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Raw vegan sweetener

edited December 2010 in Food Preparation

I have been thinking a lot about the sweetener choices available, and I have been drawn to eating more local foods lately, but local honey has ethical issues for a lot of people, and I don’t live anywhere near a date tree or agave plant, and maple syrup isn’t raw (I don’t have them near me, either)...so I thought of PEARS! My neighbor gave us some pears off her tree, and I’m planning to dry some in a couple of days – I just got thinking that pears could work as a local, raw, vegan sweetener for those of us who don’t live where bananas & dates grow. I’m wanting to experiment with them soon. :) Anyone ever used pears as a sweetener – either fresh or dried?

Comments

  • Ever tried stevia?

    I have some stevia plants growing in my garden. ;-)

    http://www.stevia.net/

  • Rapadura = Raw evaporated unrefined cane sugar. More people are gravitating toward it coz nothing else is raw. Health food stores have it.

  • I just made Brendan Brazier’s Chocolate Recovery Pudding today with cashews, hemp seed, cacao powder, pear, banana, vanilla bean, cinnamon, salt and water. Don’t know if it will work as well with just pear, but you can always add young coconut or avocado for the requisite creaminess. Pears are great: Sweet, but low glycemic! :)

  • I love pears. I add them to lots of juices (I juice a lot). Pear, carrot and ginger is my current favourite. They also seem to be in season at the moment (in the UK) and are therefore nice and cheap too!

    I think if you dehydrated fresh pear juice you’d have a syrupy consistency that would work well for dehydrated recipes. (But then, I’m still waiting til I can get a dehydrator and making do with an airing cupboard in the meantime!)

    I’ve never heard of raw cane syrup derivatives, prepared to be enlightened, but knowing what I’ve heard about ordinary cane sugar derivatives it just sounds a bit gimmicky and unsubstantial (no offence rawkidchef – prepared to be converted!)

  • I’m curious what people think of Yacon syrup. It is sooooooo delicious and I’ve heard it is close to 0 on the glycemic index.

  • I tried my “Orange With Ice” recipe with a pear instead of agave, and we liked it better than the original recipe. :)

    I never thought of juicing them; I just figured they wouldn’t work because they’re too soft. I was thinking of soaking dehydrated pears for recipes, in place of dates.

    Yacon seems weird to me (besides coming from far away), because the reason it’s so low glycemic is that the body doesn’t/can’t digest it. That seems like a lot of money to spend on something I can’t also get nutrients from – but then, I guess I just like to be efficient. :)

  • stRAWberry – If I come up with good ideas, I’ll be buying pear trees next year! I think as an experiment, I’ll just blend & dehydrate them like fruit leather, then soak before using in recipes.

    those “Fall pears” sound interesting – anything that spurts juice has potential for greatness. ;)

  • They’ve done testing at Tree of Life, and yacon syrup still raises blood sugar. In their soon to be published Rainbow Green, v.2, it will listed as Phase 2, meaning it’s ok to use as long as you don’t have blood sugar issues. It doesn’t seem to raise blood sugar as much as agave. As far as raw sweeteners go, carob, lucuma and mesquite meal seem to raise blood sugar the least.

    Stevia and xylitol, neither of which are raw, are the best sweeteners to use if you have candida, hypoglycemia and diabetes. Stevia doesn’t raise blood sugar at all, and I believe xylitol only raises blood sugar a minute amount (glycemic index is 7). :)

  • angie – Can’t you buy dates at your health store? Or any sweetener for that matter?

  • Eating so much sweet tasting fruit, I’m really surprised at how focused most raw people are on sweets and desserts. I wouldn’t dream of eating desserts and sweet snacks on top of my general daily fruit and vegetable-fruit (tomatoes, pepppers, avocados, zucchini, etc.), plus goji berries, raisins, Inca berries and golden mulberries. The mulberries and raisins are so sweet that they are like candy to me. I know I’m an oddball in this world, not giving any thought to dessert after a good meal. I know of very few people who don’t lust after chocolate, snack bars, and desserts in general, but I somehow thought that all of the naturally occurring fruit sugars in the fruits and vegetables would more than satisfy peoples’ cravings for sweets. I’m finding that my taste buds and olfactory sense is so much more heightened now that I’m mostly raw, that sweet things like dates or agave syrup, honey or yacon syrup are too sweet on my tongue. Am I alone in this experience?

  • 1sweetpea – I don’t eat a lot of sweet-tasting fruit by itself – only maybe 5 fruits per day. I don’t have time to chew up enough calories that way & still get my greens & veggies in. I eat around 3,500 calories per day, so it’s helpful to have things blended so they’re easier/quicker to eat. Also, I enjoy the nutritional & medicinal benefits of some foods that are made much more palatable when they’re sweetened.

    RawKidChef – Yes, I can buy dates, yacon, several types of agave and even more varieties of raw honey, all at a health food store a few miles from my house. I’m just being drawn more and more to eating locally as much as possible, and to eating just plant foods. Pears seem to be a good way for me to eat more local raw plant foods. :)

  • So far everything I’ve put pears into has been wonderful, and some of it my son likes better than when we used agave! For recipes that call for soaked dates or agave, I have been putting in fresh pears instead – drinks, pudding, etc. – I don’t know if there will be any pears left to dehydrate. :)

  • Oh I understand now. Also, something to look into for next year, you may want to plant some celeste fig trees next year. I had them at a farmer’s market and I swear they tasted identical to dates, but they’re easier to handle coz their fresh.

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