Wednesday, November 14, 2007

Sugarless Almond Meringue Cookies

I developed the following recipe for mother’s day when my mom was on a low-carb diet and her sweet tooth had been neglected for nearly a month. I found that I needed about double the Splenda sugar equivalent to get an acceptable taste.

This recipe will require making an egg white foam and a hand mixer.

Ingredients:
4 egg whites (fresh, room temperature)
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
1 teaspoon almond extract
½ tsp cream of tartar
1½ cups Splenda

Pre-heat oven to 275 F

Directions:
1. Beat egg whites and extracts at a medium speed until thick and foamy.
2. Add the cream of tartar.
3. Slowly add the Splenda about ¼ cup at a time until stiff peaks form (turn mixer on high about after all Splenda is added).
4. Place large spoonful of the mixture on a large cookie sheet about 1 inch apart.
5. Bake for about 20-25 minutes or until golden and completely dry*
6. Turn the oven off and allow cookies to cool in the oven for one hour.

Nutrition: Variable based on the size of the cookies, but the only nutrition in the recipe is from the egg whites (about 12g protein total) and some starch mixed with the sucralose sweetener in Splenda

* Meringues cookies do not fair well in humid environments; do not set out on a plate. Will keep for a week or two in an air tight container.

For more details about how to make an egg white foam click here.

3 comments:

Anonymous said...

I was wondering why you don't replace splenda as a sweetener with a more natural and less acidic sweetener like stevia for example.

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Jean Jitomir MS, RD said...

Hmmm, well I don't believe splenda is particularly acidic:

1) Hydroxyl groups from the sugar sucrose are replaced with chloride in the making of splenda; I'm not sure how exchanging one electronegative group for another would impact the pH in making the artificial sweetener

2) Splenda is 600X sweeter than sugar, so the concentrations of it is any solution or food made my human for eating are relatively low. The vast majority of the packet contains starch. I'm not sure how a compound in such small quantities could significantly impact the acidity of the food.

3) Lots of healthy foods we eat regularly are pretty acidic (tomatoes, lemons, and a health food favorite...apple cider vinegar) All foods are subjected a highly acidic enviroment in the stomach, which is immediately balanced by bicarbonate solution at the very beginning of the small intestine. For this reason, acidity is not something I've worried about too much in food.

4) Stevia is not approved for use in food products in this country. Though there are some concerns that it is a "carcinogen" the opposition is more likely due to the fact that it is not economical for conpamies to fund the needed safety research data needed to approve Stevia as a food additive.

5) I don't like the flavor of Stevia, though if you do, you could try it in this recipes and see how it goes! It is sold as a dietary "supplement" Let me knowhow it comes out!

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