Added sugar may be the singlemost unhealthy ingredient in the modern diet. For this reason, sugar-free sweeteners like xylitol are becoming popular. Xylitol looks and tastes like sugar but has fewer calories and doesn’t raise blood sugar levels. Several studies suggest that it has various important benefits, including improved dental health.
Xylitol is found in small amounts in many fruits and vegetables and is therefore considered natural. Humans even produce small quantities of it via normal metabolism.
It is a common ingredient in sugar-free chewing gums, candies, mints, diabetes-friendly foods and oral-care products.
Xylitol has a similar sweetness as regular sugar but contains 40% fewer calories:
- Table sugar: 4 calories per gram
- Xylitol: 2.4 calories per gram
Store-bought xylitol appears as a white, crystalline powder.
Since xylitol is a refined sweetener, it doesn’t contain any vitamins, minerals or protein. In that sense, it provides only empty calories.
Many dentists recommend using xylitol-sweetened chewing gum — and for good reason.
Studies have determined that xylitol boosts dental health and helps prevent tooth decay.
One of the leading risk factors for tooth decay is an oral bacteria called Streptococcus mutans. This is the bacteria most responsible for plaque.
- 2 lemons – zested and juiced
- 85g IIHF fine maize meal (Fine Polenta)
- 2 large eggs, beaten
- 150g IIHF ground almonds
- 1 tsp IIHF GF baking powder
- 175g butter or margarine
- 175g true xylitol
- Preheat oven to 180 degrees C conventional oven (gas 4).
- Cream the xylitol and the butter.
- Gradually add the beaten eggs with a tsp of fine maize meal.
- Fold in ground almonds, remaining fine maize meal and the GF baking powder.
- Stir in the lemon zest and juice.
- Put large spoonfuls of the mixture in cupcake cases.
- Bake for 20 minutes.
Yield – makes 12 cupcakes.