Anyone that know me, knows I love desserts - especially chocolate ones!! So when I discovered I was pre-diabetic, by first thought was "oh no, no more sweets!" That was before I understood how sugar raises insulin levels and which foods were the worst. There is a whole science behind this, but to simplify it, I like to think of it this way: any refined grains or sugars spike insulin levels more than it's whole food origin and the more fiber a food has, the less it will spike your insulin. So armed with this information, I went searching for whole food sweeteners. To my surprise I learned that so many sweet fruits, like dates with a glycemic load (GL) of 50 and apples (GL40) could be used to replace refined sugar (GL75). The glycemic load of sweeteners like maple syrup (GL 54) and unrefined coconut sugar (GL54) have less impact than refined sugar and they have some nutritional value. I instantly eliminated whole wheat bread (GL74) from my diet along with a host of other insulin spiking inflammation causing foods!
Sweeteners are actually the second key ingredient to a wonderful dessert - for me the first key ingredient is chocolate! This was actually the easier ingredient to research. Just look at the back of your favorite chocolate. The ingredient list tells the whole story. With sugar being the first ingredient on the list, it's easy to see why at the hands of big food producers, this health food takes a turn for the worst.
Cacao beans are the source of the chocolate flavor. We use raw cacao beans for all of our chocolate products. It is bitter, has an earthy taste, and a slight acidic undertone. I have grown to love the taste, but it did take some getting used to. Here is a short informative video explaining the process and the benefits of raw cacao vs. roasted cacao which is used in most chocolates. Raw cacao is fermented and then air dried to preserve the natural flavors, and nutrients. Raw cacao is naturally high in antioxidants, vitamins, and minerals which can be severely degraded when roasted at high temperatures.
I took these healthier alternative sweeteners and fair traded organic raw cacao into my kitchen to create truly nurturing, satisfying, and decadent desserts. Healthy never tasted so good!