The Richmond Register

October 29, 2013

Are we sweet enough in the U.S.A.

By Arritta Morris
Columnist

MADISON COUNTY — Recently I read an article about how much sugar this nation uses. It was mind boggling to say the least. So I tried out some new recipes using the artificial sweeteners.

I found a great snack:

Peanut Butter Chocolate Snack Mix

Ingredients:

2 ½ cups rice or corn square cereal        

1 ½ cups crispy corn puff cereal    

1 cup of small pretzels

½ cup artificial sweetener

½ cup semi-sweetened chocolate chips-if you are watching your sugar intake, omit this

¼ cup peanut butter        

2 Tablespoons margarine

½ tsp vanilla

Directions:

Place all cereals, pretzels and sweetener in a large container and set aside.

Melt chocolate, peanut butter and margarine in the microwave on low. Stir in the vanilla and allow to cool slightly. Add chocolate mixture to cereal. Shake well in a large plastic zip lock bag to coat. Pour snack out on a cookie sheet and allow to dry.

This sweetness stuff reminds me of an experience I had one Halloween when I was food service director at the Ky. School for the Deaf. I had gone into the main store room to get something off of a high shelf and of course could not reach it. I got a bin (that is what most food service establishments store dry goods in) and stood on top of it to reach my item. Much to my surprise, the bin top fell in with me going in as well. You will never guess what I was covered all over with, POWDERED SUGAR! I was such a sight that the staff talked me into standing in the bin out in the serving line to let the kids see a real live ghost. Great costume.

With the holidays ahead of us, I thought you might like to try this one.

Cranberry Apple Relish

Ingredients:

1 (12 oz) bag fresh cranberries        

1 cup of artificial sweetener

1 cup of water        

3 Tablespoons orange juice concentrate

1 medium apple-peeled, cored and diced into small pieces

½ cup of raisins

Directions:

Place cranberries, sweetener, water and orange juice in a saucepan. Bring to a boil and boil for four minutes or till cranberries start to thicken and the water is reduced to half. Remove from bowl, cover and refrigerate for a couple of hours or overnight. Add diced apples and raisins. Stir well. Refrigerate until ready to serve.

There is a lot to learn about the use of artificial sweeteners. Research the web to find out more about the use of these especially with the diabetic.

Because of the diabetic in my family I had to revise the following recipe to limit as much sugar as possible.

Betty's Chocolate Chip Cookies

Ingredients:

2 ¼ cup plain flour        

1 tsp baking soda        

¾ cup butter

¼ cup splenda        

¾ cup splenda blend brown sugar

1-box of sugar free vanilla pudding – I used the large one.

1 teaspoon vanilla        

2 eggs

1 bag (12oz) chocolate chip cookies – I used the mini ones to cut down on the sugar

Directions:

Mix flour and baking soda in a separate bow. Combine butter, sugar, pudding and vanilla and beat with an electric mixer till smooth. Add the eggs and flour. Mix well. Fold in the chocolate chips. Drop by teaspoon onto a baking sheet and bake for 8 to 10 minutes in a 375 degree oven.

The trick to this cookie recipe is to keep the serving size of the cookie small. This way the person that robs the cookie jar will think they are getting a lot but just a small enough serving to enjoy.

Health tip for the week: If you have restless leg problems at night, place a small bar of soap in between the sheets. My family in Pennsylvania swears this works. Only problem I have is that the dog eats my bar of soap and sometimes looks like he is foaming at the mouth... Could it be he has restless mouth problems when he uses the bed to rest…?

Arritta Morris holds a bachelor’s degree in nutrition and a master’s degree in counseling from Eastern Kentucky University. She is certified as a food service specialist by the School and Nutrition Association.