Cooking With Xylitol
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This page is courtesy of Karen Edwards, Nutitionist and author of "Sweeten Your Life The Xylitol Way"
Over the years that I have been recommending and using xylitol, many people have had questions about how to use it as a substitute in recipes that use refined sugar as a major ingredient. Even though xylitol can be used one-for-one in most recipes, there are some exceptions to this rule that may be required. In general, I start out by using the same amount of xylitol as sugar the first time I make a recipe, and then adjust the amount upward or downward according to my taste preference. In many cases, I have found that I can use a smaller quantity of xylitol because of its slightly cooling effect on the palate. If the recipe calls for eggs and/or flour, I can usually begin by using the same amount of xylitol and be "in the ballpark".
Tip #1 - Sweets
In the case of candies, fruit preserves and jams, and syrups, I begin with approximately half as much xylitol as the amount of sugar called for in the standard recipe. Then I use taste testing as I proceed in developing the modified recipe to attain the desired balance necessary to provide sufficient sweetness to mimic the standard recipe. Sometimes this takes several tries, and other times I hit the mark on the first try if I am lucky. The amounts of ingredients may be required to be adjusted because of the difference in the volume of xylitol used as opposed to the volume of sugar called for in a given recipe. In addition, because xylitol tends to crystallize in some recipes of this type when stored under refrigeration, I always add a small amount of xanthan gum to the xylitol prior to adding it to the recipe. The xanthan gum greatly reduces the probability of this crystallization occurring.
Tip #2 - Brown Sugar Replacement
Xylitol can also be used to replace dark or light brown sugar by adding a sufficient amount (usually 1 to 2 tsps per cup of xylitol) of molasses or maple flavorings in proportion to the amount of xylitol and according to your taste preference.
Tip #3 - Baked Goods
In baked goods that require yeast to make the dough rise, xylitol cannot be used because it is anti-fungal, but it can be used in a glaze or as a filling for the recipe. This property is beneficial, on the other hand, because it acts as a preservative, greatly increasing shelf life without the addition of artificial preservatives.