Sunday, November 09, 2008

Low-Glycemic-Index, Probiotic Fudge

After years of dealing with sugar sensitivity of varying degrees of severity, I'm currently at a point where I figure I should probably just stay off things that change my blood sugar too quickly, whether I have any obvious bad reactions or not, because bad reactions keep popping up that are not immediately obvious.

This does nothing to stop my cravings for sweets, particularly fudge lately. After half a dozen experiments with various odd ingredients, this was the best recipe I could come up with for my tastes. Note that this isn't intended for diabetes (I have no idea what the actual glycemic load of this is, just that it doesn't seem to mess with me), just for others who have weird effects when their blood sugar varies too much. These are the ingredients I used; how much you want to do substitutions is up to you. I figured I would include them to a pretty high resolution of exact product, so you could do exactly the same thing if you wanted.

2T Earth Balance buttery spread
1/4c Wholesome Sweeteners Organic Zero (erythritol)
2t light agave syrup (have used several brands and haven't noticed much difference)
1 bar dark chocolate (3 oz, 70%+) (have used the Unique Origin bars from Trader Joe's and a couple of others from Whole Foods or PCC)
1T Fage 2% Strained Greek Yogurt (also worked with Tillamook cultured sour cream)

Heat the first three items over medium-high heat while stirring in a small sauce pan, just until it comes to a boil (bubbles rising in the middle of the pan, not just around the edges), then turn the heat off. If you heat it too much, the sugar will burn; not enough, and there will still be crystals. The residual heat will be enough to melt the chocolate. Once it's melted, add the yogurt (or sour cream). If you use regular yogurt (instead of strained), it'll put in too much water and the fudge won't harden properly; ditto for milk and cream. I don't know how hot is hot enough to kill probiotics, but I figure if I can stick my finger in it and not burn myself, I can't be getting rid of all the beneficial stuff. I'm impatient, so I put it in an open container right in the ice compartment of the freezer, which gets it solid in about one episode of The Simpsons (20-25 minutes).

The erythritol claims to be fermented from normal sugar, have zero calories, zero glycemic index, and have no bad digestive side effects. So far it's the closest to sugar of any artificial sweetener I've tasted - a little weird, but very much like sugar in both taste and cooking properties. Who knows what side effects sugar alcohols might have (besides awful digestive effects on fructose malabsorbers), so maybe it's best not to consume it in huge quantities. For now, it's a good way to satisfy my fudge cravings without being exausted or insane the next few days.



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