For many, the holiday season sparks fond memories of family get-togethers, gift-giving, wintery nights spent by the fireplace, and most importantly the delicious aroma of fresh baked treats coming from the kitchen. The smell of Grandma’s chocolate chip cookies alone is enough to bring a smile to the faces of all. Although those cookies are just the thing to hit the spot with an ice cold glass of milk, we all can’t help but feel guilty about the high amounts of calories and sugar we’re consuming.
Rather than fretting about sugar intake this year, why not bake your favorite treats with XyloSweet, a xylitol-based sweetener. Xylitol is an all-natural sweetener derived from corn cobs, strawberries, plums and other natural sources, and is similar to sugar in taste and texture but with unique and surprising health benefits not found in other artificial sweeteners and sugar substitutes. Xylitol contains 40 percent fewer calories than sugar, has a net carb level of only 0.4 per gram, and has minimal impact on blood-sugar levels, making it an appropriate sugar substitute for diabetics with a sweet tooth.
XyloSweet, made by Xlear Inc. (pronounced “clear,” the leading manufacturer of xylitol based products in the United States), is the perfect alternative for health-conscious sweets lovers. In addition to being a superb option for those with diabetes, XyloSweet also helps promote good dental health and hygiene.
XyloSweet offers parents, children and grandparents the chance to create delicious holiday treats without sugar, while delivering health benefits to both teeth and body.
XyloSweet is available for purchase online, and at all Whole Foods locations nationwide.
XYLOSWEET BANANA-NUT BREAD
Xylitol is derived from the fibrous parts of plants. Many fruits, like raspberries, plums and bananas are rich in xylitol and as a result, substituting regular sugar with xylitol makes natural sense when baking with these types of fruit. This bread recipe yields a sweet bread with a wonderful, tropical aroma that makes the whole house smell inviting. Since it is “sugar-free” it is great for diabetics or anyone concerned about excess sugar consumption.
2 cups flour
1 teaspoon baking soda
1 teaspoon baking powder
1 teaspoon nutmeg (preferably freshly grated)
1/2 teaspoon salt
3/4 cup coarsely chopped walnuts, hazelnuts or pecans
6 tablespoons (85 grams) unsalted butter, softened
1 cup (250 ml) XyloSweet® xylitol granules
3 to 4 very ripe bananas (about 1 1/2 cups or 375 ml), coarsely mashed
1/2 cup (125 ml) buttermilk (or mix 1/2 teaspoon lemon juice into 1/2 cup milk and let stand for 5 minutes)
Heat oven to 350°F). Grease and flour 9-by-5-inch loaf pan; set aside.
In bowl, mix together flour, baking soda, baking powder, nutmeg, salt and nuts. Set aside while preparing wet ingredients.
Using electric mixer, cream butter and sweetener together until light and well combined. Add bananas and lightly beaten eggs. Mix well. Add buttermilk and mix just until all buttermilk is incorporated into batter. Slowly add dry ingredients to batter and stir, but do not over mix as final batter should still be lumpy.
Pour batter into prepared baking pan. Fill only about 2/3 full –bread will rise and spill over pan if it is filled too full. Any remaining batter could be put into individual muffin tins (note that these would require less baking time).
Bake for about 55 minutes to 1 hour, or until bread is golden brown has pulled away slightly from sides of pan. A toothpick inserted into center should come out clean.
Remove from oven and allow bread to rest for about 5 minutes prior to removing from the pan. Let bread cool completely prior to slicing.
To store, wrap bread in plastic wrap and store at room temperature overnight, or, for longer storage, wrap and place in refrigerator for up to 5 days.
XYLOSWEET CHOCOLATE CHIP COOKIES
1/4 cup unsalted butter, softened
3/4 cup XyloSweet®
2 tablespoons unsweetened applesauce
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
1 cup plus 2 tablespoons spelt flour or whole wheat pastry flour
1/2 teaspoon baking soda
1/4 teaspoon salt
4 ounces maltitol sweetened dark chocolate bars, chopped
Heat oven to 350°F. Line cookie sheet with parchment paper; set aside.
In large bowl, cream butter with sweetener until fluffy. Gradually add applesauce during creaming process. Beat in egg and vanilla.
In another bowl, combine flour, baking soda and salt. Gradually stir flour mixture into batter, and fold in chocolate.
Drop 1/2 tablespoon dough for each cookie onto prepared cookie sheet. Bake for 10 to 12 minutes, or until light golden brown. Cookies are soft when taken from the oven, but become firm when stored overnight.
Yields 3 1/2 dozen cookies.
Per cookie: Calories: 41.8 Carbs: 6.7g Fiber: 0.5g Fat: 2.2g Sodium; 33.5g Net Carbs: 1.8g
XYLOSWEET HOLIDAY CRANBERRY WALNUT COBBLER
4 fresh cups fresh cranberries (2 8-ounce packages)
1 1/3 cups XyloSweet®
3/4 cup coarsely chopped walnuts
3 tablespoons freshly squeezed orange juice
1/3 cup unsalted butter
1/4 cup XyloSweet®
1 cup spelt flour or whole wheat pastry flour
2 teaspoons baking powder
1/2 cup low-fat milk
To prepare filling: Cut cranberries in half. (Cutting cranberries in half prevents them from bursting during baking, which helps them retain their shape.) In large bowl, combine sweetener and cranberries. Stir well to coat berries with sweetener.
Cover and set aside for two hours or place in refrigerator overnight.
Heat oven to 350°F.
After allowing mixture to sit, stir in walnuts and orange juice. Melt butter and pour into 8-inch square baking pan. Spoon filling over melted butter in baking pan.
To prepare batter: Combine sweetener with flour and baking powder. Add egg and milk, and mix well. Pour batter over filling.
Bake for 30 to 35 minutes, or until crust is lightly browned. Best served when warm.
XYLOSWEET HEAVENLY SPICE CAKE
2 cups whole wheat pastry flour
1 teaspoon cinnamon
1 teaspoon allspice
1 teaspoon nutmeg
2 teaspoons baking soda
1/2 teaspoon salt
2 tablespoons unsalted butter, melted
3 tablespoons prune puree
1/4 cup unsweetened applesauce
1 cup reduced-fat sour cream
2 eggs, separated
1 1/2 cups XyloSweet®
2/3 cup finely chopped prunes, cooked and drained
2 tablespoons unsalted butter
1/2 cup reduced-fat sour cream
1 egg, lightly beaten
2/3 cup XyloSweet®
1/2 cup finely chopped prunes, cooked and drained
1/2 cup chopped pecans
Heat oven to 350°F. Butter 9-by-13-inch baking pan, line with parchment paper and butter again; set aside.
Combine first six ingredients in medium bowl; set aside.
In another bowl, mix melted butter, prune puree, applesauce, sour cream and egg yolks.
In large bowl, beat egg whites with mixer until soft peaks form; gradually add sweetener and beat until peaks are stiff but not dry. Using spatula, gradually fold dry ingredients into egg whites alternately with liquid ingredients; stir just until batter is smooth. Fold in chopped prunes.
Bake for 25 to 30 minutes, or until toothpick inserted in center comes out clean.
For frosting: In saucepan, combine butter, sour cream, egg and sweetner Cook over medium low heat, stirring constantly, until slightly thickened. Stir in prunes and pecans. Allow to cool completely before spreading over cooked cake. Refrigerate frosted cake until ready to serve.
XYLOSWEET PUMPKIN BARS
1 1/4 cups quick-cooking oats, uncooked
1 1/4 cups spelt flour or whole wheat pastry flour
3/4 cup XyloSweet®
3/4 teaspoon maple flavoring
1/2 cup finely chopped pecans
1/2 teaspoon salt
1/2 teaspoon baking soda
6 tablespoons unsalted butter, softened
1 1/2 tablespoons unsweetened applesauce
2 cups canned pumpkin
1/2 cup plus 2 tablespoons XyloSweet®
1 1/2 teaspoons cinnamon
1/4 teaspoon ginger
1/4 teaspoon nutmeg
1/4 teaspoon allspice
1/8 teaspoon cloves
2/3 cup evaporated skim milk
Heat oven to 375°F. Lightly butter 9-by-13-inch baking pan; set aside.
To prepare crust: Combine oats, flour, sweetener, maple flavoring, pecans, salt, and baking soda; mix well. Cut in butter and stir in applesauce; mixture should be crumbly. Divide crust mixture in half; press half of mixture onto bottom of prepared pan. Bake for 10 minutes.
To prepare filling: Place all filling ingredients except milk in large bowl and mix well; stir in milk.
To prepare bars: Spread filling over crust and then sprinkle remaining crumb mixture over filling. Bake for 18 to 20 minutes, or until light golden brown.