If you crave sweets while trying to conquer addictions to tobacco and alcohol then the sweetness of these alternative sweeteners can help to fulfill these cravings in a healthy manner and not play havoc with weight and blood sugar. Here are the natural sweeteners I use and why. You can also click on the name of each sweetener to see where I purchase mine.
ZSWEET is another brand of erythritol and stevia mixed together. It comes in convenient large bags. A lot of people prefer the taste of ZSweet over other non-caloric sweeteners.
CALORIES = 0
SWEETNESS = same as sugar (use cup for cup)
CONVERSION/BENEFITS/UNDESIRED PROPERTIES = Same as stevia and erythritol
STEVIA GLYCERITE Stevia glycerite is a favorite of many people. It is an herb that has been used as a sweetener in South America for hundreds of years. One tip is to look for “stevia glycerite;” which has no bitter aftertaste as compared to plain “stevia. It is widely used all over the world. In Japan, it claims 58% of the sweetener market, and was used in Japanese Diet Coke until the company replaced it with aspartame to "standardize" worldwide.
CALORIES = 0
SWEETNESS/CONVERSION = 300 times sweeter than sugar
CONVERSION = 1 tsp of stevia = 1 cup of sugar
WHY I USE IT = It is great for cooking, because it maintains flavor that many other sweeteners lose when heated, but it also needs an additional sweetener in most cases when making baked goods since it doesn't caramelize or create "bulk."
BENEFITS OF STEVIA
1. WEIGHT LOSS and DIABETICS: It does not affect blood sugar metabolism. This makes it a great tool in weight loss programs, but it also for diabetics. Stevia creates a hypoglycemic effect and increases glucose tolerance. It significantly decreases plasma glucose levels. In multiple human studies, blood sugar is reduced by 35% 6-8 hours after consumption of a hot water extract of the leaf.
2. BLOOD PRESSURE: Stevia extract is a vasodilator agent. Studies show that a mix of hot water and extract from the leaf lowers both systolic and diastolic blood pressure. Several studies demonstrated this hypotensive action (as well as a diuretic action).
3. ANTI-BACTERIAL/ANTI-YEAST: has anti-bacterial properties in that it helps to inhibit the growth and reproduction of harmful bacteria that lead to disease. It helps prevent dental cavities by inhibiting the bacteria Streptococcus mutans that stimulates plaque growth. It also has vasodilatory activity and is effective for various skin issues, such as acne, heat rash, and problems caused by insufficient blood circulation.
4. CANCER: It keeps your body in a ketogenic state so you can starve the cancer of sugar on which cancer feeds upon (read more HERE).
UNDESIRED PROPERTIES = It doesn't create a "caramelized" cookie, or "bulk" in baked goods, which is why I add erythritol.
ERYTHRITOL = Erythritol is a naturally-derived sugar substitute that looks and tastes very much like sugar, yet has almost no calories. Erythritol has been used in Japan since 1990 in candies, chocolate, yogurt, fillings, jellies, jams, beverages, and as a sugar substitute. Erythritol, is considered a 'sugar alcohol' and is found naturally in small amounts in grapes, melons, mushrooms, and fermented foods such as wine, beer, cheese, and soy sauce. Erythritol is usually made from plant sugars.
CALORIES = 0 to 0.2 calories/gram (95% fewer calories than sugar)
SWEETNESS = 70% as sweet as table sugar. Use cup for cup like sugar, but you need to add a tsp of stevia glycerite to add sweetness.
WHY I USE IT = Unlike stevia, it has a crystallization property like sugar. This is why it is combined with stevia for baking.
BENEFITS of ERYTHRITOL
1. WEIGHT LOSS and DIABETES: Erythritol does not affect blood glucose or insulin levels.
2. ORAL HEALTH: Erythritol isn’t metabolized by oral bacteria which break down sugars and starches to produce acids, which means that it doesn’t contribute to tooth decay. This is why excess carbohydrates and table sugar lead to tooth enamel loss and cavities formation.
3. CANDIDA: Erythritol is absorbed in the small intestines, which reduces fermentation and decreases the detrimental problems associated with Candida (yeast overgrowth in the body).
UNDESIRED PROPERTIES = It doesn't dissolve in foods (like salad dressings/caramel)
THE ART OF EATING HEALTHY.
I have created an AMAZON.COM store where you can find all the healthy ingredients that are difficult to find in the grocery store (and if you do find them, they are often very expensive). I have done some detective work and found the lowest prices on www.amazon.com for all of the products I use and love. Everything from food, pantry items, kitchen tools, supplements and skin products are in the aStore. I rarely waste time in the grocery store because I find everything online for a way better price!
All you have to do is click on the words in my recipes and it will take you right to the correct item. If you add them to your cart I get a tiny commission which helps me afford to keep practicing recipes (Recipe experimenting can costing me a fortune!...but I love helping!).
By purchasing products through my Amazon store, you help keep this blog going. You can also continue shopping for other products on Amazon after you are finished with "healthified" shopping. Just click the "Proceed to Checkout". It then asks you if you want to add these to your Amazon cart (at the main Amazon site). Just click "Continue" and now you can add whatever else you want from Amazon all in the same cart! I always choose at least one thing from my Amazon Store before moving onto other items I need for the family, those items will also help pay for the blog without any extra cost; I just get a small commission for bringing your business to Amazon.com.
You can click on the below image to go to my store or on the right you will see a "Maria's Amazon Store" widget. Happy Shopping and THANK YOU for all your support!!!
14 oz almond butter
2 egg whites
1 cup Just Like Sugar (OR ½ cup Just Like Sugar and 1/2 cup ZSweet…I prefer this taste better) Plus ¼ cup Just Like Sugar/erythritol
1 cup butter, at room temperature
1 cups Just Like Sugar (or powdered ZSweet)
2 tsp vanilla extract
2 pasteurized egg yolks
4 tsp unsweetened cocoa powder
12 oz ChocoPerfection dark chocolate, chopped
4 tsp coconut oil or melted butter
2 TBS butter or coconut oil
1 oz unsweetened baking chocolate
6 TBS almond milk OR heavy cream
1/4 cup erythritol (or Just Like Sugar)
1 tsp stevia glycerite
To prepare cookies: In a bowl of an electric mixer on medium speed, beat almond butter, egg whites and Just Like Sugar until thoroughly combined, about 2 minutes, scraping down sides of bowl as necessary. Cover bowl with plastic wrap and refrigerate at least 30 minutes. Preheat oven to 325 degrees and line baking sheets with parchment paper. Using a small scoop, form dough into balls (or drop by heaping teaspoons) and place 2 inches apart on prepared baking sheets. Moisten the flat bottom of a glass with water, dip into ¼ cup of erythritol and carefully press prepared glass bottom into dough balls, flattening dough; repeat with remaining dough. Bake until lightly brown, 18 to 20 minutes. Remove from oven and cool cookies on baking sheets for 5 minutes, then transfer to a wire rack to cool completely. To prepare filling: Line baking sheets with wax paper. In a bowl of an electric mixer on medium speed, beat butter until creamy, about 1 minute. Add sweetener, vanilla extract, egg yolks and cocoa powder, and mix until smooth, (scraping down sides of bowl as necessary) about 2 minutes. Using a small knife, spread about 1 tablespoon filling on top of each cookie, making a rounded top. Transfer cookies to prepared baking sheets and refrigerate for at least 1 hour.
To prepare chocolate coating: Break chocolate into small pieces. In a double boiler over gently simmering water (or in a microwave oven), melt chocolate. Whisk in 2 teaspoons oil (or melted butter), adding more to reach desired consistency. (OR: Place the erythritol in a coffee grinder and blend into a smooth powdered sugar texture (this is optional, but provides a smooth chocolate). Place the butter and chopped chocolate in a double boiler (or in a heat safe dish over a pot of boiling water). Stir well until just melted (don't burn the chocolate!), add in the cream and sweetener. Stir until smooth and thick). Let mixture cool for a few minutes, then dip cookies into chocolate mixture, holding onto almond base. Return cookies to prepared baking sheets and refrigerate until chocolate hardens, at least 30 minutes. Store in refrigerator and serve chilled. Makes 24 cookies.
NUTRITIONAL COMPARISON (per cookie)
Traditional Cookie = 289 calories, 18g fat, 3.2g protein, 30.7g carbs, 1.4g fiber
Healthified Cookie = 187 calories, 18g fat, 3.2g protein, 3.8g carbs, 0.7g fiber
Pasteurized eggs are recommended for food safety reasons.