Wednesday, February 08, 2006

Sugar Is Sweet but...

Since Jim is working the night shift, I've already made dinner (Peanut Soup with Black Eyed Peas and Rice) so he could take it to work. I put the rest in the crock pot on low to keep it warm for the rest of us.

I also tried a funky Apple Pie recipe from Grandma's Wartime kitchen. Its cooling on the counter. I'm not certain if the filling will work out the way I'd hoped. I tried using some of the applesauce that I seem to have so much of rather than starting with whole apples. I'll post my review tomorrow.

Last night I made Carob Banana muffins. Everyone here is beginning to really like carob. This is a big help considering both Jim and our youngest son can't tolerate chocolate or cocoa. Now that everyone is getting on board, I'm just not going to buy cocoa powder anymore. There is very little time in my world for making two versions of the same food.

Lately I've noticed that despite our vegan diet, we seem to use a lot of sugar, especially in baking. I've begun looking at the amounts of sugar in recipes as I make them. When I taste the final product, I try to decide how much wiggle room I have with the sweetness.

As a result, I've begun playing around with decreasing the amount of sugar and replacing some of it with healthier sweeteners like blackstrap molasses. This is a delicate operation, around here people like their sweets and blackstrap molasses has quite a taste. I'm taking little baby steps on this one. There will definitely be more on this in upcoming posts.

With dinner completed and the rest of the afternoon ahead of me, I'm hoping to get some mending done. Its a frugal necessity and its really begun to pile up around here.

5 comments:

Ruthie said...

YAY for less sugar! :)

I have found that mashed bananas and apple sauce make baked goods sweeter and you can omit some sweetener if you use them to moisten. I.E. If you're making banana muffins, you can get by with using 2-3 Tb of sugar instead of 1/4 a cup. :) And that means just 1/2 tsp per muffin!

It's been hard for us to decrease our sugar intake, because less-sweet things just aren't as tasty! But considering the dips and jumps of my blood sugar lately, it's purely necessity.

Please tell me any insights you find!
Ruthie

Jennifer C. said...

I've been trying to omit sugar completely this year with mixed results. Here's a recipe I've been using when I want a sweet treat, which has no sugar, and as a bonus it uses applesauce!

Applesauce Bar Cookies

20 oz applesauce
2 cups dried fruit (chopped if large pieces)
3 cups oats
1 cup oat bran
1 cup shredded unsweetened coconut
1 cup chopped nuts
3/4 tsp salt
1 1/4 cups apple or orange juice
1/4 cup oil

Combine applesauce and dried fruit in a saucepan. Cook on medium heat, stirring frequently, until thickened. In a large bowl, mix oats, oat bran, coconut, nuts and salt. Stir in juice and oil. Press half of the oat mixture in a greased 9 x 13" pan. Spread the applesauce mixture on top, then sprinkle on the rest of the oat mixture. Press down lightly. Bake at 350-degrees for 30 minutes or until lightly browned. Cool and cut into squares.

Katie said...

Ruthie & Jennifer,

Thanks for the tips and the recipe. I'm always looking for applesauce ideas! I like the idea of using more sweet foods to sweeten recipes (like that handy dandy applesauce!)

agnes gooch said...

Good for you! We are trying to use less sugar too. Packaged products have so much sugar content disguised under many names. We are using brown rice syrup and honey and unsweetened applesauce. In fact, I often omit the oil from a recipe and replace with the applesauce. Sometimes we use dried fruits in small amounts since there is still lots of sugar in them (actually more sugar in the same amoutn of fresh fruit because all the water content has been removed). Also, the mashed banana works well or other fresh fruit or even the juice from fresh fruit. Processed juice has lots of sugar. We are enjoying the experiements and don't miss the white stuff. Once you ween yourself from it and then taste something made with it, ugh, it's not even enjoyable. Makes my teeth hurt. And if I bring a baked item to a party I don't even bother to go into the "substitutions" I've made. No one has ever said the stuff wasn't sweet enough and the items always disappear. Wonder how much of our dependence on sugar is emotional? I will be checking back for recipe ideas. Thanks!

Katie said...

Agnes,

Thanks for the encouragement,