cooking and braising w/ splenda- a question about taste
Two of our Thanksgiving guests have diabetes, so I'm thinking of using splenda in the cranberry sauce and in pies/baked goods. The only experience I have w/ splenda was in eating ice cream that had splenda in it and I noted a distinct aftertaste- sort of like in diet sodas. I didn't care for it. I'm wondering if this aftertaste will show up in the items I might make. Any advice/experiences would be appreciated.
Maybe not very helpful for you at the moment, but when cooking with Splenda, I usually blend it with another sweetner called Erithrytol. Blending the two seems to lessen the artificial aftertaste taste.
How I'm making my cranberry sauce this year is by boiling cranberries in sugar-free raspberry or orange DiVinci - a coffee flavoring. Many varities of DiVinci (or Torani or Artisnal) can be found at Marshalls. I've also found sugar-free Torani ar Cost Plus World Market in Pentagon Row.
I don't get any aftertaste from this - but I may just be used to the Splenda flavor.
Splenda will bake up in pies just fine but it really is not a good pairing with cranberries. If you do use it boil the berries in the water with the other seasonings (the recipe someone posted not long ago that substituted Cab. Sauv. for water was fantastic) and when the berries have burst and the sauce has cooled somewhat, then add the Splenda. The Splenda in teh large bag is much sweeter than sugar, I don't know why. I would start with about a half cup of it and taste. I like the idea that Phoebe suggested and using sugar free Torani. Cranberries and Splenda are not a perfect match and you will have that sugar substitute taste. I don't know if Equal would be better but you definitely cannot heat Equal. That is a sure fire way to destroy the sweetness. Another possibility might to use part sugar and part Splenda. Cook the berries with the water or wine and seasonings and 1/2 C. sugar. When cool add Splenda to achieve the desired sweetness. Your diabetic friends would not be getting a lot of sugar from the sauce. A half C. of sugar among 8-10 servings is not going to send their insulin counts off the charts.
Also you might ask them what they prefer. Maybe they will have been anticipating having a little sugar and planning their diets accordingly.
You are a very considerate person to be actively looking for ways to make your guests comfortable...must be nice to visit your house!
I post this on behalf of diabetics everywhere :-) We love that you care about us enough to want to make these changes to your cooking, but please, before you knock yourself out trying to figure out what to do, ask us what we can and can't eat. We will tell you. Most of us plan well for big events, and a little cranberry sauce and some pie really aren't big issues..in fact, we look forward to 'cheating' a little, truth be told.
No one wants to ruin the dinner for everyone else, and I personally don't like being handed a 'special dish' made just for me that no one else will eat because, well, frankly, it tastes like doody. Believe me, sugar free or not, I'd rather have the real pie!
I've use Splenda when I make my cranberry sauce & don't find the funny taste with it like I have with baking (yuk, won't use it to bake). I do find that although Splenda says it's an equal measurement to sugar, it is too sweet for my taste, so I just use about 50%-75% less. I also add oj & chopped apples to my cranberry sauce, so that may eliminate the splenda "taste".
I'm a newly diagnosed diabetic and I can taste artificial sweeteners a mile off. Hoping I become desensitized to it over time.
I heartily agree with the other poster's kudos to you for being so thoughtful, and for consulting your guests about what they can eat. Also, ask them what they'd like to bring, if they're at all into cooking. I'm learning a new way of eating and pride myself on my potluck dishes that are OK for me and taste good ("normal") to others!
I appreciate the feedback. For those of you who offered advice about diabetes, I'm familiar w/ the diet guidelines. The guests I referred to are close family members and in the past couple of years, through monitoring the care of my mom, I've become acquainted with the varying views on the proper diabetes diet. Anyway, my mom is not good about her diet- she'll gorge on her faves- rice and noodles. And she doesn't count carbs, etc. But I guess since there are going to be plenty of protein and veggies, a little sugar in the cranberry sauce/pies isn't going to be too bad. I was nervous b/c of the potatoes and stuffing on the table as well. I wanted to kind of reduce the bad stuff on the table, you know? I think I might try the half sugar and half splenda for one pie, and then do real sugar for cranberry sauce, and then just try to encourage my mom to control her carb/sugar portions. Thanks again everyone!