|Annie has caused us to take a good long look at how we eat and what we eat. That’s why we’re on this new path to healthy eating. One of the major changes we’ve made recently is to completely stop buying white sugar. For some reason, Annie’s body reacts to white sugar….and it’s evident when I wash her bottom. She gets yeast infections if she eats just a small amount of the stuff. Yes, I realize that one day when she’s older she’s going to be totally embarrassed that I posted for the whole world to read that she gets butt yeast infections. But, we know this is change we need to make for her and for us.If you do just a little bit of research, you’ll find that the dangers of white sugar are HUGE. I realize that I cannot completely cut it out, because we do live in this world and we do eat out……and visit other people. But, we can cut it out at home.I don’t want to do without sweets. I love them…..really. We’re close friends. And guess what? God doesn’t want us to do without sweets either! Why else would He have given us a taste bud for tasting sweet things? So, don’t worry….this post isn’t going to tell you to give up cake. Life without cake is like Dottie without a fleece blanket. So, I’m going to tell you which sweeteners we use now and give you a little info on each of them.|
|We’re attempting to eat things as close to the way that God made them as possible. Obviously white sugar doesn’t fit into that category….it’s refined like crazy. Try to avoid white foods as much as possible…..except onions. Onions are fine – onions have layers (name that movie). God mentions honey repeatedly in the Bible. “But he would feed you with the finest of the wheat, and with honey from the rock I would satisfy you.” Psalm 81:16 Well, that’s good enough for me. Barry loves honey so he’s happy about this one. If possible, try to buy raw honey that hasn’t been processed or heated. For that, you need to buy directly from a bee keeper. I’ve not found a local bee keeper yet, so I do buy local honey but it’s been heated.(UPDATE: I now have a local bee keeper.) I still think it’s a good step in the right direction. I would get a bee hive myself, but I’m scared of the little boogers. They make me scream like a little girl and run like the wind. Honey is full of many nutrients and digestive enzymes. It’s stinkin’ good on top of hot biscuits. If you’re substituting honey for white sugar in a recipe, you don’t need to use as much. It’s very strong so it will only take about half the amount. Honey substituted in bread instead of sugar is YUMMY!|
|Sucanat. Yeah, I know most of you are like what? I didn’t have a clue either…..but now I’m using it like crazy. It makes GREAT sweet tea (thanks Stephanie!). You can use it cup for cup like sugar. What is it? It’s dehydrated sugar cane. It’s processed in the traditional way that people of India have used for thousands of years and leaves most of the minerals intact. There are sugars out there labeled as “evaporated” sugar cane, but they aren’t the same. When you dehydrate you’re able to keep most of the minerals….not so with evaporation. I’ve even got my mom using this now. It looks like granulated brown sugar, but it’s not (brown sugar is actually just WHITE sugar with molasses added). Sucanat is pretty easy to find. You can buy it from Bread Beckers or you can find it at Earth Fare. Actually, you would probably find it at any whole foods type of store. I’ve bought it a few times from King’s Produce, so check out any bulk food store to see if they have it.|
|Real maple syrup is so delicious. No, I’m not talking about that imitation stuff that you buy at the store…..I’m not even talking about my mom’s homemade syrup. I mean the REAL STUFF. The stuff that costs about forty zillion dollars. Yes, it’s expensive. But, it’s worth it. Really. You’ll only use small amounts, so one container should last a while….unless you like floating pancakes. I like Whitetop Mountain syrup and try to buy it whenever I can find it. It works best in liquid recipes, not baking ones. Try to get organic Grade B. Organic Grade B Maple Syrup is better than Grade A as it has more nutrients. Non-organic maple syrups may contain formaldehyde or other synthetic stuff. Yum. Really makes you want to slather it all over those pancakes before you perform an autopsy. Use it sparingly. It’s a treasure to be enjoyed…….and lick your plate because that stuff is liquid gold and you don’t want to waste it!|
|We’re also using Stevia. However, do not be fooled. Some things label themselves as stevia but they’re not….it’s a LIE. I returned from the grocery store one night with a disgusted look and Barry wanted to know what was wrong…..I was angry because all the stuff in the store is mislabeled. It says STEVIA on the top but there is added sugar and all sorts of what not. Makes me wanna have a citizens arrest, but I can’t arrest a box of sweetener. Stevia is an all natural sweetener, made from the stevia plant…..if you buy the real stuff and NOT the stuff that is labeled as such. Read the ingredients list before you buy. It’s very strong, so you only use small amounts. You can buy the powder or the liquid. I’m trying to find a good recipe to make my own, but that’s still in the works. It can tend to have a bitter taste, so make sure you get some good stuff. It’s been my experience and I’ve heard that Sweet Leaf NuNaturals is one of the best you can buy.|
|I also use a bit of molasses…..not a lot, because I don’t care much for the flavor. It’s very strong, but it’s very good for us. My mom LOVES molasses cookies and it’s really delicious in gingerbread. Blackstrap molasses is the black waste that’s left over after regular molasses is made. It’s a great source of iron if you’re a vegetarian or a vegan. I’m not a vegetarian or a vegan. Please pass the turkey.So, there ya go. That’s what we’re using now. Yes, they are a bit more expensive…..but I use less. Also, you have to factor in that healthy eating saves you money at the doctor’s office – and we all know how expensive THAT is.|
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