May 1, 2010

LIGHTER & FINER:

Pa. author pens diabetes-friendly pastry cookbook (LIZ ROGERS, 4/30/10, Observer-Reporter)


Cookbook author Stacey Harris] began to experiment with her recipes, often with disappointing results. Eventually, though, the successes outnumbered the failures, and soon, she was sharing her tips and techniques on a diabetes Internet forum. She created her own website, and this year released her cookbook, "The Diabetic Pastry Chef."

In developing her diabetic-friendly recipes, Harris opted to either make reductions in the sugar or substitute an artificial sweetener, such as Splenda, depending on the recipe. For example, when making most muffins, cakes and cookies, she recommends cutting back on the sugar rather than replacing outright with Splenda.

Splenda tends to make muffins dry and give cookies a gritty taste, she said. But a combination of half Splenda and half sugar yields good results in fruit pies, baked breads and custards. And, it can be used in place of the sugar in cheesecake recipes.

Harris also experimented with different kinds of flour, looking to reduce the amount of white flour in recipes, to lessen the likelihood of blood-sugar spikes. Instead of relying exclusively on whole-wheat flour, which produces a heavier, denser result, Harris swapped in varying combinations of white whole wheat as well as a few less common varieties, such as almond, coconut, flax seed and soy, all of which are low in carbohydrates.

But it was the white whole-wheat flour - described by Harris as a cross between white and whole wheat - that was most suitable for substituting for all-purpose white cup for cup in cookies, muffins, quick breads and pancakes.

"The flavor is not as strong as whole wheat, and the color is lighter, and it makes the baked goods lighter," she said. Her brand of choice is King Arthur Flour, which is lighter in color and milled finer in texture.



Posted by Orrin Judd at May 1, 2010 12:01 AM
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