Sugar? Why is everyone always talking about cutting down on it? Is it really that bad? What can we do about it?
Sugar can be broken down into 2 categories, natural sugars and added sugars.
Natural sugars are the ones that appear naturally in nature, in fruits and vegetables, when we consume them they always come with added vitamins and minerals that help the body to process sugars and keep us healthy, such as fiber and proteins.
Added sugars are processed sugars that are added to produce,usually for flavours, these include syrups. Added sugars don’t come with any added vitamins or minerals, they are known as empty calories, they are known as such because they have no benefit to the body at all, past a point they become detrimental to a person’s health.
The average consumption of sugar is roughly 60g per day, which doesn’t seem a whole lot, but when you consider that the recommended consumption is only 25g for women and 35g for men, then it becomes quite real. Excess consumption has been linked to heart disease, type 2 diabetes and to strokes.
So we all know how bad sugar can be for us, so why do we all still consume so much of it? The answer is when we eat sugar it releases dopamine, which can be addictive.
So to combat it, we can do some of the following tips:
1- Avoid carbonated drinks
2- Avoid fruit juices as they tend to have a lot of sugar in them, stick to the whole fruit
3- Avoid sweets, seems like a no brainer
4- Avoid baked goods, you can try substituting sugar with cinnamon, nutmeg, almond extract, vanilla, ginger, lemons and other fruits
5- Check labels on items, if they claim to be low fat, they sometimes have high sugar.
6- Cut sugar in teas and coffees
Below I have attached a fun cake recipe that is sugar free!
• 3 large ripe bananas, mashed
• 60g yogurt (full-fat dairy or unsweetened non-dairy)
• 125 ml coconut water
• 3 eggs, beaten
• 5g vanilla extract
• 210g plain flour
• 115g ground almonds
• 10g baking powder
• 5g bicarbonate of soda
• 5g ground cinnamon
1. Preheat the oven to 180c.
2. Beat the bananas, yogurt, coconut water, eggs and vanilla extract in a bowl until as smooth and combined.
3. In a separate bowl, whisk together the remaining ingredients.
4. Add the dry ingredients to the wet, and mix until combined and there are no more visible flecks of flour.
5. Pour into 12-hole muffin tin lined with cupcake cases and bake for 20 mins or until slightly golden in appearence.
Happy sugar swapping.
If he isn’t vegan, let that mango…
We have come to that time of year again when it’s all about being vegan. So having been vegan for a good few years myself I’ve decided to include one of my favourite healthy vegan recipes down below for you to have a go.
As I’m sure everyone is feeling pretty guilty from all the Christmas indulgence maybe it’s time to try out some healthier snacks as we get back to our normal routines. Even if you’re an avid meat eater or love a good slice of cheese it can’t be denied that vegan food is getting tastier and tastier and not only that, but following a plant based diet is great for maintaining healthy cholesterol and reducing the risk of type 2 diabetes and that’s only a few of the benefits to consider.
A record 250,000 people worldwide signed up to the Veganuary movement in 2019 by embracing plant-based diets during January and is due to increase even more during 2020 this month. That means that this amount of people will cut all animal foods such as meat, dairy, eggs and honey – this may sound difficult but trust me it isn’t!
Why not give Veganuary a go and switch to a plant-based diet to reduce your carbon footprint by 60%. Anyway it’s time to share some tasty recipes to start baking!!
10 Ingredient Healthy Oat Cookies
• 84 g almond flour or buckwheat flour
• 67 g rolled oats
• 20 g desiccated coconut (or you could try and sub more almond meal, oats)
• 30 g vegan dark chocolate (chips or chopped bar)
• 3/4 tsp baking powder
• 1/4 tsp sea salt
• 73 g organic brown sugar or muscovado sugar (or coconut sugar)
• 60 ml aquafaba (the liquid in a can of chickpeas)
• 32 g almond butter (or other nut or seed butter)
• 45 ml avocado or melted coconut oil
• 1/2 tsp vanilla extract (optional)Instructions
1. In a mixing bowl, stir together almond flour, oats, coconut, vegan chocolate, baking powder, salt, and sugar.
2. In a separate bowl, beat aquafaba (using a handheld mixer or by whisking vigorously) until light and fluffy and loose peaks have formed. (Add a pinch of cream of tartar to help them along if not whipping.)
3. To the aquafaba, add the almond butter, oil, and vanilla and whisk to combine. (The mixture will deflate a little - that's OK). Then add to the dry ingredients and mix until combined. You should have a firm, tacky dough. Cover and chill in the refrigerator for at least 30 minutes or overnight.
4. Preheat oven to 180 C and either lightly grease or line a baking sheet with parchment paper.
5. Scoop chilled dough into roughly 2-Tablespoon amounts and form into small discs.
6. Place on baking sheet with about a 1-inch gap in between each cookie to allow for spreading. There should be about 12 cookies.
7. Bake for 10 minutes. Then increase oven temperature to 190 C and bake for another 2-4 minutes or until the edges are slightly golden brown. Be careful not to burn (especially on the bottoms) - they bake quickly toward the end.
8. Remove from oven and let cool for 5 minutes. Then carefully loosen with a spatula - they can stick a little to the bare pan.
Happy National Shortbread Day! There is nothing more wonderful than the crumbly texture of a shortbread melting in your mouth, accompanied by a cup of tea or coffee or even a delightful cold glass of milk.
While researching into shortbread I came across some interesting facts and I thought I would share a brief history behind the tasty, yet humble shortbread biscuit.
The story of shortbread begins with the medieval “biscuit bread”. In medieval times, any leftover dough from bread making was dried out in a low oven until it hardened into a type of rusk. The word “biscuit” means “twice cooked”. Gradually the yeast in the bread was replaced by butter, and biscuit bread developed into shortbread.
Here are some interesting facts:
Today, you can find many different flavoured shortbreads ranging from chocolate to tea infused biscuits... but I think you just cannot beat the classic buttery melt in the mouth biscuit, yes my mouth is watering too!
With all these interesting facts about shortbread under your belt, don’t forget to enter the shortbread competition at ABST 2020!!
Thanks for reading,
Caroline, ABST Rep
Bakery students from around the UK and Ireland sharing their experiences