Dash of Class: Sweet without sugar

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Food column by Nora Sweat

By Nora Sweat

After numerous back-to-back columns with wonderful tempting dishes, a teaching colleague asked that I have a column with recipes that use a sweetener other than sugar.

I can remember my Mom using saccharin to help with weight loss and I remember seeing it in the medicine cabinet. Saccharin since has confronted competitors. We now see on our grocery shelves stevia, Truvia, Splenda, Sweet n’ Low (saccharine); which seem to be the most popular sugar substitutes, but aspartame is used in many diet drinks, juices and even chewing gum.

Sugar substitutes can duplicate the effect of sugar in taste, usually with less food energy. Some sugar substitutes are natural and some are synthetic. Those that are not natural are, in general, called artificial sweeteners.

Some non-sugar sweeteners are known as “sugar alcohols.” From personal experience after great digestive disturbance, I learned about sugar alcohols. I called the company that made the sugar-free ice cream I ate and they told me about these additives known as sugar alcohol. They actually are listed on the food label on products and can produce gas.

Most products in restaurants that are listed sugar free have sugar alcohol.

One product I have used in the past and seems to be a favorite of most people is Splenda. Splenda is the brand name of sucralose. I am including some recipes from www.splenda.com and from the website www.allrecipes.com.

If you decide to use Splenda, you might want to know that it can be used as equal amounts of sugar in a recipe. There also is a Splenda blend which has half sugar, in that case use half as much as sugar as listed in a recipe. There also is a brown sugar blend I particularly like.

Nora Sweat, author of “Mama and Me,” is a native of Hardin County and a retired home economics/ amily and consumer science teacher. She can be reached at norasweat@thenewsenterprise.com or by mail at 408 W. Dixie Ave., Elizabethtown, KY 42701.



Boston-Style Baked Beans


4 (15 ounce) cans navy beans

1/2 pound bacon, chopped

1 medium onion, chopped

1/4 cup yellow mustard

1/3 cup Splenda

2 tablespoons molasses


Drain navy beans and reserve 1 1/4 cups liquid. Fry bacon in a large skillet until browned. Remove bacon and reserve half of the bacon fat. Fry onion in reserved bacon fat and cook until translucent. Stir in beans and remaining ingredients. Pour beans into a 3-quart baking dish. Bake in preheated 350 degree oven for 45 minutes.


Cole Slaw


1/2 head green cabbage, sliced paper thin

1 Spanish onion, sliced paper thin

1 small carrot, grated

1 teaspoon salt

1 cup Splenda, divided

1/4 cup vegetable oil

1/4 cup champagne vinegar

1 1/4 tablespoons dry mustard

1 1/2 teaspoons celery seeds


Combine cabbage, onions, carrot, salt and 1/2 cup Splenda in a large bowl. Set aside.

Whisk together the remaining 1/2 cup Splenda, oil, vinegar, dry mustard and celery seeds in a small saucepan; bring mixture to a boil over medium-high heat. Pour hot mixture over cabbage mixture, tossing to coat.

Cover and chill the cole slaw one-hour or overnight.


Sugar-Free Peanut Butter Cookies


2 cups smooth natural peanut butter

2 cups granular Splenda

2 eggs


Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Lightly grease a baking sheet.

Thoroughly mix together the peanut butter, Splenda and eggs in a bowl. Drop mixture by spoonfuls onto the prepared baking sheet.

Bake until center appears dry, about 8 minutes.


Source: www.allrecipes.com


Sugar-Free Brownies


1/2 cup margarine

1/4 cup unsweetened cocoa


2 eggs

1 cup granular Splenda

3/4 cup all-purpose flour

1/8 teaspoon salt

¼ cup skim milk

½ cup chopped walnuts

1 -1.4 ounce package sugar-free chocolate fudge-flavored instant pudding

1 cup skim milk


Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Grease and flour an 8-by-8-inch pan.

In a small saucepan over medium heat, melt margarine and cocoa together, stirring occasionally until smooth. Remove from heat and set aside to cool. In a large bowl, beat eggs until frothy. Stir in the Splenda. Combine the flour and salt; stir into the egg mixture then mix in the cocoa and margarine. Finally stir in the 1/4 cup of milk and if desired, the walnuts. Pour into the prepared pan.

Bake for 25 to 30 minutes until a toothpick inserted into the center, comes out clean. To make frosting, mix together the sugar free chocolate pudding mix and 1 cup skim milk using an electric mixer. Mix for about two minutes or until thick. Spread over cooled brownies before cutting into squares.


Source: www.allrecipes.com


Spicy Sweet Potato Fries

6 sweet potatoes, cut into french fries

2 tablespoons canola oil

3 tablespoons taco seasoning

¼ teaspoon cayenne pepper


Preheat oven to 425 degrees.

In a plastic bag, combine the sweet potatoes, canola oil, taco seasoning and cayenne pepper. Close and shake the bag until the fries are evenly coated. Spread the fries out in a single layer on two large baking sheets.

Bake for 30 minutes or until crispy and brown on one side. Turn the fries over using a spatula and cook for another 30 minutes or until they are all crispy on the outside and tender inside. Thinner fries may not take as long.


Source:  www.allrecipes.com