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Prepping for your sweet tooth


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How to prep for your sweet tooth:

 

1. Sugar...tho the prices go up...is still pretty cheap. Kept away from moisture and bugs, it will last forever. So repackage it, for sure! 5 gal buckets, Canning jars. Cleaned Ocean Spray Juice bottles. It pours easily and can be repackaged in a few minutes.

 

2. Honey is expensive but so many purposes besides sweets. Also lasts forever if kept from bugs and moisture. Make sure it's pure honey and not water added. Heat it slowly to get rid of any crystallization. I'd recommend keeping it in a wide mouth container if it tends to crystallize in your area. It's REALLLLLY hard to deal with if you can't scoop it out and trying to dissolve it again in large quantities is difficult. [i've got some held hostage in a stiff plastic jug...]

 

3. If you're in an area that can grow sugar beets or sugar maple trees, these are other alternatives. The sugar beet looks quite easy. Has anyone done this?

 

http://www.survivopedia.com/how-to-make-sugar-at-home/

 

4. Sugar cane.....has anyone grown and processes this down to usable sweetener?

 

 

MtRider ....any other alternatives for DIY?

Edited by Mt_Rider
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If you don't mind the "minty" taste...buy peppermint candies etc., after the Holloween stock is sale. Take it home, jar it up/vacuum seal some and use your coffee grinder to grind some other into a powder, put it into half pint jars and vacuum seal it down. Lots of ways to put back some sweet stuff :-)

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Fortunately I don't have a big sweet tooth. I like it but I don't crave sweet stuff. Most of my stored sugar will go for sweet tea. I do love that stuff.

 

I suppose if I ever run out of sugar I'd plant stevia...if I could find it. That grows from a plant and not seeds doesn't it? Hummm. I'd better Google that to make sure there aren't seeds available. :blush:

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Fortunately I don't have a big sweet tooth. I like it but I don't crave sweet stuff. Most of my stored sugar will go for sweet tea. I do love that stuff.

 

I suppose if I ever run out of sugar I'd plant stevia...if I could find it. That grows from a plant and not seeds doesn't it? Hummm. I'd better Google that to make sure there aren't seeds available. :blush:

 

We grew some Stevia several years ago and it's quite prolific...until the cold sets in. Even dehydrated some of it and then ground it into a powder...a green powder :-) I'm thinking if you let it go to see (which we did) and then packaged the seeds (which we did NOT) you might be able to plant it every year.

Edited by The WE2's
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I was thinking the same thing We2. In fact, I was thinking there must be some little cone shaped things that catch seeds when they fall off of the plant. Or maybe rigging up some cheese cloth around the plant to catch them.

 

If they are anything like the mint I had/have here, they die back in the winter and then pop up the next spring. EVERYWHERE. Not so much from the seeds but from the roots that grow underground. I don't know if stevia is related to the mint family though. Lemon Balm was my nightmare. It was here when I moved in and planted between a brick wall and a sidewalk. It is pretty and smelled divine. Then it took over. I cut it to the ground and sprayed it with (gasp) Round-Up. For years! Then it started popping up all over the yard. Then it started toward the neighbors yard. I have had to hire a lawn care company to spray 5 times a year to "control" it in the yard. I've been fighting it for over 20 YEARS. It still pops up. Twenty years. I can't plant anything in the bed it started in because about 3 times a year I have to spray the bed to kill the stuff in there. Mints 20+ - Jeepers 0.

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My thought was growing stevia and then drying it so that you can add it to the tea as it brews to make sweet teas.. rather than grinding it to stir in like a sugar.

 

Honey - get an ice cream shovel if it's in a large container. You know the ice cream scoops that are flat not the round ones. They're STRONG and you can scoop crystallized honey from a bucket with those.

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I briefly looked up some info on stevia. The very short version of the story, of what I pieced together, is the white granulated stuff you can buy in stores has been processed with chemicals to obtain the extract and then drying the extract to get the white granules. Even if a label says 100% natural, it has still been processed. Same with the liquid.

 

The best way to get it is from the dried leaves and then grind them the way WE2 mentioned. Also, most of the stevia comes from...China and not Peru. If you can grow your own, so much the better. Grow it, dry the leaves, grind them and store them away. It won't be the pretty white granules that looks like sugar but it will be clean and 100% clean stevia.

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Stevia is a tricky one, grow wise, and use wise. It is great for sweetening liquids, but not for baking, etc. Yes, can grow from seed, but 'sprig' is better. Jeeper's point about processing is a good one for the commercial stuffs, hidden sugars, such as maltodextrin. You can do your own tinctures, which is good.

 

If you have the green leaves, air dry them until slightly mottled, throw five or six in a quart sized 'sun tea' container. 'Sweet water' was often used for drinking when working in the field. A mild citrus taste with no cals.

 

Our 'cheat tea' uses a commercial stevia. Truvia. But you can use a tincture. Here we do a quart bag of Lipton, and a cup bag of Bigelow (spelling?) of choice, normally peach. SIMMER (not boil) the bags in about two liters of water, two packs of the truvia, and a pinch of baking soda. The baking soda clarifies and is an electrolyte, but not too much! When to dark color of choice, turn off the heat and let cool. Put four packs of Truvia in a two liter soda bottle. When cool enough, pour tea into soda bottle, shake, and let rest on counter. It does NOT require refrigeration, and will keep (no 'turn') for a week or so on the counter. But it never lasts that long (smile). That is the 'cheat', it does not need to be 'iced'. Or throw a cup in the microwave for a minute, that is the other cheat...

 

You left out sorghum, molasses, corn syrup, and a bunch of others. Here they are mostly used for baking, not direct sweetening.

 

BTW: is it still possible to get 'straight' corn flakes with no sweetening commercially? Had a hankering for them, with honey. Got LOADS of honey this year.

 

Sarah

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Ooooooo.....ice cream scoop. I have one. I'm going to cut the top off of the jug. Gotta get it melted down. :thumbs:

 

 

MtRider :pc_coffee:

Is it too big to fill the kitchen sink with hot water and let it sit awhile?

 

 

 

It's in a 1/2 gal heavy plastic jug. I've tried heating in a huge pot on stove. I've tried setting in in our powerful summer sunshine. I can't get to the core. By turning upside down in the sun, the outside of the big solid hunk melts off into a container beneath. But now the rest of the hunk is insulated by air....loose within the fairly rigid plastic jug. I don't really want to heat up the jug and release whatever chemicals from melting plastic. This is the second time this has happened. Our house is pretty chilly in winter and if I'm not careful, crystallization occurs. :motz_6:

 

Just gonna hafta cut into that jug. Haven't gotten around to it because ....not sure if my kitchen shears will even cut it. I won't use a blade instrument. Have a [fortunately small] scar on left wrist from slipping while using exacto blade on plastic long ago. Aiiieee....it spurted! Memory still gives me shudders!

 

:sigh: I really MEANT to get that honey outta that small-mouth container and into a wide mouth canning jar. You can heat them fine... HOWEVER...since it's the good UNpasteurized honey, I don't want to heat it that much anyway if I can find another way to gently heat the crystals out of it.

 

MtRider :rolleyes:

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I tried growing a stevia plant. I'm good with seedling for the garden but not so good at paying attention to any indoor plants. I have them for looks and indoor air freshening. Mostly they do good with neglect. Stevia plant wants more pampering or ...maybe more humidity than is possible in our arid climate. YMMV.

 

 

 

So.....sorghum, molasses, corn syrup, etc. Beyond storing some in the basement, how do you MAKE those sweeteners?

 

MtRider ....cuz as much as can be stored, eventually runs out. :shrug:

Edited by Mt_Rider
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We have made maple syrup and It's not that difficult if you have maple trees and some simple equipment. It's time consuming though and you have to watch it carefully at certain stages.

 

I've also grown stevia. It doesn't seem to germinate easily for me. Out of a packet of seeds (and there wasn't very may in there!), I got one plant! It grew well and I was able to dry some leaves. Second year, same thing. One plant sprouted. The packet isn't cheap either.

 

We use very little sweetener of any kind. All we use if for is in baking yeast breads. I use 2/3 cup in a five-loaf batch of whole wheat bread and 2 Tbsp in my skillet of yeast cornbread. And varying amounts in various gluten-free breads that I make. We never make desserts. DH had a serious sugar addiction when we first got married. He would spend his last dime for a sweet cake, knowing he needed gas in the car to go to work. Now that he has over-come that, with God's help, he wants nothing to do with sweet stuff. I never was a sweets eater and we raised the kids that way.

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I've read where stevia is very hard to grow from seeds. Id like to have a patch of it if I ever get to my 'forever' home. Get it established and let it do it's own thing. Usually the less interference from me the better. I tend to be an over waterer.

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So.....sorghum, molasses, corn syrup, etc. Beyond storing some in the basement, how do you MAKE those sweeteners?

 

MtRider ....cuz as much as can be stored, eventually runs out. :shrug:

 

:sigh:

 

All the information on such is on the Librum site. Seriously!

 

Sarah

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