Monday, April 23, 2012

Sweetening without sugar

I love sweet things. I need more sweetner than most people, having 3 tablets in my coffee. My theory is that the reason why some people need more sweetness than others has to do with the amount of 'sweet' taste buds they have inherited. My guess is that I don't have many, so I need lots of sweetness to get the message to my brain that something is sweet. It is only a theory.

So when Dukaning, it is important to know the ins and outs of how to sweeten your food without using sugar.

First, I do try to avoid those foods that have sweeteners that say 'excess consumption may have a laxative effect'. They never actually say what excess is, do they? I may have some sugar free gum or lollies in the late afternoon, which generally have phenylanaline.

Here are some of my favourites: Extra Lemon and lime gum, Jila spearmint (Australian made) and Licorette (packaged in Australia).

When cooking, you have some other options. I know started with Splenda, which contain sucralose, which works well as tablets, but the granulated form has maltodetrin which really ups the Calories in this so called 'low calorie' sweetener. 
100g Splenda granulated has 373 Calories (1560 kJ)!

My absolute favourite is Natvia. Like sugar it is made from a plant, the Reb A fraction of Stevia. No laxative effect, great sweetness and it really is low calorie (Australian product). It comes in satchets, (Coles)  and even in tablets (IGA). Unfortunately, Natvia is expensive, but I figure, I am worth it.
100g Natvia granulated has 20 Calories (85 kJ).

When making liquid Drinks or desserts I sometimes add a few drops of Sweet As, which is a saccharin sweetener (Australian). You need to be very careful as a drop too much and sweet becomes bitter. This is not very expensive and lasts a long time.
100 ml Sweet As has 0 Calories (0 kJ)

Hot and spicy seafood soup (mock laksa)

Time to warm up with this ultra quick soup - sort of like a laksa with lots of chilli to get your metabolism racing!

Put seafood (cooked frozen prawns and sliced squid) into a saucepan.
Add spicy paste, look for a low fat one, I am using Nonya Laksa Paste whick is 8.5% fat.

Add 1/2 of a packet of drained and rinsed slim pasta

Add water to suit, about 2 cups for a hungry girl
Then a squirt of fish sauce

Bring to the boil for a few seconds, 
Decant to a bowl
Stir in a dollop of low fat yoghurt.

Yummy. I suppose you could add some coconut essence to have a more laksa taste, but I thought it was great at this stage and ate it all up!

Half eaten....A PP day cold day treat.