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Sugar Free Sweet's

Do you want the health benefits of elderberry, but need to avoid sweeteners that impact blood sugar? Try blending a Sweet's DIY Elderberry Syrup Kit with Swerve, a natural, carb-conscious, keto friendly, diabetic friendly sweetener that measures just like sugar, with no bitter aftertaste or digestive discomfort.

Bottled Sweet's is blended with raw, seasonally-harvested honey from the Carolinas.  Sweet's DIY Kits allow you to choose the type and amount of sweetener that's right for you - whether that's honey local to your region, a fruit-based nectar, or an alternative sweetener that meets your dietary needs.

The instruction card on Sweet's DIY Kits indicates that you should add up to 1-1/4 cup of honey or fruit nectar to your cooled syrup.  Some alternative sweeteners measure cup-for-cup like sugar, so follow the amount printed on the card.  Others tend to be even sweeter than sugar, so you'll use less.  

If you're looking for a helpful conversion chart for a range of alternative sweeteners, try this one from simply2moms.com.

Stevia is great for sweetening things like a glass of tea, but it tends to be bitter in large amounts.  For beverage-creation in quantity (like a batch of elderberry syrup), many folks prefer the sugar alcohols: xylitol and erythritol.  They're derived from corn husks and the bark of birch trees, processed into a pretty, crystal-like substance.  

Erythritol has just 6% of sugar's calories and is 70% as sweet as sugar, so for every 1 cup sugar/honey/nectar, you'd use 1-1/3 cup erythritol.  

Xylitol can be substituted 1:1 for sugar, so it's super easy.  No math required!  With 40% of sugar's calories, xylitol looks and tastes like sugar.  Some folks find that this sweetener upsets their stomachs and triggers migraines; others enjoy it.  One thing is for sure: Xylitol is toxic to dogs!  Make sure your pup doesn't sample items made with it.

Both erythritol and xylitol are free from that odd aftertaste common among sugar substitutes, but they have a tendency to cause a "cool" sensation - that feeling you get with a peppermint.  This effect can be mitigated by mixing sugar alcohol with a little bit of Stevia.

For every 1 cup sugar/honey/nectar, you can substitute 1 cup erythritol + 1/4 tsp pure stevia extract OR use 3/4 cup xylitol and 1/4 tsp stevia, or you can buy pre-mixed blends such as Truvia Spoonable or Swerve.  

We tested our DIY Kit with erythritol-based Swerve.  The ingredients in Swerve don't affect blood sugar, so the carbohydrates in it are considered non-impact.  Even better, it's non-GMO, gluten-free, and contains zero artificial ingredients, preservatives or flavors.  There's a granular or confectioner's version.  You'll want the granular version for this.

First, gather your supplies and pour five cups of filtered water into a heavy saucepan.  Then open your Sweet's kit and peek inside.  There's a dessicant pouch to help keep things dry, so be sure to remove that before you pour.

 

Next, pour your packet contents into the water.  Give the packet an extra shake, to make sure no delicious spices are trapped in the bottom fold!  

Give a stir, bring the pot to a gentle boil, then reduce to a simmer.  Let the mixture coast for about 30-45 minutes, stirring occasionally, until it has reduced by about half.

Let the pot cool a bit, for safety.  Then pour the mixture through a fine-mesh sieve into a tempered glass or metal bowl, or large measuring cup.  

Press the sieve contents with the back of a spoon until all the liquid is gone.

You can discard or compost your leftover elderberry mash, or spread it on a sheet pan to dry for use in elderberry tea.

Now, add 1-1/4 cup Swerve, and stir well.

Funnel your syrup into clean containers.  We love to reuse Sweet's bottles!  This recipe generated about 60 ounces, nearly filling two large bottles of syrup.

These bottles are going to a Team Sweet's family member with Type 2 diabetes.  To make sure his syrup isn't mixed up with regular Sweet's in the fridge, we made a little note on each label.  Sweet's should be kept refrigerated, or may be frozen for longer storage.

You'll want to give the bottle a good shake before pouring your daily dose, as this sweetener does not completely dissolve.  There will be a slight grainy texture. Because the flavor of traditionally-prepared Sweet's is impacted by honey, this version will taste a little different.  It's a pleasant flavor, and Sweet's signature blend of cinnamon, clove, and ginger comes through beautifully.

To your health!  

 

 

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