Splenda: The No Calorie Sweetener

People who regularly read my blog know that I have the tendency to be somewhat random. One day you might find a review posted about an experience I had at a local restaurant, when the next you will find an interview I conducted via Twitter. You might even find some Tiger Woods content thrown in the mix.  Nothing seems to stop my fingers from typing when I come across a topic that inspires me to write, and that is what brings me here today.

I started a new diet this year, (a cliché resolution, I know) but this year I am being serious about it and sticking to it thus far. Part of that diet is tracking my caloric intake.   I am counting every single calorie that I take into my body whether it comes from my protein breakfast bars or my afternoon handful of almonds. I do mean a handful. I eat five almonds between my breakfast bar and my lunch.  I am even keeping a Facebook note that will track my progression.

One of the things that I do drink a lot of is coffee. Coffee itself has some health benefits, but I do not take mine straight from the pot. I like to have a much sweeter taste when I begin to drink my cup of Joe. The only sweetener that I like is Splenda, and Splenda is known as the No Calorie Sweetener. Luckily for me I just happen to like this option.

The majority of my coffee drinking comes while I am at work. I get here early, leave late, and always need an extra push to get me through the day. It just so happens that my office has this huge box of Splenda. It contains 1,000 individually portioned packages like you would see at any given restaurant or bar.  Inside this box there is yet another box of Splenda. This box, however, is not divided into the packages but yet is pure granulated Splenda. It even has an easy pour spout for your convenience.

What does this mean to you, the avid blog reader? Well, not that this huge box of Splenda has an additional box of sweetener in it, but it also contained a Sweet Treats and Warm Kitchens cook book in it. I know I could barely control myself either when I saw this. So I decided to take a look inside and see what I could find. I did not even get the chance to turn the page before I was struck with some sweetened inspiration. On the first page of the book I found a list of tips on using Splenda in your favorite recipes.

Volume

Sugar contributes volume to many of your favorite recipes. Splenda on the other hand does not. The use of Splenda in the same recipe will yield a much smaller portion size but the flavors that are packed inside will speak volumes about it. If you are making a cake and choose to use Splenda over regular sugars note that you can expect a much smaller potion size, therefore you might want to double your recipe to cover that difference.

Creaming

If you are planning on creaming with Splenda, you might notice a different appearance to your butter or margarine during this process. The final mixture might even separate as you add the eggs. However, as frightened as you might first seem, do not worry, as this is a normal part of the process. So do not freak out and simply continue on with your recipe as is.

Texture

Are you planning on making some cookies for dessert later tonight? Most cookies will normally call for brown sugar. The addition of brown sugar will help the cookies keep their texture and give it that chewy and yet crunchy taste once hot out of the oven. How can you still use Splenda yet make cookies that taste just as great? You can use Splenda Brown Sugar Blend instead of the regular brown sugar. Yeah, they even make a brown sugar blend! How awesome is that?

Bake Time

This is something to pay attention to especially if you do not want to burn whatever finds its way into your oven. Cooking time will be decreased when using Splenda. However, you can follow a general rule when cooking with Splenda. If you are cooking a cake, check the dish 7-10 minutes before the original recipe called for. If you are making cookies or brownies, then check the dish about 3-5 minutes before the original cook time. By doing this you will save yourself from a burnt pile of sweets that no one will want to touch!

Storage

Sugar acts as a preservative in most foods. It helps to retain moisture and allows the goods to remain fresh longer than usual. However, if you are using Splenda note that most items are best eaten within 24 hours. If you go past that mark before eating your goodies, simply wrap them and throw them in the freezer for storage. Maybe you are looking to can some items, Splenda does not act as a preservative but it is acceptable to use for canning as it is heat stable. So go ahead, use Splenda for your storage needs!

When I sat down to write this post I had no idea how much I could learn from a simple list of tips and tricks on how to use Splenda. I just use it for my coffee to give me that sweetened flavor. Who knew that I could bake a cake with it? Let alone store my canned goods with it. So the next time you see a little yellow package of Splenda note that you can do more than just sweeten your ices tea of coffee. Come back to this post anytime if you ever forget things like bake time or creaming tips. So from me to you I hope you now can use your sweetener to its full potential. Enjoy!