Preliminary Lakanto Report

Okay, I've tried the Lakanto in a few recipes. So far I've made:

* Flax Granola. Came out great. Really wonderful. I'm going to make more over the weekend, so I'll have it on hand when I get home from surgery on Friday.

* Ice Cream. MAGNIFICENT. Just really fantastic in every way. Here's how I did it:

In a saucepan I whisked together:

3 cups heavy cream
2 eggs
1/2 cup Lakanto
1 tablespoon vanilla extract
1/8 teaspoon butter flavoring
1/4 teaspoon blackstrap molasses
1 small pinch salt

I put this over a very low burner, placing a heat diffuser between the pan and the flame. This meant the mixture warmed very, very slowly. I whisked it well every few minutes; if I'd heated it more quickly I would have had to stand there whisking the whole time. As it was, I just puttered around the kitchen and stirred my custard every time I went by the stove. It took a good 90 minutes to get up to about 180 (I used a thermometer.) I let it cool, then put it in a snap-top container and refrigerated it overnight.

Next day I froze the custard in my Donvier; no doubt any ice cream freezer would do. It was fantastic, strongly vanilla with a butterscotch edge reminiscent of the cookie part of a Toll House cookie. In keeping with that theme, I threw a handful of CarbSmart sugar free chocolate chips (look to your left) into mine.

Just rich and decadent and wonderful. I'm so pleased, because Splenda-sweetened ice cream is problematic. Ice cream is one of those desserts where the sugar has as great an effect on the texture as on the flavor, and Splenda-sweetened ice cream comes out icy and hard. This had the creamy texture we all know and love.

* Lemon Glazed Chicken

Wanted a quick supper the other night, and had a package of boneless, skinless chicken breasts in the house. I find them dry and bland on their own, but this made them a real treat.

3 boneless, skinless chicken breasts, between 6-8 ounces each
Salt and pepper
1 tablespoon coconut or peanut oil
1/4 cup lemon juice
3/4 cup water
3 tablespoons Lakanto
1 teaspoon chicken bouillon concentrate
1 teaspoon grated ginger root
1 teaspoon soy sauce

Salt and pepper your chicken breasts on either side. Heat the oil over medium-high heat in your big, heavy skillet. Throw in your chicken breasts and give them 3-5 minutes per side, just enough to color them a light gold.

While that's happening, stir everything else together.

When the chicken's lightly golden on both sides, pour in the lemon mixture and turn the burner to low; you want the mixture to just simmer. Don't cover the skillet. Set your oven timer to 5 minutes.

When the timer beeps, flip the chicken, and set the timer for another 5 minutes. When it beeps, your chicken's done. Fish it out and put it on a plate. Turn up the burner a little, and boil down the sauce till it's a bit syrupy. Serve over the chicken.

A little sliced scallion on top would look pretty and taste good, but we didn't have any in the house, and it still was quite yummy.

You could do this recipe with Splenda, but the sauce wouldn't have the same syrupy texture. You'd want to thicken it a little with your guar or xanthan shaker.

* Peanut Butter Cookies. My one Lakanto failure. These were bad. Really quite bad. Heavy, hard, dry. However, I have to add that I was out of my usual almond meal, and tried using coconut flour, which I had on hand, instead. That might well have been the problem, rather than the Lakanto. However, these also had the characteristic cooling sensation on the tongue, which to me was an odd thing for a peanut butter cookie. I'll try again and report back.

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Lakanto

Hi Dana.

Have you actually confirmed that Lakanto does not raise your blood sugar? We have been using one component of Lakanto as a sweetener, Lo Han (marketed as Slim Sweet). I haven't found any studies that confirm the marketing hype of Lo Han's claims to have zero carbs and not raise blood sugar.

I want Lo Han to be OK as it's the only sweetener my wife can tolerate the taste of.

Thanks!

Is it as good as they say?

I have not, but I will. I'll put on my white lab coat, pull out the glucometer, and do a blood sugar test on the stuff. I'll report back.

I'll also try it with plain erythritol, which I also have in the house.

Please be patient, though; this stuff involves sticking lots of little holes in my fingers, so I like to space it out a bit.

Lakanto

Maybe I missed it, but how is Lakanto superior to plain old erythritol?

Lakanto versus Erythritol

I don't know that it is, frankly. It does have a nice brown-sugary flavor that plain erythritol lacks. It also contains the Asian herbal sweetener lo han guo, which appears to have antioxidant and medicinal properties, so there may be a mild health benefit there. Whether it's worth the price differential is your decision; there's no question that Lakanto is, at least for the moment, prohibitively expensive. ($40 a bag. Yikes.)

It also would seem that you could use a little less Lakanto than plain erythritol. The plain stuff is considerably less sweet than table sugar -- about 60-70% as sweet. The lo han guo is apparently used to bring the Lakanto up to the same sweetness level as table sugar; this should make recipe conversion easier, and partially offset the price difference.

They both have a cooling sensation on the tongue that keeps them from being dead ringers for sugar, except in chilled recipes. (My ice cream, for one.) Whether you find this off-putting is a matter of individual taste; I found it sort of weird in peanut butter cookies, but had no problem with Lakanto-sweetened flax granola.

Granola Recipe

Hi Dana. I'm so excited that you are working with your Lakanto. I have had mine for a few months now but haven't done much with it except eat it on berries with cream (heaven in a dish). I have all of your books, so I'm sure I must have the flax granola recipe, but could you direct me to it or reprint it here? Also, do you have any ideas to get that chewy sweet raisin feeling going in a low-carb granola? I once read a recipe for drying and sweetening cranberries with Splenda. How do you think the carb-count would be in those? I'm fairly intolerant of carbs, so a serving of the resulting granola would need to be below 10 grams usable carbs to be workable for me.

I'm so happy to hear that your Nick is home. They are amazingly adaptable (especially compared to people I think) so I'm sure his new life will seem just dandy to him if he is as loved as it sounds like he is. Take care, and thanks for your tips, your blog, your immensely positive impact on my life!

Sally

Flax Granola

The flax granola recipe is in Every Calorie Counts. I added a little extra coconut -- equal parts with the flax meal, I think it's two cups of each. And I subbed Lakanto for the Splenda.

I should also mention that I follow my own recipe loosely -- if I'm short on walnuts I add more pecans, I may throw in a few more almonds, or an extra handful of pumpkin seeds. Whatever. It's a very flexible recipe.

Flax Granola

Is this the same recipe that's in 500 more low carb recipes? It's a favorite at our house.
Can't wait so see what other recipes you might come up with using the Lakanto.
Vikki

Flax Granola

No, that's Dean's Granola, sent in by a reader named ?Donna Hodach-Price. It's good, but it's higher carb than my flax granola.