Want to make a “sweet” dessert but don’t know where to start with low-sugar baking? Our dietician can help you pick through the many low-calorie and no-calorie sweeteners on the market to help you make healthy treats.
Why should you bake with less sugar?
The scent and taste of freshly made cookies and muffins is a hallmark of being human; we are born with a penchant for sweet flavors. If you want to keep the extra calories and carbohydrates from added sugar to a minimum, you can reduce the quantity of sugar in your baking. So, where should you begin?
Take a stroll down the baking aisle, and you’ll be surprised at how many low-calorie sweeteners are available. So which option is the best? It all depends on your tastes and the sort of baking you undertake.
General tips for low-calorie sweetener baking success:
- Don’t use it to replace sugar completely.
- You may need to lower the oven temperature and lengthen the baking time.
- For the most incredible flavor and texture, use a variety of sweeteners.
- Try making muffins and quick bread instead of making fluffy cakes and crunchy cookies using low-calorie sweeteners.
- Aspartame (Nutrasweet) is not advised for baking since it does not withstand high heat.
- For baking advice and recipes, go to the product’s website.
- Even with less sugar, baked goods are still considered “occasional” pleasures.
These solutions allow you to bake with less sugar without compromising flavor.
Sugar does more than give your favorite food a pleasant flavor. It adds texture and volume to baked products and helps them turn golden brown on top. Sugar also aids in the preservation of sweets by preventing them from drying out as rapidly. Although no low-calorie sweetener can exactly replicate these features, understanding the alternatives available will help you get the most remarkable outcomes in your low-sugar baking.
Use less sugar
Let’s start with a no-brainer. Without sacrificing much in taste, texture, or volume, you can generally leave out roughly one-third of the sugar in a recipe. Then, to compensate for the taste loss, add vanilla, cinnamon, cocoa powder, or chopped dried fruit.
Try MyNetDiary’s Apple Crisp recipe (made with a small amount of brown sugar with cinnamon for extra flavor).
As an alternative to refined sugars, you can bake using less-processed sweeteners like honey or maple syrup. They are, however, nonetheless classified as “added sugars.” To replace one cup of white sugar, use 2/3 cup of these liquid sweeteners.
Coconut sugar is derived from the sap of the coconut tree and has a glycemic index that is somewhat lower than white sugar. Therefore, coconut sugar can be used in place of white sugar in the same proportions.
Because date sugar is manufactured from finely powdered dates, it isn’t classified as an added sugar on food labels. Replace one cup of white sugar with 2/3 cup of date sugar.
Despite being “natural,” these sugar substitutes might be just as heavy in carbohydrates and calories as white sugar. They may have a few more nutrients than white sugar, but you don’t need (or want) to eat a lot of them to impact your nutritional consumption.
Low-Carb Pumpkin Chocolate Chip Cookies from MyNetDiary is a must-try recipe (made with a small amount of maple syrup)
Stevia (Pure Via, Truvia, Stevia in the Raw)
The stevia plant produces stevia, which is a refined sweetener. To provide volume, it’s frequently combined with another sweetener like erythritol (Truvia) or dextrose (PureVia).
- It’s recommended to stick to recipes that use stevia as a main component.
- It will not caramelize in the same way that sugar does.
- Sweeten beverages and soft, non-heated sweets like eggnog, coffee drinks, smoothies, and puddings using liquid stevia.
- Carrot Muffins from Pure Via are a must-try recipe.
The natural sweetener monk fruit, also known as lou han guo, is extracted from an Asian gourd.
- In baked items, it doesn’t work well as the sole sweetener. It’s frequently used with erythritol (such as the Lakanto brand) to give baking the correct volume and sweetness.
- In liquids, it dissolves quickly.
- This ingredient is excellent in cookies, cakes, and quick bread.
- Try this sugar-free pumpkin pie recipe from Lakanto.
Sugar alcohols (erythritol, xylitol)
Sugar alcohols are naturally present in a variety of fruits and vegetables. Sugar alcohols break down slowly. Therefore they have a minor impact on blood sugar levels and contain fewer calories than sugar. The most prevalent sugar alcohols used in low-sugar baking are erythritol and xylitol.
- Sugar that isn’t as sweet as conventional sugar.
- Xylitol and erythritol might provide a chilly feeling in the mouth that some individuals dislike.
- Larger quantities can produce gas and diarrhea, although erythritol is less of a problem.
- It can be used in place of sugar on a one-to-one basis.
- Granular and powder versions are available.
- Meringue Cookies from MyNetDiary are a must-try recipe (uses xylitol)
Sucralose is 600 times sweeter than sugar and is made from sugar that has been chemically changed.
- If you use a “baking blend” version with extra components for volume, you can use it in place of sugar one-to-one.
- For a superior texture, use to replace the part of the sugar in a recipe, but not all.
- A white sugar mix or a brown sugar choice is available.
- Splenda Oat-Date Bars are a must-try recipe.
Allulose (also known as psicose) is a low-calorie sweetener that only a few foods naturally contain, such as figs and dates.
- It provides 70 percent of the sweetness of sugar and just ten percent of the calories.
- Keeps moisture in place well.
- It may produce denser baked goods, making it a better choice for moist muffins and quick bread.
- Unlike most other low-calorie sweeteners, it browns and caramelizes.
- Splenda’s Gluten-Free Chocolate Chip Banana Bread is a must-try recipe (made with Splenda Allulose Sweetener)
Remember the phrase “all things in moderation,” which includes cookies made with low-sugar baking to stay on target while still enjoying delights.