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using stevia in mango chutney?

h
hymncat Nov 10, 2010 07:03 PM

I've been making a classic mango chutney for several years, and while I know it's always going to be heavy in sugars because of the fruit, I'm wondering if I can reduce the load somewhat (particularly for a diabetic friend who will eat the stuff anyway!) by substituting stevia for the additional sugar called for in the recipe. Has anyone out there experimented with stevia in such a context?

  1. goodhealthgourmet Nov 10, 2010 07:42 PM

    using stevia in things like this takes practice and finesse because it can be extremely bitter if you use too much. plus, the sugar adds a certain body and viscosity that you really need for the proper texture in chutney - you can't just omit all the sugar and expect a good result. try cutting the sugar by about half, and adding a little stevia to boost the sweetness if necessary. i do this with chutney, cranberry sauce, compote, etc., and it works quite well.

    1 Reply
    1. re: goodhealthgourmet
      h
      hymncat Nov 12, 2010 06:19 PM

      Wow - didn't expect so much response, so fast. Yes, I know that stevia tastes funny to some people, and I gather that there are a bunch of different preparations with more or less 'stevia' taste to them. Thank you all for the suggestions - I think I'll ask my friend's wife how his tolerance is for coconut sugar and agave (separately).
      Goodhealthgourmet, I know that any major reduction in sugar will tend to change texture, tho' possibly not as much here as in some recipes, since in addition to mango, the recipe also includes significant quantities of chopped apple and onion, also raisins and sliced limes, and it's cooked down so the vinegar doesn't leave it soupy. Someone commented on the relative keeping quality, and I'd guess that this might need longer processing in the jar, as well as definite refrigeration after opening.

    2. r
      rockfish42 Nov 10, 2010 07:24 PM

      You could, just keep in mind it won't keep the same way. You need sugar in sufficient amounts to act as a preservative

      19 Replies
      1. re: rockfish42
        m
        magiesmom Nov 10, 2010 07:26 PM

        I have used agave which worked really well and tastes much better than stevia IMO,

        1. re: magiesmom
          goodhealthgourmet Nov 10, 2010 07:37 PM

          OP is trying to avoid adding more sugar. agave is sugar.

          1. re: goodhealthgourmet
            m
            magiesmom Nov 10, 2010 07:45 PM

            yes, but it does not affect blood sugar in the way cane sugar does ( at least not mine, and I have tested this repeatedly), so I thought I'd offer my experience.

            1. re: magiesmom
              goodhealthgourmet Nov 10, 2010 08:05 PM

              the problem is that it impacts some people more than others, and unless someone is familiar with the ingredient, they might erroneously assume that it's not sugar or that it's completely safe for all diabetics. i just figured it best to err on the side of caution with my reply...and i apologize if i came off snippy - i didn't mean to be, but reading it now it appears that way!

              1. re: goodhealthgourmet
                m
                magiesmom Nov 11, 2010 04:34 AM

                True re: impact variation. But stevia to my buds always tastes horrible, even in tiny quantities. And OP indicates the diabetic friend will eat it regardless.

                1. re: magiesmom
                  goodhealthgourmet Nov 11, 2010 07:45 AM

                  "And OP indicates the diabetic friend will eat it regardless."
                  ~~~~~~~
                  right, so for his/her sake, the less sugar that's in there, the better ;)

                  i use stevia all the time for sweetening my own foods such as tea and yogurt, but when it comes to cooking & baking for others, i keep it to a minimum because, as you pointed out, many people can't stand the taste.

                  i've been using agave for a long time, and i certainly don't think it's bad, it just concerns me that i've seen a lot of people misinterpret the low glycemic load as a license to use it willy nilly. (not saying that you do, just that others might not know any better!)

                  for the record, if you've never tried coconut palm sugar, give it a shot - even lower GL than agave, and comes in both crystal and syrup forms which is really handy...and the flavor is great.

                  1. re: goodhealthgourmet
                    m
                    magiesmom Nov 11, 2010 05:07 PM

                    I will try it on your suggestion. I have wondered about it. Thanks.

                    1. re: magiesmom
                      goodhealthgourmet Nov 11, 2010 07:04 PM

                      let me know how you like it - the flavor is closer to brown sugar than white (which i personally think is a bonus), with a hint of caramel. just be sure to get a pure product - some of the stuff sold in ethnic markets is blended with cane sugar.

                      hopefully, the stuff will catch on and become more popular, and prices will come down...right now it's still considered to be a specialty/niche ingredient, much like agave used to be!

                      1. re: goodhealthgourmet
                        m
                        magiesmom Nov 12, 2010 04:31 AM

                        I will. Next time I can bring myself to go to Whole Foods. Maybe I'll talk my local co-op into ordering it.

                        1. re: magiesmom
                          goodhealthgourmet Nov 12, 2010 07:38 AM

                          Whole Paycheck charges an arm & a leg for it. order it from Nuts Online - they have excellent prices, and their customer service & turnaround time are amazing. when i lived in NJ, i got my orders the NEXT day.

                          http://www.nutsonline.com/cookingbaki...

                          just don't hate me if you start perusing their site and end up ordering everything you see...the selection is pretty insane :)

                          1. re: goodhealthgourmet
                            m
                            magiesmom Nov 12, 2010 10:13 AM

                            It's out of stock there. Anyway, I'm a local shopper, for better or for worse.

                            1. re: magiesmom
                              goodhealthgourmet Nov 12, 2010 01:35 PM

                              bummer. ok, hope you find it for a decent price locally!

                            2. re: goodhealthgourmet
                              m
                              magiesmom Nov 14, 2010 11:33 AM

                              goodhealth: I just bought pure palm sugar at Whole foods for less than the nutsonline price!!!

                              1. re: magiesmom
                                goodhealthgourmet Nov 14, 2010 02:44 PM

                                wow, that's great! is it organic or conventional? also, make sure it's *coconut* palm sugar.

                                can't wait to hear how it works out for you!

                                1. re: goodhealthgourmet
                                  m
                                  magiesmom Nov 14, 2010 04:10 PM

                                  It is organic coconut palm sugar. I will let you know. It tastes good right out of the bag, anyway.

                                  1. re: magiesmom
                                    m
                                    magiesmom Nov 19, 2010 03:36 PM

                                    I made gingerbread tonight for friends and replaced the brown sugar with the coconut palm sugar, and it was luscious.

                                    1. re: magiesmom
                                      goodhealthgourmet Nov 19, 2010 04:07 PM

                                      hooray! glad it worked out well for you. i really love the stuff.

                                      1. re: goodhealthgourmet
                                        m
                                        magiesmom Nov 27, 2010 05:17 PM

                                        I love this stuff! It seems to work better in baked goods ( made pumpkin pie and cranberry pecan bread) and was really good in cranberry/ginger/ pear compote.I am a convert, thanks goohealthgourmet.

                                        1. re: magiesmom
                                          goodhealthgourmet Nov 27, 2010 05:57 PM

                                          my pleasure :) so happy to hear you're enjoying it!

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