Misc homemaking: My Favorite vanilla, sugar substitute and plans for a big travel bag/purse.

February 4, 2017

Tis the season for trimming off the pounds Santa left in your stocking. With Thanksgiving, Christmas and a shot of prednezone in my injured knee, I packed on the holiday pounds like never before.

So I’ve been reversing that trend and have some things figured out that I think are good to know.

Sucralose is the champion artificial sweetener. It causes no side effects because it can’t be absorbed into the body. It passes through the gut unchanged, giving a new meaning to the endearment “Sweet Pee.”  It leaves no aftertaste like Stevia powder does and it doesn’t give me headaches like Aspartame.

Yet the little packets labeled “Splenda” or its knockoffs are not pure sucralose. They’re cut with dextrose so that they’re pourable. If you put only the Sucralose in one of those paper packets, you’d never find it.

I ordered some pure, powdered Sucralose online. 100 grams cost me a little less than 20 dollars. That’s about half a cup. But with it boasting of being 600 times sweeter than sugar, it’s relative inexpensive.

I have also been sampling different varieties of vanilla. The run of the mill vanilla is decent tasting, but it doesn’t compare to the richness of Mexican vanilla. For years, I’ve used the Danncy Vianilla that I buy on ebay by the quart. But the last batch I bought, the dark vianilla had a little bit of an aftertaste that I didn’t like. The white vianilla of that brand is good, but it has all started to seem somewhat watered down. So I splurged and bought a quart of La Vencedora Vianilla. I just searched Mexican vanilla on ebay. It’s strong, rich and utterly delicious. If you try this brand, you’ll be amazed at how much difference it makes in your recipes.

Lastly, I’ve undertaken to make a travel hand bag in anticipation of a heavy travel year. We’re starting off with a trip to China and Thailand, then going on to a Caribbean cruise and then I’m hoping to land a number of fun press trips. I have read that people can scan credit cards by just having the reader close by your wallet or purse. I bought some mylar emergency blankets and have learned that a cell phone wrapped in 4 layers of  that thin mylar material won’t receive a signal. Add to that, if the handbag is lined with mylar, it will be insulated for carrying frozen groceries or a hot lunch. I’ll have pictures when it’s done.

Today, I was feeling a little diet-worn, so I baked up a fix. I made some “Super Food” muffins. I used exactly 1/8 of a teaspoon of Sucralose in a 24 muffin batch and it was perfect. I like things sweet. Less would still have been good. They have a hearty texture and taste very similar to graham crackers.

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Beth’s superfood Muffins

1 cup whole wheat flour

1 cup ground quinoa (This is SUPER cheap in the Winco bulk bins.)

2 cups rolled oats

1/8 teaspoon sucralose (sprinkled over dry)

1/2 cup ground flax seed (I found this in the bulk bins at Winco, too)

1 T baking powder

1 teaspoon baking soda,

1 teaspoon salt

1/2 cup dried cranberries

1//2 cup raisins

1 Tablespoon (Mexican) Vanilla

1/4 cup olive oil

3 eggs

2 cups water

Mix well, devide into 24 greased muffin cups, bake at 350 for 18 minutes. 

Each muffin has 125 calories, and is a good/high source of  fiber. I didn’t work out the whole analysis for  iron, protein, and other vitamins, but with these ingredients, you know it’s good.

Note: if you don’t have a grain grinder to grind the quinoa, I recommend cooking the quinoa as directed (like pasta) and then reducing the water commensurately.  

 

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