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What Is Erythritol?
Erythritol is a natural sweetener with an intimidating name.
Back in 2008, when I started making low carb recipes, Splenda (sucralose with maltodextrin) was an ubiquitous ingredient in low carb recipes. There were three reasons why my baking experiments with Splenda were short-lived.
- I didn’t care for the lingering aftertaste.
- Splenda contains 24 grams of carbohydrates per cup in the form of maltodextrin. Maltodextrin (corn sugar) is a bulking agent that gives Splenda the quality of measuring “cup for cup” like table sugar.
- I was hesitant to ingest, on a regular basis, a chemically engineered artificial sweetener. Sucralose is a chemically modified sugar molecule that does not occur in nature. I was not willing to experiment with a sweetener that had no track record in the bodies of living organisms!
At the time, stevia was another viable option. However, there were problems with its one-dimensional flavor. It had the potential to taste bitter when used by itself, and could lose sweetness upon heating. Another drawback of using stevia was that the sweetness and flavor varied so much between brands.
Erythritol was sweetener that I read about on the Low Carb Friends forum. After reading that the molecule was naturally present in tomatoes, melons, and the human body, I decided to give it a try. To my tastebuds, erythritol had a very “clean” sweet taste. Upon finding out that erythritol did NOT cause unpleasant gastric side effects, I rejoiced! I had no tummy trouble with erythritol, and from then on it was present in my low carb baking arsenal.
Here are the three reasons why I love erythritol:
- Erythritol is naturally occurring.
- Erythritol is the only sugar alcohols with negligible calories and carbohydrates per cup. Effectively, its carbohydrate count is zero.
- Unlike the other sugar alcohols (xylitol, maltitol, sorbitol, isomalt, hydrolyzed starch hydrosylate), erythritol is not fermented in the intestines. For that reason, it is tolerated very well by most people. After five years of blogging, I can count on one hand the people who have contacted me stating that they cannot digest erythritol well.
Still, I recommend that you consume sugar-free treats with a meal, and stick to one or two servings. I always eat dessert this way because sweet-tasting foods tend to trigger my appetite whether they contain real sugar or not. When you eat dessert after a nourishing meal containing wholesome fats and protein, it will be much easier to control your portion sizes. Try it, and see for yourself!
To find out why I always combine erythritol with stevia in my recipes, check out my cookbook. For less than the cost of two lattes, you can support this website and find out everything you need to know about erythritol and stevia. Thank you for supporting the site!