Best sugar substitutes for baking

Some of the best things in life are baked, especially when homemade.

We all have fond memories of fresh cookies out of the oven, bread fresh from the bakery, and pies made from scratch.

Being diabetic doesn't mean you can't relive those memories or make them for your children. Here are some easy replacements for sugar so that you, too, can indulge once in a while in homemade goodness.

Baking without sugar is not as easy as just throwing in some substitutes. Sure, some of those powders work great in coffee, but when you subject them to the prolonged heat of the oven, they often fall flat or, worse, go sour. To save you some trial and error, here are some good substitute options for the best baking results.

Whey Low

Probably the easiest option to use in place of granulated sugar, whey low is three naturally-occurring sugars blended together (sucrose, lactose and fructose). While individually they can raise blood sugar levels, when blended they counteract one another and have about one-quarter of the calories and one-third of the glycemic index of cane or beat sugar. Your body's absorption of this sugar is also slower, so when used in moderation it can be a great way to substitute for regular sugar in your recipes.

Note: Laboratory testing of Whey Low's claims of lower glycemic uptake has not been completed and reported; however, preliminary results from the University of Maryland in College Park have been issued and are promising.

Splenda®

Because sucralose (Splenda®) is actual sugar which has been altered to allow it to pass through the body without metabolizing, it can be used as a direct 1:1 substitute for sugar without losing volume or color. To counteract its sometimes bitter after-taste, bakers have found that adding a little vanilla (about half a teaspoon per half cup of sucralose) can counteract this.

Coffee

Another option is to cut back chocolate use in baking recipes by using cold coffee to replace some of the liquid in the recipe. Coffee enriches chocolate flavor, allowing you to cut the amount of actual chocolate used. Experiment to find your taste, but generally a half cup of coffee can mean cutting your cocoa or chocolate bar use in half. A great way to boost brownie flavor!

Try these sugar cutters and enjoy baking again!

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