Don't worry, this post is not about puke. I don't write about that, because I don't like thinking about it, writing about it, or, for that matter, reading about it. Blech.
This post is actually about cake. And the kind of sugar that goes into it. I made an awesome carrot cake over the weekend. I say that, of course, with all humility, as it wasn't my recipe in the first place. I merely worked to re-create someone else's awesomeness. I did play with the recipe a bit, though, and while some of them were healthy changes that are great for non-birthday cakes (ie, the changes that allowed it to be made with all whole-wheat flour), some of them were....well, I don't know. Intended to be healthy, but didn't turn out that way?
When I went to add the sugar to the cake, I found that all I had was Splenda, as I don't really do that much baking that involves white, refined sugar - I mostly make whole grain breads, rolls, and muffins. Although the cake turned out tasting good, I have, over the course of the week, decided that I don't like using that much "fake" sugar in my food. I've still been using Splenda in my coffee (partly because we have a Costco-sized bag of it that I refuse to waste, and partly because I haven't found another alternative).
So I'm tossing the rest of my cake. Even though it tastes delicious.
From here out, though, I need to figure out an alternative solution. I still don't want all the calories and such that comes from regular, refined sugar. And I don't really want all the fake sugar in my diet, either. And yet, I have a relentless sweet tooth that refuses to quit.
I've used agave nectar in the past, but it affects the moisture content of a recipe since it's a liquid, so I found it to be a better alternative for brown sugar than white in recipes (although maybe some of you readers have a good suggestion about how to alter a recipe to accomodate that?) . A friend recommended Truvia, but I've only found that in the individual packets at the one store where I looked for it. I'm definitely not ripping open 50 packets next time I need a cup of sugar, so I'll have to look elsewhere to see if they carry it in a non-packet form.
So, I think I'm going to be experimenting with more natural sweeteners over the coming months. Besides, it will probably be better for our upcoming kiddos, anyway (and I still mean that in a very vague way. We haven't received any news yet). I don't really know wether kids should have fake sweeteners, but my instinct says it's probably not a good idea.
Do any of you have experience with natural-based sweeteners? I'd really like to learn more about what can be swapped for white sugar. Please comment if you have any ideas to share!
In the meantime, I think I'll make bread tomorrow, since my recipe uses honey anyway. Hopefully it goes better than it did the last time!