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Palvinder Singh, Executive Chef, Radisson Bengaluru City Center, firmly believes that a chef can impress the eaters without sugar too. Thanks to the raise health consciousness, he is of the opinion that options like dates syrup, honey can bring the exact taste of what sugar can give. Edited Excerpt.
As a Chef, how challenging is for you to avoid sugar in your recipes and how are you managing to implement?
Baking with reduced sugar can affect texture and shelf life. Baked goods with sugar (and thus more retained water) tend to be softer, moister, and have a better shelf life. The more you reduce sugar (without any other adjustments), the drier and more crumbly your baked goods will be — and the shorter their shelf life. You can reduce the amount of sugar, but you may or may not be satisfied with the result. Recipes for cakes, pies, and cookies may be altered with experimentation — start by reducing the amount of sugar the recipe calls for by 25 percent (if the recipe calls for 1 cup of sugar, use only ¾ cup.) and sugar alternatives both artificial and natural can be used.
While the Indian eaters are always used to sugar, don’t you think it would be a cake-walk for a chef to bring a non-sugar item for increasing sweet in the dishes?
I do not think so because with advancing technology and people being health conscious there are lots of better alternatives for sugar which are better as per health percepts and have the same taste and flavors but with less harmful components than sugar.
What are the dos and don’t a chef should follow while they think of preparing a portion of food without sugar?
Try using fresh products for cooking that are made in our kitchen and on which you can blindly rely on. I try not using products with added sugar and fruits which are high in sugar basically readymade products.
Can you share some easy food options where Chefs can avoid sugar and replace them with alternatives?
The availability of safer options, produced with low-calorie sweeteners, ensures they can indulge in their favourite sweets without worry. Although preparing sweets with low-calorie sweeteners ensures low intake of glucose like (natural) honey, jaggery, palm sugar and (artificial) tagatose, sucralose, aspartame, which deliver the same taste as sugar but in a way healthier manner.
Share your personal experiences in trying out new recipes without sugar. Share some examples with customer success journeys.
I tried making caramel cake without using sugar but instead of it I tried natural dates syrup for making caramel and I experimented it and it came very well with the rusty flavour and it is mild sweeter than sugar in the same concentration. Other studies suggest dates syrup have extra health benefits.