Category Archives: Special Ingredients

Special Ingredients – Sweeteners

sweeteners KCStevia KC

When baking and cooking low carb goodies we have to find replacements for all the flour and sugar used in normal baking.  Good results can be had with the right replacements and here I will list the most common ingredients I use in my recipes.

First allow me to address sugar substitutes.  For sugar free baking I use and recommend Stevia and ErythritolSplenda is also good and easy to find in your supermarket. A stevia/erythritol blend called Truvia is also easy to find, I buy it from Ocado and Waitrose.  (But do not use Truvia baking blend which contains sugar).  I’m sure most of the chains will carry it.  I steer clear of aspartame and saccharin based sweeteners for being too ‘chemical’.  I also steer clear of maltitol when buying sugar free products.  It has a laxative effect and can cause tummy distress.

Most of my sweeteners I order from Amazon.  There are many different brands and I’m not trying to promote one particular brand, this is what I happen to use.  Sukrin is a good company – they produce granular erythritol (Sukrin), powdered erythritol (like icing sugar – Sukrin melis), and Sukrin Gold which is like brown sugar.  These are sugar alcohols and have no calories or carbs but behave like sugar.  They are slightly less sweet than table sugar. Stevia is more sweet so a blend works well.  I use liquid Stevia, also from Amazon to boost sweetness (you only need a few drops) and I use Sukrin to add bulk sweetness.  Sukrin will even melt like sugar!  Erythritol’s (Sukrin’s) molecules are a different size to other sugar alcohols and very rarely cause any gastric upset.  I have a very sensitive digestion but have no problems with it.

One thing about erythritol (Sukrin) – it has a cooling effect in the mouth.  It is less pronounced if combined with Stevia or Splenda and used in baking but some people don’t like the sensation.  It is brilliant in peppermint candies though!

I do not use Agave which is very high in fructose, or Xylitol which does have some carbs and also can cause me some tummy problems but many people are fine with it.  XYLITOL IS TOXIC TO DOGS!  Coconut sugar is becoming popular with the Paleo crowd and tastes delicious but again it has carbs and can spike your blood sugar.  If you are not trying to lose weight you can experiment with these if you wish. Some diabetics can have these in moderation, others cannot.  Again it is down to your personal situation, your goals and your body.

Special Ingredients – Flours


In order to create baked goods we need a low carb substitute for flours.  Although there are many gluten free options on the shelves, there are no low carb options.  So now we need to get creative!

The best options are nut flours, especially ground almonds and coconut flour.  These behave very differently from wheat flour AND from each other, but they are essential if you wish to make low carb goodies.  Ground almonds and coconut flour can easily be bought these days.  I can find ground almonds everywhere and coconut flour and coconut oil I have bought from Ocado as well as Amazon.  I now buy ground almonds in bulk from Amazon as well to save money.  Peanut flour and sesame flour are also available.  Another useful ingredient is psyllium husks.  They help give body and structure to some baked goods.  I use xanthan gum in some recipes for thickening.  Whey powder or powdered egg whites are useful for adding a lighter texture to baked goods.  Flax seeds are another useful ingredient, similiar in use to psyllium for adding bulk, texture and strength to a recipe.

Bear in mind that Coconut flour is very high in fibre and very absorbent.  You need less and you need to add more liquid & extra eggs.  I usually use a combination of almond flour and coconut flour and add an extra egg.

I keep a basket in the kitchen filled with just my special baking ingredients so when I want to make something it is all there and I’m not tempted to substitute something that isn’t going to be good for my body.

If your local supermarket doesn’t stock these your local health food store might if you don’t want to use Amazon.  Certainly it is worth asking!

For advice on sweeteners click here: