Splenda is not so splendid

Yet another reason I’m not a fan of Splenda…….corn.
What, you ask, do corn and Splenda have in common?  If you take a look at the back of a Splenda packet, you’ll find a very imporant word: Dextrose.

Dextrose is a sugar derived from corn.  The same plants that gives us high fructose corn syrup also produce dextrose.  Now, dextrose can also be derived from other things, like grapes, but much of the dextrose we eat comes from corn.

Why all the hype about corn?  What gives?  Corn continues to be a hot button because we are over-using it; the typical American approach: Something has a good aspect to it, so we exploit it and over-work it, and then wonder what went wrong.  Our food (including dairy, meats, legumes, grains, etc) is at least 25% corn-based, from the reading I did in both “Omnivores Dilemma” and “Fast Food Nation” recently.  The reason is that many of our lifestock eat corn, so we get the residual issues in our bodies.

Corn sensitivity, like gluten or dairy sensitivity, is on the rise.  Of course it is – when we over-consume something, our bodies get sensitive to it.  It’s like being poked in the same spot on your arm 1,000 times.  Sure, a poke every now and again isn’t so bad, but constant poking yields a bruise, dysfunction on the skin and sensory feedback and general irritation.  Same with food.  We over-eat something ,especially if that something is genetically modified (and you can be your bottom dollar Corn is genetically modified, especially nowadays).
The other reason artificial sweeteners don’t excite me is that they miss the point: we are addicted to sweet.  Wouldn’t you (who are also fellow addicts like me) agree that once you get the taste for sweet, it’s over?
Americans consume a lot of sugar, we all know that
What I think is under-represented is the genetic and biochemical drive to consume that sugar even when we know it is not good for us.  What would serve us better are foods/recipes/mindsets that help us put our sweet craving aside.

In Chinese medicine it is said that a sweet addiction is an addiction to “the sweetness of life”.  We want it to taste like honey all the time, and when it doesn’t, we go looking for the honey.

I can certainly see this in myself.  I’ve used sugar as a compadre to cope with the drama in my head for many years.  Without it, life still seems a little sour, and yet with it I am a slave to its effects.

I suppose the call to action here is to invite myself and others to look at the role sweet foods play and ask ourselves if that role is really suiting our life’s dreams?  And for the times when something sweet would be really appropriatae, why not make something real, good and of the earth?
For such an occasion, I have a recipe.  Maybe its weird to post a dessert recipe here, because I’m talking about abstaining from sugar, so this one is for the birthday party, the 4th of July picnic, or whatever else is a call to celebrate.

I have to thank Better Homes and Garden’s for the inspiration.  I was looking for a recipe for a birthday potluck at work and my new mag came to the door, offering a recipe that catapulted me into creative recipe creating mode.

Blueberry-lemon-coconut-pie (and low sugar too!)

1/2 cup virgin coconut oil
3/4 cup whole oats (you can blend them for 30 seconds for a finer flavor, if you’d like)
1/2 cup spelt flour
1/2 cup unsweetened coconut
2 tsp cinnamon and nutmeg, each
1/2 cup flaxmeal
1/4 cup sucanat

In a small saucepan, heat coconut oil over medium heat until melted and warmed (1-2 minutes).   In a med bowl, stir oats, flour, coconut, flax, spices, and sugar.  Stir in butter and mix.  Press into the bottom of a 10″ pie dish, or 13″x9″ pie dish.  Bake at 350 for 10 minutes.

Filling:

6 eggs (or 3 eggs + 4 whites)
1/2 cup spelt flour
1/2 cup fresh lemon juice
3/4 tsp baking powder
1/4 tsp nutmeg
1 tsp lime peel
2 cups blueberries (I warmed 2 cups of blueberries on the stove w/1 packet Stevia to bring out flavor prior to adding)
1/4 cup sucanat.

In a medium bowl combine eggs, sugar, 1/2 cup spelt flour, lemon juice, baking powder and nutmeg.  Beat for 2 min.  Stir in lime peel and berries.  Pour over crust.  Bake 30 minutes at 350.  Serve chilled after 2 hrs of refrigeration.

This one was a hit with all the co-workers, even those who don’t normally eat healthy.

I’m learning the power of having a well planned, special treat on occasion versus the daily consumption of “junk” sugar, which doesn’t actually make me feel good, and certainly doesn’t add anything to my health.

Blessings

R

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