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Old 09-22-2014, 10:25 PM   #1
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Erythritol brown sugar sub --math help please!

Since Ideal Brown seems to have been discontinued, I am looking to make up my own brown sugar sub with erythritol and molasses. I've seen Kevinpa's mix and a few others and it seems that the amount of molasses compared to the erythritol varies widely. I would like some advice on what works the best, but mainly I need help to figure out the sweetening power of the resulting mix so I can swap the right amount of mix for the brown sugar in recipes I seek to convert.

I have read that molasses in general is about 70 percent as sweet as sugar, but I don't know if that means blackstrap molasses or the other versions-- does anyone know? Assuming the molasses I use is 70 percent as sweet as sugar, given that erythritol is also 70 percent as sweet as sugar, is the combo also 70 percent? Or does adding the liquid to a granulated sweetener result in a more powerful sweetener, and if so, how powerful?

Thanks all!
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Old 09-22-2014, 10:39 PM   #2
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I'm no expert, but I would think that adding 70% as sweet molasses to 70% as sweet erythritol would get you 70% as sweet brown erythritol. I would start from that presumption, and then make a small batch of something from one of your recipes, bumping the quantity of sweetener up 30% to compensate for the lower sweetening power of erythritol, and see how you like it. Then you can tweak the amount if you decide it is not sweet enough or too sweet. Let us know how it turns out, and also the ratio of molasses to erythritol you use. Thanks.
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Old 09-23-2014, 04:24 AM   #3
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This is the recipe from Living Low Carb One Day at a Time, now named Holistically Engineered. This should give you the ratio of molasses to sweetener, but I agree with Jakelilydad about compensating for the sweetness level.
Brown Sugar Living Low Carb
2 cups granular sweetener (Swerve)
2 Tbsp blackstrap molasses
In a mixing bowl, blend the granular sweetener and molasses on medium speed until thoroughly combined, about 2-3 minutes.
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Old 09-23-2014, 06:05 AM   #4
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if you are talking about "by volume" I think it might be sweeter, and this is why. say you combine granulated sugar with cinnamon. up to a point it will be the same volume as the original sugar only, because the finely ground cinnamon is filling the holes between the crystals which don't "pack" efficiently. the liquid molasses would do the same thing. I suspect a cup of granular erythritol plus a tablespoon of molasses would still be just a cup, not a cup plus a tablespoon... however the difference is going to be small and the 70% is probably still going to work. I suspect the blackstrap is less than 70% as sweet as sugar too.

my experience is that you need more molasses with the E than I wish you did for it to taste at all like brown sugar, but I don't have any measurement.
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Old 09-23-2014, 09:00 PM   #5
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I'd say a cup of erythritol and about 2 tsp blackstrap molasses is about a cup of sugar in sweetness. If not, a few drops of stevia or EZ-Sweetz would do it. I never make brown sugar though- I just mix the erythritol and the molasses both into the recipe.
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Old 09-23-2014, 10:08 PM   #6
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Thank you all. Seems like this is not going to be solved by math but instead by tongue. My initial thought indeed was that the mix would be 70% as sweet as sugar, but then as ravenrose suggests, the liquid molasses would seep in between the granules of erythritol and not change the volume but indeed might change the sweetening power. Adding molasses to Swerve, a 1:1 replacement, might actually come the closest, wouldn't it, since brown sugar is sugar + molasses? But finally, maybe it's better not to make up a mix at all, and do what jhoberer does. Sounds like that would be simpler, plus it might be hard to powder brown Erythritol to guard against recrystallization if it's a little damp. Holidays are coming so I just need a plan!
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Old 09-24-2014, 08:11 AM   #7
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I think it's simpler just to add it in. I also really like Just Like Sugar Brown as a brown sugar replacement. Have you tried this?
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Old 09-24-2014, 08:19 AM   #8
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Soobee View Post
This is the recipe from Living Low Carb One Day at a Time, now named Holistically Engineered. This should give you the ratio of molasses to sweetener, but I agree with Jakelilydad about compensating for the sweetness level.
Brown Sugar Living Low Carb
2 cups granular sweetener (Swerve)
2 Tbsp blackstrap molasses
In a mixing bowl, blend the granular sweetener and molasses on medium speed until thoroughly combined, about 2-3 minutes.
This is what I've been looking for. Thanks!
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Old 09-24-2014, 10:07 AM   #9
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Boo! I loved Ideal brown.
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Old 09-24-2014, 10:20 PM   #10
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Originally Posted by Bonbon41 View Post
I think it's simpler just to add it in. I also really like Just Like Sugar Brown as a brown sugar replacement. Have you tried this?
Actually I have. It works well in some recipes (I use some in Chickenlady's Carrot cake) but not so well in others. For example, I tried to make spiced nuts using that and they turned out gritty. When I switched to erythritol plus some molasses, I got the result I wanted.
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Old 09-24-2014, 10:21 PM   #11
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Boo! I loved Ideal brown.
So did I! worked great in pumpkin pie.
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Old 09-24-2014, 11:04 PM   #12
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Originally Posted by Bonbon41 View Post
I think it's simpler just to add it in. I also really like Just Like Sugar Brown as a brown sugar replacement. Have you tried this?
I've been teetering back and forth on trying this out for AGES. Why do you like it? How's the taste/texture? It's all chicory fiber, correct? I'd love to hear your opinion!
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Old 09-25-2014, 07:30 PM   #13
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Originally Posted by nanoparty! View Post
I've been teetering back and forth on trying this out for AGES. Why do you like it? How's the taste/texture? It's all chicory fiber, correct? I'd love to hear your opinion!
Heya Nano,

Well I love the malty warming taste of brown sugar, especially in the fall and winter months, so I've tried tons of brown sugar subs and this is one of my faves (the other is Sukrin Gold). JLS brown has a real malty taste to it. Inulin/chicory root also softens bakes, which is great in a cake, but less nice if you want a crispy cookie. I like to mix sweeteners so I usually use some of this along with swerve or erythritol, unless I want my bake to crisp up.

The ingredients include: Chicory root dietary fiber, calcium, vit c, natural flavors from orange peel and natural molasses type flavor

"Natural molasses type flavor"?! Could you get any vaguer? But it does have this taste and no, you can't taste any orange peel. Hope this helps
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Old 09-26-2014, 03:44 PM   #14
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Thanks so much Bonbon, that was incredibly helpful! I think you've just convinced me to add JLS Brown to my first ever Netrition order. I tend to prefer chewier, softer baked goods as it is...and I'm glad to hear it actually tastes like brown sugar.

My last remaining hangup is just the nature of inulin, being a kind of fructose, if I understand correctly? But really it's more just related to fructose and acts more or less as a fiber and just goes through/doesn't effect blood sugar, etc? I'll have to look into it a bit more. But I think I'm gonna go for it. And I'll take a look at Sukrin Gold too!
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Old 09-26-2014, 07:08 PM   #15
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My pleasure! I just really hope you like it

Yes, I agree it's hard to know what's safe. From the research I've done, it looks good...Even touted as a prebiotic. Let me know if you find anything more sinister.
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Old 09-28-2014, 07:42 PM   #16
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I made a brown sugar sub today to put in some nut butter chia/flax breakfast cookies. Didn't want to use the brown sugar Splenda as I'm trying to stay away from Splenda. Mixed about a cup of Swerve and 1/2 cup baking stevia with a bit over a T. Blackstrap molasses, a T. Walden Farms pancake syrup, and a squirt of liquid Stevia to sweeten about 2 dozen breakfast cohokies. The blackstrap, though adding 1/2 carb per cookie when dispersed throughout makes a difference in taste and texture. The last time I made them and didn't use the blackstrap they weren't as good. If you wanted to lower the carbs a bit you could mix in some maltitol honey. I didn't because maltitol stalls me.
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Old 09-28-2014, 08:44 PM   #17
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Oooh, raz - thanks for the info. I'd been meaning to test out how using WF pancake syrup might work for a homemade brown sugar application. I wonder if some kind of molasses or brown sugar flavor extract added to a TBSP or two of the WF syrup and granulated Swerve/ZSweet would work.
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Old 09-28-2014, 09:12 PM   #18
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Quote:
Originally Posted by nanoparty! View Post
Oooh, raz - thanks for the info. I'd been meaning to test out how using WF pancake syrup might work for a homemade brown sugar application. I wonder if some kind of molasses or brown sugar flavor extract added to a TBSP or two of the WF syrup and granulated Swerve/ZSweet would work.
Interesting thought about the brown sugar extract. Didn't know it existed until you mentioned it. Apparently there are several brands. Any info on one that tastes good?
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Old 09-28-2014, 09:53 PM   #19
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I wish I did - I've found a few, but haven't actually tried any yet. I just need to stop being picky and get one!

I've been considering Silver Cloud Estates and a few other companies that I want to email or call about their ingredients. If anyone else has any recommendations for molasses or brown sugar extracts, I'd love to hear em!
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Old 09-30-2014, 08:50 AM   #20
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Browsing this morning and came upon a sugar free molasses flavoring, claiming to use Stevia as a sweetener. It was all quite promising until I read: to enhance the palatability of any feed. And realized it was for horses.

The ingredients say: distilled water, natural and artificial flavors (no mention of stevia).

The product is Equi Sweet molasses by Uckele. Curious to know your thoughts...

Is it wrong that I'm considering consuming a horse-feed supplement to create the perfect gingerbread?!
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Old 09-30-2014, 02:01 PM   #21
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omg Bonbon I definitely just laughed out loud for real - this reminds me of just the other day where I got all excited about this new tuna and salmon section in the grocery store before I realized it was cat food. :|

A lot of my searching frustration is coming from the fact that so many companies have decided not to list any ingredients in the product, or give really any information about it at all. I've actually found plenty of companies that offer brown sugar or molasses flavorings/extracts: Silver Cloud Estates, Spices, etc., Marsden & Bathe, Nature's Flavors (with almost too many different options and seems disorganized), Faeries Finest, Mission Flavors (which has a huge amount of flavors), and so on. Some of them are literally just a list!

There's also the option of using maple or butterscotch. So I have no idea where to start, because I'm a product perfectionist! (Is that a thing? Can it be a thing?)
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Old 09-30-2014, 02:39 PM   #22
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Old 09-30-2014, 09:16 PM   #23
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I just burst out laughing when I read your post Nano! Too funny! Glad I am not alone in my mild form of insanity

I had to really dig to find the ingredients on Silver Cloud and Marsden brown sugar extract. It makes me think they have something to hide when they make it that hard.

I love the concept of product perfectionist and believe I may be a member of the tribe! It takes a while for us to get there (due to the research, plotting, plodding, comparing, dithering...), but once we do, well, then we have a gaping hole in our lives!

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Old 09-30-2014, 09:34 PM   #24
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HOORAY! we're together in our perfectionism and considering purchase of food meant for animals!!

Silver Cloud just has a kind of messy website - I've found they actually do list the ingredients for every flavor/extract on the flavor's page. It's always the last little bit of their product description. I'm kinda leaning towards them, although it does contain PG (I'm starting to think everything does!) The other companies really do make it too hard to find information...what don't they want us to know, eh? EH??
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Old 09-30-2014, 10:19 PM   #25
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What a riot Hey, what's wrong with a little animal feed among friends? I hear Fancy Feast is purr-ty darn tasty...

Seriously, looks like someone needs to bite the bullet and purchase one of these flavorings and have a go at it. Maybe me...
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Old 10-01-2014, 07:43 PM   #26
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You guys are so funny ! Thanks I needed this!!!
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Old 10-01-2014, 10:34 PM   #27
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I decided to chance the less than 1/2 a carb per cookie and add the T. of blackstrap to my homemade brown sugar blend after reading these articles - interesting. Blackstrap is actually molasses extract. I also tested by blood sugar and got a negligible rise after eating 2 of the cookies for breakfast. -------
Experimental results to be presented at the upcoming annual meeting of the Society for the Study of Ingestive Behavior (SSIB), the foremost society for research into all aspects of eating and drinking behavior, suggests that dietary supplementation with molasses extract may provide a novel approach for weight management in humans.
The study, conducted in mice by Richard Weisinger, Ph.D., investigated the impact of adding molasses extract to a high fat diet. Molasses extract is rich in polyphenols, a group of chemical compounds found in plants that are known for their antioxidant properties. Mice were given either an unaltered high fat diet, or the same diet supplemented with 2% or 4% molasses extract. After 12 weeks on these diets, mice that consumed the diet containing 4% molasses extract had lower body weight, reduced body fat, and decreased blood levels of leptin, a hormone produced by fat cells. However, mice consumed similar amounts of each diet. Additional studies showed that molasses supplementation led to increased energy excretion (that is, more calories lost in feces), and increased gene expression for several liver and fat cell biomarkers of energy metabolism.
"The addition of molasses extract to a high fat diet appears to reduce body weight and body fat levels primarily through reduced caloric absorption. Due to the increasing worldwide prevalence of obesity and associated health problems, supplementing food with molasses extract might be a way to address the escalating rates of overweight and obesity," said Weisinger. Clinical trials scheduled next year will provide the opportunity to evaluate the efficacy of molasses extract for weight control in humans.
Next one:


A Sweet Treat That Slims You Down

By RealAge
Next time you want to sweeten your oatmeal, should you use molasses, or brown sugar? If you're watching your waistline, the answer may be molasses.
In a recent animal study, researchers discovered that adding molasses extract to the diet could help keep both body weight and body fat under control.
Sticky Stuff
In the study, scientists fed two groups of test animals the same high-fat diet, adding 4 percent molasses extract to just one of the groups. At the end of 10 weeks, the molasses group had lower body weight and lower body fat than the other group. It doesn't appear that the molasses extract decreased hunger -- both groups continued to eat the same number of calories. But the researchers speculate that molasses may reduce the amount of calories the body absorbs and that the polyphenols in molasses may somehow help reduce body fat.
More study is needed in humans to determine whether molasses has any weight loss benefits for people. But scientists are hopeful. And in the meantime, molasses as a sweetener has plenty of attributes going for it. This byproduct of sugarcane not only is chock-full of disease-fighting polyphenols but also is a good source of iron and calcium.
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Old 10-02-2014, 06:56 AM   #28
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Aha! [giant lightbulb appears above bonbon's head]

This is why they are adding it to the horse feed! And I had thought it was because the horses had decided to surf the fancy foodie wave like the rest of us.

Interesting stuff razberry - thanks for posting! Though I'm not sure blackstrap molasses is molasses extract. I think it is a cane sugar extract (that's how to make molasses) that has been refined further than the other types of molasses, making it the most potent tasting. I can't be sure, but molasses extract (such as given to horses) may be the molasses with the sugar extracted.

How great that there was negligible impact on your blood sugar - those among us who can handle a bit of sugar shouldn't be afraid of a little.

I think I might actually email the horsefeed company and find out if this stuff is safe for humans and how it's processed. Why do the horses get healthy molasses extract but I have to have mine with propylene glycol? Maybe because no one is betting a pretty penny on me to win the race? The FDA doesn't car if I am sick or lame in race day...

Neigh!
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Old 10-02-2014, 12:49 PM   #29
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Horses have very delicate digestive systems. Just saying.
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Old 10-02-2014, 05:32 PM   #30
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I just laugh-winnied out loud
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