The Fresh Loaf

News & Information for Amateur Bakers and Artisan Bread Enthusiasts

Hello from Norahs!! No Added Sugar alert!

norahs's picture
norahs

Hello from Norahs!! No Added Sugar alert!

Hi there fellow bakers! I am a design student who has a passion for baking! This year I am motivated to show and engage people into the risks of sugary diets... lately I have been baking without sugar and at this stage I am needing everyone's help for new recipes to use within a new baking book and so on...

 

So if you know your baking and would love to help a student like me please take a look at my new blog and get in touch... try my recipes and let me know what else I can bake! (Please be aware I am still developing my look on my website so bare with me :P )

Thankyou!

http://norahskitchen.myfreesites.net/

 



 

Mini Oven's picture
Mini Oven

The recipes are not sugar free, they just don't contain added refined sugar.  Carrots and Bananas contain a good amount of carbohydrate including natural sugars.   These also add up if you are counting calories.  Many recipes can be made leaving out refined syrups and sugars and there is a big long list of natural sugar and sweet foods.

So my question, is there a line being drawn?

Welcome to TFL!   

norahs's picture
norahs

Hi there, I understand completely, I have done my fair share of research however I should really make sure I word it correctly so thankyou! I know what I am talking about but its making sure others understand... like I said I am just a student designer wanting to communicate these things to others so I really appreciate your feedback :)

drogon's picture
drogon

It's nice that people are thinking of cutting down on sugar in baked goods... However as Mini says, all's not what is seems... I took a sugar free cake up to the local hippy/wholefoods shop last week - they loved it! A honey & date cake ... It contained 250g honey, 250g butter, eggs, flour, and lots of dates.... But no sugar :-)

There's more to sugar free than just removing the sugar. If only it were that simple.

My own issues are more to do with highly processed factory foods than the stuff we make ourselves - that's where more sugar (and sugar-like products) are included than really necessary IMO. The other issue is that we're just too accustomed to having a coffee and a cake now, and not as an occasional treat but daily (or more).

Its not easy if your addicted to sugar, as I am. A fine product of Scotland brought up on Irn Bru, Tablet, Macaroon bars and Tunnocks caramel wafers. Just don't get me started on deep fried mars bars...

-Gordon

norahs's picture
norahs

Thankyou for your feedback! 


I know sugar is literally in everything, and we are all so addicted without even realising... that cake sounds delicious, if you have the recipe at hand I would love to try it! 

These are my issues also, that is why I started looking into things like sugar free... but as mini said its not sugar free, it is the no added sugar that is my concern so I need to word it better next time! 

As a Scottish student.. i have definitely had my fair share of irn bru and I have tested myself to not drink it and I have done very well so far! 

Again, thankyou for the feedback! if you have any other recipes I would love to give them a go.

- Norahs 

drogon's picture
drogon

... but here's the issue... In my geek IT world, I'm into the open source thing - where we're happy to share source code for programs, algorithms, publish blogs with our work, etc. I typically get paid for support and developing specialist code and systems based on the stuff I publish. My work is protected by my copyright and the license I give out with it and that generally works out OK.

However in the bakery world, I've found everyone to be fiercely guarded about their recipes, techniques and so on... All because everyone is writing a book and wants their sterling for it. Also, the reality is that there really aren't a lot of different cake recipes - most are mostly the same - look them up and do some analysis. So everyone steals everyone elses recipes, tweaks them a little then (re) publishes them as their own. I'm now bored with cake recipe books because other than pretty pictures and ideas for presentation and decoration, nothing really stands out any more and I find almost everything in my modern books in my old Good Housekeeping book of 40 years+ ago...

So you can use agave syrup (imported from Mexico), rice syrup, coconut sugar (if you can afford it!), blitzed dates, honey and any number of other sugar-like substitutes that aren't white sugar to make good cakes with, but it's not really anything new.

And here you are on the one hand asking for recipes and with the other telling us you're publishing a book... I can put 2 & 2 together...

So sure - you can have my cake recipes (sugar free and sugar loaded), but you'll need to pay for them when I publish them in my book ;-)

-Gordon

norahs's picture
norahs

I agree with your point that every is so hush hush about their own recipes, hense why I using my blog online to get people talking, get the message round everyone and its proving difficulty! The Fresh Loaf has been my only hope so far thanks to everyone giving feedback...

I agree with the cake recipe books, that's why I wanted to take a different approach and use illustrations instead, step by steps in a way that young families can use and get their children to do it with them. As a design student we are constantly taught to take new approaches and think of new ways in which things can be done.

I feel like I really haven't communicated very well in what I am doing... I am currently half way through my honours year, and in June I will have degree show where hopefully I will have my books at hand and other outputs that I am currently working on... so when I say a book I mean a concept, (one) to convey the idea, and to MAINLY show my skills in design and illustration and especially the way I have approached the project... not published - as cool and successful as it sounds, I do not have the time to do so :( Everything I am doing, through my blog and through discussion with everyone here is all part of the projects aiming towards my final degree.
In the real world when (hopefully) I actually pass and get a design job... I could publish other recipe books but I would only be part of the design! 

So when you are publishing your recipes I might be that designer that helps you :P 


-Norahs

drogon's picture
drogon

I've found that transitioning from my IT world to the world of commercial bakery (I run a home-based microbakery) to be very easy on one level, but stupidly hard on many others. There are simply no reviews of commercial catering equipment for example )-:

And absolutely no openness on recipes and techniques. There is a mailing list I'm on which I know has very public and prominent members of the (UK) baking community on it as members, but do the reply to the questions of us lowly mortals? Do they heck. (Except when someone posts something that these 'gods' then need to get their lawyers/publicity people to refute )-:

Even the people running the list sometimes refuse to accept that the self-employed working from home can actually be a viable business when they send out questionnaires, etc.

So I fear you're going to have a somewhat challenging time ahead of you. I do post some stuff (search here and my own website) but not really for cakes - I have developed a small range of gluten free cakes as well as the 'daily' ones I supply to the local cafes.

And trying to get people talking is good - but hard. There is a UK based bread forum too, however it's mostly empty, but do have a look: http://forum.homemadeloaves.co.uk/index.php and there's always the Clandestine Cake Club too: http://clandestinecakeclub.co.uk/ there might be a branch local to you. But that's headed up by someone who is now on their 2nd cake book...

As for cake recipes... Well, I said how much honey & butter there was - most spongey type cakes have well defined proportions, (and almost always equal portions of sugar:fat) so you can check with other recipes to get the eggs and flour (wholemeal, plus bicarb) the dates were chopped and soaked in boiling water and it's in an 8" tin ... off you go :-)

Others mentioned your website - it's obviously new and there are bits of text missing (in the sections that tell you you can edit it!) but do yourself a favour - get away from a pre-built site on free hosting - spend a few quid on a domain name and your own website and run up a wordpress with a suitable theme (might not be the best solution, but it's easy and works for me) your photos are also interesting - they look like the old photos in my Good Housekeeping book - don't you think people want bright & glossy now?

And please stop using cups in the recipes - they're rare in the UK. Consistency is key and you have a mix of grams and cups. Convert to metric (and test-bake the metric quantities)

Good luck with the venture - and your degree.

-Gordon

Jon OBrien's picture
Jon OBrien

The plain chocolate ones. [slaver!]

Now look what you've done!

embth's picture
embth

in the recipes plus "myfreesites" drops a lot of "cookies" and such onto your computer when you visit.  I know they all do, but this seemed "over the top."

norahs's picture
norahs

Hi there! Thankyou for your reply..however I am unsure what you mean about the website? Is it working properly for you?? I would like as much feedback as possible... if you know other websites that I can use then please let me know :)

Alok's picture
Alok

Beautiful pictures- your creations look totally yummy!

But a word of caution. As others have already pointed out, your recipes are NOT sugar free. There are many kinds of naturally occurring sugars in our food- glucose (in fruit, corn syrup, honey, milk), fructose (fruit, high-fructose corn syrup, honey, and most important, agave nectar), sucrose (table sugar, sugar cane juice; sucrose is a combination of glucose and fructose); galactose and lactose (milk)- and there are others. 

Your recipes do not contain table sugar (sucrose), so they are sugar-free in that sense. But for a food to be called sugar-free, you have to account for all sugars because glucose and fructose, whether singly or in combination, have detrimental health effects if ingested in excess, especially in diabetes and obesity.

The date and banana bread has 3 ripe bananas- about 40 grams of sugar, + 6 dates- that's another 60-90 grams of sugar, depending on the type of date. This adds up to 100 to 130 grams of sugar, mostly as glucose and fructose, and 400-500 sugar calories. 

The carrot and walnut cake 175 ml of agave syrup (nectar). This adds up to 130 grams of sugar, mostly as fructose. Agave nectar is pushed as a "natural, low-glycemic" alternative to sugar. Of course it is low-glycemic- it has very little glucose, and the glycemic index deals only with glucose. Agave nectar has mostly fructose. Fructose, in excess, is more damaging to the body than glucose.

I hope this helps. You clearly make great desserts- more power to you!

PS: I am a baker and a physician (in that order!)

Alok 

 

 

gerhard's picture
gerhard

In Canada legally you are not allowed to call anything sugar free but rather no sugar added.  If you used other forms of sugar such as glucose/corn syrup etc. it would be considered an added sugar.  

I know there is a relatively locally made no sugar added jam and I asked how they make jam without sugar and I expected that he added a bunch gums and artificial sweeteners but he uses pear juice.  To me that is just adding fructose but since you don't have to break down juices on the ingredient declaration I guess there is no added sugar.  This was before nutritional labels became a legal requirement so I imagine today the sugars will show on the nutritional panel.

Gerhard

dobie's picture
dobie

Norahs

Welcome to the forum. There is nothing in the above posts that I disagree with.

The wrench I can throw in would be Stevia. Apparently, as a sweetner, it contains neither glucose, sucrose or fructose and has no effect on blood sugar levels. Not that I am an expert, but that is what I have been told repeatedly, with nothing to the contrary. How it happens, I don't know.

I have grown Stevia and it grew easily and well, like most any herb (and reminds me of sage, as plants go). And it was indeed sweet. It has a bit of a licorice or anise flavor to it right off the plant. Apparently, there are some commercial Stevia products out there that have somehow managed to remove that flavor, and is just pure sweetness without the 'oses.

How they do that and to what concerns, I do not know, but I just thought I'd throw it out there.

dobie

drogon's picture
drogon

I've used Stevia and you can make it work in cakes, but this is one place where you need to think differently. Mainly because you can not make the magic emulsion of sugar and butter with it. There are commercial packs that include a cellulose filler to bulk it out, but I've not really found them that satisfactory. So it can work in cakes that don't need the sugar+butter emulsion, but for most others I've not found it to be as good as sugar.

A new approach is needed...

And there also appears to be some concerns now with the processing surrounding Stevia to get it from leaf to 'extract' into a consumer friendly product. So a good idea mutated by industry.

-Gordon

dobie's picture
dobie

Gordon

Thank you. I just wanted to make sure I wasn't invisble.

I agree on all accounts.

The main weakness being that in baking, construction-wise, it just ain't sugar.

And the commercial processing is a definite concern.

I wonder how it can be so sweet tho. Baffling stuff.

dobie

gerhard's picture
gerhard

I had the opportunity to take a tour of the Domino Sugar factory in Baltimore and I can say that is a industrial process that at the start does not seem at all like it is part of the food chain.  The raw sugar was unloaded from bulk carriers and they handled using equipment usually seen on construction sites.  Anyway the end product is very clean and handled in a way that you expect food to be handled.  I can't imagine the process for for stevia being any less appetizing.  What sticks in my mind was the guide told us at the receiving area "this is where we clean out the gravel and small animals".

If you want to enjoy a sausage best not to think about what it is made from.

Gerhard

drogon's picture
drogon

when I talked about the industrial processing, I didn't mean the mechanical side - no issues there (well, not many), however it's the chemicals that they use to clean extract, dissolve and reconstruct the essential stevia-ons in the final extract that I have concerns over.

There are many articles online and you can download coca-colas patent on the process too. See here: http://www.100daysofrealfood.com/2013/04/25/stevia-food-babe-investigates/ and many others.

It's a bit like us whinging on about real bread - flour, water, salt & yeast compared to the Chorleywood bread process which adds many chemicals/enzymes into the "bread" but because they're not present in the finished product they're classed as processing aids.

With that in-mind, I'd rather have sugar.

-Gordon

(Who knows exactly what's in his sausages as I get them from a proper butcher!)

Jon OBrien's picture
Jon OBrien

Bismark said there are two things you should never watch being made: sausages and laws.

dobie's picture
dobie

Jon

Laugh of the day.

dobie

norahs's picture
norahs

Thank you for your reply! 

I know, as I have replied to everyone, once I read Minis reply I realised I have worded it so wrong... I am concentrating on the NO added sugar so that is my mistake.. however thank you for telling me about that - not from Canada but if I ever sold recipe books there I could have got in trouble! 

- Norahs

norahs's picture
norahs

wow, thank you so much for your reply, that is very interesting when you put it like that, and incredible to see how it is all added up... very interesting :)

Would you say these recipes are just as bad for you then? I suppose it is difficult to find any baking recipe that is! 


As I have said to everyone else's reply... I am very pleased you have all commented on the fact it is not actually sugar free, my mistake there as it is the no added sugar part I am concentrating on! so thanks again, I will be sure to communicate that better next time I discuss my project to others!

- Norahs

embth's picture
embth

 As was said, your desserts are lovely to behold (your talent in design work) but they are calorie and sugar ladened (not that you would hear me complain if you put one in front of me)   But even the refined white flour you use packs a mighty glycemic spike which the medical world is telling us to avoid.   I like your ambition….publishing a book is a lot of work.  You obviously shine in your design work, but perhaps you should consider a second major….Nutrition.   You have a strong interest in the subject, and you may find the perfect niche in life by combining the two.   Best of luck!

norahs's picture
norahs

Thank you for your feedback, this forum has spiked a few more projects that can spin off from this recipe book so I really appreciate it all the feedback I have so far. I am currently researching further into the other ingredients in our diets and the health risks... so thank you! I will look into nutrition, and hopefully come up with something! 
Thanks :) - Norahs 

dobie's picture
dobie

Norahs

Stevia.

Herb.

Sweet, yet not glucose, sucrose or fructose.

No glycemic spike.

dobie

Alok's picture
Alok

Dobie:

Stevia might be a reasonable alternative to sugar, but nothing is as simple as it might seem.

A recent well-done study published in a highly regarded science journal showed that both mice and humans who regularly used artificial sweeteners had more difficulty in controlling the blood sugar level. The sweeteners tested were saccharine (pink packet), aspartame (blue packet), and Splenda (yellow packet). They did NOT test stevia, so we do not know what stevia does- it might be OK, and I hope it is. All I am saying is that nature works in mysterious ways.

What the artificial sweeteners actually did was to change the bacteria in the colon, which then changed the way in which the body handles glucose, which led to a higher blood sugar level..

Below is a link that summarizes the findings:

http://www.webmd.com/diet/20140917/artificial-sweeteners-blood-sugar

If you want a scientific summary of the actual publication, go here:

Artificial sweeteners induce glucose intolerance by altering the gut microbiota.

Suez J, Korem T, Zeevi D, Zilberman-Schapira G, Thaiss CA, Maza O, Israeli D, Zmora N, Gilad S, Weinberger A, Kuperman Y, Harmelin A, Kolodkin-Gal I, Shapiro H, Halpern Z, Segal EElinav E.

Nature. 2014 Oct 9;514(7521):181-6.

Stevia may very well be just fine- we won't know until it is tested in the same kind of experiment, as I am sure it will be. There are two things going for stevia- first, it is not artificial, at least when used as the leaf (not the packet), and second, native South Americans have already used it as a sweetener for a long time.

Let's see what happens.

Alok

dobie's picture
dobie

Alok

Yes, I read the daily newspaper version of that study and thought it quite ironic (along with what you said) that the users of artificial sweeteners in fact, often gain weight by their use.

And yes, altho Stevia is not artificial (by the leaf) and does have a long history in South America, you are right that further research is required.

Thank you

dobie

gary.turner's picture
gary.turner

Much like the leaf of the coca plant, no? ;-)

dobie's picture
dobie

Gary

Not to leave you hanging, I just don't know.

dobie