Plant Based Sweeteners

Posted on March 01 by
in Blog

When it comes to reducing sugar intake, plant-based sweeteners have become the latest nutrition buzzword, and for a good reason! Not only can they be used as a safe alternative to sugar, but some also have health benefits! 

 
Sweet Plant-Based Sweeteners


Stevia. One of the most well-known plant-based sweeteners comes from the Stevia rebaudiana plant, known as stevia. This zero-calorie sweetener is about 300 times sweeter than table sugar and does not raise blood sugar levels.
  • How to use: A pinch of stevia can sweeten beverages such as coffee, tea, or lemonade, as well as in hot or cold cereals, smoothies, and unsweetened yogurt. While some brands do say you can bake with stevia, it does leave a strong aftertaste.
  • What’s to love: Stevia has been found to help reduce high blood pressure in people with hypertension by 6–14% and lower blood sugar levels in people with diabetes.
  • Be aware: It does have a bitter aftertaste, and using too much can cause bloating or an upset stomach.
  • The United States Food and Drug Administration (FDA) classify sweeteners made from high-purity steviol glycosides to be “generally recognized as safe,” or GRAS.

Erythritol. Erythritol naturally occurs in many fruits and is also made during the fermentation of some foods and beverages. However, It contains 0.24 calories per gram and is approximately 70% the sweetness of sugar.
  • How to use: Erythritol can be found in powdered format and is used to sweeten and thicken low calorie or sugar-free foods.
  • What’s to love: It doesn’t spike blood sugar or insulin levels and appears to be better tolerated than most sugar alcohols. It has a mild aftertaste, which is why many people prefer it over other plant-based sweeteners.
  • Be aware: Taken in large amounts, it can cause digestive distress.
  • While erythritol is a new sugar alcohol, it was approved by the FDA in 2001.

Xylitol. Sugar alcohol has a similar sweetness level as sugar and contains about 2.4 calories per gram, compared to the four calories per gram of sugar.
  • How to use: Xylitol can be used as a sugar replacement with a 1:1 ratio. It is used to sweeten coffee and teas as well as in some baking. It is a common ingredient in sugar-free chewing gums, candies, diabetes-friendly foods, and oral-care products.
  • What’s to love: Xylitol has been associated with improved dental health, reducing the risk of cavities and dental decay. It also doesn’t raise blood sugar or insulin levels.
  • Be aware: It can cause digestive side effects such as bloating, gas and diarrhea when taken in high doses.
  • While it is safe for humans, keep away from dogs as xylitol is highly toxic for them.

Swerve. Swerve is a natural, non glycemic sweetener made from a blend of erythritol and oligosaccharides.
  • How to use: Because of its unique blend, Swerve is excellent for baking. It measures cup-for-cup like sugar!
  • What’s to love: Minimal aftertaste or digestive discomfort. Like other plant-based sweeteners, Swerve sweetener will not impact your blood sugar and is loved by low carb bakers.
  • Be aware: Similar to other plant-based sweeteners, overeating can cause digestive discomfort and distress.
Up and Coming Plant-Based Sweetener: Monk Fruit 


Monk Fruit (Lou Han Guo) - Monk fruit is a small fruit native to southern China. The seeds and skin are removed, and the monk fruit juice is extracted to use as a sweetener. Monk fruit sweeteners are 150 - 200 times sweeter than sugar, which means only a small amount is needed to add a little sweetness! 
  • How to use: Similar to other plant-based sweeteners, monk fruit is used to sweeten beverages, hot or cold cereal, and smoothies. When it comes to baking, monk fruit will require a little more trial and error because the amount needed is smaller than traditional sugar. 
  • What’s to love: For years, it has been used to treat a sore throat or cold by traditional Chinese medicine! 
  • Be aware: There are more challenges involved with growing monk fruit, making it more expensive than other plant-based sweeteners. 
  • The U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) considers monk fruit sweeteners to be generally regarded as safe (GRAS). There appears to be no evidence that monk fruit sweeteners cause harmful side effects.

 
Featured Recipe
Eat Fit King Cake in a Mug 



Ingredients: 
  • 1 tsp cinnamon 
  • 1/8 tsp nutmeg
  • 2 Tbsp coconut flour 
  • small pinch of salt 
  • 2 tbsp almond milk, unsweetened 
  • One egg 
  • 1 tsp vanilla 
  • 1 tsp Swerve sweetener 
  • 1/8 tsp xanthan gum 
  • 1 tsp baking powder
  •  

Cream Cheese Icing 
  • 1/4 cup 2% Greek yogurt, plain 
  • 2 Tbsp low-fat cream cheese 
  • 1 tsp Swerve sweetener
  • 1/4 tsp lemon juice
  •  

Instructions

Mix spices, coconut flour, salt, almond milk, egg, vanilla, swerve and xanthan gum, and then add baking powder. Pour into a microwave-safe mug and microwave for 1 -1 1/2 minutes. (Time may vary depending on the microwave). Combine remaining ingredients to make the icing, stir until evenly blended. Spoon cream cheese icing on top of the cake and enjoy.

Nutrition: 260 calories, 12 g fat, 410 mg sodium, 26 g carbohydrates, 7 g fiber, (19 grams of net carbs), 16 g protein
 

“Nature has given us all the pieces required to achieve exceptional wellness and health, but has left it to us to put these pieces together.”—Diane McLare

FAST BAR .... looking forward to trying this new whole food snack bar ...

Posted on February 25 by
in Blog

Mushrooms....

Posted on February 23 by
in Blog
Looking for a way to add protein and boost your immune system? Try adding in mushrooms as a side dish or as the entree. You can use a variety of mushrooms to saute or grill a large portabella as the main dish.
 
Mushrooms: 200 calories for 28 grams of protein
Filet: 200 calories for 19 grams of protein
 
Sautéed Garlic Mushrooms
Serves 4
 
Ingredients:
12 to 16 ounces fresh mushrooms (preferably assorted varieties but you can use your favorite type)
4 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil
3 to 5 cloves garlic, minced (depending on how garlicky you want it)
1 tablespoon dried thyme
1 teaspoon black pepper
¼ cup dry white wine
Fresh thyme for garnish (optional)
 
Instructions:
Heat 2 tablespoons of olive oil and minced garlic in a large skillet over medium heat. Stir constantly to prevent garlic from burning. Once garlic is fragrant (about 45 to 60 seconds), add the mushrooms and dried thyme. Increase the heat slightly to medium-high, drizzle with another tablespoon of olive oil and sauté the mushrooms for about 5 to 8 minutes, stirring occasionally. [Note: Keep an eye on the pan and add more olive oil (about 1 tablespoon at a time) as the mushrooms absorb the liquid. If you pan is dry, the mushrooms will stick and burn. Add it slowly though as you don’t want to over saturate your mushrooms.]
Once your mushrooms begin to soften, add black pepper and stir to combine. Sauté for an additional 1 to 2 minutes. Add white wine (be sure heat is at medium-high) and allow to cook for an additional 3 to 5 minutes, until white wine is reduced by about half.
mushrooms

mberry

Posted on February 16 by
in Blog
Still craving sugar? Still want sweets every night for comfort or relaxation?
 
This unique berry will rock your world and your sense of taste due to its ability to alter your taste buds.
 
Let one tablet dissolve in your mouth, do not chew or swallow whole.
 
Grab a slice of lemon or lime and bite into it.... it will taste sweet!
 
The protein in the fruit will change bitter, sour or bland foods to a sweet treat!
mberry

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