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Posts tagged ‘sweet’

Product Placement: Smucker’s Orchard’s Finest

Why does it seem that if you want to buy natural you have to buy brands that are expensive or brands no one has heard of before? It’s unfortunate that most brand name products are stuffed with ingredients like high fructose corn syrup, hydrogenated oils, and chemicals and dyes.

But there’s a secret to most of these big name products: they produce natural versions of their commercial products. Both Jif and Skippy have natural peanut butters and Smucker’s has Orchard’s Finest berry preserves.

  

Now, I’ve only tried the blueberry (far right of the photo) but there are whole blueberries in the jam. It’s smooth and sweet and whole blueberries are abundant. When my family ran out of blueberries from Jones Family Farm and I wanted to make blueberry loaf cake, I used a half cup of Smucker’s jam and my blueberry cake is studded with blueberries.

Here comes the hard part though, it’s not perfect. Though it pains me to admit it, Smucker’s Orchard’s Finest preserves are not in fact perfect. The ingredients (though all readable and common) are: BLUEBERRIES, SUGAR, FRUIT PECTIN, CITRIC ACID. It would be preferred if there was no sugar added, but this seems rather minor. There are 12 grams of sugar and 50 calories. For more information on the nutrition label visit: http://www.smucker.com/products/ProductDetail.aspx?groupId=1&categoryId=338&flavorId=755

As usual, unfortunately, the natural jams are more expensive than the standard ones. A twelve oz jar is $3.29 for the natural jam and a 12 oz jar is $2.99 for their commercial products. This is, thankfully, not a huge cost difference. Look for the natural Smucker’s jams next time you shop and let me know what you think!

Apparently, Smucker’s also has an organic line. I’ll be looking into this soon and I’ll keep you posted. Enjoy!

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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.

 

Sugar Cookies

What can really be said about the sugar cookie? It’s the cousin of the Snickerdoodle, the frost-it, ice-it, decorate-it-as-you-please-it cookie that you can never go wrong with purchasing. The sugar cookie is incredibly versatile, a simple gift  of a dozen to bring to a party is guaranteed to please even the pickiest of eaters.

My sugar cookies are topped with green sprinkles and are chewy perfection. There is nothing  do dislike about this cookie: they are soft and chewy and baked just until golden. One bite and you’ll want another. It’s a good thing they’re sold by the dozen.

Each dozen is $11.

Place an order through a comment.

Or contact me through my email at CherylsConfections21@gmail.com

Give me a call: (203) 459-0814 OR (203) 583-6001.