Sugar Replacements

Since I no longer use artificial sweeteners and don’t have anything containing refined sugar either I have been looking for natural replacements to give a subtle hint of sweetness to some of the things I make. As a Diabetic you have to look at the carbohydrate content of pretty much everything you eat or drink. I have to do a calculation of how many units of insulin to inject for every ten grams of carbohydrates that I eat. I am very used to doing this so it’s second nature to me now but here is an example:

Screenshot (3)This Snickers bar contains 33g Carbohydrate and my calculation for my insulin is 2 units per 10g. This bar would mean that I would have to inject 7 units of insulin. This is alot of insulin to inject for a chocolate bar. I usually inject this amount of insulin for a full meal. So once I had cut out refined sugar I started also looking at Raw Chocolate. Raw chocolate is made from Cacao powder (which I explained how good it was for you in the Bounty Bar post) and then sweetened with agave nectar, maple syrup, coconut blossom nectar or coconut sugar. Adding coconut oil to the mixture helps the chocolate to set and the you add a flavour of your choice. This could be vanilla, coconut, cinnamon, mint. My favourite brand of Raw Chocolate is a brand called Pana Chocolate they are an Australian brand, I love the chocolate and the packaging especially.

Screenshot (4) The ingredients of this nut bar are as follow: cacao solids (50% min) cacao butter & carob powder), coconut oil, dark agave nectar, carob, walnuts, cashews, hazelnuts, brazil nuts, cinnamon. The carbohydrate content of this bar (45g) is 19.1g of which sugars 15.3g. Which means the insulin I would have to inject is half (yes half) the amount I would have to for the Snickers. This is because this chocolate like all the other Raw Chocolate out there are never sweetened with refined sugar they are always sweetened with one of the sweeteners below:

Screenshot (5)Coconut palm sugar is a sugar produced from the sap of cut flower buds of the coconut palm. I have been told that is is the best replacement for coffee instead of brown sugar and I love the caramel flavour it gives to chocolate. With a GI of 35 it is classified as a low glycemic index food. Coconut sugar also has a high mineral content, being a rich source of potassium, magnesium, zinc and iron. In addition to this it contains Vitamin B1, B2, B3 and B6. When compared to brown sugar, coconut sugar has 18 times the potassium, 30 times the phosphorus and over 10 times the amount of zinc. The large amounts of K and P can explained by the way coconut sugar is tapped from the inflorescences of the tree. The coconut sap, from which coconut sugar is derived, contains 16 amino acids. The amino acid which has the highest content in coconut sap is glutamine.

Screenshot (6)Maple syrup is a Syrup usually made from the xylem sap of sugar maple, red maple, or black maple trees, although it can also be made from other maple species. Pure Maple Syrup has a glycemic index of 54 (any food under 55 is considered a low glycemic index food), so when compared to table sugar which has an index of 65 it makes quite a difference. This is a brilliant sweetener when added to avocado desserts (I will post my recipe later) I really like the taste of this compared to agave, which is also another sugar replacement I use but it doesn’t have the same flavour.

Hope you have all had a wonderful weekend!

 

 

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