Posts Tagged ‘Low Sugar’
One of the first healthy living eating choices I made was to eliminating soda from my diet. I used to drink 2 diet sodas a day, and even though diet soda no longer has the salt content, water is still much healthier. I used to never think I could get used to the non-taste of water, but I found that keeping it properly filtered and particularly chilled helped a lot.
Our current goal is to greatly reduce the carbs, particularly high fructose corn syrup (HFCS) or corn sugar – really all processed sugars, natural sugars like those from fruit is okay – and the amount of white bread we consume.
We recently switched to Welch’s reduced sugar grape jelly. I’m not going to lie, it wasn’t easy. They’re currently the only grape jelly on the market without HFCS and less sugar. Clearly no easy feat or there would be competitors. It took some getting used to, sugar is tasty after all, but now I am quite happy with it. The only drawback is only comes in the dorky kid-centric squeeze bottle, and the squeeze bottle costs a lot more than a regular jar. The alternative is to switch to a non-grape jelly, but what can I say, I’m a traditionalist when it comes to my peanut butter and jelly sandwhiches.
We’ve also been transitioning to wheat bread. We’ve been enjoying Wonderlight Smart Wheat bread, reduce fat Ego whole wheat waffles, and whole wheat buns for hot dogs. We even get whole wheat French bread, when our grocery store has it. One could argue that these aren’t necessarily the best choices, but they are better choices than pure white bread. Just like the reduced sugar grape jelly, it takes time to transition fully to the healthy choice.
The biggest issue for me is protein. I’m not a big lunch meet person, heck I’m not a big meat person in general. (If it flies or comes from the sea, I love it, but I rarely eat land dwellers.) My primary pre-dinner protein sources come from nuts. But I’m prone to headaches, which seem to come when I don’t eat enough protein. I’ve been trying protein bars, but unfortunately those come with a lot of extra sugar.
Is it working? Well, since the reduction of sugar in take and the switch to more whole wheat and whole grains, I’ve lost another 5 lbs, brining my total just shy of 10 by only dietary changes. I’ll take that.
I’m not sure if it’s because of the low sugar frosting, or because this is only my second attempt at cake pops, but the new ones lack structural integrity. I brought them into work yesterday and two of the tops popped right off the stick. When I came home, I found this:
Notice the blue one? In the corner? The stick went right through the top!
I’m reluctant to think it was the icing. It doesn’t make sense to me that the lack of sugar caused the pops to pop their top. If the icing was the culprit, I think it was my choice of whipping cream over heavy whipping cream. The consistency was a bit more like pudding than icing, and I think that may have something to do with it. More than likely, though, I didn’t use enough, and so they crumbled apart too easily. A lesson learned, and I will know better for next time.
Edited on 5/9 to add: I woke up this morning and found 6 of the 10 remaining cake pop “tops” had fallen. It’s been 8 days. Oh well, it’s an excuse to make more!
I noticed a bump in traffic to my blog the past few weeks with a few visitors from Google looking for “Sugar Free Cake pops” and “Diabetic Friendly Cake Pops”. I had previously mentioned that you could use sugar free cake mixes and icing to reduce the sugar, so I thought I would give it a try and see how well they turn out. My only hesitation is that the icing uses Splenda instead of sugar. While I believe Splenda is better for you than some of the other options, any large quantity of artificial sweetener is probably not good. I thought I’d take the opportunity to try a low sugar frosting recipie.
I started with this absolutely sugar free recipe, and substituted whipping cream for heavy whipping cream. The down side is pudding mix contains aspartame. I figure (and I admit I have no real knowledge) that this recipe probably has a smaller amount of artificial sweetener from the sugar free frosting made with Splenda because pudding doesn’t tend to be as sweet as icing. Therefore, one could get away with less. At least in theory.
To make this frosting, mix the pudding mix into the following liquids, and whip for about 5 minutes minutes until creamy.
- 1.5 ozs sugar-free instant pudding mix
- 3/4 cup skim milk
- 2 1/4 cups whipping cream
The heavy whipping cream has a lot of fat, especially saturated fat. Given that candy melts are also very high in saturated fat, I decided to go with the regular whipping cream (heavy whipping cream has no sugar, regular has a very small amount). The trade off is the consistency’s not great for icing a cake – but we’re making cake pops so it doesn’t need to be! I probably used a little over half of the icing I made.
The pops were yummy as always. The sugar in the pops are mainly good sugars (from milk) which have a low glycemic index.
Calorie Count (Approximately): 61.7
2.8 Calories from the Pudding
43 Calories from the Cake Mix
0.6 Calories from the Skim Milk
15.3 Calories from the Whipping Cream
Sugar Count (Approximately): 0.4 Grams
0 grams from the Pudding
0 grams from the Cake Mix
0.1 grams from the Skim Milk
0.3 grams from the Whipping Cream
Fat Count (Approximately): 2.4 Grams (1.3 Saturated)
0 grams from the Pudding
0.8 grams from the Cake Mix (0.3 Gran Saturated Fat)
0 grams from the Skim Milk
1.6 grams fat from the Whipping Cream (1 Gram Saturated Fat)
The calories/fat/sugar count of a “regular” cake pop vary by the type of cake and icing you use. I pulled a random box of cake mix at the grocery store to get an estimate of about 83 Calories, 7.2 grams of sugar and 3.8 grams of fat. My goal for low sugar also cut my fat count by a third. The big problem is the candy melts (which I didn’t include in the totals). Wow are they bad for you. They double the fat and calorie count, and add another 6 grams of sugar. Worse still, the fat is almost all saturated fat! I’m also not a huge fan of the taste, so I have plenty of motivation to find an alternative.
Cake pops were a lot of fun, and surprisingly easy! I don’t have a recipe so much, as a set of directions.
- Start with your favorite cake, crumble it up into little pieces
- Mix in your favorite frosting until you can shape the cake and it stays together
- Roll the cake mixture into balls, inserting a lollipop stick
- Refrigerate or put them into the freezer for the cake to firm up
- Dip in melted candy melts to coat.
I had a slight problem with the lollipop sticks popping out of the cupcake bite, so I ended up dripping some melted candy melts around the base of the ball and the lollipop stick to glue it together. If you do this, make sure you refrigerator them again! I had a problem where the cake ball ripped by the candy melts on two of my pops.
There are lots of awesome decoration ideas. I’m sure cake pops will become a staple in my baking repertoire.
Oh, one more thing that’s awesome: If you don’t mind making cakes from a box, you can actually make this extremely low sugar. There are some sugar free cake mixes (using sugar alcohol, which is the sugar substitute used for diabetic friendly foods), and sugar free icings (using Splenda).