Monday, December 6, 2010

Fructose Free Happy Birthday to me

Recently had a wonderful Birthday celebration and I am happy to tell you all that this year I felt about 10 years younger than the same time last year. 

In fact last year I felt so bad that my GP (unable to diagnose any illness) apart from mild depression had sent me off to a specialist armed with my blood tests (which were mostly within the normal range) and after a thorough assessment I was given a clean bill of health despite being very overweight. 

This exercise left me even more depressed. Technically, I was not ill but my body was aching, my mind was foggy and I was just going through the motions and not really embracing life at all.

Since I have stopped scoffing down sugar I am delighted to tell you that apart from losing 9kgs so far, I have also noticed a marked improvement in the health of my body and mind.

Enough about me. 
Lets talk about food!

My beautiful daughter Suzanne made me  the most magnificent birthday cake. 

A  Strawberry Crepe Layer Cake

The good news is that she cleverly managed to convert the recipe into a Fructose Free one (apart from whats in the strawberries) and is happy to share the recipe with you.

2 cups (300g) plain flour, 1 tsp baking powder, 2 tbs dextrose powder,
 4 eggs, 450ml milk, 250 ml thickened cream, 1/2 tsp vanilla essence

600ml thickened cream, 1 cup dextrose powder, 2 tsp grated orange zest,
1tsp vanilla essence,1 punnet of strawberries (thinly sliced)

Process all ingredients in a food processor until smooth, pour into a jug and stand for 30 minutes at room temperature. Heat a 20cm crepe pan over medium heat and spray with oil. Add 1/4 cup of the crepe batter and swirl to coat the pan. Cook for 2 minutes on each side until just golden. Repeat with remaining batter spraying the pan with a little oil each time. Crepes can be frozen for up to 3 months.

Place the cream, dextrose powder, orange zest and vanilla in a bowl. Beat with electric beaters until stiff peaks form.

Cut each of the crepes using a circle template as a guide (eg. saucepan lid). Layer the crepes spreading each with a thin layer of cream. Select a couple of layers to place some strawberries inside. Once assembled, spread the remaining cream over the entire cake and cover with sliced strawberries. Cover and chill for at least 4 hours. Serve dusted with a little dextrose powder.

The finished product was delicious but Suzanne mentioned that next time she makes it she would use more layers of strawberries (so that would mean you need to buy 2 punnets of strawberries) and that she would be a little more generous with the amount of cream in the layers. As it was assembled in the photos above she had cream leftover.

My creative Sister in law Geyle and her daughter Essie also made me (and my 18 year old nephew James who is (un)lucky enough to share my birthdate) a magnificent chocolate cake for the second and bigger Birthday celebration I had. Sadly for me, it was made with sugar and though it looked scrumptious I was not tempted to have a piece. I have a large extended family so that cake was enjoyed and appreciated by many.

I took along a version of "Franks Strawberry Ricotta Cake"
 for those of us on The Plan

I was inspired by the silicone muffin trays that I was given as a present to make Muffin sized cakes. I had too much mixture for the 12 standard size muffin tray so I used the rest in a smaller bite sized version.

These were a real hit. I was told that one of Donna Hays' tips is to present things in individual serves because it looks better and is more practical when it comes to serving. Donna was right on the money!

I would not make these in regular muffin trays because they might be very difficult to remove from the tray but they were easy to manage in the silicone version. I adjusted the cooking time according to size and the small ones took about 20 minutes and the larger ones 30 minutes. They are moist and moorish and would make an ideal Christmas sweet.

I have also been busy making icecream and gelato using recipes from
The Sweet Poison Quit Plan.

 Pistachio Icecream!
I used the egg yolk only Vanilla Ice cream recipe and added (at the custard making stage) 3/4 cup of pistachios that I had soaked in water and removed the skins then pulverised with a stick mixer. Then added 1/2 cup chopped pistachios at the end of the churning stage.
I am thinking of serving this icecream in brandy baskets (see previous post for recipe) topped with a fresh raspberry sauce for my family on Christmas day.
 (All 30 or so of them!)
I better get churning fast!

Chocolate Gelato
A simple and inexpensive way to have a chocolate hit!

A word of caution for those of you who are trying to lose weight or have just started the plan. Remember not to eat these goodies until you have beaten your sugar addiction.

Once you are no longer addicted to sugar you will not crave sweet things as much and these treats should be eaten occasionally and not all the time. I cook a lot of things but I don't eat them all because my skinny husband Ed is a big help in the eating department.

Thanks Ed for your love and support.

Saturday, November 20, 2010

Goodbye My Precious

It was love at first sight.

I will never forget the moment we first met.  My heart was racing in anticipation as my lips pressed against your silky smooth, hard, sweet outer layer.

In an instant I took all of you into my mouth and let my tongue gently swirl you gently amongst the eager wetness within.

Then, without warning, it happened. Your hard shell collapsed and its heavenly sweet, syrupy contents oozed to every corner of my mouth.

You had, in that moment, satisfied my most urgent craving within.

Over the years that followed I could rely on you to do it for me again and again but sadly, all good things must come to an end.

My Precious Lindt Lindor Ball. I don't know how to tell you this but I'm afraid our relationship is over.

Its hard to believe that our first meeting was more than 30 years ago.

You see, back then I was a naive girl that lived on the wrong side of town. By chance, I had a friend who was older, more sophisticated and happened to live on the right side of town and she was the one that introduced me to the lusciousness of Lindor Balls.

In the good old days Lindor Balls were an exclusively rare commodity and only came in the Milk Chocolate version which were wrapped seductively in red. One had to make a special trip to a  Speciality Chocolate Shop to secure a supply.

Over the years sadly, they have lost their exclusivity and have flirted their way into Supermarkets, Discount Stores and even, (gasp!) Petrol Station Counters.

More recently, thanks to the power that is commercialism, they have incredibly morphed themselves into assorted flavours and shapes other than the traditional round ball, dependant on the season.

I have managed, up until now, to turn a blind eye to all there was to dislike about what had become of my once exclusive, precious, Chocolate of Choice.

Thanks to my sugar detox I no longer have the urge to eat chocolate.

So take this, (stomp, stomp, squish). 
You imported ball of sugar, fat and cocoa.

I'm moving on without you.

Wednesday, November 17, 2010

Fructose Free Brandy Snaps for Christmas. Ho Ho Ho!

Brandy snaps are an old favourite and I have come up with a  Fructose Free Recipe and variations so that you can impress the guests at Christmas. Technically there is fructose in the 2 versions that have fruit included but if you are following the Sweet Poison Plan then you will realise that these fruits are OK to have in moderation.
 Good thing is the biscuits/cases can be made days in advance and the fillings can be put together hours before they are to be served.
A picture paints a thousand words so prepare yourself
 for three thousand and try not to drool!
Brandy Snap Basket with Festive Fruit and Whipped Cream

Brandy Snap Strawberry Christmas Tree

Classic Version....Perfect with Coffee
50g butter
1/4 cup dextrose
1/4 cup rice malt syrup
1/3 cup plain flour
1 tsp ground ginger

Approx 300ml Thickened Cream (depends on which version and how much cream you like)
Fruit to decorate. I used strawberries, blueberries and kiwi fruit

Preheat oven to 160c (note my oven is a bit hot so you might have to set it to 170 or 180c) and line 2 baking trays with baking paper. I reused the same trays and paper several times.
This is the Rice Malt Syrup I used. I bought it in the health food section of  Coles Supermarket
I think you could get the same results or perhaps even better using Glucose Syrup

Combine chopped butter, dextrose and rice malt syrup in a saucepan

Stir over medium heat for a few minutes until butter is melted and dextrose is dissolved.
Set pan aside to cool slightly 
Add sifted flour and ginger to mixture and stir to combine
To make the tubes
Drop Dessert Spoon amounts on to trays making sure there is room  for them to spread
Place in oven and cook for about 10 minutes and watch them bubble
Remove from oven when the biscuits are a golden/light brown colour
While still warm (but not hot) quickly roll each biscuit around the handle of a wooden spoon.
Cool and then pipe whipped cream into the tubes an hour or more before serving.

Mmmmmm. I have run out of room so I will continue the instructions on the next post.

Bear with me because I'm a bit new to all this.

Monday, November 15, 2010

Fructose Free Brandy Snaps continued

Continued from previous post.

To make the Brandy Snap Christmas Trees
Preheat oven to 160c
you will need to make biscuits in 3 different sizes.
You will need to make batches of each different size on
 separate trays because the cooking time will vary slightly.

To make 12 trees you will need to make 36 discs in total. (12 of each size)

Large size use 3/4 tsp of mix. Medium use 1/2 tsp. Small use 1/3 tsp.
 Cooking time will vary between 8 to 10 minutes.

To assemble pipe or spread cream on largest biscuit then layer with sliced strawberries. Place medium biscuit on top and repeat with a layer of cream and strawberries. Top with smallest biscuit and then pipe a small amount of cream and top with an upside down strawberry that has had its green bits chopped off.
Dust with dextrose sugar before serving.

To make the Brandy Snap Baskets

Preheat oven to 160c
Spoon 1 tablespoon of mix on to tray. I suggest that you cook them on trays of 2 at a time so that you allow for the spreading of the mixture and for the manipulation of the baskets when they are still warm.

When the biscuits are golden brown remove from oven and let cool slightly.
When still warm place over a small glass which is turned upside down 
(I actually used an upside down egg cup)
so that the sides drape down to form an upside down basket.
Allow to cool and decorate with whipped cream and fruit


In the meantime I am thinking of working on a recipe for Pistachio Icecream.
I think it would be a perfect Christmas idea to serve Pistachio Icecream (which will be a bit green) inside a Brandy Snap Basket and topped with fresh Raspberries

Toughing it out in the Test Kitchen

I really have to take my hat off to Lizzie (David's wife) who has managed to come up with some wonderful recipes that are included in The Sweet Poison Quit Plan. Every one that I have tried so far has been a huge hit.
The instructions are very clear and easy to follow and what's more she mostly uses basic ingredients.

For the past couple of days I have been thinking of Lizzie while I have been cooking up an idea for a Christmas sweet treat. I thought about how many times she must have tried certain recipes in order to get them right and wondered how many disasters she had along the way.

One of my husbands favourite things to eat at the moment is the Anzac biscuits I make thanks to one of Lizzies recipes. When I first made them he commented (between mouthfuls) that they tasted a bit like Brandy Snaps.

This gave me an idea that at the time I thought was brilliant. Mmmmmm, I thought "Brandy snaps, cream and strawberries all shaped into something that represented Christmas".

and this is what I came up with
My Dextrose Dusted Strawberry and Cream Biscuit Creation
Now don't get too excited because whilst this creation may look good I've got to tell you it didn't taste as good as I thought it would and the texture was all wrong. So I am afraid it's back to the test kitchen for me. I am working on a version of the biscuit minus the rolled oats so that it is indeed just like a brandy snap.

Lizzies Anzac Biscuits

In the meantime you might want to bake some of these wonderful Anzac biscuits as per Lizzies recipe. I add the optional ginger and cinnamon as suggested to make them more like Ginger Nuts. They are very sweet and crunchy and  they keep well in an airtight container (for as long as I can hide them away from my husband that is!)

Great news! I am excited to tell you that I have done it! I have made brandy snaps using dextrose and I will be proudly presenting them in my next post which will be published soon (because I am so delighted with my results).

Sunday, November 14, 2010

A peek into my Shopping Basket

Here are some of the things I bought at the Supermarket today
 that are on my list of 

Some of the foods you can eat as much of as you like
 and still lose weight

Amount of sugar per 100g
Chips .6g
Muffins 2.1g 
Yoghurt 5.2g (of which 4.7g is lactose which is OK)
Sparkling Mineral Water 0g
Bread 1.6g
Muesli 1.2g
Plain Rice Crackers .2g

If you want more info about what you can eat then
visit Simone's blog

Dextrose....This Stuff is to Sugar as Methadone is to Heroin

My name is Maree and I am a recovering addict. My drug of choice was sucrose which is commonly known as sugar. I have now successfully withdrawn from my addiction with the help of The Sweet Poison Quit Plan and have replaced regular sugar with the far less insidious white powder that is Dextrose.

Getting your hands on a kilo of Dextrose is not a simple as you might think. None of the supermarkets in my area stock it. When I first started using it I was able to buy it at my local K Mart.

Last week I made a special trip to K Mart to pick up some more Dextrose because my supply was running low. My heart started racing when I went to the part of the store where the Home Brew Supplies should have been but were now stocked with Christmas confectionery.

My panic subsided when I finally spotted the Home Brew section that had been shifted to a less conspicuous part of the store. A quick scan of the shelves and my anxiety sky rocketed even higher than before.

No dextrose on the shelves and no ticket indicating the spot where it should have been if it were in stock.

K Mart no longer stocks the precious powder that enables me to stay off sugar. I was shaken and devastated, but not for long.

I pulled myself together, went home and searched the Internet with the thought of perhaps ordering a bulk lot to be delivered to my house. My search revealed that it was available at a Brew Supply Shop near where my sister lives.

Lucky for me my sister is a Dextrose user just like me. She picked up a 5kg bag for me and we arranged for the exchange to take place over a meal at an Indian Restaurant near her house.

My sister chose to meet at this particular Indian restaurant because the food is amazing, the price is extremely low, the service wonderful and most importantly we (former sugar addicts) can happily eat most Indian dishes because they use spices (not sugar) to flavour the food

So here it is. My precious 5kg bag of Dextrose. I have used 1 and 1/4 cups of it to create a beautiful dessert that I am going to take to a dinner party at an unsuspecting sugar using friends place tonight.

Thanks to my  followers (all 4 of

Make sure to look out for photos and instructions in which I will share the dessert I made in one of my future blogs.

It's very impressive if I do say so myself!

Saturday, November 13, 2010

Don't eat this. Don't eat that. Blah Blah Blah...

We are constantly bombarded with various types of media that warns us all about the dangers of certain types of food. On the other hand, we are presented with lists of so called Super Foods with antioxidants being  the latest nutritional must have.

I am guessing that the majority of us have become somewhat immune to these constant streams of information and we barely lift an eyelid when yet another Must Try Diet Plan is promoted in the tabloids, Current Affair programs, in every 2nd advertisement on TV and even in the peripherals of your Facebook page.

As for Diet Books. There are SO many of them and their abundance in the library or book shop can almost be compared with the amount of room allocated to confectionery in our supermarkets (well not really but I just wanted to get your attention by over dramatising)

I had all but given up trying to manage my ever increasing weight problem until I heard David Gillespie talking about his book Sweet Poison Quit Plan on the radio.
In the book he makes claims that sound so ridiculous that your brain starts to transmit a warning message which goes something like this.


Thankfully, David always back up his claims with facts, figures and research and amazingly what he says is incredibly true. Let me share a couple of the bits of his book that I am talking about.

"You will still eat as much as you want of anything you want as long as it doesn't contain sugar. And you won't feel deprived in any way."

Stop Laughing and let me explain that from my experience this statement is incredibly true. I have been able to indulge in Roast Dinners, Fish and Chips, Pasta Meals, Schnitzels etc.and for the first time in my life I don't feel the least bit guilty about using lashings of cream and butter in and on my food. I have lost 8kg in 4 months and I feel so much better both physically and mentally.  I do make sure to eat lots of veggies and drink plenty of water.  My moderate intake of alcohol and my exercise routine (which mainly consists of walking the dog) has not changed at all.
Sunday roast dinner with lamb, vegetables and gravy
A sample of the kind of food I eat (but my husband doesn't because he is a vegetarian}

And here is another quote from the book that I think is the key to my successful weight loss.

"Your appetite control will start to return to normal as you progress through the withdrawal period. This means meals you would have polished off easily before now will be impossible to finish."
If only my appetite control switch was this easy to find!
I have, for the first time in my life, found that my body was in fact equipped with the wonderful feature of appetite control. I honestly do not feel the urge to snack between meals. I no longer hover around the fridge or pantry thinking about what snack might satisfy my cravings. This is a liberating experience for me and I really feel good about myself.

Thanks David for turning Fad to Fact.
Your'e my hero.

Wednesday, November 10, 2010

Marty's Mates are Sugar Babies

During a visit about 6 weeks ago my Brother in Law Marty casually picked up my copy of Sweet Poison Quit Plan and started to read it while his wife (my gorgeous little sister Wendy) and I chatted over a cuppa.

An hour or so later, when it was time to leave Marty declared  "That's it. I'm going to stop eating sugar". He asked if he could take the book home so he could finish reading it.

I had a little panic attack at the thought of letting go of the book that had become my Bible but I thought that for the good of mankind I needed to help spread the word (especially to the people I love most). Besides, I could always go an purchase another copy (which I did).

Yesterday, I found out that since Marty first read the book has lost 5kgs. He was not terribly overweight to begin with but was developing a bit of a gut. I was so excited to hear that he had stuck to the plan and was losing weight as well as looking and feeling great. 

I think that the weight loss regime outlined in Sweet Poison Quit Plan is an ideal one for blokes because many of them prefer savoury type foods and they can have a beer and eat too.
Marty is a very likeable and funny guy. He now refers to all of his mates that are struggling with their weight as Sugar Babies. A perfect description for those who are addicted to sugar. Good one Marty!

Monday, November 8, 2010

Engage the Advice of a Lawyer and Lose Weight!

 I'm not joking. For the small price of a paperback I have been given a wealth of knowledge about weight loss which is contained in this Easy to Read yet compelling book penned by David Gillespie.

Sweet Poison Quit Plan TheDavid is not a dietician or nutritionist and he makes that very clear in his book titled The Sweet Poison Quit Plan. David is a lawyer and with a combination of research, self experimentation and plain commonsense he has devised a strategy  that helped him to lose 40kgs and keep it off. I have been following the plan for 3 months and have lost 8kgs so far. (I started off about 20kgs overweight)

Everything in his book made so much sense to me but I found it hard to believe that I would be able to eat as much of anything I like so long as it contains little or no Fructose and would still lose weight. I found it even harder to believe that my natural appetite control would come out of hiding (for the first time in my life) and that would be the catalyst to my weight loss success.

You can't blame me for being a bit sceptical. When it comes to weight loss I am an expert on the topic. I have (with the help of WW, Jenny and various diets) lost heaps of weight in the past. Sadly, once off the diets, I put the weight back on with an added bonus of a few kg more each time. I had all but given up and resigned myself to living the rest of my life being uncomfortably fat when I heard David talking to ME and about ME on the radio.

Actually, he wasn't really talking just to me and he couldn't have been talking about me because he has never had the pleasure of meeting me. But that day I heard him on the radio was the day my life changed. He helped me to recognize that I was addicted to sugar and that it was no different to being and alcoholic or a drug addict. (in fact sugar is a refined chemical that is just like a drug)

For the first time in my life I have decided to start a blog so that I can help others by sharing my experiences. Who knows. One day I might even post one of those stupid Before and After photos of me to inspire you all!! In the meantime I hope to use this blog to post tips, recipes etc to help others on their Sugar Free journey.