Tuesday, July 29, 2008

Alphabet Adventures - "X is for Xylitol"

Hah! Bet you thought I'd get stumped on this one. :) Today's Alphabet Adventures is brought to you by the Letter X and the word "Xylitol."

Xylitol is a naturally occurring substance that can be found in plants, fruits, and vegetables and is even produced in the human body by normal metabolism. Xylitol has no known toxicity or carcinogenicity. It is listed by the US Food and Drug Administration as an ingredient that is Generally Recognized As Safe (GRAS). It has a long history of use in food dating back to the 1960's and is included in such products as chewing gum, syrup, toothpastes, mouthwashes, and pharmaceuticals.

Why am I talking about Xylitol on a blog dedicated to the domestic creative arts? Well...because Xylitol is a natural sugar substitute and can be used in baking. It does not have the glycemic concerns that sugar does nor the toxicity issues of other sugar substitutes. It's also easier to bake with than sugar substitutes with a more realistic texture and taste. And as a bonus, it's a one-for-one equivalent so there's none of those mathematical gymnastics required in using a sugar substitute when baking.

I have been trying to move our family towards healthier eating, but have been uninspired by sugar substitutes to date. However, I have a friend who swears by Xylitol and uses it regularly. So....Xylitol is my Great Last Hope. Here are some recipes and websites I've found recently. I'll let you know how it goes as I begin my baking experimentations.

Sweeten Your Life the Xylitol Way (A cookbook I'm considering) - Website contains some sample recipes.

Sweet Savvy - One woman's experimentation with Xylitol. Contains numerous recipes

Xylitol Recipes with Photos

General Xylitol Information



Anonymous said...

Looking forward to your xylitol baking experiences, do share your results.


Vicki said...

I would never ever use Xylitol. It so upsets my digestive system giving me cramps, gas and those terrible trips to the toilet ;(( Google up Xylitol and IBS. That is why they have warnings on gum packets (well they do here in Aus).

Personally I only use sugar. It is natural and not highly processed (at least compared to Xylitol - which is no longer in the form of nature). I just eat less.

BTW, enjoy your fabric shopping - hope you get lots of great finds and good prices :)

Charity said...

I did read that xylitol gives some people diarrhea. I've never been prone to a touchy gut. My 17yo, however, does tend to get stomach cramps. So I appreciate the warning. We're quite adamant about getting rid of sugar. I could live without sweets and never really miss them that much. But my DH...he has such a sweet tooth. I'd like to try to find a way to bake in a healthier way for him.

Danielle said...

Xylitol is great if you can limit the quantity of food you eat - say to one cookie. Have you tried using liquid splenda? Try this website for some great recipes:
Good luck!