Cooking – Defining Powdered Erythritol

Have you ever heard about powdered erythritol or erythritol and wondered what it is? If so, then here is everything you need to know about it, and why it has become such a popular mention in recent time.

What Is Powdered Erythritol?

Powdered erythritol typically represents a zero-calorie sugar substitute that is used in sweetening just about anything! Usually, it is a distinctly fine powder boasting similar texture qualities to icing sugar and therefore dissolves quite easily. Powdered erythritol is ideal for numerous recipes that requite fine and faster dissolving sugar. Also, it is perfect for ice cream, meringues, icing sugar, and may also be utilized for any recipes like with granulated erythritol.

It is derived from the compound erythritol, which is a naturally derived extract from plants and fruits. It moves around your body undigested. As such, erythritol has no effect on the levels of blood glucose in most individuals and boasts zero net carbohydrates, subsequently making it an ideal sugar alternative for ‘keto’ (low carb) dieters, diabetics, or anyone looking to curb calories. Erythritol is used in various products like gum, candy, beverages, chocolate, jam, bars, and jellies.

This sweetener can also be found in granulated form for cooking and baking at home. The unique qualities of this compound render it an ideal sugar substitute, although there are various advantages and disadvantages before deciding to use in your diet. 

How is it Made?

Powdered erythritol is typically made through the fermentation of plant sugars, often from corn. The sugar is usually mixed with water, after which it is filtered, and finally fermented with a natural culture and subsequently dried. A distinct crystallized substance is the final product-usually either in powder form or in granule form-which tastes and resembles table sugar.

How Is It Used In Cooking And Baking?

Powdered erythritol is used just like table sugar in virtually anything. It has an almost equivalent sweetness of table sugar (about 70 %) hence 100g of sugar = 130g powdered erythritol.

Its granulated form usually remains grainy unless it is dissolved in water. Typically, it is used for cooking and baking, although there are several factors to consider before using it.

When it comes to baking and cooking, you can use a series of simple steps when using this sweetener.

• First, start by choosing your recipe. An excellent option is muffins and quick bread; although powdered erythritol also substitutes effectively in cooked fruit desserts like cobblers and pies. Some other possibilities include cakes, brownies, and cookies. 

• Decide whether you would like to substitute all the erythritol, or subsequently use a combination of the powdered erythritol with other sweeteners. Generally, powdered erythritol mixes with refined and natural sugars, and usually produces a more satisfactory result when it is combined with sugar. 

• Calculate the amount of erythritol to be used: as earlier mentioned, ‘erythritol’ is about 70% as sweet as regular sugar. Use between a quarter to a third more than the amount of sugar you would otherwise use, to taste.

What is it commonly substituted for when cooking or baking? 

Since erythritol generally boasts sweetness level, which is almost equivalent to regular sugar, it is used in baking and cooking. Powdered erythritol can partially substitute sugar or various artificial sweeteners for numerous uses. Nonetheless, some few considerations to remember when using the sweetener include:

• When powdered erythritol is used plain, the sweetener usually produces a cooling effect in the mouth.

• What’s more, despite having the tenderizing effects common with sugar, the results will not be precisely similar. 

Benefits of powdered erythritol

Unlike other ‘sugar alcohols,’ Erythritol functions quite differently when in the body. Its unique qualities offer certain benefits in comparison to using either table sugar or other sweeteners. 

In comparison to other ‘sugar alcohols,’ erythritol features a relatively smaller molecule. A substantial amount of this compound is absorbed into the bloodstream-between 60%-90%-although it is then exerted in your urine. As such, it results in significantly lesser intestinal distress compared to other common sugar alcohols. 

Powdered erythritol might also be much better for your teeth compared to other sweeteners. In fact, a 2016 study as outlined on Caries Research suggested that it might even aid in the prevention of cavities.
Powdered erythritol also provides several other benefits, including:

  • Dissolving fast
  • It is extremely fine 
  • Zero calories
  • No active carbohydrates
  • No aspartame
  • No tooth decay
  • Stomach friendly
  • Ideal for diabetics and ketone diets
  • Has no effect on levels of insulin or blood sugar

Safety: does powdered erythritol have any side effects?

Although powdered erythritol works well for some individuals, it has several drawbacks, side effects, and safety concerns. 

First, while powdered erythritol can aid some individuals in minimizing sugar intake or calorie consumption; it may not offer that much of an effect, with some studies even suggesting that it might not even reduce sugar intake or satiety

Also, while powdered erythritol is considered to lead to fewer gastrointestinal issues for numerous individuals, it might, however, result in some discomfort for various consumers.

Also, powdered erythritol has been proven to cause various side effects like stomachache, headache, digestive upset, diarrhea, and bloating.

Nonetheless, for safety precautions, you must consult your physician before incorporating this sweetener into your diet, especially if you have any medical conditions.


Powdered erythritol is an ideal natural sugar alternative. With about 70% of the sweetness of regular sugar, this sweetener has virtually all the distinct taste, with no guilt whatsoever. In fact, you can finally substitute ordinary sugar in baking and cooking without ruining your recipes! Boasting no sour aftertaste, no tooth decay risk, or any artificial flavors, this unique stomach-friendly sweetener is the ideal sugar substitute


Many types of people find canning an enjoyable and useful hobby. It preserves food that protects the hard work of gardeners so they can enjoy the fruit (and vegetables) of their labor all year round. It is also a useful skill for emergency preparedness, as properly preserved food can be eaten years later without the risk of bacteria, as long as it is not spoiled. Below, you’ll find a guide to food safety of your canned fruit and vegetables, including storage advice and how to inspect food for signs of spoilage before eating it.

Proper Storage for Preserved Foods

The average amount of time canned goods should be stored is between 12 and 18 months. However, there are many factors that affect freshness. Here’s a look at them:

Creating a Proper Seal

One of the most important things for canned good storage is creating a proper seal on the jar. While you can use cleaned jars, experts typically recommend that you buy new seal lids every time that you use a jar for canning. Metal breaks down over time and can create rust, which disrupts the pH balance of canned foods.

Storing in a Cool, Dark Environment

If you let your canned goods sit out in the sun or expose them to heat, it is going to change the composition of the jar. The materials may break down more and speed up the decay process. While this does not always mean that it will grow bacteria, it does mean that the food loses its freshness faster.

Before you store the goods, you should always label them clearly. Use a marker that is not going to wipe off easily. Write the name of the food, the date it was prepared, and the date it should be eaten by. Then, store the foods in a cool area with a temperature around 72-degrees Fahrenheit. Dark pantries or cellars are best for home canned goods.

Preparing the Fruit and Vegetables

To prepare your produce items, you should start by canning them when they are fresh. The heating process involved in canning causes fruit and vegetables to soften. If they are already over ripened, this can cause them to become unpleasantly mushy. Older vegetables are also less likely to be healthy.

Once you have picked the produce at peak ripeness, they should be properly cleaned and cut for canning. Wash foods using a solution of vinegar and water. Let them dry and any remaining odor from the vinegar wash will dissipate. Then, trim off any bad spots, roots, or other inedible parts. If you do not properly clean and trim the fruit and vegetables, it is more likely that the food will spoil because of an increased microbial load.

Another part of proper preparation is preparing a solution for canning. It is not uncommon for vegetables to be stored in salt water and fruit to be stored in simple syrup. There are different recipes for light, medium, and heavy syrup. There is also an option of adding other spices or mixing certain fruits or vegetables. However, you should always be sure the liquid and seasonings you use do not affect the pH balance too much.

Proper Processing of Home Canned Goods

Proper processing is also important. You cannot check the temperature or pH balance once the jars have been sealed. To prevent the spread of bacteria, you must have enough ‘headspace’ between the top of the jar and the level of the food. The headspace is different depending on what you are canning. It is also important to process the canned goods for the recommended amount of time—it is the high heat generated during the canning process that kills botulism bacteria. 

Using recipe guides from reputable sources is a good way to learn more about the specifics of canning. You’ll learn how to adjust headspace depending on what you are canning and how to process the ingredients. There are two common methods—the hot water bath method and the pressure canning method. The method you use depends on what you are canning. You also have to prepare different solutions, since some foods are naturally more acidic foods. Foods with low acidity are more likely to be infected with botulism.

If you ever have questions about a recipe, look at the USDA website. The United States Department of Agriculture provides guidelines on canning. This includes a list of various fruit, vegetables and other preparations of home canned goods that describes the process that can be used for safe canning.

Something else that people sometimes forget to consider is the contents of the jar. If you overload a jar with fruit or vegetables, it will be harder for it to reach the proper temperature. Pack produce loosely to ensure all the ingredients become warm enough to kill botulism and other bacteria.

What Type of Canning Should I Use?

The two safe canning processes are hot water bath canning and pressure canning. Hot water bath canning involves placing the jars in a hot water bath. It is bets for high acid foods, including pie fillings, sauces, tomatoes, salsa, jellies and jams, relishes and pickles, vinegars, fruits, condiments, and fruit juices. Pressure canning is best for low-acid foods that are more susceptible to botulism, including certain salsas, chili, poultry, meats, vegetables, and seafood.

Testing the pH levels of canning liquid is the easiest way to know if you should use the hot water bath method or pressure canning. High-acid foods are those with a pH level of 4.6 or less. Anything with a pH greater than 4.6 should be processed using a pressure canner.

How Long Can I Store Home Canned Fruit and Vegetables?

The United States Department of Agriculture recommends all canned fruit and vegetables be consumed within one year after processing. This is the safest timeframe for avoiding bacteria, especially for low acidity food. Of course, foods have different shelf lives, depending on the acidity. Some guidelines recommend eating within 18 months. By properly preparing and storing foods, they will last longer.

Why Are Improperly Stored or Expired Canned Goods Unsafe?

When a canned good is exposed to air or becomes compromised, it can result in the foodborne illness botulism. Botulism thrives in conditions where there is no oxygen, low levels of acidity, and temperatures between 40 and 120 degrees Fahrenheit. This is the reason that canned goods are exposed to temperatures above 250 degrees when they are sealed in the jars. Any food and air inside are trapped once the jar is sterilized. As long as the seal remains intact, the food remains free from bacteria.

Botulism is incredibly dangerous. The symptoms begin between 12 and 36 hours after eating the bacteria, though the onset depends on how much of the toxin was eaten. The most common symptoms of botulism include:

  • Dry mouth
  • Difficulty speaking or swallowing
  • Blurred or double vision
  • Difficulty breathing
  • Abdominal cramps, nausea, and vomiting
  • Drooping eyelids
  • Facial weakness on both sides of the face
  • Paralysis

If you experience these symptoms, it is important to seek medical intervention immediately. An antitoxin is generally injected to counteract the effects of the botulism bacteria on the nervous system. Without this toxin being deactivated, it can cause respiratory failure. Fortunately, the survival rate is very high in developed countries.

How Do I Know if Canned Goods are Spoiled?

Canning is meant as a type of preserving. It slows the rate that fruit and vegetables decay. The best way to know if a home canned item is spoiled is to inspect the jar. Since you cannot see, smell, or taste botulism, your best defense is inspecting the jar it is in. You should let the jar sit out for 12-24 hours before storing it in the pantry or cupboard. Then, press down on the center of the lid—it should not pop up or indent inward.

To be sure the canned goods are good when you take them out, you can also press down on the center of the lid. If there are any cracks or leaks, or if it looks like the lid is bulging, you should not eat the food inside the jar. There may also be obvious signs that the food is bad, including foam on the top of the food, spurting liquid when you open the jar, a bad odor, or the appearance of mold or discoloration. You should also avoid eating food that appears mushier or less fresh than when you canned it. If you are ever unsure, it is better to throw the food out than risk getting sick.

Canning fruit and vegetables at home has many benefits. However, to avoid exposure to dangerous botulism bacteria, it is important canned goods are stored safely. You should always be sure to label your canned goods clearly and eat them within 12-18 months of preserving. Being aware of the signs of damaged or contaminated food can also help you avoid eating dangerous bacteria.

Related References

Cooking Tip – Freeze Slightly Before Slicing meat, poultry, fish, or soft cheese

Cutting Thin Slices Of Lean  Raw Meat
Cutting Thin Slices Of Lean Raw Meat

If you ever needed or wanted to get small, thin, fine cuts from a stack of bacon slices, then you likely know what I’m talking about.  Basically, even with a properly sharpened knife, it will want to slide around and not bake nice even clean cuts.  However, this is easily remedied.

The Tip

  • Chill, but do not freeze, meat, poultry, fish, or soft cheese in the freezer.

The Chilling Process

Yes, I did say freezer.  To use this tip:

  • Wrap the meat or cheese in a protective wrap (plastic wrap or freezer paper)
  • Put it in the freeze for about 20 minutes (just long enough to stiffen up the edges)
  • Set a timer (this is strongly recommended), because you really do not want the meat or cheese to freeze, only firm up enough to be easily cut without damaging you blade or being a safety risk to your fingers and hands.
  • Remove the meat and cheese from the freezer
  • Immediately, Remove the protective wrapping and place the meat or cheese on a cutting board and cut to you desired shape and size.

If your meat or child begins to soften before you finish simply repeat the process on the remainder.

Avoid green skinned potatoes for cooking

Potato With Green Skin
Potato With Green Skin

For food and cooking purposes potatoes with green skins should be avoided as they can contain glycoalkaloids. Glycoalkaloids are considered toxic.

However, they are perfectly fine for use in the garden as seed potatoes.

How Hot Is Your Chili Pepper?

Poblano Chili (Chili Ancho) - Almost Ripe, How Hot Is Your Chili Pepper
Poblano Chili (Chili Ancho) – Almost Ripe

With spring nearly upon us, it is time to consider, which peppers are going to grow this year and why.  I usually grow the Poblano (Chili Ancho) and sometimes if you sweet peppers for color. However, we typically eat the Poblano pepper in our meals, because we like the flavor.  Knowing how hot the chili is can help you choose the right Chili for your purposes. Some people want to grow then hot because they can, others just like the hotter pepper, such as the jalapeno or Chili Piquin.  For whatever reason your choosing to go peppers this year, here’s a quick guide, which may give you a feel for how hot the chili you are choosing to grow may be.

Table of   Heat Units

Scoville Heat Units

Chili Pepper



– 2,200,000

Reaper Pepper


Scorpion Butch T


Viper pepper  


bhut jolokia pepper




Naga Jolokia pepper

– 577,000

Savina habanero  

– 350,000


– 325,000


– 225,000

Eye pepper

– 200,000

Hot pepper

– 125,000

Cayenne pepper

– 110,000


– 115,000


– 80,000

Amazon Pepper

– 100,000


– 100,000


– 58,000


– 50,000

Chile pepper

– 50,000


– 50,000


– 50,000


– 30,000

Arbol pepper

– 30,000


– 23,000


– 10,000

Wax pepper

– 8,000


– 5,000


– 5,000


– 2,500


– 2,000


– 2,000


– 2,000


– 1,000


– 2,500


– 1,000

Mexico pepper

– 700

Fe Grande pepper

– 1000


– 500

Tuscan pepper, sweet Italian peppers, and golden Greek peppers.

– 500



Bell pepper

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Yogurt Making – Do You Need To Boil The Milk To Make Yogurt?

Homemade Bottle Of Yogurt
Homemade Bottle Of Yogurt

Should you boil your milk to make your yogurt?

The correct answer to this question is, it depends. There are a couple of things that should be considered, which are the texture of your yogurt and the milk you’re using to make your yogurt. Also, it’s easy to get distracted and scorch your milk, which does not improve the flavor.

The texture of your yogurt

Boiling and cooling your milk before making yogurt does in some people’s opinion improve the feel of your homegrown yogurt. However, I have not found this to be true even though I’ve seen much literature about it. I think it’s the quality of the milk product and the yogurt culture to use to make your yogurt which has the most significant impact on the texture of your yogurt. Using milk with plenty of solids will reduce the amount of waste liquid produced by the yogurt culture and, therefore, the overall bitterness of the yogurt product. Much the same thing for the yogurt culture, not all yogurt cultures are equal. So, find a good culture which you like and stick with it. Choosing the best yogurt culture for you may require some experimentation with different cultures before you settle on your final choice.

The milk you use to create your yogurt

These days there are several milk products and milk substitute products to choose from to make your yogurt, but when working with real milk, it breaks down into two categories: pasteurize and raw.

pasteurized Mild

Pasteurized milk has already been heat treated, so there is no real need to boil the milk to start your yogurt. Using thick milk, such as fat-free half-and-half to enrich your milk can add significantly to the density and creaminess of your final yogurt. To make yogurt from pasteurized milk, just, bring it to room temperature, add your culture, and give it a little time to bloom, then you can add it to your yogurt warmer or wherever you keep your temperature constant to allow your yogurt culture to mature.

Raw milk

Raw milk must be boiled or home pasteurized for food safety reasons. There are many potential hazards when working with raw milk, which is why when its distributed for commercial use it is pasteurized. Some of those health hazards, such as E. coli can be fatal. So, whenever you work with raw milk, you should bring it to a slow boil for about five minutes; then let it cool. Once cool, add your culture, and give it a little time to bloom, then you can add it to your yogurt warmer or wherever you keep your temperature constant to allow your yogurt culture to mature.

Home pasteurization

Home pasteurization involves using a lower temperature than boiling, but it does take longer, and attention must be paid to maintaining the appropriate temperature throughout the pasteurization.  For best results, raw milk must be heated slowly during pasteurization. Use a double-boiler. To do this:

Stovetop method

  • Phil the bottom of the double-boiler with water and bring it a boil.
  • Pour the raw milk into the top half of the double-boiler. Heat it over the boiling water, stirring thoroughly and consistently throughout the heating process.
  • Use a probe or thermometer to determine when the temperature reaches 165° F. and keep it at 165° F for 15 seconds or more.
  • Set the top half of the double- boiler containing the hot milk in a container of cold water and. Keep the water cold by adding ice as necessary.
  • Continuing to stir slowly and consistently, until the milk is cold, then use immediately or store in the refrigerator.

Microwave method

Raw milk can be pasteurized in a microwave oven by heating the milk to 165°F. Your milk heating temperature should be verified with a probe or thermometer. Stir the milk periodically during the heating period to equalize the temperature. Once hundred 65°F is achieved, the same 15 seconds or more rule must be applied. Throughout. Cool as directed. Pour the hot milk into a pan or dish which is in a container of cold water and keep the water cold by adding ice. Continue to stir until the milk is cold, then use immediately or store in the refrigerator.

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Cooking Tip – Break Eggs Into a Separate Bowl First

Egg Cracked Into Checking Bowl before Use
Egg Cracked Into Checking Bowl before Use

To prevent mishaps and damage to more than the egg you’re currently working with, it is strongly advised break each egg one at a time into a separate bowl or a breaking bowl, if you will. This allows you to work with each egg and ensure it’s of the quality you want before combining it with other eggs or other ingredients and regretting an unpleasant surprise.

Things like a piece of eggshell falling in can be more easily retrieved from a single egg than several eggs. Worse yet, if for some reason you should come across the bad egg, you can simply dispose of the egg wash the dish and move on the next egg without having lost anything but the egg that was bad. This minimizes risk before transferring the egg it to your mixing bowl.

This using a separate bowl, also, applies to separating eggs; always do them one at a time to prevent one broken yolk from spoiling a bowl full of whites.

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