Monday, May 5, 2014

Simple Syrup Dex+

Traditional simple syrup is equal parts sugar and water, combined and boiled long enough to dissolve the sugar completely. It can be used to sweeten tea, coffee, and to make your own Soda Stream syrups. My version of simple syrup tastes about the same as the traditional, and yet has a lot less fructose. Mine also has fiber added to create a fructose to fiber ratio like that found naturally in blueberries. I have added "Dex+" to the names of my "fiber balanced" recipes. It's been very useful in my personal campaign against fructose.

I use clear, non-thickening Benefiber-type fiber in this recipe. If you substitute, just check the label and make sure the grams of fiber per teaspoon is the same. 

The other uncommon ingredient is dextrose, also called glucose, dextrose monohydrate, corn sugar, and grape sugar. This can be ordered online, or purchased from beer brewing supply stores. Shipping tends to be high, but if you look around, you can find a reasonable deal. I found it on sale here, 10 lbs for $2.50/lb delivered, which is very reasonable. You can get it cheaper if you fancy a 50 lb bag, but that's too much for me.

Good old Karo Syrup is a surprise star ingredient in my effort to reduce fructose. Karo has no fructose, and is entirely dextrose.  Not all corn syrups are made equal; some have fructose- check the label.

Recipe in Pictures:

First, fill a large bowl half-way with ice water. If hot syrup splashes onto your skin, submerge quickly into the icy water. Syrup is a simple candy, but can still cause a nasty burn.

Measure the dry ingredients into an oversized pan; I used an All-Clad chef pan. This is the 6-cup version of the recipe. Whisk together the dry ingredients. Add the syrup. I've been using this very convenient Oxo scale a lot lately, especially for syrup; weighing is a very handy way to measure ingredients.  Over low heat, whisk until well combined. At first it is very thick and hard to stir, but as the corn sugar dissolves, the syrup thins.

Starting to stir in the syrup (left). The mixture starts out very thick and opaque (right)

The syrup thins as it heats up (left). Continue stirring as it begins to boil (right)  

The syrup erupts into a vigorous, bubbly rolling boil (left) and then begins to swell (right). Remove from heat quickly to avoid spilling over and creating a disaster!

The clear syrup is covered with white frothy bubbles (left). Ladle it into a measuring container, in this case, two quart Ball jars with measures marked on the side (right).

The markings on the jar, "3" for cups and "24" for ounces, are barely visible (left).  Water was added to each jar to the 3 cup line (right), and was then stirred in.

At first, the fresh syrup looks foggy and yellow, compared to the cooled partial jar next to it (left). As it cools, the bubbles, visible in the jar (right), float to the top and the syrup clears. 

Once cooled, the syrup is clear and slightly yellow.

Simple Syrup Dex+

Makes 1 ½ cups, 17 ½ oz, 500 g
Equivalent to simple syrup made w/ 1c sugar, 1c water; 200 g sugar per 1 ½ cup
For 12 oz glass cokes, use ¼ to ⅜ c (3 to 4.5 oz, 83 to 127 g)
For 1 quart, use ⅔ to 1 c (7 ¾ to 12 oz, 222 to 340 g)
For 8 oz cup tea, use 2 Tbsp, 42 g, 1.5 oz


3 Tbsp sugar
⅝ c Dextrose Monohydrate
2 Tbsp + ½ tsp Benefiber
1 c (324 g) Karo syrup (zero high fructose)
1 Tbsp vanilla, optional, if you want vanilla syrup
water to make 1 ½ cups


  1. In a roomy sauce pan, mix together sugar, corn sugar, and fiber. Add syrup and stir to combine over low heat. 
  2. Increase heat to medium-high, and bring to a gentle boil. Stir in any sugars on the sides of the pan. Remove from heat if it begins to boil over. Cook until bubbly/foamy, then remove from heat. Syrup will appear white until it cools and becomes clear. 
  3. Add water to make the total volume 1 ½ c, and vanilla if using, and stir to combine. A glass canning jar with measures on it works well. 
  4. Cool and store in a tightly closed container in the refrigerator. 

To make 6 cups use:

  • ¾ c sugar 
  • 2 ½ c (288 g) corn sugar (dextrose monohydrate) 
  • ½ c + 2 tsp Benefiber 
  • 1295 g Karo (4 cups, 2 lb 13 ¾ oz) 
  • 3 Tbsp vanilla, optional, if you want vanilla syrup 
  • water to make 6 cups

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