Fake it ’til you make it

I’ve got a confession to make.

I’m a recovering addict.

My name is Shana and I was addicted to Splenda.

You would have thought consumption of sugar would have made me sprout an eleventh toe the way I avoided it.

I’m trying to make my way back to real sugar, not necessarily because it’s healthy, but because it’s not composed in a lab.

Research on artificial sweeteners is mixed, but some of the latest information is disturbing enough to give me pause and really think about what I’m ingesting.

Like any true addict, I have leftover paraphernalia lying around the house.

This will be the last time. I promise. I’ll quit tomorrow. Really, I will.

I’ve had a recent preoccupation with jams and fruit butters so I decided to try a crock pot peach butter using the leftover canned fruits.

I rinsed the fruit thoroughly to minimize the Splenda aftertaste effect and poured it into the crock pot with a very large sliced apple (a fresh, local one that was the size of my head) with 1/2 cup water.

Cook on high for about 6 hours.

Transfer to blender and puree.

Return to crock pot with lid off for about another 3-4 hours or until desired consistency.

As with all spreads and jams, I needed a vessel in which to transport the fruit butter to my mouth. Since I usually get the stink eye from the husband for standing in the fridge door with a spoon and a jar of jam, I thought it might be a little more lady-like to actually spread the fruit butter on an actual food item.

Enter homemade whole wheat bread.

This sticky dough comes together like a quick bread batter and bakes evenly which allows for symmetrical slicing.

100% Whole Wheat Bread

(Recipe Adapted from King Arthur Flour Whole Grain Baking Cookbook)

1 1/4 cup lukewarm water

1/4 orange juice

3 tablespoons molasses

3 cups whole wheat flour

1 1/4 teaspoon salt

2 teaspoons instant yeast

Grease 8 1/2 x 4 1/2 inch loaf pan.

Combine wet and dry ingredients and mix vigorously for three minutes. A stand mixer comes in handy here but go ahead and do it the old-fashioned way for a good forearm workout.

Pour into prepared pan and cover with greased plastic wrap. Let rise until doubled in size-about one hour.

Pre-heat oven to 350 degrees.

Bake for 2o minutes and and then cover with a tinfoil tent. Continue baking for an additional 25 minutes. Remove from oven and allow to cool. Run knife around edges of the pan to loosen bread before removing.

The recipe indicates the yield is 16 slices. Good luck. I got 12 and that was using a ruler.

Per slice (if you can get 16 slices) 95 calories; 4 g. protein; 17 g. whole grain carbohydrates; 3 g. sugar; 3 g fiber.

Tidbit: The orange juice in this recipe counteracts the bitterness of the whole wheat flour. The juice is undetectable and you're left with a soft, chewy bread without an overwhelming "wheaty" taste.

Pear Butter

4  -15 oz. cans peaches or pears

1 extra-large or 2 medium-sized baking apples, peel on,  sliced

1/2 cup apple cider or water

1/2 teaspoon cinnamon

Drain fruit and add to crock pot. Add apple slices and cider. Cook on high for 6 hours. Transfer to blender and puree. Return to crock pot, add cinnamon and cook with lid off 3-4 more hours or until desired consistency.

Makes 2 cups.

Spinach salad with sliced red onion, dry roasted edamame, sunflower kernels, blueberries, carrots, and a wedge of whole wheat bread smothered in peach butter.

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One thought on “Fake it ’til you make it

  1. Yeah, I have a problem with Splenda too. 😦 And I am with you on the 16 slices loaf…that is one of my biggest pet peeves when recipes for a loaf have a yield that’s bigger than 12 slices (and even that’s pushing it sometimes)…I mean, really? Come on. Both the bread and the pear butter look DELISH! I especially want to try the fruit butter.

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