Thank You! You are Sweet!

Thanks to all who attend our Gluten Free day. It was great to share and learn and eat together. We hope to have more special days like this in the future.

We ran out of “new item” signs this week. Do you know what that means? We have over 20 new items here. Our gluten free section expanded greatly (sweet rice, coconut, garbanzo bean, and sorghum flours, along with potato starch and teff grain). If you haven’t tried dried strawberries-please do-they are delicious! Our prunes are too and no, they don’t only need to be eaten for that reason. The candy section is growing sweeter:  mini gummy bears, cinnamon bears, gummi apple rings, gummi raspberries (black & red), puffed mints, and sour fruit slices. We now have ‘no sugar added’ french vanilla cappuccino and decaf french vanilla cappuccino. Other new items are:  whole nutmeg, fennel seed, raw pumpkin seeds and caramel balls/bites. Sprinkle all this newness with purple, silver, pink or white gourmet sugar and you’ll have a great shopping day at

The Country Cupboard.

Share some sweetness with your honey. Our Valentine candy is here! If you loved our Fall or Christmas ‘deluxe’ mix – you’ll love our Valentine deluxe mix too.

Speaking of sweetness – let’s talk about alternatives to granulated white sugar for healthier start to 2014. This information will soon be available at The Country Cupboard.
Demerara Sugar – a free-flowing unrefined sugar. It has large, amber crystals, acruncy texture and distinctive flavor. It’s ideal for cakes, cookies and cerals and makes a great topping with its crystal-like appearance.

Evaporated Cane Juice – also know as unrefined sugar and milled canned sugar. It’s made by extracting juice for sugar cane, then evaporating until the sugar crystallizes. We use this – cup for cup – in our baking. We haven’t noticed a difference except it maybe be a little sweeter than regular white sugar.

Honey – one of the least refined sweeteners available. It’s sometimes sweeter than table sugar. The darker the honey, the higher the antioxidant content. When substituting with honey – use 2/3 or 3/4 c of honey to 1 cup of sugar. Decrease the liquid by 1/4 cup, add 1/4 t. baking soda (unless the recipes already calls for it) and decrease temperature by 25 degrees.

Maple Syrup – very unrefined and very natural. When substituting with honey – use 2/3 or 3/4 c of honey to 1 cup of sugar. Decrease the liquid by 3 T, add 1/4 t. baking soda (unless the recipes already calls for it) and decrease temperature by 25 degrees.

Molasses – thick, dark syrup which has a strong, bittersweet flavor made from cane sugar, often as a by-product of refined sugar.

Raw Sugar – produced in the initial stages of white sugar’s manufacturing process. Raw sugar is coarser than white sugar and is brownish in color and contains more nutrients than granulate white sugar. Use cup for cup.

Stevia – a very sweet herb. It is 200-300 times sweeter than sugar with a slight licorice flavor. It is almost calorie free and does not trigger a rise in blood sugar. It does not feed yeast or other micro organisms. To use 1 tsp. liquid or 1/3 tsp. of powder equals 1 cup of sugar. Add 1/3 c. of bulk (banana, avocado, pumpkin, or applesauce). We grow stevia in our garden. Salad dressing is a great place to use it because you don’t have to add ‘bulk’.

Sucanat – dehydrated cane juice which is produced from a pure cane juice stream, which naturally contains about 13% molasses and 87% sugar. Through dehydration and aeration, as opposed to evaporation, a granular, dry, free-flowing form of the juice is produced with contains this all-natural present molasses. Use cup for cup. Because it is coarse, it doesn’t dissolve as well in cold drinks. It’s best used in baking.

Turbinado Sugar – Made from sugar cane juice that has been evaporated until it crystallizes. This process retains some of the molasses naturally present in sugar cane, which gives turbinado sugar a brown color.

Xylitol – a naturally occurring sugar found in fruits, veggies and even our own bodies. It’s a low calorie sweetener and also found to be effective in the control of cavity-causing bacteria that forms in the mouth. It mixes, measures and behaves like typical white sugar. Use cup for cup, but 1 T. of extra liquid. Please be aware it can make baked goods crumbly.

So what do you do if you want to change how you use your sugars and sweeteners? An easy start is to substitute raw sugar or evaporated cane juice cup for cup for white sugar. They substitute very easily and give you more nutrition. If you want something more adventurous try the recipe below or search online for recipes with these sugar options. There are a lot of options out there.

Healthier Scotcharoos

1 c. sucanat
1 c. corn syrup (or substitute maple syrup and honey for corn syrup)
1 c. peanut butter (try natural peanut butter)
6 c. crisp rice cereal
9 oz. chocolate chips
6 oz. butterscotch chips
Heat sucanat and corn syrup on medium heat until dissolved. Turn off heat and add peanut butter. Mix well and stir in cereal. Press into greased 9 x 13 pan. Melt chips together and spread over top. Enjoy!

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