Sweet sucrose, known as regular sugar, is rapidly losing ground on our tables. There is a fear that soon porcelain manufacturers will start selling tea and coffee sets without sugar bowls! No, mankind has not ceased to love sweets, it is just that sugar has serious competitors, the use of which does without consequences in the form of diabetes or obesity.
The number one competitor is stevia. More precisely, one humble representative of the numerous genus of stevia is the Stevirebaudian Bertoni plant. There are legends about this "honey grass" originally from Latin America. Allegedly, long ago, in happy pre-Columbian times, it was stevia that the Indians added to their favorite drink - mate. Whether it is true or not, we will no longer ask the ancient Indians, but the modern Japanese are ahead of the whole planet in the use of this sugar substitute. Japan accounts for 40% of the total stevia market. Why is it better than sugar? First, they don't get fat from her. Strictly speaking, stevia is not properly absorbed by the body, it just makes us sweet, and then is removed. Secondly, it is sweeter than sucrose. However, you still have to pay for the pleasure. In addition to sweetness, stevia also has its own rather peculiar taste, which not everyone can get used to. You can "mask" this taste with fruits, nuts, cottage cheese or spices. Yes, and don't try to beat the egg whites with stevia, it won't work.
Stevia can be purchased as an extract - stevioside, or simply dried. However, some people prefer to grow it on their own in a pot on a windowsill.
Jerusalem artichoke syrup
Jerusalem artichoke syrup or earthen pear began a triumphant march through the cuisines of the sweet tooth, taking care of their health, relatively recently. Meanwhile, Jerusalem artichoke has been known for several centuries, and is called so in memory of the Indian tribe "Tupinamba". This plant also came from overseas. They tried to grow an earthen pear in the 30s of the Soviet Union, but it turned out that the harvest was poorly stored, so now Jerusalem artichoke can only be found in private gardens. But then it occurred to someone: not to store the harvest, but to make a delicious syrup with a very low glycemic index from it (only stevia is lower). As for the application, the syrup can be added to any drinks, you can cook your favorite dishes with it. Wherever sugar is appropriate, syrup performs at its best. It tastes a bit like honey and is very popular with children. This product is ideal for diabetics, because it contains inulin (not to be confused with insulin) - a dietary fiber that does not oblige us to anything, it is not digested or absorbed, but simply leaves behind a pleasant taste. No cons in Jerusalem artichoke syrup have been noticed yet.
Xylitol or xylitol has been used as a sugar substitute for a long time, including in the food industry. However, the public is familiar with it mainly in combination with chewing gum. He is said to be friendly to tooth enamel. This sweet white powder is made from birch wood, which shouldn't surprise anyone who has tried birch sap. It tastes good and slightly cools the tongue. Diabetics have been using xylitol since the middle of the 19th century, and now those who want to lose weight have joined them. True, there are no less calories in xylitol than in sucrose, but no one will be able to eat more than 50 grams per day with impunity - a very noticeable laxative effect occurs. In addition to sweetness, this interesting substance also has bactericidal properties. If you treat a piece of meat with a xylitol solution,it will not lose freshness within two weeks of storage at a temperature of 0 to 5 degrees. And by the way, the human body itself produces a little xylitol, so there will be no rejection, the main thing is not to exceed the dose!
Xylitol is available over the counter.
Carob syrup is better known in our country as a cure for coughs and for gastrointestinal ailments, moreover, it is recommended to be taken in case of nervous disorders. And in Greece, for example, not only syrup, but also the carob itself is a traditional delicacy. And in ancient Egyptian hieroglyphs, the image of a carob pod is equivalent to the word "sweet". These pods have their own pronounced taste, which reminds someone of chocolate, someone of coffee. In Greece, syrup from them is used in about the same way as honey is used here - they are treated with it, and pancakes are watered. He has no contraindications, unless someone simply does not like it. Here is John the Baptist, according to legend, only the fruits of the carob tree and ate in his desert. So in Spain and Italy they are called “the bread of St. John”.
Palm sugar is real yummy. It is, of course, very high in calories, but it is with its help that it is advised to get rid of sugar addiction. Switching from the "white enemy" to sugar palm is quite simple. The latter is simply tastier and more exotic. To obtain palm sugar, specially trained people climb tall palms, make cuts in the inflorescences and fix containers underneath to collect nectar. And then, if the pickers manage to get down to earth without any problems, the nectar is evaporated until a beautiful golden brown product with caramel aroma and taste is obtained. It is added to many Asian dishes, and you can drink tea and coffee with it. And the nutrients in palm sugar are simply unmeasured. A teaspoon of palm sugar alone contains 5 mg of calcium, 3 mg of phosphorus, 8 mg of magnesium,48 mg potassium, 0.5 mg iron, plus some zinc, copper, thiamine, riboflavin, and niacin. Refined sugar is just resting. Some Buddhist monks eat only once a day - until noon, while at other times they are allowed to eat exactly palm sugar. Isn't that the best recommendation?
Photo: Press Services Archives, Getty Images
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