T he reason why I still strive at sugar free is due to a few reasons. One, our mail man happens to be diabetic, mom used to be diabetic, and, a few people here and, in general, cutting the sugar a smidgeon isn’t going to hurt anyone. I’m also not speaking of substituting the sugar 100% with a faux sugar like Splenda and whatnot - gross. There are so many negative articles about, not only the contents of Splenda, but the hazards of it along with aspartame, phenylalanine, and saccharine. Honestly, some of the stuff is scary; go wiki them and see for your self. My choice of sugar substitutes are: agave nectar due to the low G.I. factor, honey since it is all natural, the sugar alcohols naturally produced from fruits and vegetables, and, of course, stevia from the sweet leaf plant. Stevia I use every day for sweetening things such as my coffees, teas, on cereal, etc. since it is the cheapest. Well, honestly, I buy Truvia which is a combination of Erythritol and Stevia. It isn’t cheap but to be frank the only cheapest substitute on the market is saccharine, which is a definite no. My mother in law said that she uses the good sweetener..which happened to be saccharine according to her. Right.
As with every mother/ mother in law, you love them and then there are times you want to beat them with a pillow. Nutritionally speaking, she’s a catastrophe because she is an extremely, extremely picky eater. Part of that is due to her stomach banding surgery while the other half is just plain her. I’m serious when I’m saying if it doesn’t have chocolate, she may or may not eat it. She eats very little amounts, but, it is never or is hardly ever a vegetable unless it is, for example, in a condensed soup where she strains half of the vegetables anyway. She, unfortunately, is a lost cause as is my brother in law. His problem is the soda factor and being very, very inactive. I keep trying to nudge him into taking walks or moving around, but, he won’t. I can’t help them if they aren’t willing to try. Phillip and my father in law are my two success stories. Phillip already lost 20 pounds (yay!) and my father in law’s goal was to lower his cholesterol and blood pressure levels which he succeeded in months ago and is still doing fantastic. It isn’t hard if you have the will power and motivation to succeed. In Phillip’s situation, I’m not expecting him to look like a muscular weight lifter or anything, but, I want him to be healthier.
Anyway, shifting back to the concept of low sugar, this easy, peasy quick bread was, literally, thrown together off the top of my head. Nowadays after I do something like that, I write it down. The only sugar received in this quick bread is from the orange juice and the nuts. Other than that, there isn’t any sugar; not even lactose. A nice touch, which I didn’t think of until later, and, since I usually just wrap and ship I didn’t, would be to even brush the top of the quick bread after baking with some marmalade or other jam/jelly. I think that would be delicious. You know, I really need to make something for myself. I want cornbread. Mm..Corn..muffins..yum!
Orange Almond Quickbread(Low Sugar, Dairy Free, Gluten Free) 1 ¼ cup soy flour 1/3 cup cornstarch 1/3 cup tapioca starch 1 tsp xanthan gum ½ tsp cream of tartar 1 cup sugar substitute (stevia, xylitol, erythritol, etc - NOT Splenda) 1 tbsp baking powder
½ cup coarsely chopped nuts (I used walnuts and almonds)
1 big tbsp of orange zest ¾ cup orange juice ¼ cup water 1 egg, beaten ¼ cup oil 1 tsp vanilla
Pre-heat the oven to 350 degrees and grease a 9 x 8” loaf pan.
Combine all the fry ingredients into a bowl and stir them together until you achieve a well combined dry mix. Add the nuts and stir them around to get coated with the flour. This step is semi-important, which I always do with almost every baking ‘additive’. The reason why you let blueberries, morsels, nuts, etc. become coated with the flour is to prevent them from sinking. Depending on the size of the nuts, it isn’t that necessary, but with items as large as blueberries or even dried fruits, they could sink to the bottom. That wouldn’t be good unless you tell your receivers that it is a chocolate chip bottom cake. If they aren’t culinary inclined, it’ll work.
After the dry ingredients are mixed with the additives, make a well in the center of the flour and gradually add in the liquids little by little. Once they are all added, stir the batter until it is well combined. Pour the batter into the loaf pan, spreading the top evenly and then bake in the oven for 20 to 30 minutes. Check periodically since oven times obviously vary due to calibration and altitudes. Don’t forget that non-gluten flours brown faster as well.
Serve this quick bread with a nice cup of coffee or tea and maybe a bit of nondairy margarine or cream cheese. Mm.