More Thanksgiving Sweets and Thoughts on Sugar


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Here are more ideas for your Thanksgiving dessert table. But first, let me say a few words about sugar.


I’m a big proponent of cutting back on sugar, generally speaking. However, sweets are a big part of our culture, and I’ve been making quite a few over the last months as I work on the dessert section of my cookbook and in preparation for the holidays.


I find myself taking a moderate position on the subject, since health and diet needs can vary from one person to the next. In fact, a recent study concluded that blood sugar levels spike differently even in people eating the exact same food. Read an article about this phenomenon here:

This diet study upends everything we thought we knew about ‘healthy’ food


Unfortunately, this just adds to the confusion about sugar in the diet. We may never fully understand nutrition and the effects of eating certain foods and combinations of food. In the meantime, I think it’s prudent to limit added sugars, without robbing one’s joy of family-time and tradition.


When I want to enjoy something sweet, I choose to make it from scratch. This is always a better option than buying store-bought sweets laden with high-fructose corn syrup, white flour, and artificial additives. Use wholesome ingredients like fresh fruit, whole grains, and organic butter. 


If you want to bake with sugar, there are (somewhat) more nutritious alternatives to the cheap white sugar found in the grocery store. Most regular white (and brown) sugar comes from sugar beets that have been genetically modified. The moist brown sugar you’re familiar with is simply white sugar with some added molasses. To avoid a GM product, look for sugar that specifies “cane” or “sugar cane.” Only the sugar beets have been genetically modified. 


There are numerous variations of cane sugar that have not been refined at all, or at least not as much as white sugar. Look for Sucanat, Demerara, Muscovado or the whole cane sugar pictured in the featured photo above. If you use a granulated or brown sugar, look for organic, which will definitely not have any GM form of sugar in it.


Read more about GM sugar beets here:

How Monsanto’s Sugar Beets Grew Larger Than the Law


I sometimes cook with molasses, honey and maple syrup, sweeteners that are minimally refined, if at all. Agave nectar is somewhat controversial, so I avoid it. There are other sweeteners you can try, like coconut sugar, date sugar, and brown rice syrup. In the final analysis, it’s best to use all types of sweetener sparingly, whether it’s refined or not. When you do bake, try out the less refined products. They are more expensive, but since you’re using less, it should even out.


Now finally, here’s what you’ve been waiting for: more ideas for Thanksgiving Day sweets that are fairly easy to make and use wholesome ingredients. (Click on the name to be redirected to the full recipe.)


APPLE CRANBERRY CRISP ©FoodFitnessFaith


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APPLE BATTER COBBLER ©FoodFitnessFaith 


apples


PUMPKIN CHOCOLATE CHIP COOKIES ©FoodFitnessFaith


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CHAI GINGERBREAD ©FoodFitnessFaith


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HONEY ORANGE GINGERBREAD ©FoodFitnessFaith


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AND MORE UNDER THE RECIPES TAB, JUST DESSERTS


© Bobbi Mullins 2011, All rights reserved. FOOD FITNESS FAITH™