First of all, I’d like to thank everyone for the feedback they gave regarding the recent post on strawberry jam. I’ve had several requests for lower sugar, sugar substitute, and diabetic recipes. Pickyourown.org has some fantastic tips for reducing the amount of sugar involved in the canning process.
Here are some of the highlights:
- No sugar added jam is darker, blander, and runnier than conventional.
- You must use the no sugar pectin, if you are substituting Splenda
- Some suggest adding lemon zest or juice to compensate for the blander taste
- When using Splenda, substitute half the sugar for best results
It is important to make sure the recipe you choose has been vetted by the FDA. Too many tweaks to the recipe can change the acidity or the thickness of the jam. The processing time is dependent on both.
I am only a nutrition nerd, not a nutritionist. There’s my disclaimer. If a person does not have a medical condition such as diabetes I cannot understand the desire to replace conventional sugar with products such as Splenda or other substitutes. Moderation and attention to labels will go a long way to avoiding excessive sugar intake. Pay particular attention to jarred and canned sauces, they are often loaded with unnecessary sugar.
I avoid high fructose corn syrup whenever possible, but I do not abstain from a couple teaspoons of homemade jam on my whole grain morning toast. I know exactly what went into the jar and that it did not include dyes or preservatives. While I occasionally don a tinfoil hat, artificial sweetners cause me to pull it down over my ears. I am sensitive to aspartame and will cuss to beat the devil if I accidentally buy sugar free yogurt. (One of my next projects is homemade yogurt, look for it!) For those who are diabetic and must take particular care to avoid sugar I think artificial sweetners are invaluable, but one must be careful not to rely too heavily on these products and should examine the amount of consumption in regard to their overall diet. Here are two other alternatives to sugar stevia and agave syrup. Neither one exactly replicates the taste and baking properties of sugar, but they may be useful in an attempt to reduce the your families overall consumption of refined sugar.