Whether you’ll be spending this weekend at home or away, we hope it’s full of delicious food. If you’re trying to cut back sugar, this includes you. There is no reason for you to miss out – quite the contrary.
One common trend that emerges when one is trying to exclude a particular food or substance from their diet is that more than ever, it’s easier to just make every meal at home.
If you have a food intolerance, or if you’re trying to follow a particular diet such as paleo or Atkins, sometimes eating out can be stressful and, we’ll admit, a little embarrassing. Worst of all, sometimes it’s just not entirely satisfying.
At home, you’re in control and in the early days, it’s a good policy to maximise the amount of meals you prepare there. There will be a time when you can hack a menu, don’t worry.
For us, the time at home is a blessing. Sometimes when you have to adapt recipes, find substitutes and generally problem solve until your favourite dish is new-diet friendly, you become a better cook. A Sunday afternoon spent in the kitchen experimenting sounds pretty good to us!
So, if it’s sugar you’re cutting back on and you have some meal prep to do this weekend, here are a few tips to not just make life easier, but to get you excited about cooking.
Take a look at the tips to help you sugar free food prep this weekend:
No name products are often the best option
The more simple a product is, the fewer ingredients (and nasty numbers) it contains and the more chance you have of it not containing added sugar. Take generic products for example.
When it comes to pantry items like stock, pasta, tinned tomatoes, crackers and bread, several products in the generic brand ranges at the major supermarkets don’t contain sugar.
They’re not specifically marketed that way, but they’re just not pumped full of every additive available. Oh … and they’re cheaper.
Vanilla beans are worth the money
There are a lot of different vanilla products available in the baking section of your supermarket. However, it can be a little confusing to tell them apart.
The biggest tip here is to read the ingredients list. A lot of the “extract” and “essence” products aren’t pure and contain added sugar.
Fortunately now, there are products based on pure vanilla beans, either in paste form or in a grinder.
These products are packed full of flavour so you only need a pinch. So, while it’ll be slightly more money to outlay, you’ll be sugar-free sweetening your baked goods for a long time before you need to restock.
Sugar substitutes don’t need to be expensive
Please don’t think that when you need to replace sugar in a recipe you need to take a drive to a health food store and spend big on a substitute.
There are several available in the two major supermarkets that will work just nicely and cost you a few dollars.
Keep your eyes out for:
– Pure Harvest Rice Malt Syrup: you’ll find it in either the health food or baking section
– Glucose syrup: usually found in the baking section
– Stevia: This is usually found in the sugar section near the UHT milk.
And remember, if a recipe looks like it’s failed, there’s probably a way to save it. Just keep adapting, experimenting and having fun!