From Nicky Graime’s The Low-Sugar Cookbook
Guidelines from Public Health England, the government agency advising on tackling obesity, yesterday stated that women should have no more than 5–6 teaspoons of sugar a day and men 7–8 teaspoons. Bearing in mind that a can of fizzy drink has approximately 7–9 teaspoons of sugar in it, this means cutting our consumption of sugar – often dramatically.
One of the best ways to cut down on sugar intake is by avoiding processed foods – including savoury items, too. Shockingly, 80% of processed food in the USA contains added sugar. Currently senior figures in the medical establishment are putting pressure on the Government to force food manufacturers to cut sugar levels and to ensure products are clearly labelled. But this will inevitably take time. By avoiding ready-meals, packaged desserts and all the other processed foods – and by making your own recipes – you are in control of the ingredients you use. That includes avoiding unwanted sugar, additives, colourings and flavourings.
Try this cake instead of a pre-packaged one. It’s simple to make and has only 4 tablespoons of xylitol (a natural sugar alternative that doesn’t raise blood sugar levels in the same way as ordinary sugar, and doesn’t have the health implications associated with fructose) and the juice of 1 orange.
Chocolate & Orange Cake
Preparation time: 15 minutes
Cooking time: 25–30 minutes
50g/1¾oz/3 tbsp butter or coconut oil, plus extra for greasing
60g/2¼oz dark/baking chocolate (75% cocoa solids), broken intro squares
3 eggs, separated
4 tbsp xylitol
finely grated zest of 2 oranges and juice of 1 orange
70g/2½oz/scant ⅔ cup self-raising flour
2 tbsp unsweetened cocoa powder
1. Preheat the oven to 150°C/300°F/Gas 2. Lightly grease and line the base of a 20cm/8in springform cake tin.
2. Melt the butter and chocolate in a heatproof bowl placed over a saucepan of gently simmering water, making sure the bottom of the bowl does not touch the water. Stir occasionally until the chocolate and butter have melted, then remove from the heat.
3. Whisk the egg yolks with the xylitol in a mixing bowl until pale, then stir in the chocolate mixture followed by the orange juice and zest. Sift the flour and cocoa powder into the chocolate mixture and fold in using a wooden spoon.
4. Whisk the egg whites in a large, grease-free mixing bowl until they form stiff peaks. Using a metal spoon, stir a spoonful of the whites into the chocolate mixture to slacken it, then fold in the remaining egg whites until they are well combined.
5. Spoon the mixture into the prepared cake tin, then bake in the preheated oven for 20–25 minutes until risen. Remove from the oven and leave in the tin for 10 minutes, then turn out to cool on a wire rack. Can be stored in an airtight container for up to 5 days.
Cut down on your sugar with Quick & Easy Low-Sugar Recipes by Nicola Graimes. Delicious, simple-to-make recipes using naturally sweet foods and alternative flavourings so you can make irresistible healthy meals and snacks without having to resort to artificial sweeteners!