How to make your own sugar-free snacks

Did you know that one of the best ways to control what you eat is to make all of your own food?

While takeaways and restaurant meals are often delicious, these should be saved as treats for special occasions rather than consumed every day.

This is because when you make your own food, you know exactly what you have put in it - how much oil, butter, sugar and so forth.

In other words, it gives you complete control! This is great for those who are watching their weight or trying to minimise their sugar intake.

Now onto the tricky part… actually doing the cooking! Don't worry, even if you are not a whizz in the kitchen it is still relatively easy to make delicious food. Arm yourself with a few great recipes and follow them closely - practise makes perfect!

Here are some tips for making sugar-free snacks in particular.

How to cook with Stevia

Stevia extract takes a little bit of getting used to, simply because it is so much sweeter than sugar that you only need to add a very small amount to your baking or cooking.

The Stevia-sugar ratios differ from product to product, but to get a general idea have a look at this Stevia conversion chart.

The good news is, Stevia can be added to nearly everything that sugar can, as unlike some artificial sweeteners it can withstand hot temperatures - perfect for baking!

How to cook with Xylitol

Author of 'Sweeten your Life the Xylitol Way' and nutritionist Karen Edwards has a few tips for cooking with this natural sugar.

You can substitute Xylitol for sugar one-for-one, but she recommends adjusting it to suit your taste buds - some people prefer using less than sugar, others prefer using slightly more.

It is also important not to use Xylitol in baked goods that need yeast to rise, as Xylitol is an antifungal.

In addition, it cannot caramelise - but other than that, use it exactly as you would sugar!

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