Sweeteners

We all know that often (if not almost always) when fat is reduced in food stuffs the manufacturers/processors add sugar to make the thing edible… this happens a lot with things like yogurt for instance especially the fruity ones. If you check the full fat version’s sugar content against the lower fat version it invariably has shot upwards.

This also explains why often if you look at a low fat version of a well known branded product it may still have a higher fat content than an own brand cheaper product which doesn’t market itself as low fat, the fat content is lower but the sugar content will often be higher to make it edible once the ‘tasty’ fat stuff has been removed. This is true of things like tins of rice pudding, or custard… check them out, the low fat branded Heinz products are higher in fat content than Tesco or Asda or whoever’s own brand full fat product.

The reason is that we all like what we eat to taste nice and sad but true sugar or fats do just that… make things more tasty. Of course there is a whole debate about the perceived evil of fat but the jury is pretty much returning a guilty verdict at the moment on sugar, in fact the attention to lower fat products which has been bandied around since the 70’s is positively blamed for the increase in sugar consumption and the associated increase in obesity.  Lots of articles out there to read and check out. Here’s One To Get You Thinking

Nonetheless I’m not a big sugar consumer, I don’t like sugary drinks, I don’t add sugar to anything eg cereal, tea, coffee etc. In fact we didn’t even buy sugar until I started brewing Kambucha. If anyone visited and wanted sugar in a drink they knew to bring their own.

If I was baking we’d buy some in of course but other than that it was not a staple of our diet. Yet I’m obese so that kind of blows the sugar=obesity row out of the water in my case. However, unlike a lot of morbidly obese ladies of my age I have no issues with diabetes… that’s not to say one might have been on the horizon had I not acted when I did.

So back to the point of this post… I make my own granola (seriously it saves a fortune and if the whole family eats it, as do mine, it can work out pretty expensive). I like DSC_0760.JPGmaking my own as I can vary what is in it to suit us. I make a big batch, usually two flavours, every weekened while I’m replenishing my Kambucha tea and bottling the latest brew, and that batch of granola lasts us the week. Some of it I mould into bars for on the go breakfasts or healthy snacks. Click here for the basic recipe I use, I substitute the veg oil for coconut oil and the maple syrup for rice syrup and change out the seeds I use and the dried fruits

So to sweeten I use honey, the best I can get but lately I’ve been trying brown rice syrup and it’s yummy. It’s not expensive either considering the small amount you need for a vat of Granola and it really gives it a good consistency, helps to bind the ingredients and gives a sweet but not overly sweet taste with a grainy undertone, perfect for Granola.

I use an organic variety and it’s gluten free too. I’d recommend shopping around until you find one which you like, taste does vary from brand to brand, some are more earthy than others and some more nutty than others.

I also use Carley’s organic seed butters in my granola to just give a little big of a soft crunch and they help to bind too and allow flavours to really seep through the mixture. I use the Apricot Kernel one most but also love the pumpkin one.

organic

Remember that seeds are very fatty so don’t over do it with them, although they are ‘good’ fats they are still fats but the amount I use in my Granola compared to the daily amount we each consume makes the fat content less of an issue. Remember that whilst I want to lose weight my health is my priority and introducing seeds and nuts and healthy oils and sweeteners into our diet is as important as weight loss to me. Read a little about the healthy inclusion of nuts and seeds into your diet here and find out how they can help weight loss.

Same applies to the Rice syrup, it’s still sugar but a little bit more healthy than refined white stuff and it can be used to replace all types of sugar in a huge heap of recipes. Read a little about it here.

If anyone has any links to share on interesting articles on this debate of the evils or not of sugars and fats please share them in the comments at the bottom I would love to read them or if you can link back to one of your own blog posts please, please do.

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