Friday, May 30, 2014

Berries and Vanilla Yogurt Dex+

We wanted some dessert, so I added a little Simple Syrup Dex+ and vanilla to some yogurt, and poured it over some fresh blueberries. Perfect! I love it when berries are in season.

Thursday, May 29, 2014

Blueberry or Strawberry Jam Dex+

Blueberries, strawberries, blackberries, these are very nutritious and healthy to eat. What a shame that all the jars of jam at the grocery are sweetened with extra doses of fructose without the fiber to balance. It's not hard to do, especially with a bread machine that has a "jam" cycle. That's right, my Zojirushi bread machine. For more on fructose and Dex+, see the tabs, above.

I'm sure this could be made on the stove; I tried once, and was disappointed. Apparently they mean it when they warn about not over-stirring tapioca. If I didn't have the Zo, I'd probably try different thickeners that are easier to handle, but keep the rest of the recipe.

How does it taste? Well, like intense blueberries. Nice, clean, bold solid flavor. Same for strawberries. My daughter says it's way better than regular jam. It's a little less thick than store-bought jam, which makes it easier to spread, and it can also be used as a topping.

 
Blueberry preserves, left, and strawberry jam, right. Blackberries would be good too, or maybe a blend.

Monday, May 26, 2014

Doughnut Muffins Dex+




Breakfast food can be delicious, especially something sweet. I thought I'd give muffins a try, and I've made the regular version of these before. They're called doughnut muffins because the nutmeg and cinnamon make them taste a bit like doughnuts. I love doughnuts, but I don't love the hassle of frying them. Muffins are a lot easier.
A dozen warm Doughnut Muffins Dex+
Here is my Dex+ version of King Arthur Flour’s doughnut muffin recipe. My family all liked them a lot.

Saturday, May 24, 2014

"Greek" Yogurt

I think actual Greek yogurt is made from sheep's milk, and then the whey is strained out to make it thicker and creamier. However, here in America, we tend to use the term "Greek" yogurt to mean strained cows' milk yogurt. That is the kind I've been making, because I haven't noticed any sheep's milk at the grocery in, um, well, ever actually.

Skip to the recipe if you're not interested in how to make a strainer. Greek yogurt is easy to make, and a lot less expensive than buying.

Yogurt Strainer

While looking around for a way to strain yogurt, I found a variety of uni-taskers like this one for sale.


I'm sure it works great, but I wanted to put something together myself.

Homemade Whole Milk Yogurt, no yogurt machines needed!


Why on earth would someone MAKE yogurt? Here's my list of reasons:
  1. Whole is the best kind, and it is hard to find at the store. 
  2. Homemade is cheaper. 
  3. You know exactly what's in it.
  4. It's kinda cool to know how, don't you think? 
  5. It's good, and not very hard to do. 
  6. Obviously yogurt is only a few steps away from becoming Greek yogurt and then frozen yogurt dex+!
The finished yogurt, after chilling.

Shout out to thefrugalgirl for sharing how she makes hers. I used to use more ingredients than necessary. I also like using the canning jars.

Monday, May 19, 2014

Sweet Iced Tea Dex+

makes 2 quarts


Ingredients:

  • 10 single tea bags
  • ½ pinch citric acid, or small squeeze of lemon (optional)*


Instructions:

  1. Bring 1 quart of water to a boil. Pour over tea bags and steep for 3 min, then remove and discard tea bags.
  2. Stir in the syrup. Add cold water to make two quarts. Stir in citric acid or lemon, if you want.

*The lemon can easily overpower the tea, as the syrup is not as intensely sweet as traditional syrup. Use caution.

More about Dex+ here.

Friday, May 16, 2014

Stevia: lots of baggage?


Stevia. Honestly, I didn't even consider this stuff until a co-worker mentioned it. I remember it from "Breaking Bad", too, and not in a way that made me want to try any. As I was writing about sugars, though, I wasn't sure which category to putit in. Google time!

It's not an artificial sweetener, and does not contain fructose. Turns out it's related to licorice. My next question was, what kind of effect does it have on us? After all, fructose is natural, but wreaks a lot of havoc on our bodies.

Stevia is a South American plant, from in and around Paraguay. It has been widely used there for hundreds of years, and has been in commercial use by Japan since the 1970's. Stevia also suffers from some bad science; there are some old, poorly executed studies that conclude that stevia can be harmful. Even though the studies have little validity, their flawed conclusions have lived on.

Wednesday, May 14, 2014

Saturday, May 10, 2014

Sugar and Cinnamon Sugar Dex+

This sugar blend is a good replacement for white sugar on your morning bowl of cereal, or on a tart pink grapefruit. You won't notice the fiber, and the sweetness is very similar.

You may also like a jar of cinnamon sugar. It's great for making cinnamon toast, and we like it on the Frozen Yogurt Dex+ too.

I have tried a variety of cinnamons, from Penzeys Spices: Korintje, China Cassia, Vietnamese, and Ceylon. Whichever kind you get, fresher cinnamon has a stronger, better flavor. Korintje is the "grocery" variety. Vietnamese has the same taste but is much stronger and better. Ceylon is the only "true" cinnamon, and reminds me of red-hots candy; not that it is hot, it's just a different note. I actually like a blend of Vietnamese and Ceylon.


20140506_200532.jpg

Friday, May 9, 2014

Sugar by many other names may not taste as sweet....

This info has been moved to a static page.

Let's talk sugar for a moment. First, I don't have a medical background. I'm just determined to figure out what's going on, and am sharing what I've found out through online research. I'm trying to explain enough to form a basis for making reasonable nutritional choices.

The three simple sugars (monosaccharides):

  1. glucose: the primary fuel for our bodies.
  2. fructose: processed slowly in the liver, and even slower by some people (maybe me?); stored by fat if too much is consumed at once.
  3. galactose: primarily found in dairy; apparently easily processed in quantity by the body.
Although fructose is considered sweeter than glucose, to me it has what I think of as the "high" sweet, while glucose is the more mellow note. I'm not quite sure where the galactose fits. Think of these three as K'nex or Tinker Toys. Hook simple sugars together in a variety of ways, and you get other sugars.

Wednesday, May 7, 2014

Chocolate Syrup Dex+

Chocolate milk, hold (most of) the fructose please! Coming right up...  Have you found a bag of dextrose and made that simple syrup dex+ yet? If so, go get your Hershey's Special Dark Cocoa Powder, salt and vanilla, and whip up a batch. It'll only take a few minutes, and it is really impressively tasty. 

 

 I wish they sold this kind of chocolate milk to the kids at school!

Tuesday, May 6, 2014

Frozen Yogurt Dex+

 I really want some ice cream that isn't filled with fructose. No, actually, what I really want is an easy ice cream that I can whip up when my kids are begging for milk shakes or ice cream out somewhere. Like tonight. So, how about frozen yogurt?

Turns out all it takes is some Simple Syrup Dex+, some whole-milk Greek yogurt, and an ice cream maker cylinder in your freezer. It's really a breeze to freeze some up! It fills my two quart ice cream maker about half way, and makes the perfect amount for five bowls of yum. (More about Dex+)

And YUM it is! The kids love it, and so do we. It has a nice tangy taste, which makes me think of cheesecake ice cream.

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.

Sunday, May 4, 2014

Taking control of Fructose: The Bitter Truth

I have a sweet tooth, and I don't want to fight it. When we deny our food desires, we usually fail. But that doesn't mean we have to give in and eat poorly!

I'm taking control of the fructose in my diet. I watched this video, and although it's long and science-y/ doctor-y, I understood enough to get angry about all the fructose in my food. Health alone was enough to put me on this path, rather than the usual reasons that push one to change one's eating habits.


Here's the TL;DR version, in case the video is too long for you to watch: