Archive for the ‘Cooking/Food Tips’ Category

SUBSTITUTES FOR ALCOHOL IN COOKING

Amaretto - Almond extract (1/2 teaspoon extract for 2 tablespoons of Amaretto) or Amaretto syrup such as Davinci.

Anisette - Anise Italian soda syrup or fennel.

Apple Brandy - Apple juice, unsweetened apple juice concentrate, apple cider, or apple butter.

Apricot Brandy
- Syrup from a can of apricots in heavy syrup, or apricot preserves.

Beer or Ale
– A strong chicken, beef or mushroom broth, or non-alcoholic beer.

Beer or Ale (Light)
– Chicken broth, white grape juice or ginger ale.

Bourbon - 1 1/2 to 2 teaspoons of vanilla extract.

Brandy - 1/2 to 1 teaspoon of brandy or rum extract for 2 tablespoons of Brandy. When liquid amount is critical to the recipe, use water or fruit juices corresponding to flavor of brandy (use same amount of liquid as the recipe calls for brandy)

Calvados - Apple juice, unsweetened apple juice concentrate, apple cider, or apple butter.

Chambord - Raspberry juice, syrup or extract.

Champagne - Ginger ale, sparkling apple cider, sparkling cranberry juice, or sparkling white grape juice.

Cherry Liqueur or Cherry Brandy – Syrup from a can of cherries in heavy syrup, or cherry syrup such as Davinci, Syria or cherry preserves.

Claret - non-alcoholic wine, diluted grape juice or cherry cider syrup.

Coffee Liqueur
– To replace 2 tablespoons of liqueur, use 1/2 to 1 teaspoon of chocolate extract mixed with 1 teaspoon of instant coffee, which has been mixed in 2 tablespoons of water. Can also substitute expresso, non-alcoholic coffee extract or coffee syrup.

Cognac - Apricot, peach or pear juice.

Cointreau - To replace 2 tablespoons of liqueur, use 2 tablespoons of orange juice concentrate or 2 tablespoons of orange juice with 1/2 teaspoon of orange extract.

Crème de cacao
- Powdered white chocolate combined with water, or non-alcoholic vanilla extract and powdered sugar.

Crème de cassis
– Black currant syrup or black currant jam.

Crème de menthe
– non-alcoholic mint extract, mint Italian soda syrup, spearmint extract, or spearmint oil with a little water added. If green color is needed, add a drop of green food coloring.

Curacao - To replace 2 tablespoons of liqueur, use 2 tablespoons of orange juice concentrate or 2 tablespoons of orange juice with 1/2 teaspoon of orange extract.

Framboise - Raspberry juice or raspberry syrup.

Frangelico - Hazelnut or almond extract.  Or hazelnut flavored syrup.

Galliano – Licorice extract.

Gewurztraminer -White grape juice combined with lemon juice.

Grand Marnier – To replace 2 tablespoons of liqueur, use 2 tablespoons of orange juice concentrate or 2 tablespoons of orange juice with 1/2 teaspoon of orange extract.

Grappa - Grape juice.

Grenadine – non-alcoholic grenadine or pomegranate syrup.

Hard Cider – Apple juice or apple cider.

Kahlua
– To replace 2 tablespoons of liqueur, use 1/2 to 1 teaspoon of chocolate extract mixed with 1 teaspoon of instant coffee, which has been mixed in 2 tablespoons of water. Can also substitute expresso, non-alcoholic coffee extract or coffee syrup.

Kirsch - Cherry cider or black cherry, raspberry, boysenberry, currant, or grape juice or syrup. Substitute same amount of liquid as called for in the recipe.

Licorice or Anise Liqueur – Anise extract, seeds or fennel.

Mirin - White grape juice combined with lemon juice or lemon zest.

Muscat - White grape juice combined with powdered sugar.

Ouzo - Anise extract, seeds or fennel.

Orange Liqueur - Orange juice concentrate, orange juice, orange zest or orange marmalade.

Peach Brandy - Syrup from a can of peaches in heavy syrup, or peach preserves.

Peppermint Schnapps
– non-alcoholic mint or peppermint extract, peppermint Davinci syrup, or mint leaves.

Port - Concord grape juice with some lime zest added, cranberry juice with some lemon juice added, or grape juice concentrate. Substitute orange juice or apple juice for lighter ports.

Red Burgundy - Red wine vinegar, grape juice or non-alcoholic wine

Red Wine, sweet or dry
– non-alcoholic wine with a tablespoon of vinegar added to cut the sweetness, grape juice, cranberry juice, grape jelly, tomato juice, beef broth, liquid drained from vegetables, or water. Use equal amounts of liquid as called for in the recipe.

Riesling - White grape juice with a pinch of powdered sugar added.

Rum - White grape juice, pineapple juice, or apple juice in equal liquid amounts as called for in the recipe. Can also use these juices with 1/2 to 1 teaspoon of rum, almond or vanilla extract added.

Sake - Rice vinegar.

Sambuca - Anise extract, seeds or fennel.

Schnapps - To replace 2 tablespoons of schnapps, add 1 teaspoon of a corresponding flavored extract.

Sherry - Apple juice, orange juice, pineapple juice, or non-alcoholic vanilla extract.

Southern Comfort - Peach flavored nectar combined with a small amount of cider vinegar.

Sparkling Wine - Ginger ale, sparkling apple cider, sparkling cranberry juice, or sparkling white grape juice.

Sweet Marsala Wine – Grape juice and added sugar

Tequila - (this is made from the Agave plant…so maybe a little Agave nectar…) Cactus juice or nectar.

Triple Sec – Orange juice concentrate, orange juice, orange zest or orange marmalade.

Vermouth, Dry – White grape juice, white wine vinegar, or non-alcoholic white wine.

Vermouth, Sweet - Apple juice, grape juice, balsamic vinegar, non-alcoholic sweet wine, or water with lemon juice.

Whiskey - If a small amount is called for, it can be eliminated.

Vodka - White grape juice or apple cider combined with lime juice or use plain water in place of the vodka.

White Burgundy - non-alcoholic wine, white grape juice combined with white wine vinegar.

White Wine, sweet or dry
– non-alcoholic wine with a tablespoon of vinegar added to cut the sweetness, white grape juice, apple juice, apple cider, tomato juice, chicken broth, liquid drained from vegetables, ginger ale, or water. Use equal amounts of liquid as called for in the recipe.

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COLORED ‘SUGAR’

How fun!  The photo above shows the standard colors that come in a box of food coloring…but don’t stop there.  Become your own colorist and experiment to make fabulous custom/designer shades for all your baking needs.  (See chart below.)

I use Whey Low Granular and it works beautifully.  But, since WL seems to be more ‘moist’  – at least in my climate – left out, it tends to clump.  So I also added a touch of cornstarch to help keep it dry and clump free with the added moisture of the liquid coloring.

I can’t wait to use this on top of a snowy-white low-sugar Cream Cheese Frosting-iced cake!

EDIT:  My friend said she just used the color POWDERS with Splenda Granular and it worked very well.  Good to know!!

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1/4 cup Whey Low Granular

2 drops liquid food coloring  (more drops for intense color)

1/4 teaspoon cornstarch – (if you will be storing the mixture or adding more than 2 drops color)

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In a small bowl place the WL (and cornstarch, if needed) and add the drops of coloring.  With the back of a spoon smoosh it around and stir until all lumps of color are gone.   Store in a sealable bag, or airtight jar/bowl.

This is a chart for custom colors using the basic red/green/yellow/blue that we can find anywhere.  Specialty stores will have more colors to choose from and thus give you an even greater range.  However, with the basic four you can make just about any color imaginable.

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Turquoise: 4 Drops of Blue, 1 Drop of Green
Brown: 5 Drops of Red, 6 Drops of Yellow, 3 Drops of Green
Purple: 1 Drop of Red, 1 Drop of Blue
Lime Green: 3 Drops of Yellow, 1 Drop of Green
Pistachio Green: 1 Drop of Yellow, 4 Drops of Green
Orange: 2 Drops of Red, 3 Drops of Yellow,
Peach: 1 Drop of Red, 2 Drops of Yellow
Salmon: 3 Drops of Red, 2 Drops of Yellow
Black: Equal amounts of all colors.

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Sugar Replacer Confusion!!

In my recipes you’ll find different sugar substitutes used.  It can be confusing coming into the low-carb, low or no sugar game and being faced with all the options.

The following explains why I use one here and another one there…

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SPLENDA

I LOVE Splenda granular – it’s usually found in any grocery store – and several have their own “house” brand that is less expensive.  It measures exactly like sugar and for drinks, sprinkling on foods, or moist desserts it works fabulously. Custards, puddings, mousses, sauces, cheesecakes, fruit pies, crisps, cobblers, custard pies such as pumpkin…for those types of things it is just perfect.

BUT…it doesn’t work well in baked goods such as muffins, cakes, some cookies, quick breads, etc. Those types of dishes require the chemical properties of sugar for their raising, texture, crumbs, and general mouth-feel. Splenda doesn’t “cream till light and fluffy” and doesn’t help with the VOLUME of the recipe, so it doesn’t give the gorgeous end-product that I require my homemade goodies to have!

So…Maltitol (Nature Sweet is a brand name…) and Whey Low are what I call for in those types of recipes.

MALTITOL

Maltitol is wonderful in that it works the same as sugar in providing the texture and crumb that make a great product. If the sugar alcohols don’t bother you, then it’s a lovely to work with. You can order it online in several places – usually ones that specialize in low-carb or diabetic products.

Personally, I have gotten away from using Maltitol because it is a sugar alcohol. It’s what’s used in commercially-made sugar-free cookies, cakes, muffins, ect. The sugar alcohols can cause intestinal distress in people – and being weight loss surgery post ops – they tend to cause MORE than a little in me and my husband. It’s not a pleasant situation!

WHEY LOW


Whey Low on the other hand is made from lactose, (milk sugar), fructose (fruit sugar) and sucrose (table sugar), but how they process it makes it low on the glycemic index and it doesn’t hit our bloodstream as fast as regular sugars do. (If you’ve had WL surgery you can have a very hard time with sugar – can make you very ill.)  It also has less calories and carbs than the regular sugars it replaces.

Whey Low is not a sugar alcohol and doesn’t have those effects – which is a nice thing. It measures exactly like sugar in any recipe and gives the superior-quality product that we want when we go to all the trouble of baking!!

It also comes in granular, Gold (brown sub that is fantastic), and powdered for all your baking projects.

I hope this helps!

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