in the whipped topping.  Cover and refrigerate for 30 minutes. If you're not sure what folding in means, it's just gently mixing in the whip with a rubber spatula.
  5. Divide the pumpkin mixture among 24 bottom pastry layers. Top with the pecans and then top with remaining pastry layers.  Garnish with additional cinnamon and confectioners' sweetener or whipped topping (optional)
  6. Tip: For a striped garnish, place 1/2-inch strips of wax paper diagonally across the tops of the pastries.  Sprinkle with confectioners' sweetener or cinnamon.  Remove the wax paper.
These directions are exactly the same as these 

All I did was replace sugar free elements where needed and thought it to be a good idea to test this new sweetener.  The end result is amazing and my lovely wife enjoyed every bite even though she doesn't like sugar free anything.

I hope you enjoy and please if there are any questions just ask away!

Monday, March 4, 2013

Metallic muffins? Nope just saccharin again!

Ever noticed that bitter, metallic taste after you enjoy a sip of your favorite sugar free drink?  Well more than likely you're tasting the SACCHARIN used in combination with other ARTIFICIAL SWEETENERS.

Might as well eat this

Saccharin has no food energy and like many other food sweeteners is much sweeter then sugar.  This sweetener is not very popular but because of the fact that it has no reaction to other foods, it is used more than it should be.

So you may not of heard of saccharin, but I am sure you have heard of its other name, Sweet'n'low.  To this day you can still find it on your table in many little restaurants along side the packets of equal and sugar.  Some still prefer the taste and will argue that it has no aftertaste and that's their opinion, everybody's taste buds are different!
Yay for choices!

As with many other sugar substitutes you have to be careful when using this as it can taint the flavor of many foods.  If you're lucky it wont have any effect and your food will turn out perfectly, which I hope is true.  I personally do not like the aftertaste and cannot seem to disguise it no matter what I try.

Like other artificial sweeteners it does not effect glucose levels and is safe for diabetics.  This is because it goes directly into the digestive system.  It does trigger a release of insulin, believed to be because of the taste, but not significantly.  

So, saccharin, aftertaste is a big possibility but the plus side is you can enjoy sweetness.  Is it worth it or not, you decide!

Stevia you sweet thing you!

Ah yes today we are discussing stevia and the sweet plant it is.  If you don't know this, stevia is acutally a plant from the sunflower family.  I thought that was an interesting fact even if it does not pertain to sweeteners.

Stevia is considered a novel sweetener.  It is put in this category because of where it comes from and how it is made.  Stevia naturally is sweeter than sugar, but after its processed it becomes less sweet.  Because it has a negligible affect on blood sugar, it became very popular.

Originally stevia was banned in 1990 unless it was labeled as a dietary supplement.  Europe didn't allow the use of stevia until 2011.

If you have used stevia, you noticed that some can have a bitter taste if used in excess.  Keep in mind that this isn't true with all stevia extracts.  Try to substitute this very carefully because of this fact.  Just because you have used one doesn't mean they will all be the same.

I'll be back tomorrow with more info to keep you sugar free and loving it!

Sucralose, A Breath of SWEET Air?

Just another day in the land of sugar free gum drops and lollipops! Smell the fresh SWEET air....wait say what?  Well I don't know about you but it seems every time I use a product with sucralose there comes a real sweet bite to the air around me.
Wrong kind of SWEET air!

If you haven't tried it, you'll know when you first use it.  This real fine powdery (also comes granulated) sugar substitute seems to get scrambled in the air around it whenever I use it. Why is this?  To explain it the easy way, it is an artificial sweetener.  As some of us know artificial sweeteners are about 10 times sweeter then sugar.

Talk about a sugar free high!

So this brings me to the next point about sucralose.  When using it in a recipe, you may notice that some packages state that you can use this product as an equal substitute for sugar.  For example, 1 cup sugar = 1 cup sucralose.  Do not use the same amount in every recipe.  Some recipes will turn out so much sweeter than you like.

Well there goes another day in the land of sugar free.  Join me again tomorrow and see what we can learn next!