Guide to Sweeteners
Sugar, ah sweet sugar! Who knows where the attraction to sweet things first began. Perhaps prehistoric humans were instinctively drawn to the sweet berries and fruits; the bitter foods were often the poisonous ones. Or perhaps it goes back to mother's milk, which tastes sweet. Whatever the reason, the attraction goes back tens of thousands of years.
Today, there are many alternatives to white table sugar, a product that is grown and processed with a dizzying amount of chemicals. Although no sugar can really be called "healthy," less refined sugars are an attractive alternative, both for the health of our bodies and the planet.
Barley malt syrup is made from sprouted barley, which is dried, mixed with water and cooked to a syrup. Unlike simple sugars (fructose, sucrose, glucose), it is made of slow-digesting carbohydrates that enter the bloodstream steadily over a two-hour period. This prevents the rapid fluctuations in blood sugar levels caused by ingestion of simple sugars.
Barley malt syrup's strong flavor works well in baked goods calling for an earthy, robust sweetener. The powdered form of the syrup is good for sweetening hot cereals and cookies.
Date sugar is made from pitted, dehydrated, crushed dates and is nearly as sweet as white sugar, so it should be used moderately. It contains some minerals, but it doesn't dissolve well, so date sugar may be more useful in cooking than baking.
Sorghum syrup is made from the boiled juice of the sweet sorghum plant, a cereal grain commonly grown in the southern United States. It has a high iron content and a strong, tart taste.
For more complete information about SWEETENERS, drop by any Jimbo's location to pick up a free brochure.
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