Thursday, May 17, 2012

Sugar is Not a Flavor

Sugar is not a flavor – it brings out flavors that are already there, or should be there.  I like sweets, but I like flavors first. 

I've been thinking about that when I cook and bake.  Rebecca and I have talking about this too, in light of the recent sugar intake guidelines.  I like the contrast of something sweet with something less sweet.

For example, I made Pan Eclairs for my sister's birthday recently.  The eggy crust has no sugar.  Then the creamy part is moderately sweet.  I added only a smidge of sugar to the whipping cream on top of that, but the final layer of ganache is decadently rich and sweet.

Do you control sugar in your diet?  How?


Tracy said...

Such interesting questions. I've been thinking on this so much the past several months. It's an addiction, really, but I feel I must have something sweet or a meal isn't finished. Sigh.

Even though I'm at the healthiest weight of my life, I know this is something I need to bring under control. Less sugar, more honey. Less desserts, more fruits. Dark chocolate only, as high as 85%. And my newest find: cacao nibs. Totally unsweetened, but satisfying.

Unknown said...

I believe we could probably go without any refined sugar, less carbohydrates, less refined everything....but I have a terrible sweet tooth that gets the better of me sometimes! I stock up on carrots - a sweet healthy treat! For every carrot we eat instead of cookies is a big A+ in my book : )

Sylvia said...

Life gets ever more complicated. Now, virtually all white refined sugar is made with GMOed sugar beets and/or high fructous corn syrup. Our bodies don't recognize these scientific creations as food and often store them as belly fat. But our bodies are also hard wired to desire sweet, so don't be too hard on yourself. I try to stick to basic forms, raw local honey (yes, even some commercial honey is cut with high fructous corn syrup), pure maple syrup and very small portions of the best available dark chocolate. Look for the fewest ingredients on the label. I found a locally made chocolate hazelnut spread that is crazy good, especially with a dab of raw, rich cream, and it doesn't have any sweetener listed on the label.

Christian - Modobject@Home said...

Sugars... something I've been pondering a lot too for the past six months. I'm trying to make slow changes in what I buy, how I cook and back, and ultimately what I feed my family. Do I have specific constraints? Not really... more like limit with occasional splurge (like the chocolate pie we ate last night!)

Deanna Beth said...

My mom always cut the sugar in everything, back in the 70s. I remember being satisfied by offerings that were less sweetened, and other peoples desserts and Kool Aids were ruined for me. They tasted yuck.

Polly said...

I am very much a sugar-controller. White sugar never enters my house--I use sucanat when baking (dubiously 'better' but less refined, at least). I cut the sucanat in every baking recipe by about half, even in cakes. I don't eat many baked goods anymore, either. I don't sweeten my coffee. I do bake some muffins that are sweetened only by dates--no sugar at all added. I love date-sweetened things--they contain more fiber!

We don't eat typically processed foods, really, so that eliminates a lot of those hidden sugars I think many Americans eat. no cold cereals, etc.

My sugar intake comes either through dark chocolate or dark chocolate covered almonds, my two indulgences. Every once in a while if someone has a birthday I will have cake, and sometimes I'll snitch a piece of gingerbread from the children, but otherwise nada! I've lost almost 20 lbs so I think it's a good thing.