When I gave up artificial sweeteners, I knew that using natural products were the right choice to make, but I was concerned that I wouldn’t find anything that would have a natural taste (and, yes, I know that is totally ironic because artificial sweetener doesn’t taste natural at all but years of use had made it taste “normal” to me!).
I had read about Xylitol and I was fascinated by the idea. When I looked at what xylitol is I discovered that in North America xylitol is “derived entirely from North American grown hardwood trees”. Yep – you read that right — trees!
And it’s history (I bet that something else I’ve never mentioned but I am a history buff) is equally interesting to me because I couldn’t figure out how anyone would ever even discover something like xylitol. According to Xylitol Canada, “During World War II, Finland was suffering from a sugar shortage and with no domestic supply of sugar, they searched for, and rediscovered, an alternative – xylitol. It was only when xylitol was stabilized that it became a viable sweetener in foods.”
These things really peaked my interest. Xyla (one brand of xylitol) is said to have “40% less calories than sugar and 75% less carbohydrates, so it’s slowly metabolized. It stabilizes insulin and hormone levels, is naturally anti–microbial and is also a natural substance found in our bodies…. [and a] large percentage passes through the body before the carbohydrates are absorbed, thereby making it safe for diabetics or anyone pursuing a healthy lifestyle.”
Look at how it compares to other sweeteners on the Glycemic Index!
• Xylitol 7
• Agave Nectar 15
• Barley Malt Syrup 42
• Maple Syrup 54
• Blackstrap Molasses 55
• Honey 62
• White Sugar 68
• High Fructose Corn Syrup 100
• Glucose 100
So all of these things make xylitol interesting, but the proof is in the pudding (I just thought of that — I could try making pudding with it!) so I tried Xyla sweetener and Xyla Candies to see how they tasted. My dad, as many of you know, is diabetic, so I also gave him some Xyla and some of the candies to try out. My dad said that he liked the candies (we actually both loved the licorice flavour!) and the fact that they come in a small tin is perfect — he can carry them in his pocket when he and my mom go out and then he’s got a sweet treat that is better for him than any of the sugar-ladened snacks that I know he always wants to have! He also has a love for fruity things so both the Watermelon and Grape flavours were a hit too! It took a bit more encouragement to get him to try the Xyla packets because my dad is a creature of habit and he kept saying, “But I already use XxXx and I like it” but, with a bit of encouragement, he tried it in his coffee. The next thing I know, he’s asking me where he can buy it and toddling off to Sobeys to pick up some for himself — which I’d say means that he likes it!
My mom and dad both bake, so I think Xyla would be an excellent product to bake with but, as I’ve mentioned, it will take showing my Dad to convince him. Since next weekend is Father’s Day, guess what we are going to make him (without telling him they include Xyla until he’s tried it of course!) Sugar Free Cupcakes, with Xylitol! thanks to the Xylitol blog!
Chocolate cupcakes (yields 12)
3/4 cup unsweetened cocoa powder
3/4 cup all-purpose flour
1/2 teaspoon baking powder
1/4 teaspoon salt
3/4 cup (1 1/2 sticks) unsalted butter, room temperature
1 cup Xyla xylitol
3 large eggs
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
1/2 cup sour cream
Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Line 12-cup standard muffin tin with paper liners.
Into a medium bowl, sift together cocoa, flour, baking powder, and salt; set aside. In a mixing bowl, cream butter and sugar until light and fluffy. Add eggs, one at a time, beating well after each, then beat in vanilla. With mixer on low speed, add flour mixture in two batches, alternating with sour cream and beginning and ending with flour.
Pour batter into cups, filling each 3/4 full. Bake until a toothpick inserted in centers comes out clean, 20 to 25 minutes.
Cool in pan 5 minutes; transfer to a wire rack to cool completely.
Vanilla Buttercream Icing
1 cup unsalted butter (2 sticks or ½ pound), softened (but not melted!) Ideal texture should be like ice cream.
3-4 cups powdered xylitol, SIFTED
¼ teaspoon table salt
1 tablespoon vanilla extract
up to 4 tablespoons milk or heavy cream
Beat butter for a few minutes with a mixer with the paddle attachment on medium speed. Add 3 cups of powdered xylitol and turn your mixer on the lowest speed (so the sugar doesn’t blow everywhere) until the sugar has been incorporated with the butter. Increase mixer speed to medium and add vanilla extract, salt, and 2 tablespoons of milk/cream and beat for 3 minutes. If your frosting needs a more stiff consistency, add remaining sugar. If your frosting needs to be thinned out, add remaining milk 1 tablespoons at a time.
If you are looking for a tasty sugar replacement, give Xyla a try! You can purchase it in a 1lb. bag for $7.99, 2 lb. canister for $14.99, box of 100 individual packets for $8.99. You can also buy Xyla gum, mints, candy, chocolate, lollipops, jam and various condiments. You can buy it online or check out the retailers nationwide.
Giveaway: One reader from Canada (excluding Quebec) will win a Xylitol prize pack including a Xyla cannister, Xyla packets and a variety of Xyla Mints valued at over $50!
Remember, you must complete the mandatory entry in order for your extra entries to count (entries without the mandatory first entry will be discarded)!
Each entry should also appear in a different comment (do not put them together into one comment).
To enter, check out the entire line of Xyla products and tell me what you’d most like to try! (1 entry).
Daily Entries – 1 entry each:
- Follow me Twitter AND tweet the following (please include the link to your tweet): Cupcakes without sugar?Do it with Xyla! #Win a Xyla prize pack @XylaXylitol @ReviewCorner http://wp.me/p10r9i-31k ends 07/05 CANADA #recipe
- Tweet the following (and include your link): It’s all in the details http://tinyurl.com/greatpicturequotes @ReviewCorner #picture #quote #picturequote
- pin any of my recipes or weight-loss posts on Pinterest and share the link (1 entry per post – unlimited entries)
- Comment on any of my non-giveaway posts – let me know which post you have commented on (1 entry per post)
- Check out the retailers that carry Xyla and give me the name of your closest store. (1 entry)
- follow XYLA Xylitol on Twitter (or tell me that you already do) – include your Twitter handle (1 entry)
- ”like” Xyla Canada’s Facebook fan page (or tell me that you already do) – include your Facebook name (1 entry)
- ”like” Xylitol USA’s Facebook fan page (or tell me that you already do) – include your Facebook name (1 entry)
- follow XYLA Xylitol on Pinterest (or tell me that you already do) – include your Pinterest handle (1 entry)
- subscribe to My Little Review Corner’s RSS feeds (or tell me you already receive them)– include the email address you used (1 entry)
- subscribe to My Little Review Corner via email (or tell me you already receive them) – include the email address you used (1 entry)
- ”like” my Facebook fan page (or tell me that you already do) – include your Facebook name (1 entry)
- “like” this Facebook post – include the link (1 entry)
- follow me on Pinterest (1 entry)
- add this giveaway to any contest site or linky – share the link or location with me (1 entry per addition – unlimited entries
*Contest closes at 11:59 PM pm EST on Friday, July 5th, 2013 . Open to residents of Canada (excluding Quebec), 18+ years of age. Please note other Terms & Conditions.*