Baking with Dextrose

So I went very enthusiastically into this low fructose diet, bought all the cookbooks and everything. Of course all the cookbooks are basically dessert cookbooks, as those are the main foods that would use a lot of sugar. Of course, I looked through them and was very eager to try out all the recipes, but I didn’t get a chance right away. I mean, especially I’m going on a low sugar diet, I’m not going to use it as an excuse to suddenly start eating more cakes and sweets!

So the first recipe I tried was the cinnamon tea cake. It was really lovely, one of those cakes that has sour cream in it, and the dominant flavor was the sour cream. The dextrose tastes just like regular sugar to me, so I might in the future even reduce the amount. In fact I think Gillespie is a little heavy on the dextrose. They claim it isn’t as sweet as regular sugar, so they use more.

It seems to me that if table sugar is 50% glucose and 50% fructose, that if you are using something that is all glucose, you should actually (from a health perspective) half the amount. I know they say the fructose is the bad stuff, but it still doesn’t seem like it would be a good idea to swamp your body with extraordinary amounts of pure glucose on a regular basis.

Actually, my body doesn’t seem to react well to it. I was a bit hungry, and I didn’t find these desserts so exceptionally filling as Gillespie claims either. I ate two slices. Not two exceptionally large slices, but still two slices. ┬áVery shortly, perhaps within 15 minutes, I started feeling extremely sleepy and then rather crappy. I looked it up online. The best answer I could find is: orexin. Orexin is apparently a hormone that controls wakefulness, and it is shut off by high amounts of glucose in the blood, which suggests that perhaps that I am a bit insulin resistant. My sister thought it suggested more that I was giving my body more pure glucose than it was expecting.

Anyway, I was reluctant at first to eat more cake even though it tasted good because I didn’t want to feel bad, but after that I stuck to eating small slivers, and I was just fine.

The next recipes I tried were the rhubarb apple pie, and the rhubarb crumble ice cream. These were an absolutely perfect dessert. I usually choose chocolate chocolate chocolate everything, but give me more pies like that and I might change my mind. I didn’t follow the recipe exactly. I halved the dextrose. I read the recipe and it told me to use 10 Granny Smith apples. I thought Granny Smith is very tart and you are pairing it with rhubarb? Then definitely you will have to use more dextrose. I chose to make a mixed apple rhubarb pie, which means that I just went down the bins at the local orchard and took one of each apple. In fact there were more varieties available, but I didn’t make it to all the bins. I was also skeptical about the 10 apples. That seemed like a lot for just one pie, so I only used 8, but I still had a lot of filling left. Apples must be really small in Australia. My reasoning with halving all the sugar in everything is that my family happens to like tart things like rhubarb and lemons to still taste tart. There are so many people who put so much sugar in their lemonade that it no longer tastes tart at all.

The desserts still tasted perfectly sweet to my guests and family, and I’m the only one doing this low sugar thing, so that tells you these recipes used way too much dextrose to begin with. I halved the amount of dextrose and no one could tell it wasn’t regular pie and ice cream (mind you of course you can make perfectly good sugar-free apple pie anyway).



Decadent Chocolate Desserts

I know this is a misuse of the word “decadent,” but that’s the way people use this word, and I honestly couldn’t think of another word that had the same connotations as what people mean when they misuse the word decadent.

Chocolate Hazelnut Pudding

This is one of Baby’s favorites. Basically, you roast a cup of hazelnuts in the oven I think at like 400 degrees for 10 -12 minutes, rub the skins off of them, put them in the food processor and grind them into a paste. Then you melt 1 1/3 cups of chocolate chips, you add those to the hazelnut paste and add a package of silken tofu. You blend it all together, and it is delicious.

Vegan Chocolate “Ice Cream”

This one I just tried today. I don’t think it is really my own recipe. I kind of saw it online somewhere, but the website was being slow and not loading correctly. I didn’t write it down, so this is just what I thought I remembered, but wow is it good!

1 avocado

1 can coconut milk

1/2 cup cocoa powder

1/2 cup maple syrup

a splash of vanilla

1/4 cup water

You just put all the ingredients in your blender, liquefy, and then put it in a freezer safe bowl (I used a Pyrex bowl with a lid). You leave it in the freezer for an hour, then you start stirring it every 20 minutes for 4 or 5 hours.

You really can’t tell that’s it’s avocado, coconut milk or even maple syrup. A lot of things sweetened with maple syrup have a mapley taste, but this just taste like really good dark chocolate ice cream, and it isn’t even really ice cream. This also makes a really good pudding, as Baby and I were eating it right out of the blender.

Chocolate Greek Yogurt

I have this for a snack almost every night. I take a cup of low fat (Cabot’s low fat Greek style yogurt) a teaspoon of cocoa powder, and a teaspoon of honey and stir it up really good so that there aren’t any clumps. Baby can’t have this yet because of the honey.


Fresh Lima Beans… Wow!

Last week we picked the lima beans from the garden. I had never eaten fresh lima beans before. I hear them mentioned online in relation to farmer’s markets, but I’ve never seen them at the farmer’s markets either. Anyway, we brought them back in the watering can. Baby tried to eat them (she’s teething) and I made a valiant effort to keep her from doing so. (Raw lima beans are not good to eat!).

I shelled them, and boiled them. Then I cooked them with fried onion, a sliced plum tomato, and some basil and Parmesan cheese. Baby and I ate them. Wow, were they delicious. I’m definitely planning on planting more next year!

Chocolate Protein Shake

2 Tbsp. cocoa powder

2-3 Tbsp. peanut butter

pureed peach ( you can use a jar of baby food. Can you tell I have a baby?)

Greek Yogurt (I used 2%)

A little milk if you want it.

I just mixed everything up to the desired thickness. It was nice and thick, like a shake should be, very satisfying. You can’t really taste the peach. That was just for a sweetener. You could use banana too, but I didn’t have banana, and banana always tastes like banana. I tastes like a nice chocolate peanut butter shake.

Asparagus Cheesy Rice

Asparagus is one of those foods, that if you have it at all when it is in season, you probably have more than you know what to do with. For example, my step-father recently gave me a grocery bag full of asparagus. My husband quickly informed me that he wasn’t going to eat any of it. The first thing I did was give a third of it to a neighbor, but I still had an awful lot of asparagus. Since then I have wrapped the asparagus in filo dough with cheddar cheese; made a dal with asparagus, green beans, green chili, onion, cilantro and poached egg, and now today I made a cheesy asparagus rice.

10 stalks asparagus (cut into bite sized pieces)

half an onion, chopped

1 tsp. garlic paste

olive oil

1/2 cup rice

2 cups water

1/2 cup cheddar cheese (grated)

lemon pepper seasoning

Saute the onion and asparagus in olive oil until soft. Add the garlic and lemon pepper seasoning (if you are like me you will add some extra black pepper as well). add the rice and stir for a couple of minutes. Add the water 1 cup at a time. Cook stirring frequently until most of the water is evaporated. Then add more water. Continue cooking over medium/low heat until water is mostly evaporated. Stir in cheddar cheese until melted. Remove from heat.

Improvised Butter Chicken Recipe

I’ve never actually eaten Butter Chicken, so I’m not sure what it is supposed to taste like, but I always come across it when I look up chicken recipes online lately. I read that it isn’t really Indian food, but Indian inspired British food. Anyway, it would seem that two rather important ingredients are either cream or yogurt and garam masala, neither of which I have right now. I know that the main spices in garam masala are cumin and probably cinnamon and other sweet spices like that, but my husband used up all the cumin and it hasn’t been replaced, and we don’t have any garam masala. So this is what I came up with. It’s pretty good, whether it bears any resemblance to actual butter chicken, I don’t know.


6 halal chicken thighs

1 onion chopped


3 TBSP. butter

2 TBSP garlic paste

1 TBSP curry powder

1 TBSP tandoori masala

1 tsp. cayenne pepper

1/4 cup tomato paste

3 heaping TBSP tahini

2-3 TBSP honey

a splash of milk

1/4 cup water

2 cups vegetable of choice ( cut into pieces)

salt to taste

Heat oil in a skillet medium/high. Add onion and chicken thighs. Cook until chicken browns, at least 10 minutes. Add garlic paste. Stir in. Stir in spices, tomato paste, tahini, honey, milk, and water. Stir to coat chicken. Add vegetables. Cover and simmer for 50 minutes, stirring occasionally and adding more water as needed.