Going Sugar Free

To cheer up those for whom going without sugar is difficult.

Chef_hezwez, Feb 22, 6:31 am

Good for you awoftam that's a real challenge! But while you're at it think about the highly processed food that is out there. Almost everything we eat is processed or sprayed.Did you see on Campbell Live the other night the Aussies treat mangoes with radiation to kill bugs & bacteria! What does that do to humans?

Chef_macandrosie, Feb 22, 6:49 am

I made a lifestyle change a couple of months ago regarding what I ate. This was for the sole purpose of being better to my body; as opposed to a 'diet' as such. The changes I made I plan to keep. A great offshoot is the 4 kilos that had come on over the last couple of years have vanished! Anyhow have been reading a lot about going pretty much completely sugar free and have just finished Sarah Wilson's book (for the first time will be sticking my nose in it a lot I think) and wondered if anyone else has gone down the same route. I did a search on the site for sugar free however came up with a blank. Be interested in hearing from others who have done this, what their experiences were/are etc. Thanks!

Chef_awoftam, Nov 27, 6:46 am

Mostly sugar free here but do come down firmly on the side of sugar when it comes to making desserts for special occasions. There just is no substitute for sugar imo. However, I do try to figure out ways to limit sugar in my desserts. For instance I had guests last night. She is gluten free and is quite strict about what her husband can eat when it comes to sweets. I made a double layer "cake" out of 72% chocolate, water, (turned into a mousse) roasted, skinned hazel nuts (ground to a butter) and raspberries. The only sugar was what was in the chocolate and natural sugars in raspberries. Teamed with a beautifully presented strawberry, - (yeah I know, sounds ridiculous but they were huge strawberries), toasted coconut and whipped cream (another small tspn of icing sugar in the cream) the dessert looked amazing, tasted even better and fitted well into the lifestyle of my guests. There was probably no more than ¼tspn of added sugar and maybe 1 tspn of fruit sugars in each serving and yet the result was a decadent dessert that finished off the evening of fine dining with aplomb.

Note, large servings are not encouraged. It is better to concentrate on presentation and provide intense flavours rather than bulk sweets which is just so yuk.

Christmas is always a time for sugar gluttony if the posts in here are anything to go by. I have found that a complete change of mindset, making dessert the least important part of the menu, helps immensely when choosing the menu. It is better to present gorgeous everything else. You don't actually need trifle, pavlova, banoffee Pie, and ambrosia, along with mince pies, Xmas cake or Xmas pudding with custard for Xmas. In fact, it is completely undesirable after a gorgeous 2 or 3 course meal of glorious food and sauces. Fresh fruit, cheese and a fine dessert wine finishes Xmas off perfectly imo.

Chef_buzzy110, Nov 27, 10:11 pm

I'm trying to cut down on sugar, but I don't have a sweet tooth so I already don't eat cake or chocolate. I'm finding it hard to cut down on the sugar that's in the food that I buy, just everyday things like tomato sauce, baked beans or Greek yoghurt.
Do you know the recommended maximum sugar per 100 gms for a product to be considered 'low sugar'?

Chef_huggy5, Nov 27, 10:21 pm

Unfortunately it is a fact of life that commercially produced tomato sauce and baked beans have a lot of sugar in them. They are not essential foods, so there is no need to buy them. If you are desperate to eat baked beans make your own.

There are some yoghurts which don't have added sugar, although they will almost all contain lactose. Clearwater's cream top yoghurt is delicious and has no additives at all. Mahoe Greek yoghurt is the same but can be hard to find. Otherwise read the labels very carefully.

Chef_davidt4, Nov 27, 10:43 pm

No food is essential. I'm not going to go all out hippy and start making all my own staples either, but I'll do the best I can to cut down sugar where I can.
Which is why I was asking what is considered low sugar, so I can check the labels.

Chef_huggy5, Nov 27, 10:54 pm

That dessert sounds amazing buzzy . all 'beautifully presented' . 'fine dining & aplomb'.
Why go to Antoine's when you can prepare that at home?

Chef_samanya, Nov 27, 10:56 pm

#1, I've been growing 'Yacon' & a syrup can be made from it, although I have made it yet . perhaps you may be interested in googling the properties of Yacon. It's sweet but not absorbed by the body, hence good for diabetics.
I'm sure the syrup would be available, maybe in health food shops.

Chef_samanya, Nov 27, 11:00 pm

PS, typo . should read "I haven't made it yet"

Chef_samanya, Nov 27, 11:52 pm

Huggy, I think David Gillespie says to look for less than 10 grams sugar per 100 grams of the product. It might be less than that as I'm working from memory here. For instance, Lindt 90% chocolate is 6.7 grams sugar per 100 gram block.
I have some Collective Straight Up yoghurt here and it's 6.8 per 100 grams.

Chef_bedazzledjewels, Nov 28, 12:17 am

Use cacao instead, the mag level in chocolate goes down as soon as sugar is added to it. Cacao has a rich chocolate taste is is so much nicer.

Here is an example
http://www.rawmazing.com/chocolate-espresso-hazelnut-frozen-torte/ or buy yourself the "Unbakery" book by the owner of Little Bird Unbakery, her desserts are wonderful. http://littlebirdorganics.co.nz/collections/shop/products/the-unbakery-book

Chef_cookessentials, Nov 28, 1:00 am

Thanks for the links - I love littlebird stuff - had never thought to look them up online!

Chef_awoftam, Nov 28, 3:23 am

I have never heard of it, will have a nosey about and read up on it. I am looking for rice malt syrup however I live in Whangamata so pretty limited - will have to make a run to Tauranga again I think.

Chef_awoftam, Nov 28, 3:24 am

I also watch the added sugar (the white poison) that I have and use where possible, and I've always had diet drinks, canned fruit with juice not syrup, etc, etc. I have the sugar free sprinkle on my rolled oats and cornflakes.

Huggy - Pam's Lite Tomato sauce has less sugar, and there is also Lite Baked Beans which has less sugar. If you can't get that, then just drain most of the sauce off.

In many cases its best to not have any sauce at all, as they load so much into it because its so addictive, and cheap.

Here is an interesting article.-


Chef_kiwilion, Nov 28, 4:09 am

The more you read about this stuff the more you learn about not only white processed sugar but artificial sweeteners etc etc - and how many are bad for you, which I already knew. However like with most things the key is balance. I try to follow the JERF rule (just eat real food) and forgo all the man made crap that I can. I can only speak for myself when I say I feel a bazillion (and that's a lot!) times better than what I did 2 months ago, weight off, more energy etc so will keep doing what is right for me.

Chef_awoftam, Nov 28, 5:25 am

A friend bought the original plants from TM & gave me a couple. It's a tropical plant, I believe. I planted one in my glass house & one outside after the danger of frosts were over & both did very well. The top growth is frost ender, but the tubers (which are the bits you use) will withstand a bit more. The guy my friend bought it from was in Nelson, I think, which is not as temperate as your climate . it's quite a tall plant, reminiscent of a small flowering sunflower, but the tubers look like Dahlias.
It can be used raw, cooked or made into syrup & this year I have resolved to make the syrup. Raw its crispy/crunchy & rather a nice addition to fruit salads etc.

Chef_samanya, Nov 28, 6:46 am

Ohhhh that sounds noice samanya! Will def check it out.

Chef_awoftam, Nov 28, 11:39 pm

The 57 different names for sugar. Watch out for them!

Chef_bedazzledjewels, Nov 28, 11:57 pm

Why have desserts at all? It amazes me the sheer quantity of cakes and puddings on this forum, very few meals.

Chef_lythande1, Nov 29, 2:09 am

so why not add some of your own then?

Chef_cookessentials, Nov 29, 3:16 am

Ummm. "Special Occasions" were the two most important words in that sentence and you missed them out.

Going sugar free on ordinary days is easy peasy. There is absolutely no need for any of the baked goods, baked beans or other processed foods that everyone talks about so enthusiastically. Don't even have to be "hippy". Cooking from scratch is easy. I've had standby cans of tinned peaches and baked beans in my cupboard for 5 years before I threw them out.

Chef_buzzy110, Nov 29, 3:18 am

Agree. Its too easy to grab a box of sugar laden cereal or bread from the cupboard when you can make your own scrummier breakfasts so easily.

This is divine:

Throw the following into a microwave safe mug and mix with the spoon. Microwave on high for 1.45 - 2 mins:

quarter cup almond meal
quarter teaspoon baking powder
2 T dissected coconut
1 T raw cacao powder
half table spoon rice malt syrup or half a teaspoon granulated stevia
quarter cup coconut milk (or any type of milk)

When cooked serve with a dollop of greek style organic full fat yogurt on top.

Its from Sarah Wilson - I have had it for dessert on occasion when I wanted something a little sweet and chocolatey. Yum.

Chef_awoftam, Nov 29, 6:44 am

Cut down three years ago. I can't say cut out because it's not practical. not really a problem, diet has a lot of fruit and vege's so still getting sugar in fruit (fructose) but since getting rid of the processed sugar oranges taste so much better. avoid fruit drink, juices. Don't need sweet desserts. fresh fruit is good. I make my own muesli using honey so have control over the quantity and quality. I think you build up a tolerance to sugar as a drug and crave sweet things . once you cut down food with sugar becomes sickly sweet.

Chef_kindajojo, Feb 6, 4:01 pm