Thursday, June 03, 2010

Everyone deserves a little sweet

Lately, in the blogging community, there have been a lot of posts about low-glycemic options, especially when it comes to making sweet tasting snacks and desserts. I, for one, have addressed the issue on my own personal blog, due to requests from my readers (there was a need for a low-glycemic version of my raw cupcakes, which I'll share again at the end of this post).

The first option that usually comes to mind is stevia, which comes in crystals, powder and liquid form.

"Stevia, an herb native to South America, is now grown and cultivated throughout the world. Stevia is easily digested, dissolves quickly and has no calories or carbohydrates per serving," as stated on the Natural Zing website (click here to read more about it in the product description).

I have found that stevia has a distinct flavor that some people enjoy, while others would rather look into finding yet another option. I, being one of the latter, have found I actually prefer yacon.

Yacon syrup is a great alternative to agave nectar in recipes, and is similar to molasses.

"Pressed from the yacon root, this gift from nature has been enjoyed for centuries in the Andean highlands of Peru," according to the Natural Zing website.

Both stevia and yacon do a good job of providing the sweet, but what do you do if you need your "sweet" to bind, too?

Date pastes and other dried fruit equivalents are generally used in raw food recipes to both add flavor and act as the glue to keep the "crumbs" together, like in my raw cupcakes. Unfortunately, they are far from being classified as a low-glycemic food.

My online raw foodie friend Ela of Ulterior Harmony has found her own solution she refers to as "chia-sweet," using none other than chia seeds as the star ingredient. You can read more about how she makes it here.
I have yet to try this method as a replacement for date paste in my raw cupcake recipes, but have found success with my own experimentation.
Yacon slices soaked and blended will also yield a similar result. Just soak them in water for a few hours, drain and puree them into a paste. Then, you can use your yacon paste in this nut-free, chocolate-free, low-glycemic raw cupcake recipe below. Enjoy!

Specialty Carob Cupcake
Tailor-Made Just for You

*Makes one raw cupcake tailor-made for those with special dietary needs

1/3 cup sunflower seeds
2 Tbsp. ground flaxseed
1 Tbsp. carob powder
1 1/2 Tbsp. yacon paste (see text above)
touch of vanilla
pinch of sea salt
*coconut yacon topping (see explanation below)
*dried coconut flakes for sprinkles
*dried yacon slice for garnish

In a mini food processor, combine the seeds, carob, vanilla and sea salt. Process into a fine crumb. Add the yacon paste (see the blog entry above for directions) and process until evenly distributed throughout the "batter" (this helps break up the little gel-like pieces in the paste).

The batter should be moist, but not so damp that it requires "baking" in your dehydrator (although you could if you desire). Form into a cupcake shape using a reusable silicone cupcake liner, teacup or ramekin.

Top the cupcake with coconut yacon topping (a combination of equal parts yacon paste, sunflower seed butter and coconut flakes; cinnamon and yacon syrup are also nice additions), a sprinkling of yacon flakes and a dried yacon slice garnish.

Shannonmarie, a.k.a. "Rawdorable," also posts on her blog of the same name,


Pam said...

Oh, great options! and that cupcake would love to have my name on! cybereating..mmmm!!


Ela said...

Hey, thanks for sharing this and linking: I love talking 'low glycemic' and love your creativity in this regard too.

ArtPhoenix said...

I don't personally believe that using any packaged sweetener is safe or a good idea. If you have the genes to become diabetic (which I do) then you will become diabetic if you trigger those genes with any sort of refined sugar. I've found that I react to vacuum-fried banana chips the same way I would to white sugar. Something about the chemical process the banana goes through turns it into nothing but banana sugar. I could tell by the taste of them. I found myself hyper after eating them, and then got a stomachache, later to be replaced with a headache, and woke up feeling sick the next morning. Instead of trying to sweeten everything, it's better to slowly adjust to a less-sweet diet. The more bitter your overall intake of food, the more sweet a carrot, tomato and leaf of lettuce taste. When I first stopped eating sugar entirely I remember exclaiming, "I never knew carrots were so sweet!"

Rick said...

yacon paste? great idea shannonmarie!!! we're on this one!

TheFitnessFreak said...

These look great! Thanks for coming up with the recipe Shannon Marie!