Saturday, January 24, 2015

Bake Some Love for Valentine's Day 2015

Let's say that you don't want to buy your love something for Valentine's Day but instead bake them something. We were recently sent a five pound bag of morningpep xylitol made from Birch alcohol. The bag claims that the product is made in the USA, free of pesticides,and claims to have no aftertaste and be 40% fewer calories than cane or beet sugar. However like most sugar alcohols, I have a concern about it affecting our digestive system so I tried it single serving size in the form of cookies.

How to test ingredients is always a challenge because I want to use what I have on hand.  As you may recall, I also try to test 2-4 recipes with an ingredient if I have enough of it -- 5 pounds of xylitol is more than enough for many recipes. So I looked through my pantry and decided to try three types of cookies based on baking chips I had on hand: cinnamon, mini chocolate chip, and Reeses chips.

I'll share the chocolate chip cookie recipe with you today, Sisters and Brothers, then later I'll share what I did with the Reeses chips and chocolate so keep looking back if you want to learn that recipe later in 2015.

Oatmeal Mini Chocolate Chips Cookies

1 cup applesauce
1/2 cup egg whites
3/4 cup light brown sugar
1 cup xylitol
1 tsp vanilla
2 cups whole grain flour
1 cup old fashioned oats
1 tsp salt
1 tsp baking soda
1 cup mini chocolate chips

1. Preheat oven to 385°F and lightly grease or spray large cookie sheet.

2. Beat all of the wet ingredients plus the sugars together until spead.

3. Add in the dry ingredients and blend well until the flour is thoroughly moist.

4. Stir in the mini chocolate chips though incorporated throughout.

5. Spoon by normal eating spoon onto cookie sheet and bake for 8-10 minutes (9 worked best for my oven).

6. Once baked, remove to cook on parchment or other paper lined surface to cool.
Made 47 cookies for me with 67 calories a piece!

The Oatmeal Cinnamon Chip Cookies were great, too. No aftertaste from the xylitol, nothing that set them apart from the standard recipes results other than a touch fewer calories.

The Cocoa Peanut Butter Oatmeal Cookies were wonderful as well but I'll share that recipe in a later post so come back to learn more about them.

Results of using morningpep xylitol:

     Reduction of calories, amount depended on how much beet or cane sugar you'd normally use. Don't too excited because if you are using butter, oils, brown sugar, eggs, anything like that, the calorie reduction isn't a lot and you still shouldn't eat more than you normally would.

     No initial negative flavor. I wish I had an excellent camera so I could take a close up of the crystals for xylitol and cane sugar for you all to see but I simply don't. While they look different they don't taste very different and not in any nasty way.

     No aftertaste at all. Even my best sugar substitute has a slight aftertaste, not unpleasant but it is still there, an added level of sweetness. but with this the cookies I tried tasted no different at all.

     Had no unusual or unwanted effects on the flavor or texture of the cookies. When you are making ingredient substitutes for health or appearance reasons you need to create foods and drinks you want to eat as much as the originals otherwise you simply will not maintain the dietary regime. xylitol had no effect on the texture or flavor so unless I told someone, they had no clue.
In other words, this product performed as I would expect beet or cane sugar to perform and as well as my favorite zero calorie sugar substitute but much better than most other sugar substitutes. One general complaint I have about morningpep xylitol is the same I have for all sugar and sugar substitutes -- the nutrition label isn't very helpful if you use the product to bake or cook with. Who uses a teaspoon of these ingredient to make candy or cookies or cake? Hey, companies, do us a favorite and another listing for 1/4 cup or 1/2 cup nutrition information please.

Would I use morningpep xylitol in the future? While the product performed great and I think it would be a good choice if you are cutting calories or worried about sugar, I'm very happy with my sugar substitutes which have zero calories. Given the price differences as well I wouldn't switch.  Anyone else out there use this product? What did you think?

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