Sugar I Quit!

white and brown Sugar

The truth is, most artificial sweeteners can be more harmful to you than sugar. Some artificial sweeteners are as much as 20,000 times sweeter than sugar. According to MD Anderson, studies have shown that many artificial sugars have been linked to cause cancer. However, sugar by itself doesn’t typically cause cancer. Additional studies have shown that there are multiple health risks associated with too much sugar consumption.  Sugar has its own set of issues. I have noticed how addictive sugar can be. Like a drug, there are so many other things I have been able to quit easier than sugar. I have been weighing out the pros and cons of eating sugar. Here’s the facts;

  1. Sugar can make you gain weight and increases your appetite.
  2. Sugar can affect your mental health and causes Brain Fog.
  3. Sugar causes inflammation.
  4. Sugar has been linked to Heart Disease.
  5. Sugar can cause higher blood pressure.
  6. Sugar causes tooth decay and cavities.
  7. Sugar can affect your hormones and lowers your immune system.
  8. Sugar affects kids and adults with ADHD.

 

None of this evidence is new information. There are many aliases that sugar can be found under different names. Here are some of the names to find where sugar is hiding.

  • Beet Sugar (sugar beets)
  • Brown Sugar
  • Cane Sugar
  • Corn Syrup
  • Corn Syrup Solids
  • Dextrose
  • Fructose
  • Galactose
  • Glucose
  • High Fructose Corn Syrup
  • Invert Sugar
  • Lactose (milk sugar)
  • Maltose (malt sugar)
  • Molasses
  • Sucralose
  • Sucrose
  • Treacle (refined from molasses)

So.. based on the facts, sugar I quit! All of the previous recipes I have posted here, I will be revamping and refining them to exclude the dreaded evil sugar that none of us need in our life. Here is a good article how to detox from sugar. I am looking forward to enjoying a better healthier life without it.

Cooking Substitutions

There are many substitutions that are commonly used in cooking. There are many other substitutions that are less common that I am finding out about. It’s through trial and error that I have found out what specific measurements are needed when substituting ingredients.

 


 

Baking Powder 1 tsp = 1/4 tsp Baking Soda with 1/2 tsp Cream of Tartar

Brown Sugar 1/2 Cup = 2 Tablespoons Molasses and 1/2 Cup Granulated Sugar

Corn Syrup 1 Cup = 1 Cup Sugar cooked with 1/4 Cup Water

Dry Mustard 1 tsp = 1 tsp Tumeric

Egg 1 = 1 Tablespoon Flaxseed + 3 Tablespoons Water

Herbs (fresh) 1 Tablespoon = 1 tsp (dried) Herbs

Pine Nuts 1/2 Cup = 1/2 Cup Walnuts and pinch of Sage

Powdered Sugar 1 Cup = 1 Cup Sugar processed in a grinder

Unsalted Butter 1 Cup = 1 Cup Vegetable Shortening

 

Light Brown Syrup

I hate that so many things are made with high fructose corn syrup. When ever I have a recipe that calls for corn syrup. I make my own syrup. It will not be exact to corn syrup, but is very close and much healthier. When making your own syrup it is helpful to use a candy thermometer.  If you make this recipe as specified below your syrup should look like the jar in the middle. The jar on the left Syrup was made with 1/2 cup of Brown Sugar. The Jar on the right shows Syrup made with Granulated Sugar only. When making the white Syrup make sure you substitute the amount of Brown Sugar used, for Granulated Sugar.

DSCF1924

3/4 cup Water

2 1/2 cups Granulated Sugar

1/4 cup Brown Sugar

1/2 tsp Cream Of Tartar

1 tsp Vanilla (Optional)

Add all ingredients to a sauce pan. Cook on medium heat. Once it starts to simmer, stir constantly for 5-7 minutes, or until temperature reaches 220-230 degrees. Don’t cook too long or you will end up with hard candy. This recipe makes approximately 1 pint of Syrup.

The syrup has a short shelf life. It is recommended that you store syrup at in the refrigerator. Like honey when kept for long periods of time, it may start to crystallize. You can heat the jar slightly to make the Syrup pourable.

Using Flaxseed As An Egg Substitute

DSCF9581

Flaxseeds are the most awesome egg substitute in baking and they are very economical to use. I have found they are much cheaper and taste better than traditional egg substitutes. I have learned there is a right way and a wrong way to use Flaxseeds when using them to replace egg in baking recipes. I am including a step-by-step guide on how to use them the right way in baking.

1 Tablespoon Flaxseeds + 3 Tablespoons Water = 1 Egg

1. Grind up Flaxseeds into a flour consistency, using a mill or coffee grinder.

DSCF9585

2. Mix Flaxseeds with water.

DSCF9587
3. Let it sit for at least 15 minutes. It will be ready to use when the mixture becomes a slimy consistency like an egg.

If you don’t have a grinder and want to use whole Flaxseeds as an egg substitute, you will have to soak them longer (30 minutes).

Amazing Spinach Pesto

Spinach Pesto

This recipe is my own original that I have used for years and this is the first time I have shared it with anyone. Most pesto recipes use Parmesan cheese. I don’t feel it’s a necessary ingredient in good pesto. It is best when you use all fresh ingredients. If you need to make any substitutions you can use dried Oregano and Thyme. Walnuts can be used instead of Pine Nuts along with a pinch of sage. When fresh Basil is not available sub more spinach.

 

1 1/2 Cups packed fresh Spinach

1/4 – 1/2 Cup packed fresh Basil

1/4 Cup Pine Nuts (pre-grind if you don’t want chunks)

1/4 tsp chopped fresh Oregano

1/2 tsp fresh Thyme (remove leaves from stems)

2 cloves crushed Garlic

1/2 tsp Sea Salt

1/4 tsp Black Pepper

1 tsp Lemon Juice

1/2 Cup Olive Oil

 

Place spinach in a blender or food processor with other herbs, add lemon juice and a small amount of olive oil. Add Pine Nuts and remaining ingredients and blend until smooth. If you’re not going to use all of the pesto right away, you can pour into an ice cube tray and freeze for later use.

TVP – Ground Beef Substitute

Textured Vegetable Protein also known as TVP is a great substitute for Ground Beef. It is totally Vegan and Vegetarian friendly and is made from soy beans. This Bob’s Red Mill product is inexpensive and can be found at your local grocery store. I know some people have an allergy to soy, but for those that don’t, this is a great product.

TVP

 

Nutrition Information: Calories 80 per 1/4 cup serving, Total Fat 0%, Cholesterol 0%, Sodium 2mg 0%, Potasium 594 mg, Total Carbs 7g 2%, Dietary Fiber 4g 16%, Sugars 3g, Protein 12g.

Ingredients: Defatted Soy Flour.

http://www.bobsredmill.com/tvp-textured-veg._protein.html

Lentils – So Many Uses

Lentils

 

There are so many uses for lentils. You can use them as a substitute for beans or a substitute for ground beef. They are much quicker to cook than beans, which makes it easier to use for quick dinners. Lentils are great in spaghetti sauce, chili, tacos, etc. Plus lentils are packed with lots of vitamins and nutrients that make them much healthier than eating meat.

 

Dairy Free Butter Substitutes

Many recipes out there ask for butter. You might want to try some of these to see which one you like best. Here are a few substitutes that I have found.

  • Almond Butter
  • Coconut Butter
  • Flax Seed Margarine
  • Hazelnut Butter
  • Non-hydrogenated Coconut Oil (awesome substitute for unsalted butter or shortening)
  • Pumpkin Butter
  • Sesame Butter
  • Shortening
  • Soybean Margarine

*Keep in mind not all of these will work well in everything. You may have to make some adjustments and do some experimenting on your own to see what works best for certain types of recipes.