Wednesday, May 3, 2017

Low Carb Jello with Sugar/Stevia Blend

A few years ago I added a recipe to my blog for Unsweetened Jello using Stevia as the sweetener. At the time, it was hard to get Stevia in stores or anywhere else, other than very over priced products on the internet. One of the few products available in stores was Stevia in the Raw Baking mix, which is what I ended up using for my Jello. My husband is diabetic so creating a sugar free jello product without Aspartame was the goal. 

My husband and I both like sweets, so I've spent a lot of years finding ways to still include sweets in our diet without eating manufactured premade sugar free items that are sweetened with Aspartame, which IS a chemical with crazy, serious health effects. Why it's still on the market and included in foods is a mystery to me.

As time has passed, I've read more and more about Maltodextrin, the first ingredient listed on Stevia in the Raw Baking Mix. The company claims this adds no calories and has a low Gylcemic Index which does not affect the bodies blood sugar levels, making it safe for diabetics. They claim it is a safe filler, added to make baking easier, so you can use it cup for cup in all your recipes. 

On the other side of the fence, critics claim Maltodextrin has a high Gylcemic Index, which can cause spikes in blood sugar levels and should be avoided by diabetics and those with insulin resistance.

A continued search on Maltodextrin brings up good info and bad info, so which is it? Is this stuff good for us or like so many other products on the market, bad for us? 

This is the conclusion I've come to. It's just my opinion, I'm not a medical professional, just a person trying to make the right food choices.

Maltodextrin is a sweetener derived from cornstarch. It is derived from a chemical process called hydrolysis. High Fructose Corn sugar is also derived from the same source and process. 

There are three red flags in that description I'm not too excited about. The first is that it's derived from cornstarch. Cornstarch is a product of corn. Unless organic corn is used (and it isn't for anything mass produced), it is a GMO product. We are trying to cut GMO's out of our diet. Some Maltodextrin is derived from potato starch or wheat, but from what I have found, for these mass produced products, corn is the product used because it is cheap.

Next is the word "chemical". We are being bombarded with chemicals these days and are seeing the vast array of health issues caused by them. This may be a simple chemical "process", but it is a chemical, non the less. The result is a filler product with no nutritional value. Should we be ingesting this?

The third warning sign for me is "High Fructose".. If you are paying attention to the health warnings associated with high fructose sugar intake, this is something we are very much trying to remove from our diet. If high fructose sugar is made using this same process and ingredients, how can Maltodextrin be very far removed from high fructose corn sugar? 

I'm not trying to say Maltodextrin is bad for us, I'm just saying, I'm not really sure it's good for us, and with that in mind, I started looking for something else to use. At the very least, it does contain GMO corn, which is enough reason to stop using it.

I found a newer sweetening product called Whole Earth Sweetener Baking Blend with Raw Sugar and Stevia. It has 50% less sugar, but all the sweetness of sugar. I've been using it for all kinds of things and so far, I really like it. It is sugar, but quite honestly, what is better for us? Using man made sugar products or products made in nature? I just can't see where ingesting chemically laden sugar substitutes is better for us than ingesting real sugar, in moderation, of course. 

I really like Stevia but it is hard to get just the right amounts in cooking, baking, etc.. I use it in my hot chocolate, ice coffee, lemonade and sometimes in my ice tea.. I used to use it in my morning coffee, but for some reason, I just suddenly stopped liking hot coffee.. I've used Stevia as a sweetener for so long now, I really prefer it to real sugar.

So, with all that in mind, I've created a new recipe for jello.. I guess I'd have to call it low carb jello now since it does contain real sugar, just not as much. It's still low carb and isn't affecting my husbands sugar levels, and I have to say, it taste exactly how I remember Jello tasting from my childhood.

It's actually faster and easier to prepare, too. 


So, here it is:


2 cups cold water
2 Tbl Knox Unflavored Gelatin (or two packets)
1 pack of unsweetened koolaid
1/2 cup Whole Earth Sweetener Raw Sugar Stevia blend
2 cups boiling water

In 2 cups of COLD water, slowly add 2 TBL Knox Unflavored Gelatin (or the unflavored Gelatin of your choice). Whisk or stir until Gelatin is completely dissolved. I just sprinkle it on top of the water to prevent lumps, whisking as I do this. You'll end up with a kind of thick liquid when done. 
Set aside.

Pour the contents of one unsweetened pack of koolaid in a bowl along with 1/2 cup of the raw Sugar/Stevia blend. Pour in 2 cups of boiling water and stir until completely dissolved. 

Pour in the 2 cups of gelatin mix, stirring while pouring it in. Keep stirring or whisking until completely combined. 

Stick in the fridge for at least 3 hours. 

I hope you enjoy this jello recipe. If you prefer a recipe using just stevia, try this recipe.

I have noticed that some unsweetened kool-aid flavors contain maltodextrin, so I'm careful about which flavors I use.  However, I think I may have older packs that don't use it, because when looking at the ingredients for Unsweetened Kool Aid online, it has it listed??? Next time I go to the store, I'm going to check the flavors for myself to see if they all contain it or just some of them. 




I use Black Cherry, Cherry, Orange and Strawberry Unsweetened Koolaids, and the packages I have do not list Maltodextrin as an ingredient.




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