Half the Sugar

We've made a lot of changes in our diet over the last year, but one of the most helpful has been limiting the amount of sweeteners we use. I checked out the book Little Sugar Addicts: End the Mood Swings, Meltdowns, Tantrums, and Low Self-Esteem in Your Child Today from the library and it opened my eyes to how much sugar we actually consume and how it effects our children. I can definitely see that my children are "sugar addicts" and I am too!

The book offered some great ideas, like pairing sugars with proteins, and it really encouraged me to read the labels for foods. Reading food labels has been shocking. I never knew we were eating so much high fructose corn syrup (HCFS) and sugar. Plus all the other chemicals.

We've made great strides in limiting the number of processed foods we buy, and have made changes in the ones we ultimately choose. For example, I only buy bread that does not contain HFCS and contains whole grains. I've also been more choosy about which breakfast cereals we bring home.

Another change was what I actually cook for our family. I love to bake and I started searching the web for ideas on how to limit the amount of sugar and saturated fat in the items I make. Here are my tips for amending almost any baking recipe to make it healthier.

#1 You can almost always cut the sugar in the recipe in half. Doing so will decrease your overall volume by some. If that is a problem, you can add some applesauce to make up the lost volume.

#2. Applesauce or pureed sweet potatoes are an okay substitute for about 1/2 the amount of oil in the recipe if you are making something that is "cakey" like muffins.

#3 Olive oil or vegetable oil is a good substitute for butter in most recipes except cookies.

#4 When you reduce sugar in a recipe, adding cinnamon often tricks your taste buds into thinking the food is sweeter than it actually is.

I use these tips all the time, sometimes you can't even taste the difference when you cut the amount of sugar. It's amazing! You save your body from the sugar roller-coaster and save calories. Sometimes, I substitute honey, maple syrup, or agave nectar for sugar (since they are less processed and contain vitamins and minerals). You can usually get buy with less when you use one of these as well because they tend to be much sweeter than white sugar.

**SECRET TIP** If you make chocolate chip cookies using the recipe on the back of the chips package, you can cut the amount of butter in half and you will not be able to tell the difference. We have been doing this since Alton (Good Eats) recommended it on one of his shows and I think they taste the same or better and I feel better knowing they only contain half the butter.


Jessica-MomForHim said...

WOW! Great tips! Thanks!

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Thank you for your comments! I appreciate all your tips, advice, and well wishes!


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