Did you know that during World War II there was a sugar shortage? In the search for anything sweet, a German scientist discovered XYLITOL which can be derived from plants. Finland was the first to start using xylitol. They started extracting/processing their xylitol from birch trees.
Today we have plenty of sugar to go around but now everyone's in search of a sugar substitute to cut calories. Xylitol can be derived from berries, fruits, corn cobs and birch trees. It has a 1 for 1 substitution for sugar and is just as sweet. Xylitol has only 2.4 calories per gram.
There is also ERYTHRITOL, a sweetener that derives from grapes, melons, mushrooms and some fermented foods. This product has a glycemic index of 0 with only 0.2 calories per gram. One cup equals 2/3rds cup of sugar in baking. At the end of this article is a delicious scones recipe using Erythritol.
Several companies sell alternative sweeteners but only one is "green" about it. EMERALD FOREST goes to extra lengths to protect their customers and the environment:
- Trees are not used in order to preserve our world's forests
- Farms do not use pesticides or genetic engineering
- These farms are visited regularly by Emerald Forest inspectors
- Waste water from the production facilities is cleaned up before leaving the plant
If you are interested in Xylitol or Erythritol, visit Emerald Forest's website- http://www.emeraldforestxylitol.com/. There is alot of information about this Colorado company and their products as well as a way to buy online.
Here's the recipe I promised-
3 ½ cups pastry flour
2 teaspoons baking powder
½ teaspoon salt
½ cup erythritol
½ cup (1 stick) butter
⅔ cup milk
½ cup orange juice
¼ cup raisins, cranberries, currants, or nuts
Preheat oven to 375°.
Line a baking tray with parchment paper or oil the tray lightly.
Mix dry ingredients together in a large bowl.
Add the butter to the mixture with a pastry cutter until crumbly.
Stir in the liquid ingredients and add fruit or nuts.
Mix with a fork until well blended.
Turn onto a floured surface.
Flour your hands and shape the mix into two circles.
Cut the circles into quarters or eighths. Place on the baking tray.
Bake 15-18 minutes.
Note: Frost with a blend of erythritol or powdered sugar, maple syrup/substitute and vanilla extract.
Add a small amount of milk as needed.
Time to Prepare: 20 minute
Yield: 8-16 small scones
Recipe courtesy of Jules Marie© 2008