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Xylitol

Does anyone cook and/or bake with xylitol? How does it behave compared with sugar?

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  1. I tasted some xylitol plain once. Tastes a little cool on the tongue, actually. Very inoffensive, and pleasantly sweet.

    It was fine in my black coffee.

    I've also had chewing gum made with xylitol, and it was less than exciting.

    I haven't tried cooking with it because I could only find it at Whole Foods in individual sized packets, which made it very expensive. Have you seen it in larger containers?

    2 Replies
    1. re: Pei

      I just saw a worker stacking various size boxes of it at the Korean food store near Boston and was wondering what it was. I'll have to look into it. Perhaps your nearby asian food store might also have some.

      1. re: Pei

        I have a huge container of it that someone gave me as a gift (as big as a can of supermarket coffee). She got it at Rainbow Grocery, which is a health food co-op here in SF. There's probably something similar in the LA, but I haven't lived there for so long I'm not sure where. I'm trying to figure out what to cook with it; I don't bake a lot so I don't want to waste one of my few baking sessions with something that doesn't turn out.

      2. Thanks. Have seen it at health food stores (in packets and in bulk) and am curios as it is a naturally derived sweetener (from birch syrup). Will also look into asian shops and recipes.

        1. Banana bread recipe. I didn't invent it. Got it off the internet, somewhere. Cut back on the sugar or xylitol a little if you have giant bananas. Tastes pretty good.

          3 very ripe bananas
          2 large eggs
          1/2 cup butter
          1 1/2 tablespoons sour cream
          1 teaspoon lemon juice
          1/2 cup xylitol
          1/4 cup sugar
          2 cups all-purpose flour
          1 1/2 teaspoons baking powder
          1/2 teaspoon baking soda
          1 cup unsalted walnuts or pecans, chopped

          Preheat oven to 350 degrees F.
          Place bananas, eggs, butter, sour cream, lemon juice, and xylitol in a blender container or food processor bowl and mix until smooth.
          In a bowl, mix together flour, baking powder and baking soda.
          Pour banana mixture over flour mixture.
          Stir just until flour is moistened.
          Stir in the nuts.
          Turn into a greased 9" by 4" loaf pan or into two 3" by 7" bread pans.
          Bake for 55 to 60 minutes or until a toothpick inserted in the center of the loaf comes out clean.
          Allow to cool 5 minutes in the pan, then turn out onto a wire rack and complete cooling.

          4 Replies
            1. re: Sam Ottawa

              I'm totally guessing here, but it might be because xylitol is SOOO expensive right now, or because xylitol doesn't taste right in the recipe and they're blending it with sugar to preserve the original flavor of the recipe.

              1. re: Pei

                when you mix two different types of sugars and/or artificial sweetners, they have a synergistic sweetening effect that increases the sweetness far more than only if one of the same amount is in it... that's why CocaCola C2 has I think 2-3 different types of sweetners.

              2. re: Sam Ottawa

                Sugar browns (carmalizes). Yeast needs sugar (no yeast this recipe, tho) Xylitol and sugar tastes better than xylitol alone.

            2. Xylitol in high amounts can also cause intestinal distress in some individuals. I know someone who is so sensitive they won't touch the stuff because of the end result.

              1 Reply
              1. re: mochimunchie

                I have issues like that with sugar alcohols. I won't touch it in large amounts, though I have no problem with sugar free gums.

              2. I love to cook with Xylitol, It makes foods a bit more cake like in texture. It is also very sweet. I buy a 55 pound bag online from thexylitoldepot.com to make it less expensive to cook with. I will post some of my recipies for you soon.

                1. Yes, xylitol is interchangeable with sugar for most cooking applications. Since yeast cannot metabolize it, xylitol will not work when baking breads or anything that contains yeast. Furthermore, xylitol does not crystallize as much as table sugar; therefore it does not do well when making peanut brittle or other hard candy.

                  1 Reply
                  1. re: Sherry614

                    I know it's a year later, but, since the thread was bumped already...

                    Xylitol actually crystallizes quite a bit more than table sugar. That's actually the root of the problem. Brittle and hard candy don't rely on crystallization, but on glassing. Xylitol won't glass like table sugar will.

                  2. EXTREMELY IMPORTANT: If you have a dog, be sure to keep foods with xylitol securely away from it. Small amounts can easily kill a dog - one of the published veterinary cases was a Retriever that died after eating a 4-pack of store-bought sugar-free muffins made with xylitol.

                    1 Reply
                    1. re: greygarious

                      We have a big Bichon-20 lb.-and he ate 5+ (he threw up 5 pieces but may have eaten more) pieces of Orbit sugerless gum. It makes their blood sugar go very low and can cause liver necrosis (bad). We were very lucky to know about this-got him to the vet within the hour and he was on a glucose drip for 24 hours and then had to be checked 12 hours later. We think he is ok-although 5 days later I am worried that he seems lethargic and will take him back to have his liver enzymes tested. It was a very expensive pack of gum: $550. For him, it would have been a toxic dose if we hadn't realized what he did. Be ware of where you keep your gum, tic tacs (sugarfree) or anything you cook with xylitol. It does not do this to cats or humans-only dogs.

                    2. I originally thought you could replace xylitol for sugar in a recipe. My original intent was to provide goodies for my mother who is diabetic. If you keep the serving quantities small such as mini cupcakes, all is good. I made the mistake of using a cup of xylitol in a loaf of lemon bread. Of course, everyone cuts a good size of the loaf for a serving. I suffered major intestinal distress. I didn't realize that was the problem until I began further research on-line on xylitol. All is not equal when it comes to sugar. As all new ingredients, be careful.

                      1. So, can anyone tell me; Does Xylatol carmelize? for things like creme brulee & tarte tatin? If not, do you know what other sugar subs I can use?

                        2 Replies
                        1. re: mattucee

                          splenda does according to their website. It is faster than sugar though (lower melting point).

                          1. re: mattucee

                            I've seen documentation stating that sugar alcohols don't caramelize and I've seen photos of them caramelizing. I've never personally witness xylitol caramelizing, but with the information out there, the best approach is to give a try.

                            Erythritol caramelizes, as does isomalt. I think it's pretty safe to say that maltitol and sorbitol will caramelize, although with all the conflicting info, I can't guarantee it.

                            Inulin caramelizes quite nicely (fibersure) but it isn't cheap.

                            The maltodextrin used to bulk splenda will probably caramelize, but, since splenda is mostly air, you won't end up with much caramel (less than 1/10 the same amount of sugar). Splenda for baking is 50% sugar, so that will obviously caramelize, but if you're trying to avoid sugar altogether, that's not an option.

                          2. I wanted to make some treats for a diabetic friend so got some xylitol to make peanut butter cookies. Well when they came out of the oven they were so soft that you couldn't lift them with a spoon. Hours later they did firm up, but when you eat them they feel cool in your mouth. I would suggest to use Xylitol in cold desserts only so the effect is minimized.