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Xylitol is a sugar-alcohol often used as a sugar substitute in cooking and baking. The substance is extracted from various berries, plums, corn, oats and mushrooms, and it contains roughly the same amount of sweetness as regular sugar. However, xylitol sweetener is better for your teeth, has fewer calories than sugar and is safe for diabetics. Although it still has an impact on blood sugar, the effect is lower compared to normal sugars. Cooking with xylitol sweetener is a cinch, and it can used anywhere sugar is typically used.
Purchase high-quality xylitol sweetener from your local supermarket or health food store, or order in bulk from a reputable online retailer. The substance is typically available in powder or crystal form, both of which can be used in cooking, baking or anywhere else you would normally use sugar or a sugar substitute.
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Add xylitol sugar substitute to cereal, sprinkle it on fruit or toast, or even use it to sweeten tea and coffee. Use just as you would regular granulated sugar for these purposes. For example, if you normally add one tablespoon of sugar to your coffee, add one tablespoon of xylitol powder or crystals instead.
Use powdered xylitol sweetener as a sugar substitute in cooking and baking recipes. Substitute xylitol for the entire amount of sugar in each recipe. For example, if a recipe calls for 1 cup of sugar, use 1 cup of xylitol powder instead.
Use xylitol crystals as a sugar substitute in cooking and baking. Substitute half the sugar in a recipe with xylitol crystals. The crystals are often sweeter than the powdered version of the substance. Make adjustments to suit your taste from here, adding more crystals if the combination isn't sweet enough, or reducing the number of crystals when the mixture is too sweet.
When cooking with xylitol sweetener, you may have to modify the amount you use depending on your family's tastes. Some people find it tastes even sweeter than sugar, and use less xylitol than they would granulated sugar in recipes. Experiment and find out what works best for you. Remember, it's always best to use too little than too much xylitol sweetener in cooking. While you can always add more if the food isn't sweet enough, it's much harder to dilute.
Xylitol can be fatal to dogs and cats. Always keep out of reach of pets and small children.