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Another sweetener...

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  • Another sweetener...

    I thought when I saw Splenda "made with Monk Fruit!" I had solved the "what will they think of next?" question. But no.

    As I have mentioned before elsewhere, my husband can not get his taste buds around having stevia in his coffee. He says it is "disgusting" every time he tries it. He was using honey for a bit, but it was still a big sugar/carb load. So I pulled out of the corner of the cupboard an old half empty bag of Domino Light Sugar/Stevia blend, thinking that maybe if he gets used to stevia in it, he can eventually step down to using just stevia.

    But I was looking at the bag the other day, and the ingredient list includes "natural flavor." Because...sugar needs a flavor? Yeah, I did some internet searching and apparently "natural flavor" is some secret propitiatory chemical substance which enhances the flavor of sugar. Fantastic!

    So I got thinking - couldn't I just combine sugar and stevia myself? I could have more control over the ingredients, and slowly increase the ratio of stevia to sugar. So I went looking on the internet for a recipe and couldn't really find one. I have straight stevia powder, so if I was to completely mix one of those teensy spoonfuls of stevia into a 1/2 cup of sugar, do you think I would end up with the "twice as sweet as sugar" product?

    But because I'm an overachiever I got thinking, how can I make this even better? Could I add the stevia to rapadura? or sucanat? I looked around the internet for some ideas about that, and found in the comments of a random blog post a reference to NewSweet, NewSweet... The Perfect All Natural Sugar Substitute. NewSweet is a combination of Trehalose and stevia.

    What is trehalose? It's new, it's Japanese, it may solve Huntington's (Trehalose HOPES), and it does a bunch of other stuff (Trehalose - Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia). I think it is most interesting that it a pure glucose disaccharide, and is supposed to just break down into glucose when you digest it. It is stable at high temperatures and keeps moisture, which would lend it well to baking purposes. Apparently the Japanese figured out how to make mass quantities by putting enzymes into starch (apparently trehalone is naturally found in yeast). Not sure what that all entails, but if it is a controlled fermentation process then all the starch will be converted, yes?

    It is less sweet than sugar, so with stevia NewSweet makes it a 1:1 equivalent of sugar with 40% of the calories (according to their calculations). Which is pretty nifty, for baking, not just for coffee. They says it has 11 cals. per 3 gram tsp., supposing that the calories are purely from the glucose that's - how much glucose??

    The internet - if you aren't careful it tells you all sorts of things you never knew you didn't know.

    Anyone here ever use NewSweet and/or trehalose in some other form? Is it actually "natural"? I did a search and the few posts that came up were a couple years old...