Sunday, 14 September 2014

I'm back!

Hello my lovelies!  I'm so sorry it has been an age since I have graced you with my presence but due to health reasons I had to take a wee break :)  I am currently having trouble with my oven so experimenting is not the easiest at the moment, but I will push on through!

So, as my loyal FB followers will have seen, I have been inspired by Nigel Latta's doco about sugar being poison.  You all know what a sweet tooth I have, so this is quite a challenge for me, and I have to admit, I have fallen off the sugar wagon a few times.
Now I'm not cutting it out completely, but trying to lessen how much sugar we eat.  You may be surprised at how much is actually in everything you eat.  As Nigel pointed out, the big companies use sugar to keep their costs down - they reduce how many dearer ingredients they use and replace it with sugar as it is cheap.  I dare you to take a look at the tables on the back of your food labels and see just how much sugar is in everything.  Look at the 100g/ml column so you can compare with other products.
I think a lot of you will be interested to know that the "lite" "diet" options are generally higher in sugar than full fat products.  This is because you lose flavour when you take away the fat, so they replace it with sugar.

I have found quite a handy (free too) App you can download on your phones.  It's called "FoodSwitch" and what you do is scan the barcode on food products and it will tell you what better/healthier options are for you.

What I have found out so far is that protein is something you should eat at every meal and snack too if you can.  You find protein in meats, egg, milk, cheese (things that come from animals).
Also drinking more water and less coffee/fizzy/juice. 
You can find more info on this page here.  It gives examples of how Nigel changed his diet. Also this one here is another good one to read.

I will point out that naturally occurring sugars (like in milk and fruit) are ok because they behave differently to the added refined sugars.  So you when you are calculating  your sugars, you don't need to include these.

For your information, 1tsp of sugar weighs approx. 4g so you want to be looking for that amount or lower in your nutritional information labels. 

So far I have tried some sugar free cookies which were pretty average really.  My problem with them was that they were more like a scone than a biscuit, and I found the texture disappointing.  I like the crunch of a cookie! 
I have also made a sugarfree (though has dried fruit) slice which is actually not too bad, and a tomato sauce using dextrose instead of sugar and a considerable amount less than the bought stuff.  Tastes pretty good though!

I got the sauce recipe from another blogger, though I adjusted it a smidge.  Here's what I did:

375ml tomato puree (I used organic)
4Tbsp dextrose
1/2C water
1C white vinegar
1tsp salt
1/2tsp onion powder
1/4tsp garlic powder

combine all ingredients in a medium pot and heat while stirring.  When it starts to boil, reduce to a simmer for 25mins, stirring occasionally.
Remove from heat and cool.

The original recipe used 1C dextrose and as this is still a sugar I felt the need to reduce it.  You'll see that sauces are pretty high in sugar, so anyway we can make our own with less is better.

The sugarfree bars, I may try to adapt that recipe a bit more before I share it on here :)

Anywho, I'm sure you weren't expecting quite that kind of a come back!  I hope it has been interesting for you :) I'll try to write more again soon.  Have a great week!  Happy cooking everyone!