Wednesday, May 15, 2013

Wellness Wednesday / "Delia's Dose"

In an effort to get my boss off my back, I mean, to get brownie points with my boss…this week I shall talk about Monk Fruit!  Otherwise known by my boss as “this awesome new sweetener I am using!” 

First of all, it is not a quiet fruit that lives its life in prayer and contemplation…it’s a sweet fruit that dates back to the 13th century and gets its name from the monks that cultivated it. They used it as a remedy for coughs and colds, lung diseases and digestive disorders. It is 200-500 times sweeter than table sugar, which means you don’t need to use a lot of it!
Monk fruit sweetener is classified by the U.S. Food and Drug Administration as GRAS…“generally recognized as safe.”  That’s because there has been very little human toxicity testing done. It is fairly new to the US market. Honestly, in my opinion, this is an organization that approved the use of Aspartame(just WAIT til I let you know how I feel about THAT stuff!) in our food and drink products…and so I say …do your research, educate yourself, make your own decision about this stuff.

You can bake and cook with this sweetener. It is recommended that since it is sweeter than regular sugar, you use ¼ teaspoon for every 1 teaspoon of Monk Fruit.
Here’s a recipe to try! It’s kinda like a cross between a cake and  a muffin.
I made them in a muffin tin
3 egg whites
4 large ripe bananas
½ cup crushed pineapple
½ cup applesauce
¼ cup monk fruit(extract, powder or raw)
1.5 cups plain flour(I am still experimenting with gluten free version!)
1 tsp baking powder
1 tsp baking soda
1 tsp vanilla extract

*Mash the bananas in a large mixing bowl
*Add the pineapple, applesauce, monk fruit, flour, baking soda, baking powder, and vanilla extract
*Mix to combine
*Whip the egg whites till you create stiff peaks
*Fold egg whites into the banana mixture
*Fill muffin tins a little over half full
*Bake at 350 degrees for approx 15-20 minutes

I suggest looking for plain old Monk Fruit Extract, which is just that…the other products on the market have been processed, perhaps with chemicals, or contain several other ingredients, like sugar or molasses(sugar!)..and remember the glycemic index that we all need to be aware of. The good thing is that  Monk Fruit claims to have a low glycemic index and may actually stimulate insulin secretion, which could actually help fight diabetes. But with EVERYTHING…I say….use in moderation!!

Have a Healthy Week!
DISCLAIMER: Delia is not a Doctor, Nutritionist, or Registered Dietitian. She is simply a person dedicated to eating healthy foods and living a healthy lifestyle. She loves to help and inspire others to do the same!

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