Crystallized xylitol is popular in low carb recipes, and in diabetic recipes, since it has a low glycemix index and only about 1/4 of the carbohydrates as sugar.
Make sure you get high quality xylitol, made from birch/beech if you're going to cook with it. Corn xylitol is frequently made from genetically modified corn crops, in countries where safety and worker standards are not always up to par either.
Personally, I've never used xylitol in my own recipes, though I do love the natural chewing gums made with xylitol, and they're actually good for helping prevent tooth decay.
Xylitol is a FODMAP ("Fermentable, Oligo-, Di-, Mono-saccharides And Polyols"), a short chain carbohydrate that can cause digestive upset for people with IBS and other digestive disorders. This is because they are not readily absorbed and are then fermented by intestinal bacteria creating gases including hydrogen, carbon dioxide and methane.
If you have symptoms related to candida, SIBO (small intestinal bacterial overgrowth) and/or IBS (irritable bowel syndrome) leave xylitol off your menus.
Enough readers have been writing in with questions and comments about using xylitol...
So, here are a few xylitol recipes to satisfy your baking urges.
Again, consider these recipes only if you are NOT dealing with candida, SIBO or IBS.
These are grain-free, gluten-free recipes as well, using nut flour as the base.
Use xylitol in moderation.
Although the low carb/low sugar content may be tempting, it's a highly fractionated and concentrated substance and should be used sparingly in the diet.
Don't go crazy making sweets just because you've found a low sugar substitute. Focus your daily calories on real foods and train your tastebuds to appreciate the amazing natural sweetness of foods like sweet potatoes and carrots. There's always fresh and dried fruits too, for when you need a sweet treat. Eat dried fruits in moderation, they can be concentrated sugar bombs.
Since I'm not on a strict low carb diet and have no candida concerns I use date sugar (made from dried ground dates) or coconut sugar (made from dried coconut juice) in these recipes. But xylitol will produce a nice finished product as well.
- Almond Cookies
- 1 cup melted coconut oil, butter or ghee
- 3/4 cup xylitol (or date sugar, or coconut sugar)
- 1 large egg
- 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
- 1 teaspoon almond extract
- 2 cups almond flour
- 1 teaspoon baking soda
- 1 teaspoon cream of tartar
- 1/2 cup slivered or sliced almonds (or other chopped nut)
Combine melted coconut oil or butter and xylitol. Beat in the egg. Beat in vanilla and almond extract.
In a separate bowl combine the almond flour, baking soda and cream of tartar. Stir in the slivered almonds. Gently fold dry ingredients into the egg mixture.
Drop by tablespoons two inches apart onto a baking sheet lined with parchment paper.
Flatten with lightly moistened fingertips (refrigerate dough for a few minutes if it is very soft.) Bake at 350F for 10-12 minutes. Remove from oven, slide the parchment and cookies onto a wire rack to cool.
Try 1 cup almond flour and 1 cup finely shredded unsweetened coconut
Try adding 1/2 teaspoon cinnamon to the dry ingredients
Try adding 1 teaspoon cocoa powder or carob powder to the dry ingredients
Xylitol Recipes - Zucchini Muffins
1 1/2 cups almond flour
1 cup xylitol (or date sugar, or coconut sugar)
1 teaspooon baking powder
1 teaspoon cinnamon
1/2 teaspoon sea salt
1/2 teaspoon baking soda
3/4 cup melted coconut oil or butter
2 large eggs
1 teaspoon pure vanilla extract
2 cups grated zucchini
Preheat oven to 350. Line 18 large muffin pan cups with paper liners.
Combine dry ingredients in large bowl and set aside.
In separate bowl, mix oil, eggs and vanilla.
Combine with flour mixture and fold in zucchini.
Spoon batter into muffin cups. Bake 20-25 minutes.