Just another WordPress.com site

Posts tagged ‘maple syrup’

Experimentation or My Grandfather Hates Sugar

I’ve recently been doing a lot of experimenting, not just on creating my own recipes, but branching out and using ingredients  I would not have used under normal circumstances. I’ve made rice flour muffins (let’s just say not my greatest success), whole wheat pastry flour cupcakes (more on this for a future post), and upon the request of my grandfather, have been looking into alternatives for sugar.

Now, I’ve yet to come to any conclusive ways to perfect sugar free food, but I’m trying out a lot of options. Splenda and other artificial sweeteners are just that: artificial. I’ve used agave nectar before it’s pretty expensive and the same goes for honey and maple syrup. Molasses works for certain specific tastes, but not for everything.

After giving my grandfather a chocolate chip cookie to try he told me it was so sweet he lost his appetite. I don’t really eat my own food, but I’ve taste tested my chocolate chip cookies and I don’t think they’re too sweet. His opinion is that chocolate chips are sweet enough, there’s no need to add any sugar. He’s not diabetic, he just has the opposite of a sweet tooth. Let’s say my grandfather has a salty tooth.

I’m fine with constructive criticism, but I’ve never gotten that comment from anyone but my grandfather. Although I am looking for alternative sweeteners I will not, as my grandfather advised, let my mother take the sugar away from me. I’m in the process of experimentation which can be slow and arduous but generally generates results.

As it stands I was making biscuits at my grandfather’s house and couldn’t remember my standard biscuit recipe, not that it would have mattered because my aunt only had whole wheat flour. So I had been meaning to experiment with whole wheat biscuits for a while and figured then was as good a time as any. I decided to take some blueberries and turn my biscuits from plain to lemon blueberry fantastic. I threw together what I remembered from my standard recipe, added a handful or two of blueberries and a few long squeezes of lemon juice, substituted maple syrup for sugar, and mixed it up.

They came out like muffins. Not bad, just flavorless. The lemon taste was nonexistent and the dough had no flavor save for biting directly into a blueberry. I ate one, but smothered it in blackberry jam.

My grandfather asked me to give him one and I was expecting a dreary report of how bland it was and how I had missed the mark again, this time in the opposite direction. No, he loves it! He tells me it’s perfect and that it’s not too sweet (it’s not sweet at all). He suggests toasting it with butter.

One of these days I’ll create something we can both enjoy. But hey, if you have any sugar free baking tips I’d love to hear from you. I’ll be coming back to perfecting blueberry biscuits.

 

Advertisements

Product Placement: Maple Agave Syrup

I really need to thank my mom for introducing me to so many great products I never would have found on my own. She introduced me to Siggi’s Yogurt and while shopping with her at a local organic market we came across Maple Agave Syrup.

Most commercial maple syrups, Aunt Jemima, Log Cabin, Mrs. Butterworths, etc, are artificially flavored. If you read the ingredients most brand name syrups contain high fructose corn syrup, corn syrup, and caramel color and not much else. If I just ruined your pancake or waffle experience I apologize, but before you run off to go buy the pure maple syrup let’s take a look at cost.

A 24 oz bottle of Aunt Jemima maple syrup is $3.79.

8.5 oz of pure maple syrup costs $4.99.

Maple Grove Farms Pure Maple Syrup - 1 Bottle (12.50 oz)

Now I took the above prices from the Peapod Stop and Shop website, so prices may vary depending on where you live and how much syrup you’re buying. Either way, the pure syrup is far more expensive. It makes sense that consumers buy the cheap brand name.

If you’re looking for affordable and healthy, try a maple agave blend instead of pure maple syrup. Stop and Shop does not carry this product so in order to get a comparative price, a blogger called thekitchn  places Trader Joe’s prices for maple agave syrup at $3 for 8 oz.

Great Northern Organic Maple Agave Syrup 8 oz. (Pack of 12)

The best thing about this syrup though is more than the cost. It’s entirely natural. Agave is a plant found in Mexico that has been sweetening and flavoring food for thousands of years. The syrup comes from the sap of the plant found in the core of the plant called the pina. The sap is heated at a low temperature to break down the natural sugars (visit allaboutagave.com for more information).

When agave syrup is combined with pure maple syrup a healthy, affordable option is created. It’s sweet with no artificial sweeteners or aftertaste. Although not as thick as pure maple syrup on its own the flavor combination makes up for the thinner consistency, though by no means is it watery like commercial syrup brands.

Enjoy your new discoveries with this syrup blend. See you next Wednesday!