Friday, November 9, 2007
Ok, so I have been trying to bake lower carb lately for the illustrator. I like the fact that Splenda is lower in calories, but I am starting to worry about so many chemicals. So, my first question any of you use agave nectar and how do you use it? Can you put it in your coffee or in oatmeal? What in the world does it taste like??? Same goes for stevia...I would appreciate any input on these products!

Next subject...we have been talking a lot lately about using more organic and natural foods. I eat a lot of fruits and vegetables on a regular basis, but I have been reading about food that you should definitely eat organic. My next question can people afford organic produce? It is so expensive! I would like to do better, but my budget won't give!

I have a few products that I need to use that are new to me. I figure if I write it will make me use them. I vow to cook with nutritional yeast and carob chips (not at the same time), but you know what I mean. I have heard that they both have distinct flavors, so I know what I make will only be for me, but I need to try them!


posted by Sarena Shasteen - The Non-Dairy Queen @ 10:00 AM  
  • At November 9, 2007 at 11:52 AM, Blogger Ami "Mimi" Layton said…

    We're doing the South Beach thing now, so I just made an all Splenda cheesecake. It's got fantastic texture, but I will probably reduce the Splenda even more next time.
    I know stevia is very potently sweet and it only takes a little bit. I've looked at some conversion tables before, but I'll need to find them again.
    Personally, I like caron chips. They're certainly not chocolate but I think they taste good. Count me in as a taste tester!

  • At November 9, 2007 at 11:53 AM, Blogger Ami "Mimi" Layton said…

    oops - carob

  • At November 10, 2007 at 5:47 PM, Blogger Sarena Shasteen - The Non-Dairy Queen said…

    I have discovered that Splenda is very powerful when you bake with it. I will definitely be doing something with the carob...I want to so badly!

  • At November 11, 2007 at 1:47 PM, Blogger Emilie said…

    Hey Sarena,

    I am a big fan of agave. It's light and sweet and subtle--you don't get that sugar punch with it. I started using it years ago because I need to emphasize foods with a low glycemic index and agave fits that bill, but I have grown to love its taste too. If I sweeten my coffee at all I use agave and it's great in oatmeal with fruit and nuts.

    Generally, you want to use about 25% less agave than you would sugar in a recipe. So, 3/4 cup agave to 1 cup of sugar in recipe. Remember when subbing in agave to reduce the liquids in recipe by 1/3 as well. It does differently baking too, and you'll want to use a lower temp than the recipe calls for if you've completely replaced the sugar with agave (20-25 degrees should do it).

    There are lots of other sweeteners that you might consider and they all have different tastes and uses and benefits. I like rice syrup a lot and date sugar.

    Organic, local food can be more expensive, but sometimes the difference is really negligable--10 or 20 cents a pound. I buy when I can when I can and accept that somethings might just be outside my budget. But, I also approach this way of eating as a high priority. Eating food that is really good for me and makes less of a negative impact on my surroundings is more important to me than a variety of things that I might choose to spend money on. I think eating in that way is kind of a good adventure too, it gives you a lot to think about and respect an interest in the food, so I sort of throw some of the cost into our entertainment budget. That might not work for you, but I admit to being entertained by organic purple potatoes and heirloom garlics!

    Oh, and nutritional yeast is great--but it's something to work in gently--the flavor can be intense, but it really is very good for you--lots of B vitamins.

  • At November 12, 2007 at 10:44 AM, Blogger Sarena Shasteen - The Non-Dairy Queen said…

    Hi Emilie, I can't thank you enough for all of the information you left! That is exactly what I needed! I will definitely get some agave nectar and try to use that. The date sugar sounds so good! I love dates. I will see if I can find that too! I need to use the nutritional yeast too. I don't know why I am so timid with this stuff. I seem to be the kind of person that likes more of the natural foods most of the time...or at least I develop a taste for them. I guess I really want others in my house to like them too, so I am looking for healthier alternatives to a lot of things for all of us! Thank you so much for your help! I really value your comments!

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Sarena Shasteen - The Non-Dairy Queen
Home: Atlanta, GA, United States
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