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Cooking & Baking with Low Calorie Sweeteners

Posted December 20, 2013 on SplendaLiving.com
Guest Blogger: Robyn Flipse, MS, MA, RDN

I have been compensated for my time by McNeil Nutritionals, LLC, the maker of SPLENDA® Sweetener Products. All statements and opinions are my own. I have pledged to Blog With Integrity, asserting that the trust of my readers and the blogging community is vitally important to me.

If, like me, you enjoy cooking and baking, then you know there are many ways to sweeten a recipe. Some popular caloric sweeteners I always have on hand include granulated sugar, powdered sugar, brown sugar, honey, molasses and maple syrup. Even if you don't spend much time in front of the mixing bowls, you're probably familiar with these ingredients. They don't all look the same, come from the same source or produce the same results when incorporated into a recipe, but they all taste sweet. The same can be said for low calorie sweeteners. Each one is a different product from a different source with different applications, but they all taste sweet.

Understanding the unique features of low calorie sweeteners is the best way to let them fill the sweet spot in your diet.

Matching Sweetness to Sugar

An important difference between caloric and low cal sweeteners is how much is needed to reach a desired level of sweetness. Due to the intense sweetening power of no cal sweeteners over that of sugar, only a very small amount of them is needed to match the sweetness of sugar. For example, the sucralose in SPLENDA® Sweetener Products is 600 times sweeter than sucrose.

What some people may not realize when using tabletop low calorie sweeteners is that many, on a per packet basis, have the equivalent sweetness of 2 teaspoons of sugar, as SPLENDA® Sweetener does. In comparison a packet of sugar contains slightly less than a teaspoon. And since low cal sweeteners dissolve so quickly, your drink may seem sweeter than expected compared to using sugar.

Low Calorie Sweeteners in the Kitchen

Your recipes may require some adjustments. Low cal sweeteners do not provide all of the functionality of sugar in cooking and baking. Since sugar can do more than just sweeten, other adjustments may be needed to replace the other functions sugar performs, such as browning and adding volume and moistness.

My personal preference is to save the trial and error that occurs when I do the experimenting myself, and use the recipes that have been developed in the test kitchens for my favorite sweetener. I have had great success with those from SPLENDA® Sweetener, whether cooking for holidays or everyday meals.

Packets versus Bulk Form

If you want to use packets to replace the sugar in a recipe, you must calculate how many to use by counting each packet as 2 teaspoons of sugar sweetness. Some people may prefer to use products developed for cooking and baking, like SPLENDA® No Calorie Sweetener, Granulated, which can replace the sugar called for in your recipes cup-for-cup. Other options are SPLENDA® Sugar Blend and SPLENDA® Brown Sugar Blend, both great for baking since they contain some sugar and can provide the volume, texture, moistness and browning with only half the calories.

All SPLENDA® Sweetener Recipes from the SPLENDA® Sweetener kitchen have been developed and tested to make sure each one is a sweet success, when prepared as directed. If you don't find a recipe you're looking for in their library, read and follow the easy guidelines listed below (under "More Info") before you begin adapting your own recipes. And please share your sweet successes here at SplendaLiving.com or on the SPLENDA® Facebook page!

Robyn Flipse, MS, MA, RDN, "The Everyday RD," is an author and nutrition consultant who has headed the nutrition services department in a large teaching hospital and maintained a private practice where she provided diet therapy to individuals and families. With more than 30 years of experience, Robyn is motivated by the opportunity to help people make the best eating decisions for their everyday diet. She believes that choosing what to eat should not be a daily battle and aims to separate the facts from the fiction so you can enjoy eating again.