Erythritol and Sugared Beans without the Sugar
So before I get into today’s post, I would like to express my sincere appreciation for all the outpouring of love, support and such positive comments I received from last week’s post (here). That was my post popular post to date. I received so many personal emails and messages from both friends, family and strangers which really means so much to me. Weight gain is a struggle for everyone, so I know a lot of people out there can relate to it. I am definitely feeling a lot better in my body now, and especially by reading people like Molly Galbraith (Is Being Really Lean Worth it? and It’s Hard out Here for a Fit Chick), feel like I’m on the right track towards self-acceptance.
It’s definitely a journey but I am keeping my eyes on the future and knowing that I’m going to come out of this healthier, happier, fitter and more on top in the long run So onto this week’s post..
Two weeks ago I posted a Greek Yogurt Recipe and promised I’d share what I like topping it with. Okay so obviously I like many things.. nuts, fruit, chunks of kabocha, rice paper crackers (they just have this amazing crunch okay!!) and my newest love, sugared beans. A few weeks ago I posted a recipe for soybeans, but I found a better way and with a stove top method that works better for me. (My toaster oven took forever to bake the beans)
In this recipe, I use a sugar substitute called erythritol. If you don’t have erythritol, or don’t want to use it, that’s totally okay- you can use regular sugar, brown sugar, palm sugar, coconut sugar, xylitol sugar.. that is up to you. And no, I don’t believe erythritol is “healthy” but for my goals, I prefer to use it for sugar-like effects over real sugar. (To check out a video from NutritionFacts.org about healthy sugars, click here. And actually, on the same site, they have a video on the possible antioxidant benefits of erythritol here).
So because I haven’t really explained what erythritol is, I’ll give you a little overview. Erythritol is a sugar alcohol found naturally in some fruits such as pears and fungi such as mushrooms. It has a very low glycemic value and almost zero calories and carbs. It is not as sweet as sugar, but has very similar properties, which is why I used it in this recipe- it melts, caramelizes and gives body in the same way as sugar does in many traditional recipes- things that using a sweetener like stevia cannot reproduce. Studies have not shown erythritol to be harmful (unlike aspartame) and the US FDA has approved it as 100% safe.
As a sugar alcohol, it is not fully absorbed by the gut during digestion, and so most of the calories are not counted. Therefore, it has 0.8 calories and 4grams of carbs per 1 tsp or 4grams. For further info, the Kitchen Stewardship has some good information here as does Authority Nutrition here.
Like I said, you can draw your own conclusions and choose your sweetener of choice.
Sugared Beans without the Sugar
2 cups beans, soaked for 24-48 hours (I’ve used both black soy beans and turtle beans with good results, but I’m sure any bean would work)
1/3 c erythritol (or sugar equivalent)
1 tsp sea salt
1 tsp cinnamon
1 tsp vanilla
1. In a frying pan, dissolve erythritol over low-med heat, stirring occasionally until liquid. Add spices.
2. Stir in beans, starting with 1/3 of the beans. Coat evenly in the mixture and add in more of the beans, mixing well, until all the beans are evenly coated.
3. Cook over med heat for 10-20 minutes until crispy, stirring occasionally.
4. Allow to cool and store covered
Let me know if you think of other ways to eat them