Saturday 4 June 2011

That Pesky Ingredient Sugar, How it Loathes Me

Okay, so anyone that knows me probably knows that I have a very odd sweet tooth. I barely ever am attracted to sweets. I have no idea why… if I’m in a store looking for something to snack on nine times out of ten it will always be a savoury one. When I’m going through a market full of beautiful foods including cakes and confectioneries of any kind, masterful artwork called desserts, I’ll always turn my head and go for something else. When I do get a sweet tooth it’s usually late at night and can be fixed with a bowl of cereal or toast and jelly (jam). My husband however likes his sweets, would like to see more of them come in our house but can generally not complain without them, which means a lot of apathy when it comes to helping me figure out what to make!

I’m not very good at being creative with inventing desserts but I am definitely bold enough to try anything and put a healthier twist on it. The problem is, my husband is the only one around me that can make suggestions, “Oh honey, you know I’d really fancy a white chocolate cheese cake with caramel sauce.” I kind of have to pretend I know what I’m doing and make something up with the ingredients I have. Putting a healthy spin on things is even more challenging! Thankfully I’ve got access to a lot of nice replacement products to cut out some calories, like artificial sweeteners especially for baking. This is a good way of just cutting out a big portion of the calories. Sometimes I like to switch it up and try and mix in a whole wheat or soy flour if I can to add some more fibre and cut down some carbs. I have some experimenting to do yet with replacing that fat element….tricky tricky..

It’s hard to appropriate what is right and wrong with desserts because there are so many wrongs! Who wants to go to bed with fruit, wake up with fruit and snack on it all day? A lot of people I know can’t control themselves around chocolate for instance. If it’s there, they will eat it. We all try to gravitate towards a certain lifestyle change where our diets improve a little bit and shove a little fruit in there when we can, let’s all make our 5 a day quota. But when you really look at the logistics of nutrition it’s hard to shove something sinful or something that really tickles your fancy, when you’re too busy watching the intake of grains, dairy, fruit and veg, and fat, it ends up adding to be a lot of things you have to eat! But, let’s face it, if we don’t have our guilty pleasures, what do we really have? We need something in our lives to help fill that need for pleasure in food, something to make us feel like we’re not missing out on something and we’re not being bad. Guilt is probably the worst emotion that does a lot of psychological damage, especially with food. For now, my outlook on it is; If I can make it better for me, with moderation, I should be able to enjoy it, and share it with anyone wanting to fulfill a need while still trying to solve that age old problem of taking the guilt out of guilty pleasures. Keep an eye out for my reduced calorie and fat cheesecake.

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