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Reducing sugar in sweet and sour cabbage

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I've been working at reducing my intake of refined sugars and carbs, and so far I've had really good results. I'm planning to make my favorite sweet and sour cabbage recipe, which calls for a half cup of sugar for a four-serving recipe. That comes to 2 Tbsp of sugar in each serving, which seems too much. Should I: (1) reduce the amount of sugar to maybe 1/4 cup? or (2) substitute Splenda for all or part of the sugar? or (3) prepare as directed and cut down somewhere else. I thank you in advance for your suggestions.

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  1. Well, you can start by reducing the amount of sugar per your own suggestion. Then, you'll need to go by taste, adding Splenda back in very small increments, until the cabbage is to your taste. I wouldn't eliminate the sugar entirely, though. You'll need to adjust the vinegar accordingly, as Splenda definitely has a sweeter taste.

    1. First of all, rather than splenda, I would try coco palm sugar ( google to read about it)., which actually adds flavor rather than just sweetness and is less refined and low glycemic.

      I use very little sugar in cabbage, maybe 2-3 T for the whole thing .

      1. That's more sugar than necessary for sure. For a head of cabbage (4 servings), the tried and true 1953 Joy of Cooking recipe calls for 6 tablespoons brown sugar and 3 Tb vinegar. A few years ago I started replacing that combo with 2 Tb balsamic vinegar, and have not looked back.

        2 Replies
        1. re: ellabee

          Nom NOM NOM. I've used sherry vinegar and red wine vinegar and cider vinegar and Champagne vingegar (which was too light and did not work at ALL! Warning!!) but for some reason I never ever ever thought to use the Balsamic, and I have no idea why not. I sure am going to now, though.

          1. re: mamachef

            That makes sense!

        2. I use your #2 option in all my cooking. It only takes a small proportion of sugar to mask the Splenda aftertaste. (In my large mug of coffee it's 1/8 tsp sugar and a packet of Splenda). Don't
          do it with baked goods, though, and expect the same texture you'd get from baking with sugar.
          You can often sub Splenda for half the sugar in something like oatmeal or choc chip cookies but this does not work for cookies across the board.

          1. Have you considered Stevia/Truvia? I use it in coffee but have yet to try it with baking or cooking. I love the balsamic vinegar suggestion! I usually use red wine vinegar, but will try the switch to balsamic and see what happens.

            1 Reply
            1. re: KailuaGirl

              I'd caution the OP to try Stevia or Truvia in a beverage before considering using it in cooking. To me, they have a horrendous licorice/mint/alcohol taste without being truly sweet. Had my first use of it been in cooking or baking, I'd have had to throw out the food.

            2. I hardly use sugar, but there are times when a recipe just isn't sweet enough. I tried the stevia granules and didn't like the taste. There is also stevia in bottles similar to other extracts, a very small bottle, and one can put a drop at a time to add to such non-baking dishes.
              I buy the non-alcoholic extract stevia. And for instance if my yogurt and berries need just a touch of sugar, I will add 2 drops of the stevia extract.

              It seems that stevia extract might work out well for your cabbage as a substitute for part of your sugar. I only use organic sugar - not expensive as I believe I've had 3# in my cupboard for maybe three years.

              I also use a substitute of part of the sugar called for - a coconut sugar. But it will, in this case, probably turn your mayo or oil, or whatever, a ugly brown :-))