Saturday, 24 November 2012

Banana Berry Icecream

Reuben requested icecream recently when I was in the middle of a haze of glucose experimenting. I froze at the idea (ha ha, hope you like the pun) of him eating sugar and wondered how I could get around it. Actually no, I didn't. He eats very little sweet food, he's just not in to it (with a few exceptions). He turns his nose up at my baking and tells me his favourite food is broccoli (though I can hardly believe it). So I wasn't afraid of a little icecream.

Monday, 19 November 2012

So where to from here? Making a plan.

The time has come. No more thinking, it's time for action. We need to start eating less sugar and we need to figure out how we're going to do it. Below I have outlined all kinds of things to think through and made some suggestions as to how you might decrease your sugar intake. I'd like you to have read, make a plan, and tell us about it in the comments section below. It might be really simple, it might be just one thing, it might be complex, it might be easy to achieve or hard to achieve. But make it concrete and put it in to words. And it'll start this week. Buy what you need to, banish what you need to, and let's all be doing something different by the weekend.

Sunday, 18 November 2012

Glucose as a sugar alternative, and vanilla biscuits.

Well for goodness sake. It is so simple really. What does sugar contain? Fructose and glucose. What is bad for us? Fructose? What is good for us? Glucose. What should we not be eating? Fructose. What should we be eating? Glucose. What should we be baking with? GLUCOSE.

Vanilla biscuit with glucose by Reuben

Wednesday, 14 November 2012

And on that bombshell...

Well I told you it was going to be bad news. And you could have guessed that anyway. I hope you found the summary of The Bitter Truth interesting - I was certainly engrossed in every detail and it really blew my mind to be honest. There was a lot of chemistry involved but, unlike at school, I was seriously interested in the results of the lesson, and that had me hooked. For a sleep deprived, breast-feeding, grieving mother of two small children, I think working through all that information makes me brilliant and amazing.

But there's a lot to talk about. For today, let's see if we can look at the questions you have raised, and the questions that have come to my mind as well, and next time we'll look at where to from here.

Monday, 12 November 2012

What is wrong with sugar? "Sugar: The Bitter Truth"

In 2009 Robert H. Lustig, MD, UCSF Professor of Pediatrics in the Division of Endocrinology, presented a seminar for the UCSF Mini Medical School for the Public called Sugar: The Bitter Truth.
Below is my summary of what he presented. The seminar is one and a half hours long and you can watch it here Sugar: The Bitter Truth. In my opinion this is critical viewing, and I strongly urge you to take the time.
If you have concerns about the following information, do discuss them here, but remember this is Robert Lustig's research that I am summarising.

Since the 1970s, as fat has been reduced in our diet, sugar and carbohydrate consumption has increased. Fat used to provide the flavour, and sugar has taken its place.

We have reduced our fat intake, but rates of obesity metabolic syndrome (obesity, type II diabetes, lipid problems, hypertension, cardiovascular disease) have all gone up. Why?...

Thursday, 8 November 2012

Quick update, sweet.

It's been great to hear from so many of you on the terrifying topic of sugar. I can see there is a surging wave of panic on the topic of baking. But remember we are doing some serious work on sugar alternatives, not total elimination of anything sweet. I'm finding xylitol a really good alternative in all my baking so far, except that it doesn't give a nice crunch to biscuits.

I have also acquired something called "Sweet Freedom" which I mentioned on our Facebook page but haven't discussed here. No, it's not an artificial sweetener, it's a syrup made from 100% apple, grape and carob extracts. It is not exactly "perfect" but it is a really good alternative to honey, golden syrup and maple syrup, and could probably work as a substitute for condensed milk.

Tuesday, 6 November 2012

We need to talk, sugar.

Well, my friends. I have been doing a lot of research on sugar. I've been talking about sugar alternatives for a while, and we all know that sugar is bad for us, but I really want to know what the deal is. So I've been reading and watching some stuff. And it's all bad news. Bad news.

We are eating far too much sugar. It's making us fat. It's addictive. Some even call it poison. Bad news.

Monday, 5 November 2012


Oh my GOSH I made butter! I know. I just overwhipped the cream and made butter. On purpose.

I had a rush of blood to the head recently and picked up (I mean bought) a magazine about making cheeses, and it included a recipe for making butter. I've always known that if you look like you're about to overwhip the cream (I'd just like to say I never get close these days), somebody will say "careful, you'll turn it in to butter," but I've never thought about the fact that butter really is just overwhipped cream.