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  • Heidi

Reduced Sugar, Please!

I’m told I’m a fourth generation sugar-holic. Sugar has been the vice of my mother, and grandmother, and beyond. I’m not proud. In fact, I’ve been determined for years to "reverse the curse" in my family's story!

To do so, I’ve had to change the way my family and I relate to food; treats in particular. We don't "need" sweets. We rarely reward with sugar (that's a hard one!). We try to be wise in how we treat treats. Because they are just that, a treat (not an assumed finale to every meal). In order to not pass my sugar struggles onto yet another generation, I must change my behavior and train my kids to follow suit. So the buck stops here!

I have constant sugar consumption convictions. I always reduce the sugar in EVERY recipe possible, usually by a forth or by half. Yep, that's right! And always the taste is still absolutely delicious and no one ever knows the difference! No harm, no foul!

Why is reducing sugar a good idea? We all know, and are probably occasionally in denial, that refined sugar is nothing but bad for us! No news there, right? Since it’s super hard to cut it out all together, why not reduce it where we can?? After all, we are the bosses, not the recipe inventors! So go ahead, experiment with some recipes by cutting back sugar, and I’ll bet you, and your family, including your kids, will still find them quite tasty and pleasing!

Here’s a few ideas from what I do:

For instance, if a cookie recipe calls for 1 1/2 cups of sugar, I will instead reduce it to 1 cup, and raise the vanilla from 1 tsp, to 2 tsp. (*The consistence changes only a bit, and may require a 1/4 cup or so of additional flour to offset the omission of sugar in the dry ingredients.) The vanilla boosts the sweet flavor, but doesn't raise the sugar content. Beautiful, right?!

Here’s another: If the scone recipe calls for a ¼ cup sugar, I usually reduce it to 1 Tbs (that’s a third of what it calls for). Let face it, pastries just don't need that much sugar to taste scrumptious! Plus, if you’re like me, you’re gonna top it with jam or dunk it in coffee anyway, which boosts sweetness as well. So the sugar is never missed! Boom!

Reduced sugar orange scones
Our delicious orange scones with fresh zest and fresh sqeezed juice. So yummy!

Another: scratch pancake and waffle recipes call for sometimes tablespoons (that's plural, y'all!) of sugar. I only put in 1 teaspoon per batch, and that's only to cut the baking powder taste. Because, again, we all know those puppies will be drowning in an ungodly amount of maple syrup, or other drippy goo, as soon as they hit the plate, so no need for all that sugar! Right? Right!

An unexpected one: If a savory sauce calls for sugar, and several of them do, crazy enough, I almost never put it in. Naughty, huh?! But like I said, we are the boss, not them! Yes, even in tomato based sauces which call for sugar to cut acidity, every now and then I'll put in just a pinch, not a teaspoon plus that's called for. And it's SO good! (My recipe to come in a future blog!)

My homemade red sauce. Rich and delicious!

My guess is that all this sugar called for in recipes is simply to get kids, and let’s not kid ourselves, and grown ups, to like it! There is so much competition for consumer’s buy-in in this sugar-crazed day we live in. (Have you seen the amount of sugar that's in 1 cup of milk? It's ridiculous!) It’s nuts! It’s way over doing it if you ask me! But if we want to live long and thrive, we need to be wise in what we consume, and what we teach our kids to consume. They deserve better treatment, and so do you! So let's do this!

Any one else out there agree that sugar can easily be reduced, and should be?

How do you cut sugar in your family’s consumption?

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