Thursday, August 19, 2010
If one makes herbal jelly exactly with the amount of water in the instructions on the packaging, it is darn darn bitter. And one has to add loads and loads of sugar to counter the bitterness. Something that is supposed to be healthy is being turned into something unhealthy with the amount of sugar or honey it contains.
Once I made it and I was shocked at the amount of sugar and honey I had to put in. If the syrup was slightly oversweetened, it became totally bitter once the herbal powder was added in. And you have to add in a lot more sugar and honey to counter that undesirable taste. I can't imagine how much sugar and honey I was comsuming. Yeah, it's honey, but honey is high GI too you know and it's not low in calories.
"Understanding the GI is really simple
Carbohydrate foods that break down quickly during digestion, releasing glucose quickly into the blood stream, have a high GI with a value of 70 or more.
Carbohydrate foods that break down slowly, releasing glucose into the blood stream gradually, have a low GI with a value of 55 or less.
Carbohydrate foods that break down at a moderate pace, releasing glucose into the blood stream neither slowly or quickly, have a medium GI with a value of 56 to 69 inclusive." From here
"Foods which are high on the glycemic index(GI) are digested more quickly and therefore keep you full over a shorter period of time. Ideally, these foods should be eaten in combination with foods which are lower on the glycemic index.
High glycemic index foods include glucose, sugar, honey, pineapple, raisins, ripe bananas, baked/mashed potato, parsnips, carrots, rice, regular bread, Cornflakes, muffins, dates." From here
Basically, high GI foods are not that recommended for diabetics or people with high blood sugar levels.
*Eating a lot of high GI foods can be detrimental to your health because it pushes your body to extremes. This is especially true if you are overweight and sedentary. Switching to eating mainly low GI carbs that slowly trickle glucose into your blood stream keeps your energy levels balanced and means you will feel fuller for longer between meals.
◦Low GI diets help people lose and manage weight
◦Low GI diets increase the body's sensitivity to insulin
◦Low GI carbs improve diabetes management
◦Low GI carbs reduce the risk of heart disease
◦Low GI carbs improve blood cholesterol levels
◦Low GI carbs can help you manage the symptoms of PCOS
◦Low GI carbs reduce hunger and keep you fuller for longer
◦Low GI carbs prolong physical endurance
◦High GI carbs help re-fuel carbohydrate stores after exercise
*Taken from here
After reading a nutrition magazine (of which Swee San was featured with recipes), I found that Lohanguo, which is naturally sweet, is a low GI sweetener and is 300 times sweeter than sugar in the same weight. Wow, isn't that great??? So, if I make an overly sweet syrup sweetened with Lohanguo, I won't be comsuming as much calories and definately won't sent my glucose level swinging high.
And so I did..
Please read the intructions of the packet before proceding
1. Rinse lohanguo and break them open by clamping it in your palms and pushing inwards with your wrist.
2. Put lohanguo in a pot with 1.2L water. Cover with lid and bring to a boil. Let it simmer on low heat for 1 hour.
3. Meanwhile, mix herbal jelly with 250ml of water (if this is the way stated in the instructions of you herbal jelly packet)
3. Measure out 1L of lohanguo infusion and sieve infusion. (It taste really really sweet)
4. Return to pot and bring to a boil.
5. Pour in herbal jelly mixture and cook as said in the instructions.
6. Pour into prepared containers and let them cool down before chilling in the fridge.
7. When time to serve, if the jelly is not sweet enough, top with diluted honey.
If I was not mistaken, the last time I did this, I used more than 300gm of sugar to counter the bitterness. Just imagine how much sugar and calories you are saving here. But I'd say, not all brands of jelly is this bitter. Some are not, therefore won't need so much sweeteners.
Actually after retrieving the infusion from the fruit, you can do a 2nd infusion, but that won't be as sweet, but why waste it right? Just fill up another 1L of water and boil it for 10 minutes and you have 1L of nicely sweetened lohanguo tea.