Wednesday, February 16, 2011

Artificial Sweeteners and Almonds

You might use a sugar substitute in your cup of coffee and think nothing of it. However, when you bake with sugar substitutes you may have experienced problems. Sugar substitutes can' t stand up to the prolonged heat of the oven and therefore your baked goods can loose volume, taste less sweet, show tunneling or appear crumbly and lighter in color than those items baked with sugar. If you need to cut calories and carbs in your daily diet here are a few tips to keep in mind when using sugar substitutes during baking:

  • Add 1 tsp. vanilla extract for every 1 c. sugar substitute to enhance flavor

  • Flatten cookie dough before baking by gently pressing it with your palms. Sugar substitutes often prevent cookie dough from spreading.

  • Use cold brewed coffee inplace of some liquid in chocolate flavored recipes to enrich the chocolate notes

  • Create volume by using whipped egg whites instead of whole eggs. (2 egg whites for every 1 egg)

  • Reduce air tunnels in baked goods by cutting the fat into dry ingredients before adding the liquid ingredients

  • Achieve more height by switching from 9" pans to 8" round or square pans with 2" tall sides

Today is National Almond Day

A handful of almonds is an excellent source of vitamin E and magnesium. Plus almonds offer potassium (200mg), calcium(75mg), and iron (1.0mg).

These tasty nuts are a great way to stop that mid-afternoon "hungry" feeling. The protein, fiber and monounsaturated fat will keep you satisfied longer. There is also scientific evidence that suggests that eating 1.5 oz. per day, along with a diet low in saturated fat and cholesterol may reduce the risk of heart disease.

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